Monday, June 18, 2007

Montessori Curriculum Activity Ideas for Canada Day

canada day NAMC montessori curriculum activitiesCanada Day is celebrated on the 1st of July. On July 1, 1867, the British government (under Queen Victoria) approved a plan which allowed Canada to become an independent country with its own government. The new country remained loyal to Britain and was called the Dominion of Canada. At that time, there were only four provinces (Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick). Today, there are ten provinces and three territories. Canada Day was originally called Dominion Day and was changed to Canada Day by an Act of Parliament in 1982. Today, it is a day where Canadians relax with family and friends, barbecues and watching fireworks.

Children enjoy learning about their heritage in their Montessori classroom and display an attitude of genuine loyalty to their country. It is a great way to teach about symbols in their community. The Canadian Maple Leaf came to symbolize Canada as early as the 1700’s. Native people used the sap from Maple trees long before white settlers came to the continent. It has been used on military uniforms to distinguish them as Canadian military. The original Arms of Canada displayed a green leaf, but changed to red and the single red maple leaf appeared on the official Flag of Canada in 1965. The maple leaf originally appeared on all Canadian coins, but is now only featured on the penny.

There are many Montessori activities that children can do to celebrate Canada Day. Here are just a few we would like to share with you.

Montessori Curriculum Activity Ideas for Canada Day


Canadian Maple Leaf Pin

What You Need:
  • Flat wooden heart
  • Red construction paper
  • White craft paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Maple leaf cut out of red construction paper
  • Pin back
  • Hot glue
  • School glue
  • Waxed paper or plastic grocery bag

What You Do:
  • Lay down waxed paper or a plastic grocery bag on your work area.
  • Paint the wooden heart with white craft paint.
  • Allow the paint to dry.
  • Cut a maple leaf out of red construction paper.
  • Use school glue, glue leaf to heart.
  • When glue has set up, add a coating of glue to the top of the leaf to seal. Let dry.
  • Using hot glue, apply pin back to the wooden heart.
  • Wear and show your spirit for Canada Day!!!
  • For a little variation, you may decorate your pin with glitter, sequins, etc.

Maple Leaf Sugar Cookies

What You Need:
  • 2 c. sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 c. shortening
  • 1 c. milk
  • 7 1/2 c. flour
  • 2 tsp. soda
  • 2 tsp. cream of tartar
  • Maple leaf cookie cutter
  • Rolling Pin
  • Red cake decorating sprinkles

What You Do:
  • Cream sugar, eggs, vanilla, milk and shortening.
  • Sift 2 cups of the flour with soda and cream of tartar. Stir well into cream mixture.
  • Add rest of flour 1 cup at a time, stirring well each time until dry ingredients are mixed in.
  • Chill for 1 hour.
  • Dust a cutting board with lightly with flour. Roll and cut out maple leaves. (If they don’t roll easily, add a bit more flour).
  • Sprinkle with red sprinkles.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes.
  • Remove from baking sheet and let cool on wire racks.

Children love to sing! In fact, Michael Olaf in Child of the World, Essential Montessori for Age three to Twelve states that “Songs, folk, ethnic, and classical music played on real instruments, experimentation with good percussion instruments, ideally are all a part of the daily life of every child… Singing also gives practice in language, new words, poetry, and historical and other cultural information.” What better way to teach about Canada Day than to teach and sing the national anthem, “O Canada!” Composed by Canada’s “national musician” Calixa Lavallee set the poem by Judge Adolphe-Basile Routhier to music in 1880. It was proclaimed Canada’s national anthem on July 1, 1980, 100 years after it was composed!

It is important to teach Montessori children the proper etiquette when singing a national anthem. In keeping with Montessori tradition, it is a matter of grace, courtesy, and respect, to stand upon the playing of “O Canada!”, or any national anthem. It is also respectful for men to remove their hats.

O Canada!

O Canada! Our home and native land!
True patriot love in all thy sons command.
With glowing hearts we see thee rise,
The True North strong and free!
From far and wide, O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
God keep our land glorious and free!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

O Canada!

Terre de nos aïeux, Ton front est ceint de fleurons glorieux!
Car ton bras sais porter l'épée Il sait porter la croix!
Ton histoire est une épopée Des plus brillants exploits.
Et ta valeur, de foi trempée,
Protégera nos foyers et nos droits.
Protégera nos foyers et nos droits.
As much as possible, NAMC’s web blog reflects the Montessori curriculum as provided in its teacher training programs. We realize and respect that Montessori schools are unique and may vary their schedules and offerings in accordance with the needs of their individual communities. We hope that our readers will find our articles useful and inspiring as a contribution to the global Montessori community.
© North American Montessori Center - originally posted in its entirety at Montessori Teacher Training on Monday, June 18, 2007.

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