Phonetic Sounds Reference Sheet
This sheet contains examples of simple words that can
be used in presentations of
phonetic sounds. Present the initial letters as they
sound in the words shown: for
example, a as in apple, b as in bat,
and so on...
||*for q, make the sound kw.
||**for x, make the sound
Source: Language Arts for
Preschoolers, by Dale Gausman, North American Progressive
Montessori Teacher Training Program, 1998. Used with
Language Activities: Introduction
General Points to Remember about Presenting Language
Summary of Language Activities for
- Make sure to present similar phonetic sounds
with an interval of several days in
between each. For example, if you present words
starting with the d sound one
day, do not present words starting with the
b sound the next, because they
so alike. That is, let the child practice and
learn to identify the d sound before
introduce b. (See phonetics sounds
reference sheet above.)
- Take advantage of sounds the child makes naturally
at her/his level of development.
For example, from three to six months old, most
children can make vowel sounds
(a, e, i, o, u). From six to ten months, most
children add more vowel sounds and begin to
repeat sounds (for example,da-da-da-da,
ba-ba ), especially
encouraged to repeat these sounds. At six to
ten months, most children also make
their first consonant sounds. Around the world,
these are m, p, b, t, and d. For this
reason, words starting with m, p, b, t, or d
are especially good for first presentations
of phonetic sounds.
- To help the child focus, speak slowly, clearly
- Remember that language is not only talking.
Touch, facial expressions and singing
are also important ways of communicating with
infants and young children.
The following language activities give the infant opportunities
- name and identify objects, pictures, parts
of the face and parts of the body
- develop skills needed for matching activities
- interact with others
- develop listening skills
- produce appropriate sounds
- identify objects from their description
- learn to handle books carefully
- become aware of numbers.
Language Activity 8: Providing Specific Objects When Requested
Developing recognition skills.
Laying the foundation for putting-away activities; developing
cognitive and motor abilities.
Three feeding objects: cup, spoon, bowl.
This activity helps accustom the infant to using a tray
to sort and carry dishes and utensils. For this reason,
no work mat is used.
- This activity appeals particularly to
the interests and abilities of infants
912 months old.
- In advance, place the objects and the
basket in a row on the work tray.
- Sit facing the infant with the work
tray between you.
- Make sure you have the infants
- Pick up the basket. Examine it, turning it
this way and that, then name it. For example,
say: This is a basket for holding things.
- Place the basket beside the work tray.
- Take the first object off the work tray.
- Hold the object up in front of the infant,
and name it. Speak clearly and slowly, and
use simple language. For example, say: Cup.
Turn the object this way and that and describe it briefly.
For example, say: I
use this cup when I want a drink. See
- Offer the object to the infant.
- Allow the infant ample time to examine the
object, then ask the infant to drop the
object into the basket. (Most infants enjoy
being asked to drop things.) Make sure
to thank the infant.
- Repeat for the other two objects.
- Take the objects out of the basket and place
them on the tray again. Pause and
smile at the infant.
- Ask the infant to pick up a specific object
from the tray and drop it into the basket.
For example, say: Please find the spoon
and drop it into the basket.
- If the infant gives you the correct object
for example, the spoon smile and
Yes, spoon. If the infant gives
you an object you did not request, do not correct,
but simply say, for example: Thank you
for this cup. See the handle? Now can you
find the spoon and drop it into the basket?
- Repeat for as long as the infant is interested.
- When the infant has finished the activity,
place the materials back on the tray, then
take the infant with you while you return the
materials to their proper places. This
completes the activity.
- Make sure that the materials presented stay
available on a very low shelf, for
example for the infant to access when
- Replace the objects in the tray with other
familiar objects that the infant sees and
uses every day. Examples: bib, napkin ring,
- As the infant acquires experience and skill
in correctly identifying objects and
placing them in the basket, increase the number
and complexity of the objects. At
first, choose objects that can be named in words
of one or two syllables, and start
with the following letters: m, p, b, t, d. These
are the sounds that most infants make
naturally. Examples: beads, ball, baby, block,
bed, bug, blanket, basket, bowl, dish,
duck, doll, mat, mitten, pin, pen, pot, puppet,
tub, teddy, top. Then progress to more