Silence game: Whispering names; whispering directions; Opening a door silently

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To play the Silence Game, the children must first understand what is silence.
Maria Montessori first introduces silence by bringing a baby into the classroom and show the children how still the baby lies and does not make a sound. When Maria Montessori brings the children's attention to the baby stillness and quietness, a great silence fell upon the room and the children themselves tried to keep themselves quieter.

The Silence Game must never be played in order to get peace in a noisy classroom. It is not possible to play it with new classes that are disorderly. Before a child can play the Silence Game, he must have the ability to keep still. The Directress must know the child well, and the children trust and obey her.


To calm the children before playing the Silence Game - Get the children to sit on chairs and get them to start singing from a fast tune and end with a soft, slow song till almost silence is achieved. Ask them to close their eyes and invite them to listen to the sound of the environment. Say out what you hear, 'I can hear the fan blowing', 'I can hear the ticking sound of the clock'. Get the children to say out what they hear. Ask the children to stay really quiet. The Directress may say that she can hear feet moving, or heavy breathing. The children will soon understand that to get silence, one must be quiet still.
When silence is achieved, the Directress says, 'we are going to play Whispering names. If you hear me calling your name, come to me'. The Directress stands behind the children in a corner of the room where the children cannot see her. She called out the children's names very softly at the end of the silence. She calls them one by one and the children must come quietly or they will break the silence. It is important to call every child, starting from the quieter ones first. If a child does not hear his name, the Directress must call some of the other children, then call his name again. The children need to listen very carefully.

As soon as the children understand the exercise, a card on which is written the word "Silence" is hung face to the wall in the classroom. The children can turn it around when they want to place the Silence Game.

"Whispering Directions" - When silence is achieved, the Directress whispers a gentle order to the children, 'Stand up, walk about for a minute on tip-toe, and then return to your seats in silence'.

"Opening a door silently' - May incorporate this part in the first exercise. The Directress stands outside the door, whispers the children's name from a small window. When the child heard his name being called, he will rise up and go to the door and tries to open the door silently in order to go out to the Directress.

Control Of Error

Points Of Interest

Silence is a type of controlled movement. It is not the quasi-silence obtained by sitting still and saying nothing but a perfection that is attained only gradually. It consists in not uttering a single sound, in not causing the slightest noise, such as is made by a movement of the feet or stroke of the hand or heavy breathing. Absolute silence resembles complete immobility.
Attempts to obtain silence normally interest the children. They are pleased with its quest and with knowing the means to obtain it.


Direct aims:

  • To develop the child's auditory sense.
  • To become aware of the sounds in the environment.

Indirect aims:

  • To develop the child's self control.
  • To introduce the feeling of unity amongst participants.
  • To develop spiritual awareness.