The Three Period Lesson is a teaching technique used to give formal vocabulary lessons. Language is given after experience of that which is to be named. The three periods support the three stages of learning.
- Lay the primary colors in a row on the table in front of the child.
- Isolate one and say, "This is blue."
- Do the same for each tablet in turn encouraging the child to say the name each time.
- Repeat the names for each tablet in turn with the child.
- The teacher gives each name in turn asking the child to point out the object named. This is first done without moving the objects.
- Then the objects can be moved about to challenge the child and to keep the lesson interesting. Movement helps the child learn.
- The teacher can use questions or short commands o which the child will respond by indicating or moving the object named.
Some ways to do this are:
“Where is blue?”
“Point to blue?”
“Show me red.”
“Hand me yellow.”
“In this corner show place blue.”
- This is the longest period and must be kept interesting.
- When the child can unerringly associate the name with the object, the 3rd period can start. This may be on the same day or on a later day.
- The teacher indicates one object and asks the child, “What is this?” The child says its name. Repeat for each object.
- This can be done in any order.
- If the name is not known by the child the teacher gives it again and continues with the 2nd period activities until the child is ready for the 3rd period.
- Select the two pieces of the series which are the most contrasting.
- Isolate one and say, “This is dark”.
- Isolate the other name and saying, “This is light”.
- Repeat the names asking the child to say them.
- Change the tablets two or three times again giving the terms. From this the child will experience the fact that these are relative terms.
- Select two tablets of contrast and ask the child to show you “light” and “dark” changing the tablets many times.
- After the first identification include movement by using questions and short commands.
- When the child unerringly associates the name with the object give the 3rd period of the lesson.
- The teacher indicates one object and asks, “What is this?” The child says the name.
- Repeat for the other tablets.
- Give the name and repeat 2nd Period if needed.