I am so glad you asked about Montessori elementary…
Imagine the parts of the tree: roots, trunk, and branches. Each of these parts illustrates a different Montessori age grouping. The roots represent the fundamental principles that each child gains through his or her experience in the early childhood classroom: order, concentration, control, and independence. The trunk represents the areas of the classroom that the children are exposed to in early childhood: practical life, sensorial, mathematics, language, and cultural.
The branches represent the elementary curriculum. Students that began in the early childhood classroom have a firm grasp of concepts in each of these areas, much as a trunk supports the rest of the tree. As children move into the elementary classroom, the parts of the curriculum become broader and more diverse.
What is Montessori Elementary?
Practical life in the classroom becomes focused on skills and concepts that older children need to master. For example, children learn the manners one needs to be successful in going out into the community. They also learn more complex hand work, which might include knitting, crocheting, sewing with a machine, or cross stitch.
The sensorial and mathematical areas of the early childhood curriculum that are focused more on a kinesthetic experience combine in the elementary classroom to cover geometry as well as more difficult mathematical concepts.
Language encompasses numerous topics: vocabulary, grammar, writing, literature studies, and spelling strategies. This is also the age when children may become interested in learning foreign languages, including Latin and Greek, as they learn the etymology of words throughout the classroom subjects.
Cultural constitutes the majority of the branches in the Montessori tree. Botany, zoology, astronomy, physical science, earth science, history, and geography are some of the many topics that stem from this area.
Elementary children are also introduced to the cosmic curriculum. There are five Great Lessons that are introduced: The Coming of the Universe, The Timeline of Life, The Timeline of Humans, The Story of Math, and The Story of Language. In this way, children learn about their place in the universe.
As children move through the elementary environment, they find what interests them and are able to focus more on these topics. There are many branches one the tree just as there are experiences for students to have in order for them to learn about what they love. This ultimately assists in shaping their personalities and helps them in their life journey.
About the author
Maria Burke has a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education as well as a Bachelor’s Degree in French from the University of Arizona. She obtained her Master’s Degree in Curriculum Education from Lesley University and holds certification through the American Montessori Society for ages 3-12. She currently teaches upper elementary at Abintra Montessori School in Nashville, Tennessee. Maria also owns Lighthouse Learning, LLC, and creates supplemental educational resources for academic subjects as well as proprioceptive materials.