Montessori Elementary Curriculum
From the age of six onward, the conscious mind continues to develop, but no longer under the influence of the absorbent mind that so defined the primary years. The children in the 6-9 and 9-12 planes of development gravitate outward toward others and begin to start choosing work with classmates. They show genuine interest in others, their local community, and in their culture. Montessori programs take advantage of this inclination by providing a wide range of opportunities through the study of history, geography, language arts and the sciences.
The second plane of development is also very much affected by a sensitive period for the imagination; imagination refers to creative ideas based on what is real-in effect, seeing the possibilities in every experience. For this reason Montessori elementary programs begin each school year with the telling of the Five Great Lessons, a series of five imaginative stories that give students an overall impression of the grand topics of the universe, earth, and life on earth. The stories span about fifteen billion years, and introduce the students to the universe by stirring their imaginations and initiating their exploration of important questions. The Five Great Lessons inspire the children to explore other subjects in the Montessori curriculum: history, math, science and language arts. The Five Great Lessons are often described as the heart of the Montessori elementary curriculum.
Elementary Curriculum Includes
If the Great Lessons are the heart of the Montessori elementary education, then cosmic education can be described as its soul. The wonderful benefit of cosmic education for children is the gradual development of thankfulness for the world around them and an understanding of their place in it. They will begin to understand that they have been given many gifts from ancient and modern people and an understanding that most things we have today are the direct result of earlier times and people. They also develop wonder, gratitude, a sense of purpose, and a feeling of responsibility to others, to the earth, and to future generations.
Cosmic education is meant to permeate every student’s educational experience in the Montessori classroom. In the early childhood classroom (3-6), cosmic education begins by building on young students’ natural connections to the earth, nature, and other people, laying the foundation for a cosmic education in the elementary years. The four main components of the Elementary program,Sensorial Activities, Language, Mathematics, and Cultural Activities, incorporate this integrated approach to learning.
Art classes tie in with the cultural studies in the classroom, and allow for exploration in various media. All of this ties into the end-of-year event which showcases the beautiful work the students have done in these areas.