My 2½-year-old granddaughter, Zoey, has loved all of our Montessori nature trays. We’ve had so much fun already with our Montessori nature tray sorting and counting, nature walk and nature cutting tray, Montessori nature tray with magnification work and flower arranging, life and death nature tray, and Montessori nature tray with vocabulary – parts of plants. Right now, Zoey is super in love with seashells, so I put together a Montessori seashell and sea life nature tray. And we used the Montessori 3-period lesson to introduce the names of the sea life specimens.
Seashell & Sea Life Nature Tray: How to Teach Vocabulary Using the 3-Period Lesson – YouTube Video
Check out this video where my daughter, Christina, and Zoey (Christina’s niece) use the 3-period lesson to focus on vocabulary for the nature tray.
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Seashell and Sea Life Nature Tray
- Multicraft Tray
- Magnifying Glass from the Montessori By Mom Shoots and Sprouts Toolbox (which Zoey and I love)
- Seashells and Sea Life from Super Seashells and Other Sea Life by Educational Insights (no longer available – from when I homeschooled my now-adult kids) – Montessori By Mom has a nice Shells & Starfish Toolbox with a variety of seashells that work well, too. I actually have those on the shelf on a separate tray. Of course, any seashell collection can be used with this.
Using the 3 Period Lesson to Teach Vocabulary
First Period: Introduction (“This is”)
Zoey LOVES to feel each of the seashells and sea life specimens on our tray, and she’s very focused on gently touching them. For the 1st period lesson, we simple say the name and have Zoey say it after us.
Second Period: Association – Recognition (“Show me”)
For the 2nd period, we use a variety of ways to have Zoey show us each specimen. As Christina mentions in the video, this step should last the longest.
Third Period: Recall (“What is this?”)
Zoey’s comfortable naming the sea life specimens, so we go on to the 3rd period. For a younger toddler or any child who needs more work with the 2nd period, it’s fine to just stay with that (and even go back to the 1st period if necessary). Don’t go on to the 3rd period unless your child will feel successful recalling the names of the objects.
More about the Montessori 3-Period Lesson
My post with “How to Use the Three-Period Lesson to Teach Concepts and Vocabulary to Your Preschooler” gives more details about using the 3-period lesson to teach vocabulary and other concepts.
See my post with YouTube video “Using the Montessori 3-Period Lesson to Teach Vocabulary to a Toddler.”
I have a YouTube video and post on “Teaching Toddlers about Fall with the Montessori 3-Period Lesson.”
I have a YouTube video and post on “Teaching Toddlers about Winter with the Montessori 3-Period Lesson and Activities.”
NATURE TRAYS AND NATURE TABLES – RESOURCES
If you’d like to know more about preparing nature trays and nature tables, I have a roundup post with lots of ideas.
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