Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Meaningful Winter Celebrations With Scholastic Activities for the Montessori Classroom

NAMC montessori activities meaningful winter celebrations scholastic boy decorating cookies
Incorporating holidays into the Montessori classroom in a meaningful and memorable way can sometimes be a challenge, particularly now, during this highly commercial time of year. In many ways, winter celebrations are centered on community – what a great opportunity to inspire in your Montessori classroom a spirit of gratefulness and goodwill.

Since there are a number of cultural celebrations during the winter season, this creates an opportunity to learn about the purpose and traditions of each, and to compare the different celebrations. Scholastic’s Winter Holiday website has a wealth of resources for the classroom or homeschool teacher who strives for a higher quality study of the holidays.

Meaningful Winter Celebrations With Scholastic Activities for the Montessori Classroom

NAMC montessori activities meaningful winter celebrations scholastic candle
Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa are all featured with an interactive “scrapbook.” Through the scrapbook, students can learn about different traditions and customs for each holiday, discover the history and cultural significance of each, and share their own traditions with one another. Most of the features are available in an audio format in addition to a written format. Students can also create their own scrapbook. In addition to the scrapbook, students can send e-cards, hear songs, and discover recipes and craft projects. For teachers, the site provides a teacher guide, book suggestions and questions to prompt further thoughts and ideas among their students.

Leading up to the winter break in December, Montessori teachers may plan to explore one holiday per week with their Montessori students. Using the Scholastic website enables teachers to keep ideas, inspirations, and information in one location, but further allows your students to continue to look at the “holiday of the week” at school and at home. The week could begin with exploring the history and background of that week’s featured holiday. The week might culminate with the students cooking one of the traditional recipes. Each week could also include an art project inspired by the holiday. During the second and third weeks, the holidays can be compared to the ones previously studied.

Be sure to encourage your students to share their own experiences. Invite special guests to speak about their particular cultural traditions and to bring activities into the classroom for shared participation. Encourage related activities to inspire a sense of shared community and respect. One important theme around winter cultural celebrations is community service; encourage your Montessori students to create a project centered on this theme.

We hope that you will enjoy with your students all the beauty and peace that this season has to offer.
Other related NAMC blogs:
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 Tuesday, December 1, 2009.

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