The process of learning how to read can be as simple and joyful as the process of learning how to walk. In Montessori Language curriculum, the hands-on phonetic approach helps children form a clear understanding of how written words encode the spoken sounds into the symbolic letters of the alphabet. By using this technique, young children master sounds made by each letter, as well as letters represented by each sound.
In a Montessori “Pink-Blue-Green" Series approach, the child progresses very gradually as s/he is first introduced to three CVC letter words in 💗PINK Series, then blends (st, bl, pr…) in💙 BLUE Series, and finally digraphs (sh, th, ch, oi…) in 💚 GREEN Series.
In a Montessori literacy curriculum, Pink 💗Series is the first step in teaching a child how to 📖 read. After a child is familiar with sandpaper letters and knows about 15 letters of the alphabet, s/he can start working with Movable Alphabet while slowly incorporating the Pink Series boxes. Pink Series 3-letter phonetic words have the same pattern: CVC = Consonant -Vowel -Consonant. All of the vowels at this stage are short vowels: "a" as in 🐱cat, "e" as in 🖊pen, "i" as in 🐷pig, "o" as in 📦 box, and "u" as in 🌞sun. All the words in 💗Pink Series are phonetically decodable, that is all of the letters used in the series retain their phonetic sound that the child recognizes and is used to it. Pink Series boxes are arranged by sounds. In a video below, Adrian is working with [i] sound.
To compose the word, we are using Movable Alphabet (buy here), but you can use any letters on hand or simply write letters on a piece of paper. With younger children, also place a picture or an object representing that picture next to the word so that the child has visual assistance. At this age with Adrian, I generally just place the words in front of him, and only once he successfully blends the sounds, Julia or I would place an object representing that word next to it.
For more on 💗Pink Series CVC blending, see here Montessori 💗 Pink Series "e" sound post which has a video of Adrian blending sounds and reading the words first, and only then being shown corresponding objects.
For an introduction to Literacy in Montessori Language curriculum, and our "Letter hunts" read our Letter Series post here, where you will also find other letters we have been exploring.
Enjoy your adventure on the road to literacy!