Shapes in “Language Curriculum” in the Montessori Primary Classroom.


Metal Inset work in the Montessori Language curriculum is a pre-writing activity in the Primary (3-6 year old) classroom.

It has 10 shapes: 5 straight lined and 5 curve lined shapes.

The shapes in the Metal Inset work are: circle, square, rectangle, oval, ellipse, triangle,curvilinear triangle, quatrefoil, trapezoid, pentagon.

These shapes mimic the patterns found in the letters. For example – circle helps child trace part of ‘a’, the letter ‘o’, top of ‘g’ etc.

This activity also helps with pincer grasp, strengthen finger muscles and build eye-hand coordination.

It can be recreated at home with simple materials. I used cereal box , cut out the cardboard ,traced the shapes , pin pricked it out and then glued “eraser” from bottom of pencil on the shape , so the children can hold it with their “pincer grasp” to bring it out to “check their work” once they are done tracing the shape. You could also use thick card stock paper to do the same and glue pony bead or top of push pin/peg on top of the shape.

Children usually trace the outline of the shape, draw horizontal or vertical lines in it, write the name of the shape. As an extension, older children could also figure out which shape can fit into another shape, which can’t ; make designs using multiple shapes etc.

Check montessorireflections_geetha for step by step instructions on making your own “metal inset” work at home and activities that can be done with the shapes.

Published by

Geetha Nagarajan

My name is Geetha. I was introduced to Montessori as a parent and then choose it to be my career. I have over 13 years of experience in a Montessori primary classroom. I have a Masters Degree in Plant Sciences from India and a Masters in Educational Leadership from UNT (Denton, TX) and my Montessori Early childhood certification from American Montessori Society (AMS).

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