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Entries in Montessori and culture (5)


Chinese New Year

2012 - Year of the Dragon. Chinese Lunar New Year is the largest annual festival celebrated by Chinese and Chinese descendants around the world. The New Year celebration begins on the 1st day of the Chinese lunar calendar (this year: January 23rd) and ends on the 15th day with Lantern Festival. To help celebrate, here is a festive craft idea that is simple enough for a preschooler to make on his/her own, yet fun for all ages.  

1-Provide precut rectangular paper, with a dotted line in the center to indicate where to fold:

2- If necessary, draw lines for cutting:

3-Unfold. Use a stapler, glue, or tape to secure the bottom and top edges:

 4-Provide a pre-cut 6" strip for the handle and staple on top of "lantern":


5-Hang additional on a string in celebration! Don't limit yourself to just one color!


"Gung hay fat choy!" 


World Water Day

Today, March 22nd is World Water Day. Did you know that only 1% of the entire world's water supply is drinkable? At last count, there are 6,907,323,048 people on the planet. Do the math!

Help raise awareness...there are 884 million people in the world that don't have access to clean water... 3.575 million people die each year from water related diseases (diarrhea, dysentery, parasites, typhoid).

...of which, EVERY 20 SECONDS, A CHILD DIES.

What can you do to help? on the logo above for charity options. Second...conserve water. Urban populations are growing at an exceptionally rapid rate (2 people per second!). Within 2 decades, 60% of the world population will be urban dwellers.  Without proactive conservation, fresh water will be hard to come by. Start now by reducing water consumption at home.

Show your children how YOU use water wisely...not just today, but every day. 


Past and Present

Lisa Craff of Florissant, MO hand-created this transportation matching exercise for her UMA History project. This activity usually generates many great questions from children!

The "control of error:" The black and white cards represent the past and the color cards represent the present...each has a corresponding matching card. 


May's Contest Winner: Australian Animal Matching

Laura MacIntyre, director of 12 Bridges Montessori School  in Lincoln, CA is the winner of this month's contest - Geography theme.  She wins a $50 gift coupon. Congratulations, Laura! 

Curriculum Area:
Title of Lesson: Australian Animal Matching 
Age Group: 3-5 yrs. 
Direct Aim: Use the Animals of Australia to Introduce the Continent of Australia. 

1. Photos of Australian Animals 
2. Basket with Matching animal figures 



Brief Steps in Presentation: 

1. Place mat on floor. 

2. Explain that these animals are from Australia. 

3. Pick up picture of animal 

4. Say the name of the animal 

5. Repeat steps 3 & 4 until all pictures are laid out on mat 

6. Pick up first animal figure 

7. Say the name of the animal 

8. Match the animal to the appropriate photo 

9. Place animal below the photo. 

10. Repeat steps 8 & 9 until all animals are laid out on mat 

Variations/Extensions: Use a different continent 

Laura used natural materials such as a wooden tray, a basket, and a woven mat. Her photos were clear and the picture cards realistic. Plus, the animal figures matched the pictures very well. The placement of the cards and figures were in a proper left-to-right order on the tray. She also used a "Montessori-friendly" font for easy letter recognition. Well done, Laura...this activity looks attractive and inviting! 



Culture/History Lesson: The Days of Creation, Genesis 1:1 - 2:3

Hopefully, all parents and teachers of all backgrounds will welcome this activity on the classroom shelf and be able to view this as, at the least, an exercise in story telling (Old Testament literature).

I was inspired to make this activity based upon the Godly Play curriculum created by Jerome Barrymore. Godly Play is used in children’s ministry and is Montessori based, similar to Catechesis of the Good Shepherd by Sophia Cavaletti.

 Displayed at the 2010 PNMA Sharing fair in Seattle, WA 


I found the left-over counter tiles in our garage and was thrilled to be able to “recycle” and “reuse” them for this project…they look and feel so appealing! I painted them with an acrylic paint (found in any hobby shop) and sprayed them with a final clear coat for protection (child safe). They have withstood well for the past two years, with no touch up required.

  1. Basket
  2.  Black felt underlay
  3.  Seven tiles with the following very basic (no faces) illustrations:

Day 1-3:

Day 4-7: 

Steps in Presentation:

(Although the Godly Play curriculum provides a specific script, I leave the language used as your own choice)

  1. Using two hands carry the basket from its place on the shelf and place on floor mat
  2.  Unroll underlay from left to right
  3. Introduce each tile in proper sequence, laying them down from left to right on the underlay
  4. Name each day
    OPTIONAL: end each “day” with a blessing by hovering your right hand over the tile (…"God said, 'It is    good.'...") 
    OPTIONAL: pause to ponder and wonder at end of Day 7
  5. Return each tile to tray in sequence
  6. Roll up underlay and return to basket
  7. Using two hands, carry and return basket to original place on shelf

Age Level: 3+

Control of Error: 

  1. Numbers on back of tile (optional)
  2. Control Chart (optional)
  3. Bible 


  1. Order
  2. Sequence
  3. Sense of time
  4. Sense of history
  5. Biblical account of the days of creation

By Trudy Coumou Shepard