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Montessori in Minute: The First Great Lesson (Coming of the Universe and Earth)

The Montessori curriculum teaches that the world is a place of purpose. During the Second Plane of Development (age 6-12), teachers help students recognize patterns in the world. A large part of the curriculum is discovering how each particle, substance, species, and event develops interdependently. The foundational lessons of the curriculum for the Second Plane are called “The Great Lessons”: The Coming of Life on Earth, The Study of Early Humans, The History of Writing, and The History of Mathematics. These lessons are introduced in an age-appropriate way to elementary classes and are retold with more detail at the beginning of each following school year.


The First Great Lesson: Coming of the Universe and Earth

The First Great Lesson immerses students in the idea of the empty vastness of space before the universe was formed. Scientific theories introduce the formation of the galaxies, sun, planets, and the Earth.


After laying the groundwork of the celestial, students learn about the physical world around them. Here, students explore concepts like density, states of matter, and state change. They participate in classroom experiments that demonstrate the differences between ice and water and liquids, gasses, and solids.


The lesson continues to narrow down to our home: the Earth. Students are taught about the oceans and continents. Through studies of our planet’s history, children learn why the earth, continents, and oceans are shaped the way they are and can identify significant features of their geography.


Once the students understand the physical realm around them and how it came to be, they are ready to discuss our world and its impact on everyone. This Great Lesson serves as the basis for the cultural, scientific, and practical life work woven through the Lower Elementary curriculum.


The Montessori in a Minute Series

Montessori schools center around five key areas of learning in the Montessori environment: Practical Life, Sensorial, Language, Mathematics, and Culture. This Montessori In A Minute series regularly explores the unique benefits of Montessori philosophy, its fundamental materials, and areas of the classroom. For all parents at Hudson Montessori School (Jersey City, New Jersey), the school hosts several Parent Education Nights a year to learn about the Montessori method and how the students learn curriculum components using a Montessori framework.


To learn more about Hudson Montessori School’s interdisciplinary, theme-based learning approach to education, the Montessori philosophy and methodology, or how the school fosters the love of learning for children aged 2 to fifth grade, sign up for a virtual school tour or more details about our Middle School, attend a Middle School Information Session.




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