Smiling like Sunshine: Montessori Inspired Initial Sound Cards

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Montessori Inspired Initial Sound Cards

Montessori did not set a particular age or a method for reading. However she explained that, with her method, the teaching of reading is begun simultaneously with that of writing: "When a letter is given to a child and its sound is pronounced, the child fixes an image of it in his mind with the help of his visual and his tactile-muscular senses. And when he definitely associates the sound with the relative symbol, that is, he becomes acquainted with written language.”
When the child has gained experience with the activities of everyday living and sensorial materials and shows  signs of phonemic awareness, the teacher slowly invites the child to explore the sounds. Games such as “I spy”, “I hear”  help the child hear the beginning sounds of the words. Playing these games on a regular basis will provide repetition and the child will start to distinguish sounds and find more objects beginning with that particular sound in the environment. Memory games such as Kim’s Game help the child develop a visual memory that is necessary for reading and writing. 
As I mentioned last week, Derin has been learning the letter sounds. Following his interest, I prepared an animal themed initial sound cards for him. I found pictures of animals for each letter of the alphabet and glued them on to card.

Child is supposed to match each card with the initial sound letter.We used the letters from our large moveable alphabet.

Here is how I present this activity.
  • Ask the child to lay a floor mat if working on the floor. Alternatively, this activity can be done on  a table.
  • Lay out the sound cards at random starting from the left top corner.
  • Lay out the letters  at random below the cards.
  • Take the sound card in the first row and say which animal it is. For example: “This is an elephant.” Say that it begins with the sound “e” and emphasize the sound.
  •  Going over the wooden letters find “e” and place it below the card. After a few examples, if the child is willing to take over s/he can do it independently.If not, continue until all cards are completed and then invite the child to do the activity.
There are 26 cards in total and some of the animals will not be familiar to the child. Derin is still quite young and I don't want to discourage him,so we only use about 8 cards at a time. My 6 year old Defne, who is a confident reader also enjoys doing this activity. It has been useful to enrich her vocabulary.

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