Sunday, July 11, 2010

An Easy to Make Montessori Pre-Reading Exercise

I wish I could remember where I read about this simple homemade exercise. I'm sure it was on the same blog where I learned about Teaching Montessori in the Home: The Pre-School Years. I made these at least two or three years ago and all the kids have enjoyed playing with them (though Second Daughter really just makes a mess with them).

The idea is to encourage children to learn to "read" the stickers from left to right. Start with a very simple series like the one on top (big stickers, just a few shapes, very different from each other) and progress through different ones that become more difficult like the one on the bottom (smaller stickers, closer together, harder to tell apart).

They are incredibly easy to make! Here's what you need:
  • card stock in a variety of colors (I used a different color for each series.)
  • 2 sets of stickers of things your kids like (I bought most of ours at a local hobby store when they were 40-50% off. Most sticker sets come with 2 or 4 sheets, so you only need one package to make a series.)
  • scissors
First, create the series for the kids to copy by putting a line of stickers on a piece of card stock. Then, using the same stickers and the same color card stock, create another line. You'll want the second line farther apart so you can cut the line into pieces. I asked Grammy to laminate ours for us, just so they'd last a bit longer.

You can read about the three period lesson and other Montessori concepts online and in books. Basically, to use the sticker series, you would:
  1. Show the child the line of stickers to copy.
  2. Point to each of the stickers and name it, from left to right, as if you're "reading" it.
  3. Show the child the separate sticker cards that match and line each up in order underneath while saying its name or describing it by pointing out how it is unique in the series.
  4. Mix up the separated sticker cards and ask the child to put them in the same order. Make sure the child is also orienting the sticker properly to match as well, just as letters would need to be.
I store the cards in separate envelopes with a few of the stickers on the outside, so the kids can tell where they go without reading (though I also wrote names for the series like "dinosaurs" and "leaves" as well).


  1. Cool idea. I think I'll give this one a whirl sometime in the next 6 months or so. Kinkos can laminate with the really thick stuff, too, so that would really make it last. As always, thanks for sharing.

  2. Monica, there's an office in town that homeschoolers and parents can use for making copies and laminating. It's affiliated with the public schools. If you haven't heard of it, let me know and I'll email you the details. I haven't been there myself because I wasn't 100% sure it applied to people outside the school district. I think it would be less expensive than Kinko's but I haven't really priced anything like that.

  3. Aha, when I was suggesting about the droppers I was going to suggest that place to you, but wasn't sure with you living out of town! We actually aren't in the city district either, but one of the outlying. Thanks for the tip, I'll have to check it out and see what their rules are...


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