Date of Award


Document Type

Action Research Project

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Education


Education, Montessori

First Advisor

Alisha Brandon


Montessori Early Childhood


The Montessori Sandpaper Letters are a powerful, multi-sensory tool which can cultivate emergent literacy behaviors. A half-day Montessori classroom of 17 students between the ages of 2.4 years old and 3.5 years old in a private, accredited, suburban Montessori school participated in this action research study. Participants completed a four-week intervention that implemented daily use of the Sandpaper Letters. Data was collected through daily observations, tally charts, individual lesson logs, and a modified pre- and post-assessment of the ability to identify letter sounds. Thirteen out of 17 participants, or 76%, showed an increase in letter sound identification. In addition there was a significant increase in the number of child-initiated Sandpaper Letter lessons (as opposed to adult-initiated lessons). Also seen was an advancement of the children’s language skills from concrete to symbolic. This included the advent of writing, and the spontaneous appearance of activities demonstrating both phonological and phonemic awareness. These activities related directly to the Sandpaper Letters and demonstrated new and significant emergent literacy behaviors.