In a Montessori "PBG" Language scheme (Pink-Blue-Green series approach), the child progresses very gradually as s/he is first introduced to three letter words in💗 PINK Series, then blends (/st/, /bl/, /pr/...) in 💙 BLUE Series, and finally digraphs (/sh/, /th/, /ch/, /oi/...) in 💚 GREEN series.
If you think about it, letters of the alphabet are merely written codes for spoken sounds in words. As such, actual language is, according to Dr. Maria Montessori, an "abstract instrument" - a "complex cultural achievement." So, letters, being actual codes, represent something a child first experiences in real life, something s/he encounters in an everyday environment. So, the road to literacy would always start with the spoken language: with sounds and familiar objects that begin with that sound, and only introducing symbols once the child exhibits proficiency with the sound recognition.
The process of learning how to read can be as simple and painless as the process of learning how to speak or how to walk. In a Montessori language curriculum, hands-on phonetic approach is used, which helps young children to form a clear understanding of how written words encode the spoken sounds of the language into the symbolic letters of the alphabet. Using this technique, children master the sounds made by each letter, as well as the letter represented by each sound, one letter at a time until the entire alphabet has been mastered.
With Montessori "PBG" Language scheme, once the child masters the 💗 PINK Series, you would gradually move on to BLUE 💙 Series, which introduces blends. A consonant blend or a cluster is a group of consonants that are next to each other in a word. So today (after having explored the letter "S" during our Letter Hunt/see the link below), we are moving on to the first blend: /st/ blend, which is two consonants that go together, while you can hear both letters e.g. "s-t" in a word "star." )
A consonant cluster, consonant sequence or consonant compound, in linguistics, is a group of consonants which have no intervening vowel.
/St/ is a consonant cluster in the words: stone, starfish, straw, stamp, stick, sticker.
Incorporating hands-on approach, in my opinion, facilitates a better absorption of the information presented. So, I offered Adrian four different activities to practice our /st/ blend.
- stamp with a star stamp and these amazing colorful ink pad stamps; also stamp with a star-puncher;
- stain the shaving foam with different colors and use pegs (clothespins) to stain the paper;
- stick the star stickers;
- strain confetti stars from the sand with a small metal strainer.
As a result of these hands-on practical life activities, Adrian had fun practicing the /st/ blend.
See here "Letter 'S' (Letter 🔠 Series). See "Montessori 💗 Pink Series "e" sound (Language 101 🎥 Series 🎇 Curriculum)" here.
For more on our Language curriculum and phonetical order sets, read here the introductory post: "Montessori Phonetical Order of presenting ABCs Alphabet letters." For individual letters, read here our 🔠 Letter Series (Montessori Language) post.