Monday, February 22, 2010

Montessori Walk the Line Activity: Helping Reading and Writing Development

NAMC montessori walk the line activity two students walk the line
Practical life activities in the 3-6 Montessori classroom nurture concentration and self-discipline, develop and encourage motor skills, and allow the Montessori student to gain independence. The Montessori classroom is ripe with opportunities to learn and practice language skills in all areas, including time spent walking on the line or at circle time.

The Walk the Line activity in the Montessori environment provides numerous opportunities to advance gross motor skills to fine motor skills. Language and communication are present in every aspect of life, and this activity offers opportunity for well-planned, structured, coordinated movement that serves to develop the fine muscles needed for writing. Through the Walk the Line activity, the Montessori student not only develops motor control, but practices listening skills, balance, coordination, body awareness and sense of inner discipline. The student will also work on the visual skills of left to right orientation and visual span.

Montessori Walk the Line Activity: Helping Reading and Writing Development

Since children often enter the classroom ready to work, it is important that the cycle of activity be respected. The best time to come to line (ellipse) is not first thing, but after a work cycle or between work cycles. After periods of intense focus and concentration, children need a time to use their minds and bodies together.

Preparatory activities might include conversation, discussion, calendar work, previewing the day, a warm up for relaxation, etc.

Extensions of the Walk the Line Activity:
  • Students can practice changing directions while walking the line.
  • Place a collection of objects on a table in the center of the taped area. Ask children to choose an object and walk the line while holding the object as still as possible in front of their body. The students can hold an object in each hand as they master their skill. They can also move to more difficult objects like a glass of water or cymbals or carry the objects on their head.
  • Children must walk the line according to the pace of the music being played. The teacher can alternate slow tempo and fast tempo. It is helpful to end the activity with a slower music in order to calm the room.
  • Place objects around the elliptical shape that create an “obstacle course” for students.
  • Teachers or students can give verbal commands to those who are walking the line. Examples of these commands could include “walk fast,” “walk slowly,” “raise your arms,” etc. These commands could also be an opportunity for creative movement and include things such as “walk like a mouse,” “walk like an elephant,” etc.
  • Students can toss and catch bean bags, foam balls, etc. to other students while walking the line. One student can stand to the side of the ellipses or inside the ellipses and throw to other students as they walk by.
  • The teacher can play “I Spy” with students as they walk the line. They will need to concentrate on walking the line while focusing on scanning the room for the object being spied.
  • Students can perform yoga poses while using the line a base for their hands or feet.
Related articles:
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 Monday, February 22, 2010.


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