The Cultural Subjects in Montessori provide our students with exposure to the many areas of knowledge they will encounter later on and enable them to acquire an early interest in learning about the world, its natural wonders, its people, history and culture, its music and art.
Historically, many of mankind’s greatest thinkers were travelers. Through their travels, they acquired a deep interest in people and societies, in landforms and physical materials. This knowledge, gathered through experience, formed the foundation for their later work in history, science, literature and business. The Montessori cultural studies offer each preschool child the opportunity to “travel” and explore the world from within the classroom, and to thereby acquire the knowledge base that will inform & motivate their primary school studies.
The geography materials systematically introduce children to the physical features of our world. They include maps of all kinds, different globes, a flat puzzle map of the world, puzzle maps of each continent, and a puzzle map of Australia. With these map materials, and related activities our students learn the names of continents and countries at a time when their brains are able to remember facts and vocabulary much more readily than later on. Our students also learn scientific vocabulary of geography such as land & water forms.
Our science program focuses on three areas:
- Training the children in careful observation of the properties of physical things
- Building a foundation of skills such as pouring water, using droppers, measuring length and volume, needed for later science work
- Developing the child’s scientific vocabulary.
Many of these skills are integrated into the other areas of our classrooms. For example, much of the Sensorial exercises focus on observing carefully and classifying things, many practical life activities, such as pouring and measuring liquids, teach skills needed for scientific work.
The child learns scientific vocabulary with specific materials, from puzzles that show parts of an animal, say, a frog, to the Botany Cabinet, to the Three Part Cards. The first part of this set of cards shows a picture, the second, a label, and the third card is the control card, combining the picture and the label. A child who can read matches a picture with a label for example, the picture card with the petals of a flower highlighted, with the label card that says “corolla.” Once he has matched all the picture and label cards, he checks his work with the control cards, and then corrects any mistakes he has made.
Children have the opportunity to learn music in many different ways: singing, listening, movement & ear training using the Montessori Bells. We start the introduction of music with singing, which is the most natural way to enjoy and appreciate music. We select music that is in the voice range of children, and incorporate movement into our songs. Throughout, we choose from a broad range of genres, from popular music to traditional children’s songs. As the children sing and move to the music, as they listen to it played during the work periods, they learn to recognise a variety of musical styles and become familiar with the power of this universal language.
Art is integrated throughout our classrooms, there is no clash between academics and creativity. Our students learn key art skills such as using scissors, gluing, holding a pencil properly, colouring between lines all while exploring the process of creating something beautiful from beginning to end. In addition to their own creations, the children also have an opportunity to be inspired by great artists through special Montessori art materials and through the art on the walls of our classrooms. By creating and appreciating artworks, children discover that the power of art is one of the greatest gifts that life has to offer.
By being exposed to a wide range of experience in our classrooms in an enjoyable, no pressure, child-led environment, we sow the seeds from which future curiosity and learning can grow. We enable our students, at a time when their minds are able to learn with ease, to acquire a broad range of experiences and vocabulary, laying the foundation for future studies in science, history, geography and literature. Most importantly, our students experience the joy of learning about the physical world, about people and their unique cultures, and about the pleasures of art and music.