Classified Pictures

This is the first suggested Language activity in David Gettman’s Basic Montessori: Learning Activities for Under-fives book.
Currently I am working on this for Miss Oh Waily.  It’s not quite as easy as I thought it would be.

I have struggled a bit to come up with fifteen different scenes that can generate between ten and twenty object images.  I know that once I have completed my lists of “scene picture” and “object pictures” it will all become a bit simpler.  At that point I only have to find images to match, print them out, add the control mark and then laminate them.

Here’s a taste of what my lists looks like:


  • Flower
  • Spade
  • Wheelbarrow
  • Wall
  • Fence
  • Lawn
  • Motor mower
  • Fork
  • Gardening Gloves
  • Garden ornaments
  • Table & chairs
  • Worms


  • Knife
  • Fork
  • Spoon
  • Plate
  • Cup
  • Bowl
  • Oven/Stove
  • Fridge
  • Grater
  • Mixer
  • Teapot
  • Glass
  • Kettle
  • Pots & Pans

For those who may be interested, the remaining sections that I have are: Zoo, Bedroom, Vehicles, Airport, Harbour, Forest, Playground, Bathroom, Swimming Pool, Christmas Day, Library, and Sports.  Theoretically I need one more to make the fifteen suggested.  But my brain pretty much stopped working after generating this list.  As it is, I’m having trouble making a list of ten items you find in the Library.   The others I’ve managed at least ten for.

Ideally the “scene” should be familiar to the little one.  This makes the different rooms of the house a good choice.  They are fairly easy, but you need to exclude items that occur in multiple rooms.  So you can’t put curtains in “bedroom” and in “living room” because from a sorting perspective when they are doing the later matching exercise of the object pictures to the main scene… what do they do with the curtains? Add them to bedroom or to living room?  You see the problem ?  The idea is to help them make some basic classifications using things in the world around them.  It also allows you to introduce new language that they may not hear on a daily basis, for instance I have chosen sport as a category and while the Little Miss is familiar with one or two sports she will not have seen all of the different ones I have added to the list.  The pictures in this set may be the first time she encounters it. [Then I’ll have to follow it up with video from the internet, of course.]

I’m fairly sure that this activity and the extension activities (including the sorting) will probably be in the too easy category for Little Miss, but I figure that I should start at the beginning with her and make sure I don’t miss anything.  If cared for they should last through until the Little Master is big enough to start on them.

What would you come up with for your children?  Interested minds would like to know.

2 thoughts on “Classified Pictures

  1. Believe it or not, I actually did give this some thought and then forgot to come and tell you.

    Let’s see. Some of them are the same as yours. I think the differences are to do with where we live and some of the Star’s obsessions:

    Park, river rather than harbour, construction sites, musical instruments, farm, more helicopters in with planes/ airports, church/ orthodox church and maybe country vs city.

    Right now I must do it. And I must buy that book. I’ve I am appalling at thinking of things for the Star to do myself and been meaning to follow your example for ages, but laziness is my besetting sin. Still, actually had considered Montissori a bit odd before your blog. Now I find myself a complete convert to its usefulness and I like your approach of not being too bound by it.


  2. Hi Sol,
    Thanks for stopping by.
    I like your ideas for extra scenes. I’ll probably pinch a couple of them. 😉
    In a country with supposedly 40 million sheep, and nearly 6 million dairy cows, I can’t believe that I couldn’t come up with farm ?!? Oh dear, showing myself up as a townie.

    David Gettman’s book is not an eye pleaser and it took me two borrowings from the library and more blog reading before I finally realised that this little book full of words and the odd drawn illustration was actually very good for putting the traditional activities in developmental order. This was what I had been missing from everything I had read beforehand. Not that your toddler is necessarily going to do things “in order”, just that some skills come before others – rather as sitting & crawling come before walking & running.

    And yes, I was a bit dubious for quite a while that this might be fringe at best, but then when I read more and saw what other parents were doing (love the blogging community for that), it became a bit of a no-brainer really.


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