To do: Learn the names of new vegetables using the 3 period lesson.
Time: 20 minutes
Materials: Actual vegetables your child doesn’t know the names of or realistic drawings
Try adding some new and exciting food vocabulary to your repertoire! Using new vocabulary in daily conversation can, in turn, help your child learn and eventually use new words.
Get Started: Find a few visual examples of vegetables from your house: the refrigerator if you have items at hand, books that have realistic photos or images of vegetables, or play materials like stuffed or wooden kitchen vegetable toys! Next, you can do what Montessori guides call the ‘Three Period Lesson’ to help your child learn new vocabulary! Here’s how it works:
Look at the vegetables you have together. Holding up an example or pointing at it, ask your child, “What is this?” Does your child already know the name of the vegetable? Great. If they don’t know it yet, place the example to one side or move on to a different picture. Go through your stack of examples this way.
Select 3 of the unknown items, for example Pepper, Eggplant, and Green Onion. Introduce the item, “This is a pepper.” You can have a conversation about the pepper, or your child can repeat the name, whatever you’re interested in! Go through all 3 items this way.
Following this first introduction, use the same set of 3 and ask your child to do an action with the card. For example, “Give me the eggplant”, “Point at the pepper”, “Put the green onion over there”.
Lastly, point at or pick up a vegetable and ask your child, “What is this?” Your child will be confident in their new vocabulary after working with it in three different ways! Continue with a new set of vegetables if your child is interested, or save some for another day.
For pre-readers, practice sounding out the names of the vegetables together. “This is a pepper. What sounds can we hear in pepper?” This is helpful practice for your child as they begin reading and writing.
Materials: Actual vegetables or representations of vegetables like toys or photos. Try throwing in some exotic vegetables that aren’t common to your dinner table, like okra or specific types of beans, like pinto and lima.
What your child will learn: New vegetable vocabulary. They may be familiar with these items, but reinforcing the name through practice and recognition of a picture will give them the confidence to use these words often!
For your older child: For your older child, give them the added challenge of learning the names of common vegetables in another language, or perhaps finding and cooking a recipe using that vegetable. They can also do a little research into the origins of vegetables, like where was corn originally grown, or look at how other cultures cook with potatoes!
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