The Three Period Lesson

Name it, show me, tell me.

The three period lesson is a way of presenting an activity to a child to help them build an understanding of a concept. The stimulation of the senses helps them form a precept, which combined with language forms a full understanding – a concept.

So, let the child handle the material and have a good feel of it to build a precept before you start with the three period lesson.

Remember to isolate the sense you are working on, so if you’re working on shapes make sure they are all the same size, texture and colour. If you’re working on colour make sure they are the same shape, size and texture. This helps them be able to discriminate between the items.

  1. Name it. Begin by teaching the child the language involved. Say you have a square, a circle and a rectangle on a tray; pick up one, show it to the child and name it. ‘This is a square.’ Encourage the child to feel it, and run a finger over the edges to build a mental impression of the shape. Continue with the other two shapes.
  2. Show me. See if the child recognises the object from its name. So, you place the three shapes in front of the child, and ask the child to point to the object you name. ‘Show me the square.’ Only move on to the next object when the child identifies the object named, keep repeating the exercise until its clearly understood.
  3. Tell me. See if the child remembers the name of the object. Put the shapes down in front of the child, point to the square ‘what is this?’

If they name them all correctly, you can say ‘you named them all’ but avoid saying ‘good job or well done,’ or worse, give a high-five (which I once did as a student to the horror of my course mentor.) We are promoting a sense of satisfaction in the child’s own achievement, not seeking external validation.

And that’s it!


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