The Three Period Lesson

Along side presentations the knowledge of names can be conveyed to children in exceptional events known as ‘Three Period Lessons’.  They are points of arrival, acknowledging the child’s experiential learning with the Sensorial materials either because her need for this has arisen or because it is anticipated.  The ‘Three Period Lessons’ are offered individually, consent is sought and the cild plays an achieve role.  The duration of the ‘Three Period Lessons’ depends on her needs, they are given occasionally and repeated when necessary.

Why does the child need the ‘Three Period Lessons’?

The child has formed new concepts and created abstract impressions of properties and their qualities, while working with the Sensorial materials.  This new consciousness is as yet nebulous yet, she experiences the urge to think about these new discoveries and wishes to verbally express her ideas about them and receive information from others, doing so strengthens her reflections and the memorisation of her discoveries.  To invoke the experience and share it she needs specific, scientific nomenclature, a ‘handle’ to refer to her experiences and concepts and strengthen the abstraction.  This ‘final seed’ consolidates her mastery of the concepts, crystallising them.

As her self-confidence in her understanding grows she is driven to communicate her discoveries, in doing so she is able to personalise her knowledge, perceiving with her ow preferences how the materials relate, this further internalises knowledge at a greater depth and clarity.

By two and a half the child, without being given a ‘Three Period Lesson’ has leant many name, she has a rich vocabulary and is able to compile the parts of speech.  To ensure that she benefits from precise terminology and has the opportunity to act on her tendencies to repeat and be gregarious she learns the terms explicitly.

Purposes of the ‘Three Period Lesson’

  1. They expose the child to terms she might not otherwise hear (e.g. geometric terms)
  2. They expose the child to terms she might hear habitually used without precision (e.g. big, large, tall)
  3. To help the child perfect the language she already has (e.g. adding ‘lighter’ to the term blue)
  4. To help use precise terms for familiar objects, enriching the quality and quantity  of her vocabulary (e.g. ‘oval’ table)
  5. To satisfy her underlying hunger for words, during her Sensitive Period for language, her tendencies for gregariousness, communication and order and orientation and the qualities of her Absorbent Mind bring about a vital need to receive the names for things, this is a universal development phenomena and once met the need results in easy, joyful learning and contentment.

The names are only given after sufficient experience with the pairing activity has built up the concept. The comparative and superlative are given after the grading exercises, before the games.

The Technical Features

  1. The lesson is given in three periods, with a slight pause in between
  2. As a rule two to three new names are given over the course of a lesson, for example
  3. Circle, Triangle, Square
  4. Small and Large
  5. Roots, Stem, Leaves
  6. Objects and pictures which the child has used and developed her concepts around are used.
  7. The whole set of material is brought, even though only a few pieces are used so that an incomplete set is not picked up by another child and because the child may ask for additional names
  8. The set is left with the child as once the words have been learnt the child’s interested may be rekindled and she may wish to use the material again.
  9. The two or three objects chosen should be those with the maximum contrast in name and appearance to reduce confusion.
  10. Use the same furniture and set up as for the original presentation.
  11. In the second part of the ‘Three Period Lesson’ suggest that the child repeats the associated action given in the presentation to bring together the kinaesthetic sense, the sense connected with the material and the auditory processing.
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The First Period – Introduction

Have the two or three contrasting materials to be worked with in front of the child, keep the rest to your right.  Give the name of each one, while bringing the associated object forward and then pass it to the child.  Repeat the name stressing it clearly, with expression to suggest its meaning.  The pause between “This is” and the new term is essential for emphasis, do not swallow or make any other sound.  When saying the name make the lip movements pronounced and be expressively articulate.  For some terms it is possible to add an action e.g. move hands around the sphere and repeat the word while the child performs the associated action, this is especially useful if the name is unfamiliar.  For nouns use the indefinite article (a, an) but not for adjectives.

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The Second Period – Association

Bring the object forward, giving commands and asking questions about it, using the terms given in the first period.  Build the child’s interest and revise other lessons by having a greater variety of objects.

