In the Montessori classroom, writing and reading are not isolated skills but interconnected elements of a comprehensive literacy journey. Maria Montessori’s holistic approach recognizes that these two facets of language development are inextricably linked. In this blog post, we’ll explore the intimate connection between writing and reading in a Montessori classroom and provide sources for further reading.

The Interplay of Writing and Reading

Maria Montessori’s educational philosophy is deeply rooted in her understanding of child development. She believed that children have an innate ability to absorb language and that the development of writing and reading skills should be a natural, interconnected process. Here’s how this interplay unfolds in a Montessori classroom:

  1. Pre-Writing Activities: Montessori classrooms introduce children to pre-writing activities, such as using the moveable alphabet and sandpaper letters, which build the foundational skills necessary for both writing and reading.
  2. Phonemic Awareness: These activities focus on phonemic awareness—the ability to recognize and manipulate the sounds within words—which is crucial for decoding (reading) and encoding (writing).
  3. Writing as Reading: Montessori children often start with writing before reading. They use the moveable alphabet to create words, sentences, and stories, reinforcing the connection between spoken language and written symbols.
  4. Reading as Writing: As children progress, they begin to decode written language into spoken language. This decoding process reinforces their understanding of the relationship between writing and reading.
  5. Creative Expression: Both writing and reading are seen as forms of creative expression in Montessori classrooms. Children are encouraged to write their stories and read the stories of others, fostering a love for both.
  6. Individualized Learning: Children progress at their own pace, ensuring that they are developmentally ready for each stage of literacy development.

Sources for Further Reading

  1. Montessori, Maria. “The Montessori Method.” Montessori-Pierson Publishing Company, 2007.
  2. Montessori, Maria. “The Discovery of the Child.” Montessori-Pierson Publishing Company, 1988.
  3. American Montessori Society. “Montessori Language Materials: Moveable Alphabet.”

The Montessori Literacy Journey

In a Montessori classroom, the connection between writing and reading is fluid and intuitive. Here’s how this journey unfolds:

  1. Pre-Writing Activities: Children develop fine motor skills through activities like tracing sandpaper letters. These activities prepare their hands and minds for both writing and reading.
  2. Phonetic Exploration: With the moveable alphabet, children create words using letter symbols that represent phonetic sounds. This hands-on experience enhances phonemic awareness.
  3. Self-Correction: Montessori materials are designed for self-correction. Children learn from their mistakes, reinforcing both writing and reading skills.
  4. Reading Emerges: As children decode their written words, reading naturally emerges. They recognize the connection between the symbols they’ve written and the spoken language.
  5. Storytelling: Creative writing and storytelling become an integral part of the literacy journey. Children write their stories, read them aloud, and share them with peers.


In a Montessori classroom, writing and reading are not isolated skills but partners in the beautiful dance of literacy. Maria Montessori’s approach recognizes that a deep understanding of the interplay between these two elements is essential for nurturing confident and lifelong readers and writers. By providing an environment that celebrates the natural connection between writing and reading, Montessori education equips children with the tools they need to explore the world of words with joy and confidence.