Each Montessori teacher will tell the stories in his/her own way. Although there have been a great many interpretations of the five Great Lessons over the last century, the fundamental purpose of the lessons remains the same: to inspire awe, excitement, and curiosity in the students. To that end, the stories are best told passionately, with a sense of drama and wonder, using gestures, actions, animated facial expressions and vocal tones. This is one of the few instances where the Montessori teacher takes center stage!
The Montessori Five Great Lessons span about 15 billion years and follow the development of the universe, earth, life, and the inventions of written language and numbers. Here is a brief outline of each lesson:
Montessori Elementary Curriculum: When to Tell The Five Great Lessons
- The Beginning of the Universe and Earth - This story introduces students to the formation of the universe, stars, and solar system, with a focus on the earth’s early development.
- Life Comes to Earth - This story introduces students to the earth’s earliest life forms and how they adapted to the earth’s changing conditions.
- Humans Come to Earth - This story introduces students to the appearance of humans on earth.
- How Writing Began - This story introduces students to how humans invented written language.
- How Numbers Began - This story introduces students to how humans invented numbers and mathematics.
In upcoming articles, we will further explore 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.
- To Educate the Human Potential, Maria Montessori. Clio Montessori Series. ISBN 1-85109-094-0
- Montessori Elementary: The Five Great Lessons Part 1 – Purpose
- Montessori Elementary: The Five Great Lessons Part 3 - Preparation
- Montessori Elementary: Five Great Lessons Part 4 – Cosmic Education
- Montessori Philosophy – The Second Plane of Development: Ages 6-12
- Introducing and Exploring The Five Great Lessons in Montessori Elementary
- Montessori and Imagination: the Second Plane of Development
© North American Montessori Center - originally posted in its entirety at Montessori Teacher Training on Friday, July 30, 2010.