Friday, January 21, 2011

Introducing History and Passage of Time in a Montessori Preschool: Learning About Seasons

NAMC montessori preschool introducing history passage of time learn about seasons looking at blossoms
A child, who more than anyone else is a spontaneous observer of nature, certainly needs to have at his disposal material upon which he can work.
—Maria Montessori
The Discovery of the Child.

A great way to promote an understanding of the passage of time is to learn about the seasons and how they change throughout the year. I live in an area of North America that has four distinct seasons, so the children in my class are very fortunate to be able to understand the unique changes to each season in a very experiential way.

In the spring we go outside to observe the buds on the trees and the bulbs sprouting up from the ground. We do planting activities in the Montessori preschool classroom and enrich our Nature Table with a variety of items to reinforce the current season. In the summer, we play outside, we water the garden, we run through the sprinkler, and we even arrange a few beach days. In the fall, the children take great delight in raking the leaves and observing the changing colors. We bring leaves in from outside to make collages and I show them how to do leaf rubbings. In the winter, we have the opportunity to explore ice and snow, and the children love wearing their winter clothes to school to play in the snow with one another. They are able to use child-size snow shovels, they make snowmen, and they enjoy looking for icicles in the school yard.

Introducing History and Passage of Time in a Montessori Preschool: Learning About Seasons

Inside our Montessori classroom we have a Nature Table, which we change regularly to reflect the current season. Students are encouraged to bring items from home and from outside to display, and there is never a shortage of things to explore! We also have a tree painted on our wall made up of just a bare trunk and the branches. The children love thinking of ways to decorate the tree to reflect the current season. Currently, the branches are bare, and there is snow (cotton) around the base of the trunk and several tissue paper snowflakes resting in the branches.

There are a variety of activities on the shelves that reinforce the seasons in our Montessori classroom. It is amazing to see how simple activities have such an impact on the students’ understanding of the passage of time. A few of the activities that are currently in our Culture area are:

  • Continent folders (four folders that hold pictures reflecting the various seasons along with the labels for spring, summer, winter, and fall)
  • Magnetic wooden dolls with corresponding outfits (one doll for each season)
  • A layered season puzzle (each layer representing a different season)
  • Weather cards that the students can match to the various season labels

Part 3 of this article covers the introduction of the clock, and the rotation of the earth around the sun in relation to seasons and a student’s birthday.

This year long series looks at the experiences of teachers, parents, students, and Montessori education itself, as we follow a student through his first year at a Montessori Preschool. Montessori Insights and Reflections of a Preschool Child’s First Year is a collection of useful stories, tips, and information that have arisen from one real student's Montessori journey.

Bree — NAMC Tutor & Graduate

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 Friday, January 21, 2011.


Post a Comment

Have questions or comments? Let us know what you thought about this article!

We appreciate feedback and love to discuss with our readers further.

NAMC Blog Inquiries Contact Form


Email *

Message *

Search the NAMC Montessori Teacher Training Blog

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

Browse a select list of our most popular categories below; by clicking on one, you will see every article posted under that topic since 2007. You may also use the lower archive menu to select a year and month, displaying all blog posts in the chosen time frame.

If you are seeking a range of information on a certain topic or idea, try this search box for site-wide keyword results.

Choose From a List of Popular Article Topics

NAMC Montessori Series

Montessori Philosophy and Methodology

Montessori Classroom Management

The School Year

Montessori Materials

Montessori Curriculum

Montessori Infant/Toddler (0–3) Program

Montessori Early Childhood (3–6) Program

Montessori Elementary (6–12) Programs

What is Montessori?

Search Archives for Montessori Blog Posts by Date

Thank you to the NAMC Montessori community!

This year marks NAMC’s 20th anniversary of providing quality Montessori distance training and curriculum development to Montessorians around the globe. Since we began in 1996, we have grown to build a fantastic community of students, graduates, and schools in over 120 countries. We are grateful for your continued support and dedication to furthering the reach and success of the Montessori method. Thank you for sharing this amazing milestone with us!