How to use Nomenclature Cards (3-Part Cards)

How to use Nomenclature Cards (3-Part Cards)

Nomenclature Cards (referred to as 3-Part Cards) were created by Maria Montessori to teach children the proper names for objects around them. Nomenclature cards are made up in a set. The 'control set' features an image and label. The 'working set' features the image and label separately. 

These cards are introduced to children between 3-6, however, I've been using nomenclature cards since Yaseen was a toddler. He's now 4 years old!

I introduce these cards to my children in their toddler years with the Montessori 3 period lesson. This helps build their vocabulary. 

The 3 period lesson goes something like this:
Period 1 - Name the object: "This is a Fox."
Period 2 - Recognition and Association: We play games to see which objects he can identify. I say, "show me the Fox." He shows me the Fox, and I say, "You found me the Fox." If he chooses the wrong item, I say something like "Oh, you found the Badger." I take a mental note of what he got incorrect and after a minute or so we return to period 1 to relearn the names.
Period 3 - Testing or Recall (Cognition): When I know my child has mastered the name of the object, I'll point to the Fox and say, "what is this?"



Choose 1-3 cards to start with. 

  1. Prepare your child's workspace by rolling out a mat.
  2. Lay the Control Cards down on the left side while reading the label. 
  3. Present the image cards one at a time. Say what it is, then place the card to the right side of the matching Control Card. 
  4. Do this for each of the cards. If your child shows interest let him take over. 
  5. For older children who have already been presented with phonics, present the label cards one at a time, by reading the label, then matching with the image card. Children should use the control card to check their work. 


Ways to use Nomenclature Cards:

Activity 1      Figurine Match Up

For my toddler, I like to have matching objects for them to match up. I created these cards with Yusuf's toys. You can also match card to card. 

Activity 2       Choose and Say

Lay cards with pictures and words facing upwards. Select one (mentally) without telling your child. Have your child ask questions until they guess it and say the word. If you're child is having trouble you can describe the object yourself and have them guess it or even offer some clues. 

For example:
Child: "Does your card have a photo of a boy?"
Parent: "Yes it does"
Child: "Has he got long hair??"
Parent: "No, he doesn't"
Child: "Is it Mohamed?"
Turns out to be like "Guess Who" when using facial cards. Swap turns, this is really enjoyable. 

Activity 3:

For older children 3-6 years, place the control card in front of your child and ask him to find the matching image to place besides it. Once matched, ask your child to find the matching word. This is a great opportunity for children who are learning their phonics and letters. For children who are already reading, try extending this activity by skipping the first step and asking them to find the image and word. 

We love seeing your little ones use our learning resources. If you choose to share your images or lessons on social media please tag us @brb_raisingkids or leave a review/comment below.

Zed + Q

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