Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Montessori Elementary Curriculum: The Purpose of the Five Great Lessons Explained

Seeds of interest have first to be sown in the child’s mind – easily transplanted if first in the teacher’s – and all must be ready for the full answering of his questions when he seeks further knowledge. ~ Maria Montessori, To Educate the Human Potential


NAMC Montessori Elementary Curriculum purpose five great lessons explained earth
Maria Montessori observed that elementary students, in the most critical period of their growth, begin to wonder about the history of the earth and the role of humans in this history. Montessori believed that exploring questions of history would build a strong foundation for these young students’ intellectual, spiritual and psychological development.

People of all ages love stories and that stories can inspire, entertain and teach. The Montessori Five Great Lessons take the form of stories that introduce students to the universe by stirring their imaginations and initiating their exploration of important questions. These impressionistic stories stimulate Montessori students’ desire to discover and learn by giving them an overview of the natural world and its laws, of human ingenuity, and of the interconnectedness of life.

Montessori Elementary Curriculum: The Purpose of the Five Great Lessons Explained

As with any good story, the Montessori Five Great Lessons are meant to be exciting, dramatic and somewhat mysterious. Montessori elementary students are at the stage when they are already drawn to learn about the world. The Great Lessons spark their imaginations, leading Montessori students to embrace other subjects in the Montessori curriculum where they may find answers to their questions about the world and the place of humans in it.

The Purpose of the Five Great Lessons is to:
NAMC Montessori Elementary Curriculum purpose five great lessons explained
  • entertain, inspire and teach
  • enthrall the students and capture their imaginations
  • initiate students’ exploration of important questions
  • stimulate students’ desire to discover and learn
  • give students an awareness of the natural world and its laws
  • inspire students to explore history, geography, mathematics, the sciences and language arts
  • lead students to contemplate the future
  • instill in students reverence and gratitude for the people and accomplishments of the past
In upcoming blog articles, we will look a little more closely at the Five Great Lessons and their importance in the Montessori elementary curriculum.

NAMC is proud to offer the elementary teaching manual, The Five Great Lessons/Cosmic Education and Peace: a comprehensive curriculum manual for Montessori elementary teachers.

NAMC offers instruction in The Five Great Lessons in the Lower Elementary 6-9 curriculum as designed by Maria Montessori. With utmost respect for the diversity of our international student body, NAMC in no way requires that the Five Great Lessons be taught, and leaves the decision to the discretion of our students.

Recommended reading:
  • To Educate the Human Potential, Maria Montessori. Clio Montessori Series. ISBN 1-85109-094-0
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 Wednesday, July 28, 2010.

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