Friday, July 30, 2010

Montessori Elementary Curriculum: When to Tell The Five Great Lessons

One thing has been well established by our experience: that facts are of less interest to the child than the way in which those facts have been discovered. Thus children may be led to the history of human achievement, in which they want to take their part. ~ Maria Montessori, To Educate the Human Potential


NAMC Montessori elementary curriculum when to tell the five great lessons stories
The telling of the Five Great Lessons is a much-loved Montessori tradition. The stories are typically told at the beginning of the Montessori school year (within the first eight weeks) to Year 1 and other lower elementary students (6-9s), with upper elementary students (9-12s) invited to join in. Many upper elementary students choose to hear the stories every year in the Montessori classroom. These older students often reflect on what they have learned since last hearing the stories.

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:

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. © the North American Montessori Center - originally posted in its entirety at Montessori Teacher Training on Friday, July 30, 2010.

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.

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. © the North American Montessori Center - originally posted in its entirety at Montessori Teacher Training on Wednesday, July 28, 2010.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Montessori Storytelling: True Stories in the Elementary Environment

We often forget that imagination is a force for the discovery of truth. The mind is not a passive thing, but a devouring flame, never in repose, always in action. ~ Maria Montessori, The Absorbent Mind


Storytelling with Montessori elementary students helps open up to a world of public speaking, drama, and performance. Storytelling is a way to make Language Arts come alive. This can be especially helpful with students that are not naturally drawn to the Montessori language materials. Also, storytelling can assist in nurturing the development of a student’s self-expression through public speaking, drama, and performance.

Just as with early childhood Montessori students, elementary students enjoy hearing true stories told by their teacher. You can share true stories from your life or tell a true tale of one of the students and allow other students to guess who the story is about. You can also “quiz” the Montessori students on the story that was told.

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. © the North American Montessori Center - originally posted in its entirety at Montessori Teacher Training on Thursday, July 22, 2010.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Montessori Storytelling: True Stories in the Early Childhood Environment

Is the child’s mental horizon limited to what he sees? No. He has a type of mind that goes beyond the concrete. He has the great power of imagination. ~ Maria Montessori, The Absorbent Mind


NAMC montessori storytelling true stories early childhood girl holding hat

In my experience as a Montessori teacher, every age group enjoys hearing stories about real events. They love stories about my childhood and school years, my son, my husband, and any funny escapades I have experienced. I am always impressed with their focused attention and the fact that they remember so many details from these exchanges. This storytelling not only strengthens the bond between us, but helps model storytelling that they can then practice, which helps students grow comfortable with narrative structure. This exposure to narrative structure also assists Montessori students with reading comprehension and creative writing.

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. © the North American Montessori Center - originally posted in its entirety at Montessori Teacher Training on Wednesday, July 21, 2010.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Montessori Curriculum Explained: Sciences Materials, Activities and Philosophy

What is a scientist?… We give the name scientist to the type of man who has felt experiment to be a means guiding him to search out the deep truth of life, to lift a veil from its fascinating secrets, and who, in this pursuit, has felt arising within him a love for the mysteries of nature, so passionate as to annihilate the thought of himself. ~ Maria Montessori, The Montessori Method

NAMC montessori curriculum explained sciences materials activities philosophy looking at flower with magnifying glass
Children are natural observers. They are fascinated by the phenomenon found in the natural world. I remember taking my son to the zoo when he was a toddler, thinking he’d be fascinated by the large, exotic animals. I was surprised when what captured his imagination most were the tiny trails of black ants he found around the all along the ground. “Look, Mommie! More ants!” he’d cry to the delight of those around him. My mother relayed a similar incident with my 18-month old niece. On a recent trip to the San Diego zoo, she spent close to an hour watching and imitating the flamingos. She was perfectly content to give her entire focus and attention to learning about these fascinating birds without any adult intervention. Enjoy this in depth look as we explain Montessori Science curriculum materials, activities, and philosophy.

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. © the North American Montessori Center - originally posted in its entirety at Montessori Teacher Training on Friday, July 16, 2010.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Summer Vacation for the Montessori Teacher: Relax, Rejuvenate, and Reflect!

