Here is the next edition in our Montessori teaching series. Our guest author, Andrea Coventry, grew up in Montessori schools and is a current educator and internet writer on teaching Montessori. (The following activities are found on the abcteach member site. Learn more about becoming a member!)
Halloween has passed and now we are deep into the of harvest season. The Montessori classroom is the perfect environment to experience those pleasures and abcteach provides some great supplements to our studies.
At my school, the parents provide the snacks, with each child bringing one in daily to share. Naturally, a favorite, inexpensive healthy snack is apples. The children learn food preparation skills as they do apple slicing as an activity. For a group science lesson, we talk about the parts of an apple as I cut it apart. We then also do some apple tasting. I follow up with the “Parts of an Apple” materials provided by abcteach, using the nomenclature cards as an abstract. I also make an extra set of the control cards to put together as a book and print out the corresponding paper so that children can make their own booklets. Sometimes I use the apple calendar days for extra counting activities and the apple-themed hundred board. Push pin or pinpricking apples compliment the writing area.
We do similar activities with pumpkins. Practical life fun with pumpkins include pounding golf tees into a pumpkin and scrubbing a pumpkin. We cut apart a pumpkin in group, followed by nomenclature and booklets, and then cook it into pumpkin pie. My younger children also like to practice counting 1-10 using the pumpkin counters and to do pumpkin pinpricking. Older ones like the pumpkin hundred board.
This year, abcteach has also added a couple of other Montessori-friendly harvest activities. When you put out your Indian corn for tweezing or scrubbing, follow up with teaching parts of the cornstalk. You can also have fun with learning about the parts of a scarecrow. Add parts of a sunflower nomenclature to the science area as you have the children use tweezers to remove seeds from a sunflower head.
I have been doing all of these activities in my classroom for the past week and the children have been very busy. This year’s group is extremely interested in three-part matching/nomenclature cards and making their own little booklets. Pick a topic in both geography and science and look for it on the site. If you can’t find it, suggest it and the abcteach creative staff will try to accommodate your needs. If your request doesn’t make it to the site this harvest season, look for it next year. When requesting new materials, it is best to try to think ahead a few months. If you are like me, this can be difficult. Just know that you’ll be ahead of the game.
I will be back to share some of my other favorite abcteach materials for the Montessori classroom. In the meantime, you can also check out some of my classroom activities in the following links:
• How to Teach the Parts of an Apple
• How to Make Applesauce with Kids
Andrea Coventry is a Montessori child, now Montessori educator who has been working with children for over 20 years. Her work can be read across the web, including her Montessori Writer website. Learn more about Montessori education at the Montessori Writer Facebook page.