Nomenclature Cards

3 Part Cards

If you’ve never heard of nomenclature cards, they’re a pre-reading tool utilized mostly by Montessori education. They’re also called three part cards or classification cards. They’re generally classified by type of something, i.e. birds, transportation, household items, mammals, etc.

As the name suggests, they come in 3 parts. A name piece, a picture and a control, which is a combination of both the name and picture.

Nomenclature Cards

We lay ours out on our work mat with the control cards across the top and the individual name and pictures along the sides.

Control across the top, names on the right, pictures on the left

Which side either is laid on is left up to Bean. He sets it up, so he gets to lay it out however he chooses.

Word Matching

I honestly thought, when first looking at these, that they would be ridiculous levels of boring. I also worried they would make him nuts because the majority of the words are not CVC words. That is, you can’t really sound them out. And, occasionally, this does make him crazy. He enjoys reading and he’s getting good at it, so we absolutely do not use these when he’s in the reading mood because they just disappoint him.

However, most of the time, he truly enjoys it. He enjoys matching the words and learning about new things. He has no problem sticking it through to the end, even if it means taking a “act like a Blue Heron” break in the middle of work, he always comes back to it. I’d say nomenclature cards are definitely a go for us.

These cards are available for free from Montessori Materials. Scroll down to the text in purple. This set is the “Birds” set.

You can also find more free nomenclature cards here:
Montessori for Everyone
United Teaching
MontessoriMom
ETC. Press

One thought on “Nomenclature Cards”

  1. My goodness you are a fabulous Mama Jess. I really need to spend more time preparing and doing stuff like this with P after school. You are an inspiration my friend. Love it!

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