The Metal Inset is a part of the Montessori Language Curriculum. They are a learning tool used to prepare children for writing as they provide students with the opportunity to practice holding a writing instrument while working on their fine motor skills. At Montessori Academy we introduce this material to our students in the toddler age group and continue to offer extension lessons as they progress through to the older classes.

The shelf consists of:

• 11 different coloured pencils
• 10 different shaped insets
• Square white papers
• Work trays


• Invite the child to select the materials from the Metal Inset shelf
• Collect a work tray, paper, metal inset (all placed on the left of the tray) and 2 different coloured pencils (placed in the pencil holder of the tray).
• Transfer to a working space at the table.
• Remove the blue inset and place it to the right side of the tray.
•The inset’s frame (pink) will stay on the left and on top of the paper.
• Choosing 1 colour, begin tracing the shape of the frame starting from the bottom while holding the frame steady with alternate hand.
• The metal frame is then removed and placed to the right, and the blue inset is placed on top of the shape that exists on the paper.
• Using the second coloured pencil, trace the outside of the shape using the same procedure used for the pink frame.
• Remove the inset and place it back into the frame on the right.
• The child will be able to visually see that both the frame and the inset create the same shape outline.
• The child is then encouraged to repeat the process with the teacher’s guidance.

Once this is mastered, extensions include:

• The results of applying pressure while using a pencil- students discover and observe lighter/darker outcomes
• Practice drawing lines and shading
The outcome of combining two metal inset variations

In addition to preparing the children for writing, Metal Insets assist our students in:

• Strengthening their focus while developing their concentration skills
• Development of their hand-eye coordination skills
• Practice with movement and direction
• Practicing control of movement
• Differentiating between straight and curved lines.