Tuesday, 22 October 2013

The Montessori Printed (Story) Alphabet

Here at our little yellow school, our classrooms are filled with the hustle and bustle of wonderful children who have found the joy in learning.  Each day we watch with pleasure as they run up the walkway from the parking lot to the entrance door, smiling and eager to begin their day at school.

Learning is taking place in all areas of the classrooms and at all levels.  One of the materials that is worked with each day is the Montessori Printed Alphabet.  (In my training, we also called it the Story Alphabet.)   

The Montessori Printed Alphabet

This material is used by children in their second and third years of the three year Montessori preschool curriculum (age 4+) and continues to be used in the Montessori early elementary.  The material consists of a box filled with the letters of the alphabet printed in lower case on one side and upper case on the other. The box also contains punctuation symbols.  This material is used for writing words, sentences and creative writing.

(Note:  Classrooms will usually have two boxes of the Printed Alphabet in different colours.  The two boxes are used together for spelling words and to illustrate compound words, suffixes and prefixes.) 

When a child is using this material to write a story, they usually have an idea in mind.  They begin to take the letters they will need for a word out of the box, being careful to leave spaces between words.  The proper use of punctuation and capital letters is introduced as it occurs in their story.

A child beginning to write a story.

The children are very excited about story writing as they have so much to say and share.  Most of the stories are factual and reflect what is going on in their lives.  Here are some of the stories that they have written.  (You can click on the images to enlarge them.) 

A Halloween Story

This story is about a sad tiger.

This story is about a trip to Ottawa.

The author of this story, like Spike, really wanted to play hockey.

This is a story about penguins.

This is a story about why you should test your fire alarms.

This story is about a birthday.

Once the child has finished writing their story with the Printed Alphabet, s/he will write it on story paper or in their story book.  

This story was written by a 4 year old.

This story was written by a five year old.  Note that the blue-lined paper is narrower than the pink lined paper.

So much thought and effort goes into each story.  It is always fascinating to witness the child in the process and we delight in reading the completed stories.