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ELEMENTARY - (6 years - 12 years)

Children in the second plane for development, between age 6 and 12, are at the most receptive period in intellectual learning, acquisition of morality,age of justice, and culture. They possess a powerful imagination that helps them abstracting different ideas. The children of this plane are more independent from their families, and are reaching out to wider society. They develop a new level of social life with their peers. They are forming their conscience. They want to know what is right or wrong, good or bad, just or unjust. And they also want to know why.

“Allow the child to discover, the learning stays with them for life”

'Cosmic Education' curriculum for the Elementary level was formulated during the seven years Dr.Montessori spent in India. It equips children of the second plane with tools to organize all knowledge available in the universe through the Five Great Lessons. The Lessons intimately connect children to the past and future, and appreciate the interconnectedness and interdependency of all things in the universe. The curriculum is scientific, as well as philosophical. It sets children off on questioning "Who am I?", and starting the search for their identities and their cosmic tasks.

The five Great Lessons introduce children to

Cosmic Education curriculum covers the following subject areas

Language

Through the history of humans who had lived on Earth a long time ago, children learn the development and constant change of written and spoken languages. There are series of stories told to the children relating to human writing and spoken languages. They learn that humans have given names to everything that exists in our world. Children at this age are fascinated by the origin of words. Etymology of words are given across subject areas to help in spelling and understanding the history of cultures. Elementary children learn different parts of speech, word study, grammar, sentence analysis, literature, creative writing, poetry and song, and effective communication. Montessori fosters the love of word functions by giving an impressive concrete representation in studying grammar. Language lessons in Montessori are very attractive to children since many stories and charts are used to introduce new knowledge of English language, fitting for and making the most of Elementary children's vivid and powerful imagination.

Elementary Mathematics

The last Great Lesson is about the history of how human in the past had created system of numbers. The story helps the children understand the power of mathematics, and motivates them to explore further in the field of mathematic. Concrete materials are continued to be used by the children to explore the complex mathematical processes. The transition time for children to pass from manipulating concrete materials to using numbers on paper is called 'Passage to Abstraction". Each child comes to his own realization that he can perform mathematical operation more efficiently without the materials. Montessori Elementary-level Math includes topics, such as operations, fraction & decimal, powers of numbers, squaring & cubing, relative numbers, algebra, and data & statistics. Mathematical facts and theories are not handed our to children to memorize like in traditional education, but the children use the concrete materials to arrive on the conclusion or formula of math concepts

Geometry & Measurement

Children are familiar with geometrical shapes from their years in Children's House. In the Elementary level, Children follow the historical development of the discipline of geometry. Throughout the curriculum they are told stories and given opportunities to research. The fundamental concepts of Geometry is introduced. Children are first engaged with concrete experience, followed by abstraction. As children make their own discoveries, they are interested in learning about the people who first made these discoveries. Principles in Solid Geometry, Plane Geometry, estimation and measurement in length, area, volume, mass, and temperature are examples of topics in Geometry.

Geography

Introduced through the first Great story, Geography starts from beginning of the Universe to forming of our Solar System and, subsequently, the Earth. This paves way for the children in understanding of the interconnectedness of non-livings and livings. The children learn different laws that govern the formation of Earth. They also discover how the physical configurations of the Earth have effected all human on Earth through the history, which leads into the study of Economic Geography. Awareness of different geographical regions and terrains is developed, enabling the children to follow their interests in exploring different aspects of Geography, such as oceans, rivers, mountains, and winds.

Biology

Botany, Zoology, and Natural Science are included in the Montessori Science Curriculum. Through the first and the second Great Lessons, children are introduced to the laws of nature and the knowledge of origin of life on Earth, the concept of evolution of life and the length of time before the first life appeared on Earth before human beings arrived. Children learn that classification follows evolution, that each life contributes for the good of the whole, and that all lives are inter-dependent. Topics covered in Biology include plant and animal classifications, internal and external parts of plants and animals and their functions. Human Physiology is introduced by a story called 'The Great River'. Children further researched into each area of interest using chart and card materials to gain more knowledge on Botany, Zoology, and Human Physiology independently.

History

The Five Great Lessons are important part of Montessori History curriculum, telling the unfolding events over time. The story of Formation of the Universe is the starting point of Montessori Elementary history curriculum as children aged six enter the classroom, followed by Solar System, the Earth, Evolution of Life, the Dawn of Human and civilizations, and human inventions particularly language and number systems. Many stories related to human are told. In Maria Montessori's own word,

"We have to show a different side of the history to the children, where history is understood as the documentation and testimony of mankind."

Children feel gratitude, admiration, and appreciation for those who contributed to the mankind before them. They see themselves as an active member of the mankind, and can influence the world in positive ways. The realization naturally motivates them to go deeper into different topics, for example human migration, early civilizations, or history of written and spoken languages.

Social & Ethical Development

Through the stories told about people from the diverse times and places, the children learn their responsibilities toward humanity. They also learn through interactions with their peers and teachers what is right and what is wrong, fair and unfair. They also want to know why. Children of this age are developing a sense of morality. The freedom Montessori education gives to the children allows them to experience the consequences of their choice of action. At the beginning of the school year, the children usually come together to form classroom rules in order to work together in a peaceful and respectful way.

Music & Art

The primary goal of Montessori creative arts education is to nurture the expression of creative ideas and aesthetic development of the children. Children develop an ability to concentrate and immerse themselves in the work. Creative arts education in the Elementary level include Art Appreciation, Visual Arts, Music, and Drama. Creative art in Montessori is interrelated and integrated in other areas of study, like language, math, biology, and geography.

Language Other Than English

The study of other languages enables children to respond positively to future opportunities in a world and makes them aware of themselves as members of an international community. Hindi being our national language and kannada being our local language is naturally learnt through interaction with facilitators.It is natural for children to learn language of their culture or the culture they live in.

Physical & Health Education

Maria Montessori emphasized that physical activities and good nutrition are very important to children. Montessori education from earliest age group focuses on control of movement, and body-mind co-ordination. In Elementary level, the Physical and Health Education curriculum focuses on three areas; Personal Development (incorporating the Lessons of Grace and Courtesy), Health Awareness , and Physical Education. In Personal Development area, children learn the courteous, effective, and respectful ways of social interaction through role-play, story telling, and group discussions. Health awareness are created through a study of human physiology, study of fundamental needs of human, practicing healthy lifestyle, growing their own foods and cooking, and tending to organic garden. In Physical Education, Maria Montessori gave value to strong development of the body.

Going Out

'Going Out' is the important part of Montessori Elementary curriculum. Children at this age have a need to explore beyond the classroom. It can be a short walk in nature or local stores, a field trip to a museum or art gallery, or a project such as visiting orphanage or elderly home.It may be a short or long educational outings. Going out is initiated, planned and carried out by the children, with the help from their facilitators. The prepared environment include resources such as brochures, phone books, maps, email and internet which the children can use to plan the fieldtrip. The teacher guides the children on how to use these resources.

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