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How to use Montessori three-part cards?

Three-part cards are a popular Montessori material used to help children learn new vocabulary, develop language skills, and build visual discrimination. Here's how you can use three-part cards in Montessori education:


  • Before introducing the picture card and the label card, the child should be already familiar with the objects shown on the cards. You may have some conversation with the child using the control cards (the card with both pictures and words) to make sure she knows the objects shown on the cards.

  • Introduce the Three-Part Cards: Start by presenting the three-part cards to the child, demonstrating how to match the picture and label. Explain the purpose of the cards and how they can be used to learn new words.

  • Demonstrate How to Use the Cards: Show the child how to match the picture card to the control card and then match the label card to the control card. Emphasize the importance of matching the cards accurately and encourage the child to take their time.



  • Allow the Child to Work Independently: Once the child has mastered the matching process, allow them to work independently with the three-part cards.

  • When the child becomes familiar with the set of cards you offered, you can show them how to match the label cards to the picture cards without the control cards. Then use the control cards to check. You can provide them with a variety of cards to match or focus on a specific theme or subject.



  • Use the Cards for Language Development: As the child becomes more familiar with the three-part cards, encourage them to use the cards to develop their language skills. Ask them to name the objects on the cards, describe their features, or use them in a sentence.

  • Extend the Activity: You can extend the activity by providing the child with additional materials related to the cards, such as books or puzzles. This can help reinforce their learning and provide additional opportunities for exploration and discovery.

Overall, three-part cards are versatile and engaging Montessori material that can help children develop important language and cognitive skills. By following these steps, you can use three-part cards effectively in your Montessori classroom or at home.

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