Chart 1 showing the size relationship between the Earth and the Sun.
One of the ways children show me how they are processing the impressionistic lesson of the formation of the Universe is by how they are interpreting the posters in our room which are used during the presentation.
First, the most immature child processes this wonderful impressionistic story very literally. I find this is often a young first year child. This vision is not wrong for where the child is developmentally. I know the child will see it from a different facet as he is older.
The second and third year child (and often the first year upper child) is wanting to show what he believes really happened at that moment on the Earth. His drawings are more “photo realistic.”
Volcanos spewing smoke. The sun hides herself behind a veil of ashy clouds.
For the older Upper Elementary child, the interpretation is often back to the impression of the work. He understands the work and many of the concepts literally and is now ready to put his individual stamp on Dr. Montessori’s work.
AV and JV had become interested in creating their own God With No Hands cards.
Well not cards in the case of AV. AV wants to quilt the felt to make a soft poster.
JV has been focused on a minimalist approach. JV is using cut paper. Elegant.
I find the child’s vision is very helpful for discussions of other Montessori lessons. It provides a window into the child’s thoughts, understandings, and tendencies.
I have observed some Montessori classes shading photo copies of the charts as line art sheets and making a book. I would find this difficult for me as a directress, because the meeting of the child with the story is personal and provides such a window into her soul. I wouldn’t want to miss those clues.
Our actual lesson and my charts are here. The core text is here.
Filed under AR, Astronomy, AV, BR, Chemistry, Geography and World Studies, God With No Hands, Physics, Practical Life - Elementary, Science, Sewing
Children travel in herds. AV is to blame. He began by creating his God With No Hands Charts in felt. He just completed chart two.
As AV says: “The angel chart without the angels.”
He has begun the next chart.
This has lead to an all out cry to do sewing projects.
LR was the first to fall down the rabbit hole.
LR is creating the periodic table of the elements in felt. He has decided to sew 4 element abbreviations each day.
DW is quilting a lap rug of the Periodic Table of the Elements. She is working on the grid first.
AR and BR have just jumped into the fray. AR is practicing her embroidery while BR is making a felt Bohr’s Electron chart.
Filed under AR, Art, AV, BR, Chemistry, DW, Geography and World Studies, God With No Hands, LR, Practical Life - Elementary, Projects, Science
JV has been working on his interpretation of the God With No Hands charts. He has gone for a very simple, modern look. It is all very unlike JV’s normal highly detailed work.
Anywho. . .
Chart one has the tiniest little dot of blue to represent the Earth in relationship with the sun. (As a side note, today we figured how many 12 inch diameter Earths would fit in our house – 3,800ish.)
Chart two (which is really chart three) shows the hot and boiling Earth as it is flung into space. The coldness of space is reaching to cool it down.
Chart three (which is chart four) shows the heat at the core of the Earth trying to escape through vents in the Earth’s surface.
Chart four (yes, you guessed it – chart five) shows the water covering the Earth’s low points.
It is really long. I hope our neighbor didn't mind.
One of the follow-up lessons to God With No Hands is based around the appearance of age in the universe. It is based upon astronomer’s observation of the light traveling through the immense distance of space.
It gives such a wonderful impression of how long it takes light to reach us. However, as with many ideas given in the world of creation of the universe scientists often present themselves to understand more than the math and facts perhaps present. Theory is truly theory at this point, and we have discussed several.
JV was the designated measurer. He would measure off the 66 inches that marked 1 billion years. AR and BR would run and pluck a flag from DR to mark the spot. They did this 13 times. Wow! It takes light from a star on the edge of the universe a really long time to travel through space.
We walked up and down several time looking at the time flags and wondering if our favorite stars' light would take x amount of time.
AR musing how long it takes. (We discussed scientific notation today, too.)
The children collectively staged a revolution this past week.
All the plans of mice and men. Darn those Montessori Great Lessons. The children have become obsessed with astronomy, geology, and physics with a bit of chemistry.
A portion of stellar neucleosynthesis lesson discussing how stars make elements.
I’ve decided to scrap the history of civilization direction and just work through the Montessori lessons with additional studies for the Upper Elementary children in Elements and Organic Chemistry.
The Erd Kinder will add MIT’s 101 Physics lectures. It has a focus on astronomical physics.
The children will continue with the History of Language. Geography and History will continue in context of Language and science.
I’ve been working out the next few lessons which branch off of the God With No Hands Lesson.
Following the child is such a joy. It is unexpected, wild, and deeply enriching.
Friday was a bit of a quick finish day. The three hour work cycle was broken into three pieces.
DW is shading her map of the world with the countries who use English.
The work expectation in language was to complete the seven Excavating English work cards with their appropriate activities. All the older children had been lax and didn’t plan. They all had several to complete.
The younger set began work and the Snake Game is BW’s favorite. The snake game consists of laying out bead bars in a long “snake” pattern. (ie: 4+6+5+5+9+1+2+8+3+7+5+5) The child then looks for ways to make 10. He pulls out the two bead bars that make 10 and lays them aside. He then places a golden 10 bead bar in the opening. He repeats this until all the snake has been transformed. The child then checks his work by lining up all the 10 bars and placing the bead pairs with them. This will become more complicated. BW is enjoying the process of 7 and 3 make 10 and 3 and 7 make ten. Five and five make him giggle since the reverse is the same. Ahhh young number love.
AR - sanding down her plaster femur with a Dremel tool.
AR brought in a project she has been working on at home – a plaster mold of a skeleton. She wants to put it all together now. However, to be her very best work she needed to sand off the overflow plaster.
JV brought his Dremel tool down for AR to use. She figured out the best possible method for her body size and strength.
Our second lesson was the retelling of God With No Hands designed for the upper elementary age. It is not a classical Montessori lesson but was created by Harvey Hallenberg. He called his lesson “Time Zero” I’ve modified it a bit. I had planned to provide the God With No Hands Lesson only but the children have continued to show interest in the creation narratives as well as the formation of the Solar System. So, the plans of mice and men went out the window and now we will continue working our way through the formation of the world.
Ms. Julie prepared a lesson on the Solar System. It deserves its own post.