Sandpaper Letters

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  • Lower case letter (available in cursive or print/script style) cut out in sandpaper and mounted on card. The vowels are on blue card and the consonants on pink card.



  1. This is an individual presentation to be carried out on the table (Note: full work cycle should be observed)
  2. Directress selects three letters that contrast in sound and shape, for e.g. "a,b,f". She uses the 'Three Period Lesson' to teach the sounds of the alphabet to the child:

1st. Period:
Isolate the other two sandpaper letters. Take one of the sandpaper letter and trace it with the tip of the index finger, following the direction in which we would write it. Directress sounds out the letter as she traces it. Invite the child to trace the letter, as the Directress repeats the sound.
(Note: Directress may correct the way the child trace the letters by repeating the way she traces the letters).
Isolate the sandpaper and repeat for the other two.

2nd. Period:
Place all three-sandpaper letters on the table in front of the child. Starts with the last sandpaper shown in the 1st. period and says, "Show me the sound ..." Encourage the child to point out the letter that the Directress just sounded. Encourage the child to trace and to sound it as well.
Note: Practice this often till the child can clearly associate the sound with the correct letter. Progress on to the third period only if the child is confident.

3rd. Period:
Isolate the sandpaper letters. Ask "What sound is this...?" Encourage the child to sound out the letter as he traces it.
Recall:  "Today we have learn a,b,c"

Control Of Error

The contrast between the rough and smooth surfaces.

Points Of Interest

There is no set sequence for the introduction of the sounds. Montessori recommended teaching the vowels earlier and consonants found in words that have a special meaning to child. It is important to keep careful records of the child's progress.

Children require repetition of sounds previously taught and differ in the rate at which they learn new sounds. It is important to remember that this is a sensory motor exercise involving sensations of sight, touch, sound and movement. The child's hand will carry out the movement, which will be fixed in his muscular memory. The child is learning to write the letters for the sounds therefore is extremely important to show the child how to feel (trace) the letter as it will be written later.


  • Develop muscular impression of the letter shapes.
  • Associate the phonic sounds with the muscular impression of the letter shapes.
  • Develop a visual impression and memory of the letter shapes.
  • Learn the writing direction of the letter shapes.