6 Ways to Encourage Early Speech & Reading Skills with Montessori 3-Part Cards

Rising Stars Foundation
02.12.22 07:09 AM Comment(s)

Author: Antoinette LaGrossa

Language development is a key part of Montessori education. Learning to read, often quite early, draws many parents to the Montessori method. Nomenclature cards are a wonderful way to make learning to identify new object and words fun for preschool children. 

Nomenclature cards, also known as 3-part cards, are cards with a picture and a word or phrase underneath the picture. They are used to help with reading, language development, vocabulary, object identification, matching, and more. Typically first introduced in the toddler/preschool years, nomenclature cards can be used throughout the early elementary years.

Families can make cards of relative’s faces and names, landmarks and locations in the local area, or pets and favorite objects. To get started with nomenclature cards with your little one, download the free Wildlife in Winter Nomenclature Cards from Froggy’s Montessori and follow the simple steps below.
Montessori, nomenclature cards are sometimes referred to as three-part cards due to their tri-part construction. For each animal in a set there is:

• A control card with an image and the written name below the picture
• A picture card with simply the image and no label (word)
• A separated label (word) card with no picture

Work from left to right, imitating the way we read. The lesson can take place at a table or utilizing a work mat on the floor. Let's walk through the main use of the 3-part cards. There are 5 additional ideas for using the cards at the end of the post. 

For introducing the cards to a preschool or prereading child:
1. Lay the whole picture card of one card in front of the child, saying the name on the card. “This is a bison.”

2. Have the child repeat what you have said. “Say with me, bison.”

3. Repeat with two more cards, one at a time, until you have three cards out.

4. Rearrange the three cards. Ask your child to point to identify the cards. “Can you show me the polar bear?” Repeat with the other two cards.

5. Rearrange the three cards again. Pointing to an animal ask, “What is this?” If your child is unable to give the name, tell them the name again and ask them to repeat it.

6. Repeat the above steps, adding three new cards each time (building on the knowledge previously gained), until all cards in the set have been introduced.

7. Repeat until the child has closure.

For an early or transitional reader: 
1. After the above, choose three picture cards with the labels. Place the labels in a random stack at the top of the work area. Place three picture cards in a row. Place the three control cards in pile upside down off to the side of the mat. Demonstrate matching the labels to the pictures, then using the control cards to check your work for accuracy.

2. Rearrange the cards and invite your child to try.

3. Repeat as needed until the child has closure.
There are a variety other uses for your Montessori 3-part cards. Here are more 5 more home learning activities:
  •  Use the cards as a launching point to learn more about the animals and their habitats.
  •     Pair two sets of the control cards to create a Wildlife in Winter Matching Game.
  •  Use the control cards as a guide for creating words with the movable alphabet.
  •  Pair the picture cards with movable alphabet or letter tiles for spelling words. The child can self-check with the control.
  •  Use the control cards to practice alphabetizing skills for a child with more advanced skills.

Start or add to your collection of 3-part cards with this free printable!

We recommend printing the nomenclature cards on cardstock, as it provides a better user experience and stand up to use. 

The blue lines are cutting lines. They are thick enough that if you cut along the outside edge of that, you’ll still have an attractive blue border to the set.

Jumpstart your child's speech and reading skills now!

Rising Stars Foundation