Life science, which deals with the study of living organisms, is included in the Montessori curriculum, particularly in Language for the primary level.
Montessori Approach to Learning Life Science
- Introduce the main topics of living/non-living, plants/animals, vertebrates/invertebrates using story books or stories
- Use simple descriptive words and with not a lot of jargon
- Provide real experiences or objects with the different organisms to encourage concrete understanding within the child
- Encourage children to stay curious and amazed. They are naturally curious, and our job is to nurture that sense of wonder and fascination.
- Emphasize our role on earth and how every plant and animal helps the planet in some way.
Breaking Down Montessori Life Science
We delve into this subject through these main topics:
- Living and Non-living Matter
- Plants and Animals
- Vertebrate and Invertebrate Animals
Read more about Biological Classifications: Stories & Sorting Game
Activity for Understanding Representation
Before proceeding to the lessons, do this observation exercise.
Using a real animal or plant, start the exercise by placing it on a work table along with a figurine or fake plant and a picture of the animal or plant.
- Introduce the real animal or plant. Ask children to observe and write down their observations.
- Set aside the real animal or plant and bring out the fake object. Ask the same types of questions and cross out any observation or descriptive word that no longer applies.
- Finally, show an image of the animal or plant and cross out any observation or descriptive word that no longer applies.
Lesson Sequence for Studying Every Plant or Animal
Observing is a wonderful skill to teach kids, and it’s also a great way to spend time outside. While observing, show your kids how to care for the plants and animals they see. Also ask curious questions like:
- What body part do you find interesting?
- What sounds does it make?
- How does its outer covering feel?
- Does it smell like anything familiar?
- How does it grow?
- How does it communicate?
- What do they need to be healthy? (nutrients, sleep, environment, etc.)
- What does it like about this place (where you found it)?
- What does it do to protect itself?
- How does it help the ecosystem?
2. Parts of the Plant/Animal
After learning more about each organism, particularly about what parts they are fascinated in, we introduce all the different parts of each. To help a child understand the parts of plants or animals, use puzzles to teach after observing them. Knowing about the parts of plants or animals can make a child appreciate them more. Taking care of the plant or animal then becomes natural.
You can introduce different members that the subject was classified together with, using nomenclature cards. Nomenclature refers to a system or set of terms or symbols, especially in a particular science discipline or art.
There are different kinds such as geographical, geometrical, biological, and scientific.