Friday, March 18, 2011

Exploring South America: Curriculum Activities for Montessori Preschool Classrooms

NAMC montessori preschool classrooms curriculum activities south america sewing

One of my favorite aspects of teaching in a Montessori environment is being able to celebrate diversity, and instilling in my students an awareness of and interest in other cultures. This month we have been exploring the continent of South America and the theme has been integrated into every area of the classroom. The painted tree on our main wall has been transformed into the rainforest, and the Montessori students have enjoyed creating animals and placing them in each of the layers: forest floor, understory, canopy, and emergent.

When studying a particular continent, it is nice to reinforce the Montessori folder color of that continent by putting activities on the shelves that reflect it. For example, South America is pink, and our activity shelves give us the perfect opportunity to help make connections across the curriculum. Below are of some of the activities that we have had on our shelves over the past few weeks.

Exploring South America: Curriculum Activities for Montessori Preschool Classrooms

Montessori Practical Life

  • Transferring activity with pink pom poms
  • Pouring activity with pink rice
  • Spooning activity with coffee beans
  • Sewing a button on South America
  • Sorting nuts
  • Transferring plastic snakes (anacondas) with a pair of tongs
  • Slicing bananas
  • Weaving a placemat
  • South America card lacing
  • Beaded bracelets

Montessori Culture & Science

NAMC montessori preschool classrooms curriculum activities south america flags

  • Working with the puzzle map of South America
  • Reproducing the flags of Brazil and Chile
  • Nomenclature for Parts of a Toucan and Parts of a Crocodile

Montessori Art Activities

NAMC montessori preschool classrooms curriculum activities south america decorate a snake

  • Tracing animals such as a capybara, on our light-up tracing table
  • Insect rubbings
  • Pink playdough
  • Painting toucans
  • Coffee filter butterflies
  • Paper plate piranhas
  • Making a button snake
  • Butterfly collage

Montessori Language Arts

NAMC montessori preschool classrooms curriculum activities south america animal names

  • Matching activity with rainforest word labels and corresponding pictures
  • Journal stories about living in the rainforest
  • Labeling the layers of a rainforest
  • South America booklets (labeling the animals)

NAMC montessori preschool classrooms curriculum activities south america animal names

Montessori Math

  • Cards and counters with pink pom poms
  • Cards and counters with wooden ladybugs
  • Addition with tree frog counters

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, March 18, 2011.


  1. You're very welcome and I hope you find the information helpful!

  2. So very helpful, and very nicly organized! Thank you!


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