Additionally, the Montessori teacher needs to prepare for the students’ questions by having a solid foundation in the subject matter of that Great Lesson. To stay up to date with the factual information in each story, the Montessori teacher will need to carry out some new research every year.
Montessori Elementary: Preparation for The Five Great LessonsDuring the telling of each Great Lesson, the Montessori teacher uses short demonstrations to dramatically illustrate major events in the story and to give the students a visual memory of that event. Again, preparation is the key in order to incorporate the demonstrations seamlessly into the telling of the story. The goal is to draw the students’ interest to many topics that can be further explored in other areas of the Montessori elementary curriculum, such as the sciences and history.
Encourage questions during each story and rehearse ways to handle questions respectfully without disrupting the flow of the story, then invite questions after the telling of each story. Follow up students’ questions with presentations and activities in other subjects, including research projects and field trips.
Montessori believed that the young elementary student is in a period of critical development.
“We are confronted with a considerable development of consciousness that has already taken place, but now that consciousness is thrown outwards with a special direction, intelligence being extroverted, and there is an unusual demand on the part of the child to know the reasons of things.” – Maria Montessori, To Educate the Human Potential.
The Montessori Five Great Lessons offer a gateway into further exploration of specific subject matter that, if presented passionately, beautifully and thoroughly, will live in your Montessori students forever.
The final article of this series will explore the meaning of the Five Great Lessons within Montessori’s concept of Cosmic Education.
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 2 – When to Tell the Stories
- 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 Thursday, August 5, 2010.