Now, if the word “prospectus” seems a bit too esoteric, consider this: Montessori Practical Life activities are meant to teach adult life skills. What better way to develop the ability to plan a project or trip than to do it in a safe, nurturing Montessori environment?
Montessori uses“going out” trips to experience the real world, not that which is confined to the four walls of the classroom, as well as to acquire ‘culture’.
Montessori Upper Elementary Practical Life: Going Out - Trip Ideas, Planning, and Overnight ExcursionsCulture in the Montessori sense refers to learning and internalizing the basic standards, expectations, rules and laws of one’s own cultures as well as that of others. Going out trips may include going to the theatre, the symphony, an art museum or a fossil hunt. Or, they may be more extensive and exotic such as overnight environmental camping trips or visiting historical or cultural sites.
An overnight going out is more than merely a campout. In true Montessori style, the students are responsible for the planning, organizing, and decision making. They select the location, which often is related to a current topic of study or student interest. There are trip logistics to be made: site location; transportation and chauffeurs; reservations; accommodations; menus; finances; packing lists; and activities. There are committees and teams to be formed. Permission must be granted both from the teachers, administration and parents. Budgets must be established and followed. Shopping lists and trips must be made. Inventories of camping gear, if necessary, must be taken. Schedules of chores must be assigned. What at first seemed a simple trip now turns into a major project.
As with all Montessori work there is an underlying purpose to these going out excursions. In a meaningful context, upper elementary students get to practice and apply all of the Practical Life skills they’ve been developing since their early years in the Montessori primary environment. With gentle, nurturing, proactive guidance from their Montessori teachers, they are able to actively pursue their own interests and find their own unique abilities within the safety of their immediate community.
Related NAMC blogs:
- Montessori Upper Elementary Practical Life: Outdoor Activities
- Upper Elementary Practical Life: Indoor Activities
© North American Montessori Center - originally posted in its entirety at Montessori Teacher Training on Friday, May 13, 2011.