You might’ve heard of 3-part cards (or Nomenclature cards) before. They are often found in Montessori programs. Maybe you’re wondering exactly what these are and how you can best use them with your child or students. These cards can be used in so many ways and can really do wonders for building vocabulary and early literacy skills. Let’s learn more about these superstar cards, and the engaging ways you can use them with your early learner!
3-part cards: What are they?
Simply put, 3-part cards are sets of cards made of three different parts. The parts of each card are:
While these cards are mainly used with children ages 3-6, they are also suitable for infants all the way up to children around age 9.
Why use 3-part cards?
3-part cards are fantastic for building vocabulary and other early literacy skills. They also work wonders for holding a child’s interest. Does your child have a particular interest in farm animals? Use a set of farm-themed cards. Is your child excited about an upcoming birthday or holiday? Use a set of birthday or holiday-themed cards!
Children will be more likely to want to learn if the interest factor is there. Imagine how much fun these themed cards will make learning skills like classifying, matching, sequencing, and more!
Where do I begin?
Let’s imagine you’re working on an apple-themed unit.
Choose a set of apple-themed 3-part cards. Keep things simple by selecting only a few object cards to start with. Show the cards to your child and begin a conversation. Talk about where you’ve seen these objects before, ask questions, and have a fun, candid discussion.
Once your child is familiar with the object cards, put those aside and get the matching control cards. Begin by laying them out from left to right (to build print awareness and directionality) and tell your child what each object is. Ask them to repeat what the object is. Once you’ve introduced the cards, begin asking your child to identify the objects after you’ve described them. Ex: Can you find the apple core? Where are the apple seeds?
Once your child is familiar with and knows all the cards, it’s time to move on and have some fun! Let’s look at a few different ways to make using 3-part cards fun for young learners.
Making 3-Part Cards Fun for Young Learners
Children love games! They learn best through play, so try a few of these simple games using 3-part cards with your child or students. Here are some that you can try, depending on your child’s level of development:
Memory Matching Game: Print two sets of cards and use either the control cards or the object cards. Select an amount of cards depending on your child’s developmental level, and take turns looking for matches! Each time a card is flipped, be sure to say (or have your child say if it’s their turn) the name of the object to reinforce vocabulary.
These 3-part cards make differentiating activities for your individual child a dream come true and can be found in almost all of our themed activity packs! I just love all the different ways 3-part cards can be used with young learners! There’s so much joy in knowing you’re helping your child to learn while having fun at the same time.
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