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August 20, 2020

Supporting the Great Lessons with Picture Books

Our school plans are stilllll up in the air for this fall. But, here's what I know - Henry and Nora are both in elementary school now! Nora is starting lower elementary and Henry is starting upper elementary. For this year, they will be in different public Montessori schools and both schools have announced that they will be distance learning through at least the first six weeks (but likely longer given the rising number of cases.) I know that their day will consist of at least some online learning. And, I know we are very seriously considering pulling Henry out of his school and just straight up homeschooling. Beyond that, I have zero (ugh) information about what the school year will look or feel like. 

So, I'm moving forward as if we are homeschooling and heavily supplementing online learning with hands on Montessori materials. One area that I've gotten very excited to dive into with my kids this year has been the Great Lessons! These lessons about the creation of the universe and subsequent coming of man and creation of civilizations are foundational to the Montessori elementary experience. I thought I would share some of the print resources that I have been gathering to help support these lessons and structure our learning this year!

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I have a couple books that are guiding my presentations of the Great Lessons. They include: 
Both have been super helpful in creating a frame of reference for me and giving me the specific stories that we need to tell. 

Lesson One: Coming of the Universe

This is the great lesson we naturally have the most books about. We have lots of reference books about space, the universe, and that sort of thing. You could include any book about space, the beginning of time, origin stories, and geology in this category. Here are a few favorites: 

Lesson Two: Coming of Life 

This is another one where we have so many books already that could fit into this category. You could include any books about plant or animal life, evolution, dinosaurs and fossils, or early life on Earth. Here are a few favorites: 

Lesson Three: Coming of Man 

This area I feel less confident in our current selection of books and have had to get a couple new ones. These could include any books about the fundamental needs of humans, early civilizations, human development and technology.
Picture books that help to explore the Montessori great lessons with elementary aged children.

Lesson Four: History of Writing 

These books are new to us and I'm excited to dive into this area of history. You can include books about writing, words, and communication now and throughout time. Here are a few we will use: 

Lesson Five: The Story of Numbers 

The final great lesson is all about numbers and the study of mathematics. These books are also new to us, and you could include any books exploring mathematics or geometry. We are also including a couple biographies of mathematicians. 

And, that's about it! I'm sure I'll find others that might fit some of the directions that Henry and Nora take throughout our studies. 

Are you going to explore the great lessons this year? Any books you would add to this list? 

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Anonymous said…
The Timelines of Everything looks cool! You might want to take a look at Story of the World (multiple volumes). We are just starting it in our homeschool and we love it so far.
Anonymous said…
Rum Tan
Rum Tan said…
Many picture books are written at a higher reading level than chapter books, use amazingly complex vocabularies, and offer interesting plots. The illustrations help children understand what they are reading and allow young readers to analyze the story. The books you shared are very important for students learning and knowledge. For young readers, picture books are an important part of learning how to read. Usually, this type of format marks the first step in introducing a child to reading and is often the start of language development for many children. I want to share 10 Confidence-Boosting Books for Singapore Kindergarten Kids. Thanks for this beneficial article.