Monday, March 29, 2010

World Health Day: Activities and Ideas for the Montessori Classroom

NAMC montessori activities world health day ideas boy carrying water
World Health Day provides great learning opportunities for Montessori students of any age. Personal and global health action is directly related to the Montessori philosophy and curriculum for Cosmic Education and Peace. Every year, The World Health Organization sponsors World Health Day on April 7, and develops an annual theme around which the day is focused. This year’s focus is on urbanization and health. The World Health Organization has sponsored a campaign entitled “1000 Cites---1000 Lives.” Events are being organized globally to help encourage urban areas to open up their streets for health activities.

Use World Health Day to engage your Montessori students in discussions, ideas for activities, and further exploration of the importance of good health from a personal, local, and global perspective. Here are a few ideas to kick start your own approach to teaching the importance of good health in your Montessori classroom.

World Health Day: Activities and Ideas for the Montessori Classroom

Montessori Practical life and Grace and Courtesy activities such as hand washing, nail care, and table manners can be reviewed and discussed as ways to maintain health prevent the spread of germs.

Active lifestyle and exercise are also important ways of maintaining good health. Find a playground activity that is especially popular at your Montessori school (four square, jump rope, kickball, etc.) and have your Montessori students organize a day-long tournament for the entire school (including faculty and staff).
Younger Montessori students may enjoy being read books on health topics, such as eating healthy foods, personal hygiene and physical fitness. Creating pictures, posters, poems, or stories of their own interpretation of healthy living is a great way to express what they learn.

Older Montessori students can research global health concerns, including safe drinking water, infectious diseases and obesity. A cultural study of regions of the world with these kinds of health issues can lead to a greater understanding of these issues, why they exist, and how they can be addressed.

An anatomical and physiological look at the human body could explore the connections between the food we eat and our physical and mental health. This kind of scientific approach provides ample opportunity for experiments and further study of specific aspects related to nutrition and health.

As part of your exploration of World Health Day, a Montessori classroom feast of healthy dishes prepared with local foods can be the tasty culmination of a discussion about food cycles and food production.

Books about Health for the Montessori Classroom
  • Health, by B. E. Pruitt and John P. Allegrante
  • It's Perfectly Normal: Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex, and Sexual Health, by Robie H. Harris
  • Good Enough to Eat: A Kid's Guide to Food and Nutrition, by Lizzy Rockwell
  • My Amazing Body: A First Look at Health and Fitness, by Pat Thomas
  • Be Fit, Be Strong, Be You (Be The Boss Of Your Body), by Rebecca Kajander C.P.N.P. M.P.H. and Timothy Culbert M.D.
Sites about Health for the Montessori Classroom
Other NAMC blogs on health and nutrition
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, March 29, 2010.

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