NAMC montessori second plane of development and imaginationThe Montessori elementary child is exposed early to the story of the universe. Notice, I said “story” and not lesson. This is because the explanation as to the creation of the universe and every living and non-living thing is told to them in a series of imaginative stories we call the “Great Lessons”. Usually told during the first eight weeks of school and for all six years of the elementary cycle, the Great Lessons are the catalyst for learning and discovery throughout the Montessori elementary years.

With the Montessori teacher in the role of the story teller, not lecturer, the First Great Lesson unravels the great mysteries of the universe. Abstract concepts such as The Big Bang, stellar nucleosynthesis, gravity, magnetism, composition of the earth and other planets, and plate tectonics all come alive through the power of IMAGINATION! Using impressionistic charts and simple experiments, the Montessori teacher-story teller weaves a story which spurs the imagination of the children around her and lays the foundation for physics, astronomy, physical science, chemistry, and physical geography.

Pretty heavy-duty stuff for a first grader! But Montessori believed, that at this sensitive period, we are to give children the keys to unlock their potential. We do this by grounding them in reality while allowing them to imagine things that are bigger and more abstract than the world around them.

Thursday, October 28, 2010 Continue Reading this Article

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