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The Third Period – Remembrance

This is a brief period in which questions are asked, e.g. “What is this?” or “Which one is this?”, only at this point does the child pronounce the term and in doing so she demonstrates that she has successfully associated the term with the object.  The child can be asked to perform the associated action before she says the name.

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If the child pronounces incorrectly help is offered at this stage; if necessary show how the noise is formed by the lips, tongue, mouth and throat.  Kindly give her an unhurried chance to repeat the word correctly a few times, the term can be whispered and said in a variety of manners. Speech impairments should be raised cautiously and carefully with parents and a speech therapist may be helpful.

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Criteria of Perfection (Control of error):

This lies with the adult.

Direct Aim:

  1. Helping to build awareness of the concept a term applies to
  2. To recognise and use precise terms for concepts

Indirect Aim:

  1. To develop spoken language, enriching the vocabulary in quality and quantity
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Example of a ‘Three Part Lesson’ – (Positive)

Presentation

Name lesson with the colour tablets

The First Period – Introduction

  1. Ask the child to bring the second Colour Box and remove the Primary Colours
  2. Isolate the yellow tablet and place it in front of the child
  3. Point to it and say clearly and softly “This is…   …YELLOW”
  4. Let the child look at the tablet, while she looks, repeat YELLOW
  5. Repeat the term as many times as possible
  6. Introduce “blue” and “red” in the same way

The Second Period – Association

  1. Ask questions and give instructions relating to the term mentioned last in the First Period, emphasising the new words For example;Towards the end of the second period increase the liveliness of the game to hold her attention for longer
    1. “Give me the RED tablet”
    2. “Put the BLUE tablet here”
    3. “Which one is the YELLOW tablet?”
    4. “Hold the RED tablet”
    5. “Put the BLUE tablet by the RED one”  (use a maximum of two terms per instruction)
    6. “Hide the RED tablet”
    7. “Show me the RED tablet”
  2. If the child makes a slight mistake continue and see if the repeats the error because of a misunderstanding or simply because she was enthusiastic with the game and hurrying
  3. Continue while the child’s interest remains

[highlight type=”one”]Note:[/highlight] If the main sensation is not visual ask her to “Pass the darkest tablet” while feeling it’s rough quality, or for the three-dimensional shapes request she “feels the cube” to encourage her to perform the characteristic activity.

The Third Period – Remembrance

  1. Ask “What is this?”, indicating to one tablet
  2. If the child finds it difficult offer help
  3. Let her say it loudly or in a whisper and encourage her to repeat so that she becomes confident
  4. Ask for the name of the other tablets
  5. The child’s knowledge will be apparent to her and yourself

Direct Aim:

  1. Helping to build awareness of the concept a term applies to
  2. To recognise and use precise terms for concepts

Indirect Aim:

  1. To develop spoken language, enriching the vocabulary in quality and quantity

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Example of a ‘Three Part Lesson’ – (Comparative)

Give only after sufficient experience with grading the material and knowledge of the positive term. The child uses adjectives to express the degree of a quality present in an object and to compare this intensity with another object

Presentation:

Name lesson with the pink tower

The First Period – Introduction

  1. Ask the child to bring the cubes and keep them on the mat to your right
  2. Speaking in an interrogative tone, though the sentence is affirmative.
  3. Place the 1cm3 cube in front of her
    • [highlight type=”two”]Adult:[/highlight] This is…?
    • [highlight type=”one”]Child:[/highlight] Small
  4. Place the 7cm3 cube in front of her (she realises that this is a continuation)
    • [highlight type=”two”]Adult:[/highlight] This is…?
    • [highlight type=”one”]Child:[/highlight] Large
  5. Replace the 1cm3 cube and place the 8cm3 in front of her
    • [highlight type=”two”]Adult:[/highlight] This is…?
    • [highlight type=”one”]Child:[/highlight] Large
    • [highlight type=”two”]Adult:[/highlight] This is also large, it is larger than this (indicate the 7cm3)
  6. Place the 9cm3 cube in front of her
    • [highlight type=”two”]Adult:[/highlight]This is also large, it is larger than this (indicate the 8cm3)
  7. Place the 10cm3 cube in front of herRepeat for the term SMALLER, beginning with the 10cm3 and 3cm3 cube
    • [highlight type=”two”]Adult:[/highlight] This is also large, it is LARGER than this (indicate the 9cm3)

