Tuesday, December 10, 2019

What are the main curricular areas in the elementary level of Montessori?

 main curricular areas in the elementary level of Montessori-Hill Point Montessori

If you and your child are transitioning from Montessori preschool to Montessori elementary school, you may be wondering what new and exciting lessons and skills await. And for those parents who are new to Montessori elementary, you may be wondering what to expect from this unique method of education. Read on for a brief overview of the curricular areas covered in Montessori elementary and what your child can look forward to.

Two Montessori Elementary Programs 

Montessori elementary school is broken up into two programs, upper and lower. Unlike conventional classrooms, Montessori classrooms group students around shared developmental planes so students will remain in the same classroom for three years. The lower elementary program typically has students aged 6-9, while the upper program has students aged 9-12. Both programs utilize the Five Great Lessons as the framework for the curriculum, so students can deeply explore the many topics and disciplines embedded in the lessons and become increasingly skilled in comprehending the abstract aspects of the lessons year over year.

The Five Great Lessons

First Great Lesson - Coming of the Universe and the Earth 

In this lesson, students are introduced to the story of how the universe and our planet came to be. Through the lesson, students learn and utilize multiple disciplines, such as astronomy, chemistry, physics, geology, and geography. As students progress in their work, and with their innate curiosity as their guide, their mastery of these disciplines continues to grow.

Second Great Lesson - Coming of Life

In many Montessori schools, the ongoing project that is at the center of the Coming of Life is the “timeline of life” - a long chart that chronologically catalogs the animals, plants, and microorganisms that live and have lived on earth. As students delve into this lesson, they practice biology and the earth sciences like botany and zoology while exploring subjects like ancient life, habitats, and the monera, protista, and fungi kingdoms.

Third Great Lesson - Coming of Human Beings

The Coming of Human Beings encompasses the origins of human life and civilization and introduces students to the concept of the three gifts that make humans special: a mind to imagine, a hand to do work, and a heart that can love. In this lesson, they learn about history, culture, social studies, and discoveries and inventions.

Fourth Great Lesson - Communication in Signs

Also called the Story of Writing, this lesson tells the story of the written word and includes the study of pictographs, symbols, hieroglyphs, early alphabets, and the invention of the printing press. It explores all aspects of reading, writing, and the structure and origins of languages.

Fifth Great Lesson - The Story of Numbers

This lesson is also called the History of Mathematics and it goes well beyond what most people think of when they envision elementary school “math.” The Story of Numbers explores the origins of numbers and systems, mathematics such as geometry and algebra, and the many applications of math.

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