Showing posts with label 5 Great Lessons. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 5 Great Lessons. Show all posts

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Exploring the Earth - Montessori Sensorial Work with Soil

“Be humble for you are made of earth. Be noble for you are made of stars.”
― Serbian Proverb

namc montessori sensorial work with soil exploring earth boy with dirt

Maria Montessori gave children the greatest gift — she gave them the universe! She felt that no creature in our vast universe was too small to explore. Nor was dirt something to be discarded. She encouraged free exploration of the natural world to entice the senses and encourage learning.

How can you give your students the universe? The greatest way is through exploration.

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, November 5, 2013.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Montessori Whole to Part: Lower Elementary Montessori Geography

NAMC montessori whole to part lower elementary geography boy with nesting dolls
Children gain a concrete understanding about whole to part using matryoshka dolls.
What is it about stacking and nesting materials that seem to draw children to them? For the very young, stacking materials offer the joy of building a tower over and then knocking it down. Over and over again they learn about cause and effect, as well as the fundamental laws of physics — what goes up, must come down! Nesting materials (graduated bowls, cups, boxes, etc.) teach spatial relationships, as well as the language of comparative adjectives (big, bigger, biggest; small, smaller, smallest) and prepositions (in, out, over, under, etc.). In addition, stacking and nesting materials help develop hand-eye coordination and the all important pincer grasp that is so necessary for writing. These materials also give children the opportunity to concretely experience the concept of a whole object and understanding the parts that are nestled within.

Not just limited to the preschool child, stacking and nesting materials help the elementary child classify and order abstract concepts by providing concrete, visual representations that they can understand easily. In a previous blog, we discussed how Russian matryoshka dolls can help upper elementary students learn about advanced biological classification. Stacking boxes can also be used at the lower elementary level to learn about the child’s place in the world.

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, January 4, 2013.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Montessori Elementary Curriculum: Cosmic Education and the Five Great Lessons

A wider, loftier life is (humankind’s) than ever before, and children have to be prepared for it, so the fundamental principle in education is correlation of all subjects, and their centralization in the cosmic plan. ~ Maria Montessori, To Educate the Human Potential


NAMC montessori cosmic education five great lessons children help garden
Montessori Cosmic Education and the Five Great Lessons
If the Five Great Lessons can be said to be the heart of Montessori elementary education, then cosmic education can be described as the soul.

One of the most important underlying principles of Montessori programs is cosmic education, an overall Montessori approach to education that involves helping children develop an awareness that everything in the universe is connected and interdependent and forms a harmonious whole and that they themselves are part of and contribute to that whole.

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, August 6, 2010.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Montessori Elementary Curriculum: Preparation for The Five Great Lessons

…by offering the child the story of the universe, we give him something a thousand times more infinite and mysterious to reconstruct with this imagination, a drama no fable can reveal. ~ Maria Montessori, To Educate the Human Potential


NAMC montessori elementary curriculum preparation for five great lessons jars
In keeping with age-old, oral storytelling traditions, the Montessori teacher must know the stories of the Five Great Lessons thoroughly enough to tell them rather than read them. Rehearsing helps the Montessori teacher practice presenting the story smoothly and effectively. Rehearsing also provides valuable information about the amount of time it will take to tell the story.

Additionally, the Montessori teacher needs to prepare for the students’ questions by having a solid foundation in the subject matter of that Great Lesson. To stay up to date with the factual information in each story, the Montessori teacher will need to carry out some new research every 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 Thursday, August 5, 2010.

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.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Virtual Field Trips: A New Approach to Montessori Going Out Activities

NAMC montessori going out activities virtual field trips the louvre
In a survey conducted by the American Montessori Society (January 2010), 89% of Montessorians said that it is acceptable for students to use the Internet in the Montessori elementary classroom. When asked, many of NAMC’s students agree as well. Most of the time, people talk about using computers to learn keyboarding skills or to enhance research. But what if I told you computers can be used to take children to places they would normally be unable to explore due to geographical or fiscal restraints? I’m talking about using the computer and internet for virtual and interactive field trips.

We have compiled a huge list of Virtual Field Trips for your Montessori classroom, as well as a guide on how to properly integrate them into your lessons.

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 Monday, March 22, 2010.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Five Great Lessons for Montessori Elementary: An Introduction and Lesson Idea List

Our goal is not so much the imparting of knowledge as the unveiling and developing of spiritual energy. - Maria Montessori, The Child in the Family
NAMC montessori elementary five great lessons lesson plan ideas volcanoes
The Five Great Lessons is a group of impressionistic stories that are meant to provide elementary Montessori students with a “big picture” of the world and life. At this stage of development, children are becoming aware of the world and their place in it. For a child, the Great Lessons are more than just educational and inspirational stories. They spark the imagination and lead students to contemplate not only the past, but the future. It is through the telling (and re-telling) of these important Cosmic lessons that students are motivated to further research and works in the Montessori classroom.

Each of the Great Lessons serves to initiate student exploration and discovery. While children develop an awareness of the natural world and its laws, they are also moved to explore topics such as history, geography, math, science and language. Most importantly, the Great Lessons develop in Montessori students reverence and gratitude for those who have come before us.

