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"Our aim is not only to make the child understand, and still less to force him to memorize, but so to touch his imagination as to enthuse him to his innermost core."

Maria Montessori


Montessori Earth Science

Learning in Context

During the Elementary years, ages 6 to 12, the child has an intense need to understand their place in the universe. In order to help them satisfy this curiosity and provoke further questions for the children to investigate, we tell them the greatest story of all – the story of the origins of the universe and the formation of the stars, planets, the sun, and the Earth.

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This story sets the broadest possible context for learning for the children, setting the universe in time, and entices them into further exploration in all subject areas, including the arts as well as the sciences. Having provoked the Elementary children’s imagination and wonder about the intricacies of this infinitely complex universe, the children are encouraged to investigate and discover the answers to these interesting and puzzling questions.

They are free to hypothesise, discuss and debate all the questions about Science raised by First Great Lesson. The child’s interest is sparked, not only by the teachers’ retelling of the Great Stories and the many fascinating follow-upon lessons, but also by the interests and the investigations of their peers and the explorations of the older children in this multi-age environment.

The inspiration to do more, to learn more, to satisfy one’s own interests is at the core of Montessori.



Dual-Language Learning in the Classroom

As the children receive many follow up lessons in Earth Science, Chemistry, Physics and Astronomy, the Lower Elementary Chinese Teachers provide Chinese language extension in order to support and encourage the child’s ability to communicate about such fascinating principles in fluent Mandarin

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The Upper Elementary student investigates how human beings are profoundly connected to the world around them, which leads to investigation of economic and cultural geography. Learning becomes deeper and more integrated, and concepts more complex. Chinese Teachers support these increasingly complex concepts by providing more detailed vocabulary and additional Chinese language lessons on Earth Sciences.

Elements of the Montessori Elementary Learning Experience

Working in Small Groups

There are many more opportunities to learn and to explore the questions raised during the first Great Story in small groups. Science projects and Materials encourage and assist further exploration by the child to begin to answer all of these questions raised.

Geography in the Lower Elementary

In the Lower Elementary classroom, Physical Geography is a key area of exploration, as well as an initial exploration of Cultural and Economic Geography.

Geography in the Upper Elementary

In Upper Elementary, deeper exploration occurs. Children explore more in depth into and the concept of the influence role of geographic features and the influences on the economies of various types of societies. and their resulting economies is investigated according to their own interests.

Children Inspired by their Teachers and their Peers

Interest is sparked, not only by the teachers’ retelling of the Great Stories and the many fascinating follow-up lessons, but also by the interests and the investigations of their peers and the explorations of the older children in this multi-age environment. The inspiration to do more, to learn more, to satisfy their own interests is at the core of Montessori.

Exploring 3 States of Matter

After the this introduction to Chemistry in the first Great Story, children explore the three states of matter in more depth, discover what the universe is made of - atoms, investigate basic atomic theory, and then conduct experiments to understand more about compounds, solutions, and mixtures. Later, they learn about Mendeleev's Table of the Elements and get excited about building atomic models or about the history of the discovery of the Periodic Table. There is literally no end to the possible avenues of interest and or exploration.

Dual Language Instruction in Lower Elementary

As the children receive many follow up lessons in Earth Science, Chemistry, Physics and Astronomy, the Lower Elementary Chinese Teachers provide Chinese language extension about the solar system, sun and the earth, Geographic features including continents and oceans, countries and flags, maps, the Three States of Matter, and more.

Dual Language Instruction in Upper Elementary

The Upper Elementary student investigates how human beings interrelated with the world around them, and economic and cultural geography are key topics of interest. Learning becomes deeper and more integrated, and concepts more complex. Chinese Teachers support this learning by providing more detailed vocabulary and additional Chinese language extension lessons about Energy and its role, the Solar system, the interdependencies between earth and humans, and biomes, and more.

There are many more opportunities to learn and explore the questions raised during the first Great Story in small groups. More science projects and materials encourage further exploration by the child. Some typical follow up work after the Story of Formation of the Universe includes reading, investigating through science experiments, and Going Out to find examples in nature or in museums.

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