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How to Successfully Teach Letters with the Montessori Language Initial Sounds Lesson


Are you looking for a way to engage your students in the process of learning letters? Trying to think of ways that make it easier for yourself or your child to understand each individual letter and its associated sound?

The Montessori Language Initial / Beginning Sounds Lesson is an excellent tool that encourages curiosity, exploration, and understanding.

How to Teach Kids Sounds

With this lesson, teachers can create meaningful hands-on activities with ease that will help young children learn each letter through auditory and motor experiences.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss how you can use the Montessori method to successfully teach letters with initial sounds while simultaneously developing phonemic awareness. So prepare yourselves – success in the form of happy learners awaits!

This Montessori Language Initial / Beginning Sounds Lesson is one of the first lessons in the Pink Level and is a beautiful approach to teaching letters.

The goal of the lesson is to learn sounds. In addition, moving left to the right in preparation for reading and writing.

A child aged 3 to 4, one that has mastered the 1st & 2nd-period lessons of the sandpaper letters, is ready for this lesson.

Download on Teachers Pay Teachers

Introduce Letters to Preschoolers Phonetically

Review the 3-period lesson before introducing it to the child.

As a reminder, the 1st-period lesson is “This is…” and you point at the object and name the object (or letter). Furthermore, the 2nd-period lesson is “Show me…” where you name the object but do not point, allow the child to point to (or hand you) the object.

Montessori Pink Series Materials

I also offer a Montessori Pink Series Materials Bundle!

You can purchase Montessori Lower Case Sandpaper Letters from Amazon or several traditional Montessori materials suppliers. I highly recommend the book Montessori: Letter Work as a resource for your children. You can purchase many object boxes from Montessori Services (we have these sets).

Montessori Letter Order

As you know, Montessori introduces letters via their phonetic sound. We wait to name the letter until the sound is master. Also, sounds/letters are not introduced in the order of the traditional alphabet.

Think of the alphabet as a way of organizing shapes that represent sounds. Make sense? While there is a bit of variation in the order of letters, this is the order I learned in my training.

  1. s, m, a, t
  2. c, r, i, p
  3. b, f, o, g
  4. h, j, u, l
  5. d, w, e, n
  6. k, q, v, x, y, z

As I mentioned, there is variation. I cannot discount any one approach. Do your research to identify the best order to teach letters in your Montessori environment.

Montessori Language Initial Sounds Lesson

Invite the child to do the work with the initial sound objects in group #1: /s/, /m/, /t/, /a/ and sandpaper letters.

Presentation I


Place the container in the upper left of the rug. Go over 2 period lesson with each letter: “Point to S.”


Trace each letter.


Space apart and place at the top of the mat.


Select an object. Name the object” The first sound you hear when you say ‘turtle’ is /t/. Trace /t/. Place the ‘turtle’ below /t/.


Repeat with all objects sorted by initial sound. Return objects to the container one object at a time from left to right—return material to the shelf.

Presentation II

Sandpaper Letters with Objects

Introduce /a/ after the 3-period lesson is mastered with the other 3 letters. Then continue with the rest of the grouping with the same approach.

Resources for the Lesson

I hope we inspired you today!

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