How to develop phonological awareness with Montessori?

How to develop phonological awareness with Montessori?


As your child gets older, you may have noticed that they are interested in the inscriptions on the signs or ask you to write letters. In short, he is entering the sensitive period of language and it is therefore the right time to present him with the Montessori activities aimed at developing phonological awareness. The goal is to identify and recognize the sounds of our language. This fundamental basis promotes the acquisition of reading and writing. But how do you go about working with the sounds? How to develop phonological awareness with Montessori pedagogy in a very young child of 2, 3 or 4 years? Do not skip the steps and read this article to guide your child in this learning.

Work on listening to lead to phonological awareness

Before even talking about phonological awareness, recognition of sounds, letters or syllables, it is essential to increase the number of games and activities aimed at working on listening.

Indeed, we cannot ask a 3 or 4 year old child to say if a sound is present in a word if he has never been used before to concentrate on what he hears or to listen to noises. carefully. From his first year, do not hesitate to let your baby handle objects to test their sounds and to him listen to all types of sounds and melodies.

Since younger children are naturally interested in sounds and music, there is no need to wait until your child has developed a passion for words and letters to develop phonological awareness.

Around 2 or 3 years old, make sound lotos. Have fun together to recognize animal cries or house noises broadcast on loudspeaker. You can also record the voices of loved ones and have them listen to them so that they can play to identify them.

When he names a person, emphasize the 1st sound by saying “Yes, this is AAAAline. Do you know someone else with the first name that starts like AAAAline? “. If he doesn’t understand, try again a few days or weeks later. If he succeeds, it is because he is already starting to develop phonological awareness.

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All these activities will allow him toenrich their listening skills, concentration and vocabulary, essential bases to present the Montessori activities described below.

Develop phonological awareness by playing “My little eye sees”

At around 3 years old, after you have sensitized your child with listening games and if he can find words that start with the same sound, you can play with him in a famous Montessori activity called ” My little eye sees “.

You can play it anywhere and the child will take it as a funny guessing game, not work. Look around and locate an object. Give your child the 1st sound of the word and describe the object in question. It will go something like this: “My little eye sees something that you put on your feet to keep warm and that starts with CHHHH”.

If the child is not interested in this game, it may be because he cannot or does not understand what you are asking him to do. It’s not serious ! Try again later and feel free to test with other words, it will certainly come later.

To make it easier to get started, start with vowel sounds rather than with [b] Where [t], much more complex to hear than a [a] for example.

Refine phonological awareness by presenting the box of small Montessori objects

When it happens to play “My little eye sees”, you can present the small items box to your child. This Montessori workshop also aims to sound recognition. The necessary equipment is very accessible. You just need to collect various small items whose names sound various sounds. It is best to use real objects rather than toys so that the child makes the connection with reality, but you can also draw from the dinette, doll accessories or your child’s Playmobils.

The activity is presented as follows: you take out of a box 3 small objects that you line up, you name them with your child and you ask him to find the one that begins with such a sound. Start with very different sounds and only vowels. For example, ask him to find the one that begins with A between an airplane, a motorcycle, and a button. Then make it more complex by asking to find a sound at the end of the word, then harder still, in the middle of the word. Finish by using similar tones like [s] and [ch] for example.

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If the child can identify the presence of a sound at the beginning, end and middle of a word, it can be said that he has reached a great stage in theacquisition of phonological awareness !

Connect oral and written with rough letters

As soon as your child begins to recognize certain sounds well, you can easily introduce them to the rough Montessori letters in parallel. These are small thin wooden or rigid cardboard boards on which the letters of the alphabet are printed. The surface of the layout is rough, which allows the shape to be integrated in a sensory way by touching them.

Each letter is written in cursive script because it is with this that the child will learn to write thereafter. The script letters are reserved for reading. This is a bias in Montessori pedagogy and this allows the child in particular to avoid confusion between the letters q / p / b / d, which are very similar in script.

As with the small objects box, you will start by presenting 3 very different letters visually. Be careful, you will have to give the sound of each letter. For more explanation regarding the choice of learning the sound of letters instead of the name, I invite you to read this article.

When 3 letters have been presented, you ask him to find the one that says “iiiii” for example.

Once he knows several letter sounds, you can relate to the Small Items Box. For example, we will put an apricot from the dinette on the A, the figurine of a snake on the S, and so on until you have reviewed all the sounds. Never introduce moreone new letter at a time.

Write your first words with silent dictations and the Montessori mobile alphabet

When the child knows associate sounds with letters rough, it goes beyond phonological awareness, it means that he has understood how our writing works and has integrated the alphabetical principle. He is therefore ready to compose his first words.

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The principle of silent dictations is very simple. On a small map, you can see an image whose caption is made up of messy letters. The goal is to order them to recompose the word correctly. The child will have to try to identify each sound present in the word and find the corresponding letter to transcribe it, all in order.

For example, a card shows a photo of a bag and underneath are the letters “a s c”. For the presentation of the activity, go ahead and pronounce each sound, pressing hard so that the child understands how to proceed.

So you say, “I want to write the word bag.” I hear first: sssssss, it’s an S. Then: sAAAAAAAAA, it’s an A. ”, etc. The principle of Montessori pedagogy being to develop autonomy, each card has the solution on the back in order to be self-correcting.

As long as the child does not know how to write, he uses the letters of Montessori mobile alphabet. They are available in wood or plastic, but you can also print small cursive letter labels that you laminate.

When the child is very comfortable with the activity, he can compose his own words without help. In this way he will be able to write even if he does not yet know how to handle a pencil or form letters on paper.

Continue to develop phonological awareness and move towards reading with Montessori

You will no doubt have understood it, the development of phonological awareness is a long-term job that is done for some over several months and for others over several years. The key is not to rush the child and not to insist on certain activities if he is not interested in them. Spend as much time as needed on each Montessori workshop. Some children need to be reassured then sometimes, the click arrives and the acquisition of sounds occurs naturally. In short, let’s respect the child’s rhythm, what do you say?

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