One of the key ways to present new information to children in a Montessori environment is by using a Montessori 3 period lesson. The 3 period lesson is often used to teach vocabulary, but it also a very useful tool to teach concepts. Today, I want to focus on how to use this lesson to teach young children new vocabulary. 

I also want to point out that in my home, we speak multiple languages. Four languages to be exact. I often use this method to teach Y new words in English the least used of our languages. It is very effective. Y is actually fluent in all four equally now. I think this is largely due to our use of learning new terms with the Montessori 3 period lesson!

Montessori 3 period lesson #montessori, #montessoriactivities

Montessori 3 period lesson


The 3 period lesson is a simple and effective way to teach children new vocabulary.

What to focus on?

For the presentation, I like to contain the animals in a bowl to prevent them from moving. Keep in mind, a 3 part lesson can be done with almost anything, not just animal figurines or cards!

What you need?

  • 3 objects or cards that you want to introduce to your child
  • Optional: a mat/somewhere to contain the work
  • Optional: a tray to store the work

How to give a 3 part lesson

  • Sit with your child on the ground
  • Get a mat for containing the work
  • Place the tray on the mat
  • Lay out the animal cards neatly in front of you – make sure they face your child so s/he can clearly see the animals.
  • Step 1: Start by saying ‘This is _____’ for each card. Speak clearly and slowly. Point to each card as you say what it is called.
  • Step 2: Ask your child to identify the animals. For example, you will say ‘Can you show me the snake’. Do this for each animal or card. Your child should point to the snake.
  • If your child incorrectly identifies an animal, make a mental note but do not say anything. Then, return to Step 1. After giving part 1, then repeat step 2.
  • Step 3: Point to one of the cards and say ‘What is this?’. Your child should properly identify the name of the animal/card that you are pointing to. If they make a mistake, do not saying anything, but make a mental note. Go back to Step 1.
  • After you are done, be sure to clean up the work and place it back on the shelf.

To summarize

  1. This is____.
  2. Can you show me ____?
  3. What is this?

3 period lesson

Watch how to present the Montessori 3 period lesson

More resources for you

A 3 period lesson works wonderfully along side object to picture matching activities. To learn more about object to picture matching, please visit Uno Zwei Tutu!

To get a general impression of getting started with Montessori at home, please visit our Implementing Montessori page.

A great starting point for implementing Montessori activities at home is to start with practical life. For a concrete, step by step guide about Montessori Practical Life activities, you should read the Montessori Inspiration at Home: Practical Life Skills – Toddler Series book.

Montessori Inspiration at Home: Practical Life Skills - Toddler Series

To learn more about presenting Montessori activities, you can visit our How to present Montessori activities article.


You can also learn about how to present puzzles to young toddlersHow to present puzzles to toddlers #

We also have discussed how to choose a Montessori tray for presenting activities.

I hope you have a fabulous day!