Montessori Baric Tablets Presentation
3 sets of 3 identical wooden tablets. Each set of tablets is made from a different kind of wood, so that the tablets in one set weigh about 9 grams, the next set weighs about 18 grams and the last set weighs about 27 grams. All the tablets are exactly the same size and shape.
To help awaken and refine the child’s baric sense.
To aid the child’s fine motor by cultivating a lightness of touch.
To prepare the child for writing.
Discrimination and judgement.
CONTROL OF ERROR:
The tablets from the different categories look slightly different as the woods look different.
3 years approx.
Individual exercise done at a table.
Remove the Baric Tablets from the lightest set and place them on the mat.
Remove the heaviest set and place these beside the first set.
Show the child how to balance the tablets, one from each set, onto the tips of your fingers, which are facing upwards. Your arms should be relaxed and your thumbs free. Avert your eyes, gently and slightly lift, and then relax your arms in order to get a feel of the relative weights of the baric tablets. Allow the child to feel the differences in weight, either by placing them on the child’s hands for him, or by the child picking them up off the table.
Now, sit opposite the child asking him to avert his eyes. Place a tablet from either category and ask the child to feel and say which is the heavier one and which the lighter one.
Form a pile with the lighter tablets on the left side and the heavier tablets on the right hand side.
The child then does the exercise with the tablets spread out on the table. He picks up two tablets without looking and feels whether they are the same or different. He may loudly identify each one as being either heavy or light and put it into its pile.
When all the tablets have been sorted, the child looks at the pile again to see that he has in fact categorised them correctly.
Again, mix up the tablets on the table and invite the child to do the exercise on his own.
The child can wear a blindfold to do the exercise. This time he can only verify his success at the very end of the activity. That is, he takes the blindfold off at the end and checks his success.
The same as exercise 1 but the child uses the light (9g)
and medium (18g) tablets together.
The same as exercise 1 but the child sorts the medium (18g) tablets from the heavy tablets (27g)
The child puts all three tablets out – one from each category. These tablets will serve as a reference. Only one tablet is selected from the mixed up category and it is compared to each of the “reference” tablets on the table.
When two tablets feel the same, the randomly selected tablet is put behind the reference tablet.
The child checks his work at the end.
Give a three period lesson on the comparatives and superlatives of heavy, heavier, heaviest or light and lightest or simply heavy and light.