• A Glimpse into Montessori Elementary: Part 2

    What is taught in the Montessori elementary classroom? The elementary curriculum is rich in depth and breadth of topics.

    In this blog, there is a brief description of the content found in each area of the classroom.

    This is a two part blog. This blog, part 1, describes elementary practical life, reading, grammar, writing, and math. These are the core subjects.

    Part 2 consists of what is known as the “cultural” subjects: history, geography, physical sciences, botany, and zoology.

    Elementary Curriculum

    The Montessori elementary curriculum is, by nature, interdisciplinary. It is carefully structured and integrated to tie the separate disciplines of the curriculum together into studies of the physical universe, the worlds of nature and the human experience, allowing the child to glean his place in it.

    The elementary Montessori curriculum encompasses the full mastery of basic skills, going well beyond by promoting independent thinking and creativity. In addition, Montessori imparts other valuable life lessons such as how to work with others; peaceful resolution to conflicts; teaching and leading others; service to the community and social responsibility.

    Biology – Biology falls into the subject areas of botany and zoology, with an emphasis on classifying the living world. Children learn Domains and Kingdoms before moving into the specific study of plants and animals.

    The use of the botany materials and lessons allow the child to learn about the parts of the plant, leaf and flower. Nomenclature cards and real specimens are used to introduce the child to each part of the plant. Children trace various leaf shapes and can match them to actual samples of leaves.

    The zoology materials expose children to the study of the animal kingdom. Through nomenclature cards, animal puzzles and real specimens, children observe, research and give presentations about vertebrates and invertebrates. Habitats, body functions, camouflage, adaptation and characteristics of an animal are some of the topics children typically learn about while doing their research.

    Physical Science – The first presentation of the school year is an amazing story of how Earth came in to being. This grand story sparks the child’s imagination and becomes the spring board into the rest of the curriculum studies. Children learn about the formation of the universe and of the solar system with an emphasis on our planet Earth. They experience and research the laws of the universe, the states of matter, the earth’s orbit around the sun, the earth’s composition and the seasons.

    Lower elementary children are introduced to basic concepts in physics, chemistry, and the scientific method.

    Geography – Once the child has a view of how the earth came into being, this leads to the study of the land and water forms, continents and oceans. Each continent is studied in depth. They label puzzle maps and create maps of their own. They spend time researching countries to learn about their cultures, economics, government, capitals, flags and languages. The foundation of this learning is the independent researching of information, culminating with presentations to the whole class.