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Montessori’s integrated thematic curriculum allows a broad scope of study in the areas of history, geography, and cultural studies. The children also study the emergence of human beings during the old and new stone ages, the development of the first civilizations, and the universal needs common to all humanity. For older elementary students, the focus is respectively on early man, ancient civilizations, and earlyAmerican history (or the early history of the many other countries in which Montessori schools are found). Montessori tries to present a sense of living history at every level through direct hands-on experi-

Montessori Globes

ences. Students build models of ancient tools and structures, pre-

The Land & Water Globe and the Continent Globe

pare their own manuscripts, make ceremonial masks, and recreate all sorts of artifacts of everyday life of historical eras. Experiences such as these make it much easier for Montessori children to appreciate history as it is taught through books. While Montessori schools are communities apart from the outside world, in which children can first begin to develop their unique

These two special globes (shown right) are used to introduce physical geography. The first is used to teach the idea of how land areas and water are represented on a Globe. Land is shown as rough brown area; water is smooth blue surface areas. The second introduces the seven continents. Each is shown in a distinct color. Children learn the names and location of each continent. The color code used on the Continent Globe is carried on with the Puzzle Map of the World and in early work in continent studies.

talents, they are also consciously connected to the local, national, and global communities. The goal is to lead each student to explore, understand, and grow into full and active membership in the adult world. Field trips provide opportunities to explore the world outside the classroom. Younger elementary children often use simplified research card material and charts in their studies.

The Big Bang History begins with the “Big Bang” and the formation of the universe and, within it, of our solar system. Children start with the story of how the world began, how it began to cool, the formation of the atmosphere and oceans, and the emergence of life. They study the story of life on Earth up through the geological eras to the last ice ages and the emergence of the earliest humans. Shown on the opposite page is a photo taken years ago at Wilmington Montessori School (Delaware). This teacher uses a balloon filled with sparkling glitter to demonstrate the “Big Bang.” The balloon is tossed into the air and then pricked with a tack attached to a stick. The balloon explodes and glitter goes everywhere. A universe is born!

©Tomorrow’s Child Magazine Montessori 101: Special Issue • www.montessori.org

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Montessori 101 and Guided Tour of Montessori Classroom  

This is a special issue of our magazine, Tomorrow's Child intrbasic principles of Montessori education and offering an illustrated introduct...

Montessori 101 and Guided Tour of Montessori Classroom  

This is a special issue of our magazine, Tomorrow's Child intrbasic principles of Montessori education and offering an illustrated introduct...