NAMC montessori teacher summer vacation relax reflect woman gardening
Ah, summer vacation. A time for Montessori teachers to relax, unwind, and rejuvenate. I know that has always been the case for me and my Montessori colleagues. So enjoy – you deserve it!

I also know that while you are relaxing, many Montessori teachers are also reflecting upon the school year and looking ahead to the start of a new one. We can’t help it; we think of our Montessori students – what worked for some, what did not, how we can bring new extensions to activities that were really successful, what areas of the Montessori classroom need updates or enhancements? Creative ideas seem to come when we have the chance to unwind and gain new perspective away from the classroom. Here are a few ideas to help you enjoy the anticipation and preparation of a new school year.

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. © the North American Montessori Center - originally posted in its entirety at Montessori Teacher Training on Tuesday, July 13, 2010.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Montessori Curriculum Explained: Geography Materials, Activities and Philosophy

Since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defenses of peace must be constructed; That ignorance of each other's ways and lives has been a common cause, throughout the history of mankind, of that suspicion and mistrust between the peoples of the world through which their differences have all too often broken into war. ~ Constitution of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization, November 16, 1945

NAMC montessori curriculum explained geography materials activities philosophy children together
Maria Montessori developed her philosophy and method amidst the turmoil and destruction of World Wars I and II. She believed that constructing a proper environment which allowed children to learn to be independent individuals would build character and that understanding the cosmos and one’s role in it would lead to the creation of a better, peaceful society. The Montessori Geography curriculum is two-fold: physical and cultural geography. Physical geography discusses the formation of the universe, the creation of the earth, and all its physical properties. Cultural geography is the study of human society and culture. The two together show the child that we are all members of the human race who must co-exist peacefully in order to survive. Enjoy this in depth look as we explain Montessori Geography curriculum materials, activities, and philosophy.

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. © the North American Montessori Center - originally posted in its entirety at Montessori Teacher Training on Thursday, July 8, 2010.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Montessori Curriculum Activities for World Population Day, July 11

NAMC Montessori curriculum activities world population day
Observed on July 11, World Population Day is held to bring awareness to global population issues. This year’s theme is Everyone Counts and focuses on the importance of demographic data and how it is used for global development. What a great theme for Montessori Cosmic Education and Peace! Everyone Counts – in so many ways.

Even if you are on summer break at present, World Population Day presents a wonderful opportunity to explore concept of population with your Montessori students when you return to school in September: What are the benefits and problems that accompany a large or small population? When we discuss population, how large of numbers do we use? What can influence the rise and fall in population (affluence, poverty, disease, technology, war, etc.)? Look at population booms and how quickly populations can grow, and why. What happens when every two people have one or two children, and so on and so on?

Using your Montessori landform and biome materials, explore with your students where human populations are highest in the world, and even within your own country. What sort of natural (and man made  environments seem to be preferred by humans in general? This opens the door to so many potential observations and comparisons to give your Montessori students a sense of the scope of world population, as well as that of different countries, or cities within countries. “Everyone Counts” can be brought into any project in order to further explore its meaning in the context of that activity.

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. © the North American Montessori Center - originally posted in its entirety at Montessori Teacher Training on Wednesday, July 7, 2010.
Find What Interests You Easily!

Are you interested in reading back through NAMC's blog articles from years gone by? Are you looking for more information on a specific topic?

Use the menu below to select the year and then the month to narrow down the time frame the articles you are interested in were posted. You can also browse our entire list of categories below; by clicking on one, you will see every article posted under that topic since 2007.

Still having trouble finding what you're looking for? Try our search box (located in the side bar of every page) to search all posts on our site for your keyword. If you require further information, or have comments or concerns, feel free to contact us.

NAMC Montessori Teacher Training Blog Archive

Post Category Labels

We'd love to hear from you!

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.

NAMC is always looking for feedback and dialogue with our students and other Montessorians. We invite you to contact us if you may have any questions or comments in regards to our blog or articles we have posted here at our Montessori Teacher Training page.

Please note:If you want to learn more about NAMC, are interested in our programs, or are a student, please contact us through the main NAMC site to ensure a timely response from one of our advisors, tutors, or education specialists.

Fill out my online form.