How To Teach Reading using Montessori Word and Picture Cards

Teaching kids how to read inspired Maria Montessori to toy a number of ideas. One of her highly regarded methods primarily uses word and picture cards. Here are some pointers on how you can teach reading using the Montessori method:

  • Be familiar with the methodology. The Montessori word and picture cards aim to prepare kids to read. The method relies on traditional procedure. It encourages kids to explore and learn using their senses. It requires kids to undergo three learning stages. First is encoding. Next is handwriting. And last is decoding.
  • Prepare the kids to encode. This initial step expects you to expose the kids to the letters of the alphabet and the specific sounds those letters represent. You can bring in some teaching tools here. You can let the kids discover the distinct shapes of the letters of the alphabet using wooden blocks. They should be flat. Each wooden block should have “a sandpaper letter”. You can form the “letter” using sandpaper (or fine sand) and glue. You can divide your initial lesson into three parts.  Begin by telling them the letter that you want them to learn about (or, eventually, master).  Proceed by asking them to present you that particular letter. End the session by selecting the letter and requesting them to say the letter again. Each “sandpaper letter” should be made in both cases, upper and lower. Then, you can introduce the word and picture cards to the kids.  Use them as aids when you require them to listen to you as you produce the sounds (of the letters). The cards contain simple words and familiar pictures. When you articulate the sounds of a particular word, emphasize the beginning, the middle, and the ending. You should also explain when blending is necessary. If you wish to create your own word and picture cards, you can download free images on-line. You can get them from Classroom Clipart or from the clip art gallery of Microsoft and Discovery School.
  • Guide them to write. Once the kids have learned to recognize and read the letters, your next goal is to teach them how the letters are to be represented in written form.  Expect them to make a great leap. Let the kids discover on their own the actual form of the letters of the alphabet. Let them trace the form of the sandpaper letters. They can practice and write using rice or sand trays and finger paint. They can also write on a chalkboard or on the sidewalk using chalk.   
  • Teach them to decode. This is the last step in the process. Instruct the kids to read aloud using your word and picture cards. Start with the simple words. Validate if the are already able to put together the letters and the sounds effectively. If you plan to introduce them to sight words, visit It can readily provide you with a great selection, especially sight words that don’t follow the basic rules of phonetic sounds.

Other helpful resources are available on the net. Access or download them whenever necessary.


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