 The Second Period – Association

  1. With a few cubes in front of the child, indicate one of them and askContinue to ask questions avoiding reference to commonly confused words (height, bigger, taller)
    • [highlight type=”two”]Adult:[/highlight] “Give me one LARGER than this”
    • [highlight type=”two”]Adult:[/highlight] “Hold one LARGER than this”
    • [highlight type=”two”]Adult:[/highlight] “Put one LARGER than this here”
  2. Increase the number of cubes when the child is successful
  3. Select the smallest cube and ask the child toContinue until 10cm3
    • [highlight type=”two”]Adult:[/highlight] “Show me one LARGER than this”
    • [highlight type=”two”]Adult:[/highlight] “Move your hands around one LARGER than this”
  4. Repeat for the term SMALLER, beginning with the a few cubes

The Third Period – Remembrance

  1. Remove all the cubes apart from the 6cm3 and 7cm3 and say, indicating to them both’ “This is large and this is also large”
  2. Indicating the 7cm3 one say:
    • “But this is”, the child completes, “larger”, prompt her by saying,“than” and indicate the 6cm3 and she will complete saying, ”this”
  3. Repeat for the other larger cubes, until indicating the 10cm3 one sayRepeat for the term SMALLER, beginning with the 4cm3 and 3cm3 cube.
    •  “But this is”, the child completes, “LARGER”, prompt her by saying, “than” and indicate the others and she will complete ”these”

Direct Aim:

  1. Helping to build awareness of suffixes which indicate the degrees of comparison
  2. To perceive relationships between sensorial qualities – relative and absolute
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 Footnote:

The procedure is the same for teaching, “Smaller” and comparatives for the positives of different properties

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Example of a ‘Three Part Lesson’ – (Superlative)

Presentation:

Name lesson with the pink tower

The First Period – Introduction

  1. Begin with at least three cubes, e.g. 8cm3, 9cm3 and 10cm3 and place them in front of the child.
  2. Indicating 8cm3 ask her to;
    • “Show me the one LARGER than this”
  3. When she indicates 9cm3 correctly, point to the 9cm3 and ask her to;
    • “Show me the one LARGER than this”
  4. When she indicates 10cm3 correctly, point to the 10cm3 and ask her to;
    • “Show me the one LARGER than this”
  5. She will say that there are none larger, reply;Repeat for the term SMALLEST beginning with the three smallest cubes
    • “So this is the LARGEST amongst these”, indicating the cubes

The Second Period – Association

  1. Show the same three cubs and ask, ‘Which is the LARGEST amongst these?”
    • The child indicates the 10cm3
  2. Remove the 10cm3 and ask, ‘Which is the LARGEST amongst these?”
    • The child indicates the 9cm3
  3. Bring the other cubes, 1cm3 to 7cm3 forward and one by one repeat varieties of the question, avoiding asking her to hide the cubeRepeat for the term SMALLEST, beginning with the three smallest cubes
    • “Touch the LARGEST”
    • “Put the LARGEST here”
  4. Doing this she will realise that there are no absolutes in the material world

The Third Period – Remembrance

  1. Bring the original cubes, e.g. 8cm3, 9cm3 and 10cm3
  2. Indicating 8m3 ask her to;Repeat for the 9cm3 and ask in the same way
    • “Show me the one LARGER than this”
  3. Indicating the 10cm3 say, “this is the”, the child completes, “LARGEST”, prompt her by saying “amongst” and indicate the others and she will complete ”these”.
  4. Add the other cubes, 1cm3 to 7cm3 and ask in the same way.
  5. Repeat for the term SMALLEST, beginning with the three smallest cubes

Direct Aim:

  1. Helping to build awareness of suffixes which indicate the degrees of superlative
  2. To perceive relationships between sensorial qualities – relative and absolute

Indirect Aim:

  1. To develop awareness of the physical attributes of matter, including the idea that there is no absolute
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Footnote:

Later, give combined lessons regarding the Positive, Comparative and Superlative, e.g.  for the Sound Boxes “loud, louder, loudest”

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