Here are a few simple language games to play
before introducing the alphabet...
Matching objects supports the development
of visual discrimination.
One of the principles of Montessori education is to move from
concrete to abstract.
A three-dimensional object is more concrete than a picture,
so Elise is matching objects to other objects right now.
Eventually, she will match objects to pictures,
and finally, pictures to other pictures.
Playing sound games like "I spy"
is a great way to model beginning sound isolation
and build phonemic awareness.
/h/hat, /b/boot, and /f/feather
I spy with my little eye a...
Can you find the /b/boot?
At twenty months old, I refrain from asking Elise
"Which one starts with /b/?" or "What sound does boot begin with?"
Instead, I try to find as many ways as I can to model
separating the beginning sounds from words,
with the understanding that Elise will eventually catch on.
As simple as this may be, Elise adores this game!
Learning the names of a classified group of objects
I often use a three period lesson to present the names of items to Elise
that she encounters in her daily life or interest her.
These are tableware.
This is a glass.
Please hand me the glass. Thank you!
What is this? (pointing to the glass)
Since Elise is under two and just beginning to say words,
I rarely ask her third period questions
- unless I'm absolutely sure she knows the answer.
As you may remember, Elise is already an expert table setter(!),
but it's still useful for her to hear
exact terminology and correct pronunciation.
(Other examples of classified vocabulary we've explored include
pets, farm animals, personal care items, and parts of the face.)