Because of the importance and wealth of information that can be discovered in each lesson, it is important, therefore, not to rush through them, but to give ample time in between for research on the topics presented in the lessons. Here is a list of possible topics that can be explored for each of the Five Great Lessons:

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, September 10, 2009.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Celebrating Cultural Diversity in the Montessori Classroom - Heritage Survey Activity

NAMC montessori classroom culture curriculum activities fundamental needs of humans
Once a Montessori teacher has told the stories of the Five Great Lessons in the lower and upper elementary Montessori classrooms, she will often move on to the presentation of the Common Needs of People (sometimes referred to as the Fundamental Needs of Humans). This series of lessons is meant to show students that throughout history, humans have demonstrated the same common needs:
  • need for food, shelter, and clothing
  • need to defend oneself from danger
  • need to move from place to place
  • need to receive care when ill
  • the need to communicate
  • the need to express oneself (through artistic works)
  • the need for meaning in their lives
(NAMC, Lower Elementary History Manual, page 126)

Maria Montessori believed it was important to study what humans have in common to instill in the child a greater sense of belonging to the universe. Humans all over the world share the same common needs. By examining the similarities and differences of humans around the globe, we build a sense of connection to all human beings, thus creating a deeper sense of cosmic community.

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, June 3, 2009.

Friday, February 6, 2009

What is Montessori Cosmic Education? The Keystone of Montessori Philosophy Explained

NAMC montessori cosmic education explained philosophy heiroglyphs
Since it has been ... necessary to give so much to the child, let us give him a vision of the whole universe. The universe is an imposing reality, and an answer to all questions.... All things are part of the universe, and are connected with each other to form one whole unity. The idea helps the mind of the child to become focused, to stop wandering in an aimless quest for knowledge. He is satisfied having found the universal centre of himself with all things.
- Maria Montessori, To Educate the Human Potential.

This, simply stated, is Montessori’s statement and reason for her idea of Cosmic Education. Cosmic in this sense means comprehensive, holistic, and purposeful. “Cosmic Education” differs from traditional education as it goes far beyond just the acquisition of knowledge and developmental growth, to encompass the development of the whole person. Montessori believed that children who are given a Cosmic Education have a clearer understanding of the natural world and, thus, themselves. She believed that those children who receive a Cosmic Education in childhood are better prepared to enter adolescence as independent, confident, responsible, emotionally intelligent individuals, balanced in physical, intellectual and social achievements. They are also prepared to make responsible decisions and act on them in a responsible way; to recognize limits and give, ask for, and receive help, as needed.

To better understand the basis for Cosmic Education, it is necessary to understand Montessori’s vision of human development.

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, February 6, 2009.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Montessori Summer Activities: Star Gazing and The First Great Lesson

NAMC montessori summer activities star gazing first great lesson looking through telescope
Looking for something to do this summer? Why not take a thought from the First Great Lesson (The Beginning of the Universe and the Earth), and go star gazing across the clear, dark summer sky?

Before you venture out, it might be a good idea to review the concept of how in the beginning, there was nothing but darkness and a cold that was beyond any cold you could imagine. And then…BANG!!! A great explosion happened and all of the new things in the universe broke apart into hot matter that spread farther and farther into space. This hot matter became the very first stars.

Another idea would be to bring in stories of the creation of the universe from other cultures. This is a great way to compare and contrast cultural ideas and to talk about how all people have ideas about how the world was created. Invite the children to act out the creation stories for family and friends. Here are a few ideas:

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 3, 2008.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Earth Day Information and Activities to Celebrate in the Montessori Classroom

earth day information activities NAMC montessori classroom our earth
Rising concern about the environmental crisis is sweeping the nation's campuses with an intensity that may be on its way to eclipsing student discontent over the war in Vietnam…a national day of observance of environmental problems…is being planned for next spring…when a nationwide environmental 'teach-in'…coordinated from the office of Senator Gaylord Nelson is planned…." (New York Times, Nov. 30, 1969)

Montessorians are well versed when it comes to protecting the Earth and its environment. Dr. Montessori believed that "The land is where our roots are. The children must be taught to feel and live in harmony with the Earth." She also stated that "There is no description, no image in any book that is capable of replacing the sight of real trees, and all of the life to be found around them in a real forest." Studying environmental protection has a lasting impact on young children. In the Montessori curriculum, the study of the 5 Great Lessons awakens the child's sense of awe and wonder. We show the interconnectedness of all things in the universe. When we talk about being stewards to the planet, we instill a sense of global awareness and foster Dr. Montessori's belief that "We are all a single organism, one nation." In honor of our Montessori educational goals and Earth Day, we've gathered some great information and activity ideas for you to use in your Montessori classroom.

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, April 8, 2008.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

The Second Plane of Development: Ages 6-12 - Montessori Philosophy

boy and girl with globe Second Plane of Development Ages 6-12 NAMC Montessori Philosophy
Continuing our series on learning about the four planes of development, we move on to the second plane, which encompasses ages six to twelve. The second plane of development is the plane of childhood. The absorbent mind, so prevalent from birth to age six, gives way to the conscious mind in the second plane of development. Learning now takes place at a slower, steadier pace. Children in the second plane of development are much less drawn to the repetition of activities, unless there is some variation involved.

Children in the second plane of development are also no longer solitary beings. They now tend to gravitate towards others in their environment. Around the age of 6, children begin to become interested in their classmates and are learning how to get along. They start to choose to work with others on projects of mutual interest. By 11 or 12, most students prefer to work with others rather than individually. Keep reading to learn more about the changes during the second plane of development.

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 3, 2007.
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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.

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