Wednesday, March 14, 2012

March (Vernal or Spring) Equinox - Montessori Culture & Science

The March Equinox, also known as the Spring or Vernal (meaning spring) Equinox in North America, takes place around March 21 annually. We choose to use the term March Equinox, because of our international student base. While it is spring in the Northern Hemisphere, it is fall in the Southern Hemisphere. The word Equinox is taken from the Latin words meaning equal and night. During an equinox, the days and nights are almost equal in length.

young girl works with NAMC montessori globe ideas for equinox activities

This is a great opportunity to study the relationship between the earth, sun and moon and the earth’s seasons. Most of the time, the earth is tilted either away from the sun, giving us our fall and winter seasons, or toward the sun, giving us our spring and summer seasons. Twice during each year, the earth is not tilted and the sun is pointed straight at the equator, giving us the equinox (around the 21st of March and the 21st of September).

Many cultural celebrations take place around the equinox, giving your students even more interesting topics to explore that are related to the equinox. Here are a few ideas to kick-start your plans to explore and enjoy the equinox with your Montessori students:

March Vernal Equinox Activities for the Montessori Classroom

  • Using a flashlight and a globe, have your students demonstrate the tilt of the sun at various times of the year, signifying the seasons.
  • Sing songs about the season together.
  • Encourage your students to read books about the seasons and have a lively discussion about how the seasons differ, and what they like about each season.
  • Encourage your students to compose short stories, poems or songs, or drawings and paintings about the equinox. Share and enjoy their work collectively.
  • Explore different equinox cultural celebrations around the world and choose one to celebrate with your students. Incorporate traditions of the celebration such as clothing, food, decorations, song and dance. Invite parents to participate.
  • If your school hosts a spring tea for families/parents, think about using the equinox as a theme for the event.
Some web resources:
The NAMC teacher curriculum manuals are rich with related activities for all age groups:
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 Wednesday, March 14, 2012.


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!