Saturday, May 19, 2018

The Foundational Lessons of a Montessori Elementary


In Montessori education, there are 5 “Great Lessons” which are used to establish the framework of the Montessori program and encourage children to take an active, interested part in learning. Each of the 5 lessons is meant to give children a foundation for learning and discovery, showing them their relationship to the world around them and inviting them to take an active role in shaping their own environments.

The First Great Lesson
This lesson is the foundation of all science and attempts to familiarize children with the origins of the world and the cosmos. This includes scientific things such as volcanoes, the states of matter and the composition of the Earth, but it also includes introducing children to stories about the creation of the Earth itself.

Lesson #2: Origins of Life
Once matter, energy, and the creation of the universe have been introduced, children will be curious about the origins of life. As with all Montessori education, the purpose is to encourage children to get involved and want to know more. This lesson will introduce life as we know it, and briefly examine how life came to be as well as the myriad forms of life which exist on our planet.

The Third Lesson
Human beings have their own lesson to teach children. The coming of humans aims to teach children about the rise of people, the variations of race and custom, and the importance of everyone working together to make the world a better place for everyone. The human story is a long and beautiful tale and helps children understand why we are all different while remaining almost exactly the same.

Great Lesson #4: Written Communication
Sometimes referred to as the history of writing, or simply called communication using signs, the 4th Great Lesson deals with the invention of the written word. The ability to create a permanent record has allowed humanity to achieve great things, and learning about how writing developed is an awe-inspiring project for children. This lesson begins with pictographs and proceeds through the written languages being used around the world today, reinforcing the variety of human imagination and how we communicate in different ways depending on where we live.

The Fifth Great Lesson
Discovering where numbers, counting, and arithmetic come from is similar to the story of communication learned in the 4th Great Lesson. Children are introduced to the concept of counting and the development of numbers and math.

Taken as a group of interlinked lessons, the 5 Great Lessons teach children about the universe from it’s beginning to our current place in time. It opens a child’s eyes to the wonders of the past, yet leaves plenty of room for the discoveries still ahead of us. Each lesson is an introduction to a greater body of knowledge and discovery and encourages children to want to know and experience more.  To see how these lessons are incorporated into the Montessori Elementary classroom, contact the Montessori School of Fremont and schedule a tour today!

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