- The Green Series is a comprehensive reading program commonly found in Montessori classrooms. The Green Series is also the third series, preceded by the Pink Series, and the Blue Series. Dr. Montessori developed the Montessori method based on the Italian language, which is a phonetic language. Once the method reaches America, it was evident that some adaptations to the English phonemes was necessary. Therefore, the Pink-Blue-Green Series were developed. The Pink Series introduces young children to decode and encode three-letter words using consonants and short vowels (tin, pad, cod, pun, bed). The Blue Series provides practice with blends and diagraphs (spin, knee, blink, duck, clock). Once children are capable of spelling the Blue Series, they can move on to the Green Series. The Green Series walks children through various combination of letters (phonemes) that are unique to the English language. Children are now capable of decoding most words they encounter.
- The Green Language Series is designed for classroom usage, but can be adapted for smaller environments. For this reason, Alison’s Montessori offers a variety of storage solutions: Cabinet for Green Language Series, Storage Tray for Green Language Series, and the Green Plastic Storage Drawers for Language Series.
- You may also want to equip children with a set of yellow Movable Alphabet and a set of green Movable Alphabet to practice writing the words they are learning.
How to use the Green Language Series
- The Green Language Series process is nothing new to the child. It is designed as a continuum of the Pink and Blue Language Series. Therefore, one simple refresher presentation should suffice to initiate this on-going work. The Green Series is classified in this order: a_e, a, ai, ay, ai, ae, e_e, e, ea, ee, ei, ey, ie, y, i_e, ie, igh, y, ye, o_e, o, oa, oe, ou, ow, u_e, u, ue, ew, oo, ui, er, ir, ur, ear, or, air, are, ear, or, ore, oar, ear, eer, ar, double consonants, ie, ai, all, al, ai, soft c, s and z, soft g, ch, as, k, ed, ied, ing, ong, ink, onk, ine, ive, ave, ice, oo, ou, oi, tion, sion, our, ow, au, ou, ow (click here to see more details).
- For presentational purpose, you can incorporate the phonogram sandpaper letters when applicable. Children can practice tracing the phonogram (combination of letters that form a new sound) to help them integrate the phoneme (sound) it represents.
- Each drawer contains 4 compartments which host the following materials: picture/word, booklet, word list, sentence strips. Children go through this series of exercise to get familiar with the words and their spelling. This is an excellent vocabulary enrichment exposing children to a selected variety of words that aren’t systematically or necessarily encountered through reading books. The 4 steps for using each drawer is describe below.
Step 1a – Picture/Word Matching
- First, show the child how to select a drawer which they bring to a table or a mat. In our example, we selected drawer 3C: ie. You can model this phonogram (also known as diagraph) by tracing it on a sandpaper board and pronouncing it. Have the child take a turn tracing and pronouncing. Select the first work, picture/word. Separate all the picture cards from the word cards, and align the picture cards from top to bottom vertically. To the right of the picture cards, spread the word cards neatly so that the words appear clearly. Name all the pictures to ensure the child knows what words are being studied: pie, tie, die, fries, flies, spies. Then have the child read the word cards and match them to the picture cards by placing them to the right side of the picture cards.
Step 2b – Movable Alphabet
- As an extension, the child can use the Movable Alphabet sets to spell the new words. Kinesthetic work is another way to promote internalization; and therefore, retention. See example below using the D’Nealian style.
Step 2 – Booklets
- In this step, words are isolated on individual cards gathered as a booklet. This time, the letters are in the same color, black. This is an excellent exercise for the child to gain experience in reading the words as they would be seen in literature. In addition to the words with which the child is familiar, other examples are provided for practice (e.g.: died, cries, fried, tried, etc.).
Step 3 – Word Lists
- Word Lists provide children to develop reading fluency. Word Lists contain a list of words that children can practice reading without interruption. The Word Lists also contrast the words. A picture on top of the card serves as reference in the child’s mind. Simply have the child read the words all at once, and repeat as much as needed.
Step 4 – Sentence Strips
- In this final step, Sentence Strips, the child practice reading the words in context. Select a Sentence Strip, and offer to the child to read it. Process the same way until all the cards are read. Offering on-going practice with puzzle words (sight words) is important to make this step a successful and rewarding experience. However, not being familiar with all the puzzle words shouldn’t prevent the child from attempting to read the Sentence Strips.
- I hope this post has helped you understand how advanced reading skills can be acquired with adequate materials and setting. Children are amazing, and can learn a lot on their own when presented with an effective solution. Using a systematic approach to language acquisition can result in steady progress and confidence increase.
*Disclosure: Alison’s Montessori has kindly shared a copy of the Green Series with me, which allows me to share with you the intent, functioning, and content of this classic Montessori materials. I write honest unbiased review to serve my readers first. Thank you for reading me!