everyone can do.

The Three Period Lesson

Teach your child new concepts and names of objects using this approach.

With slow and deliberate movements show your child 2 of the concepts you wish to teach, such as: big-small, tall-short, wide-narrow, light-heavy, smooth-rough, soft-hard-etc., using the appropriate objects. For example to teach the concept of big and small use a small ball and a big ball.

Step One: Point to the large ball and say slowly and distinctly, “This is big.” Repeat until the child understands the concept. Point to the small ball and say, “This is small.” Again, repeat until your child understands. (recognizes new object, concept, or idea)

Step Two: Ask the child, “Can you give me the big one?” “Can you give me the small one?” If your child can do this go to step three, if not, go back to step one. (recognizes the differences at a concrete level)

Step Three: Point to the object and ask, “Which one is this?” Again if your child has difficulty, go back to step two. (Recognizes the differences at an abstract level)

This is a very positive and non-critical way to teach your child. Use this approach to teaching the name of colors, animals, number symbols, concepts and any idea.


Here is a little more about the three part or three period lesson:

Montessori 3 Part Lesson

Montessori's three period lesson is one of the most important teaching tools in the Montessori Method 

Finally there is the period of complete development in which the capacity to perform some operation is permanently acquired. There are, therefore, three periods: a first, subconscious one, when in the confused mind of the child, order produces itself by a mysterious inner impulse from out the midst of disorder, producing as an external result a completed act, which, however, being outside the field of consciousness, cannot be reproduced at will; a second, conscious period, when there is some action on the part of the will which is present during the process of the development and establishing of the acts; and a third period when the will can direct and cause the acts, thus answering the command from someone else.  (Dr. Maria Montessori)


When I used to take an exam in college, I found multiple choice tests much easier than essay-writing exams. Multiple choice is like the second period lesson where you point out the correct answer, whereas the essay requires the abstract knowledge of the third period lesson. The first period was always the college lecture, "a mysterious inner impulse from the midst of disorder"!




posted at 2:27 p.m. on March 9, 2009

In Step two, you ask the last item first e.g if you left at small, ask for small first and then go to big. In step three: Again Ask which you left last means which one is this (referring to big)


posted at 1:12 p.m. on March 23, 2009

Thank u 4 explaining it more 4 me


posted at 7:19 p.m. on April 9, 2009

Hi I am inpressed with the website and I am also happy to know that with this style of learning that I can teach my daughter who is five and also teach my son who is seven months, both different things but my daughter can also help her brother learn


posted at 3:20 a.m. on April 14, 2009

Hi... I think Montessori is a good program.

Hardeep Singh

posted at 10:04 p.m. on July 21, 2009

Thanks to, for so much of Information online, by using these methods and exercises, we can teach our son in better way rather than rote Learning. Thanks a Lot Hardeep SIngh Chandigarh India.

Prudenciana Mahoka

posted at 2:59 p.m. on June 9, 2010

Hi, How nice that,the way you explain about three period lesson is easy to understand and use it.I am a montessori teacheri in Tanzania.Good luck.


posted at 1:22 a.m. on July 23, 2010

Hi, I will definately use this tip, i have 4 kids and will use this on each of them.


posted at 5:16 a.m. on September 12, 2010

Thanks a lot. I can teach my son in a better way rather than the traditional way of learning things. Thanks for providing somuch material online.


posted at 7:47 a.m. on January 13, 2011

Thanks a lot. I can teach my students in a better way rather than the traditional way of learning things. Thanks for providing somuch material online.


posted at 11:05 a.m. on June 3, 2011

Thanks alot, I have learnt so many things which has improved my teaching skills.


posted at 10:23 a.m. on July 10, 2011

hi, i'm going to be a teacher and it helped me a lot even for my own children.thankyou


posted at 3:57 a.m. on February 2, 2012

its helping us a lot here thank you

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