Montessori inspired reading series – Pink series


I absolutely love the approach Maria Montessori took on language development, the method is absolutely genius and allows you and the child to play around with it as the need emerges. Coming to USA from a non-English speaking country has very difficult for me, and I wished I was thought English using phonics the way Maria Montessori did, it would’ve been so much easier for me to learn a second language.

The method is the same everywhere, what varies is the way is divided and presented to the child. I’ve seen some people use “family boxes” and others “reading series” both are different from each other but have the same purpose. I was taught with “Reading series” and I have made some adjustments to mine over time.

The Montessori Reading Series is composed of 3 categories: Pink, Blue, and Green. Pink is the first one and it includes CVC words (Constant Vowel Consonant), beginning sounds, ending sounds, and rhyming. Blue series has the all the blends and digraphs split into subcategories, and the green series has long vowels or CVCV (E) words, (Consonant Vowel Consonant Vowel or silent e), and sight words. It sounds like a lot but don’t worry, I’ll walk you thru it.

The first step to teaching a child to read is to introduce the alphabet phonetically and allow them to discover different words with a particular sound. In my class we use the ABC board with picture cards, I wrote about in my previous post.

Pink Series

Once most of the letter sounds have been mastered, introduce the Montessori Pink Series. My pink series is divided into 5 small boxes:


  1. t, m, b, f, a.
  2. h, g, r, c, l.
  3. l, s, d, k, u.
  4. w, p, j, n, o.
  5. q, v, x, y, z, e.



I start with the first box which contains letters t, m, b, f, a. I like to start using sand paper letters, I ask the child to trace it and tell me the sound, and we play Knock knock game, which consist of grabbing one set of sand paper letters and flipping them upside down; Have the child knock on one letter saying “Knock knock” and you will reply “who’s there” and the child will flip the letter and say the name and sound of the letter. Remember to alway do a 3 period lesson as an assessment of the lesson.

In our next sitting with the lesson I add objects (at least 2-3 objects per letter) so the child can match the beginning sound of the object to the sand paper letter, the tactile experience helps a lot with the recognition of letter sounds; Sit back and let them sound out the name of the object and just watch them match it, is like magic.

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 Switch the objects to picture cards, it allows for vocabulary enrichment and use of imagination. Is just as important to review ending sound, you’ll see how is a lot easier to find the ending sound of a word as opposed to the beginning sound, but is normal, the ending sound of a word is the last thing a child says and that’s why is the easiest to remember. Just practice and emphasize in vocalizing the first sound.

The next step is to put together each letter sound to make a word. Here is when you introduce CVC words (Consonant Vowel Consonant) like “hat, pup, dog, wig …” I like to add the moveable alphabet at this point because it provides a great visual to the learning experience. Feel free to add objects or picture cards to match to the words. Using the tactile sense is very important in following the Montessori philosophy.


During my training we used this lesson called the vowel tree, is meant to be used with the Montessori pink and green series. I love it and so do the kids, is perfect practice for forming words, blending sounds and reading words, but most importantly reinforcing left to right progression in reading. Feel free to incorporate the moveable alphabet, objects and picture cards.


Towards the end of the pink series introduce some rhyming cards and sentence cards, is a great way to help with reading and giving confidence to the child. Play games like Mystery word, hide and seek, flash cards, or spelling. get creative and have fun!

IMG_1373 IMG_1377PicsArtplaying mystery words

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