The Science of Things Around Us

montessori_science of things around us

Montessori learners have been exploring the science of things around us. Where does something come from? How did it get here? Why does it look like that? 

Start with the Whole and then Study Its Parts

In the Montessori studio, we start with the whole—for example, the whole pumpkin—and we take it apart to examine its parts. We share observations: the rind is smooth; the seeds are hard; fibrous strands are sticky and slimy; the stem is not for eating, but the pulp is!

Explore the Life Cycle

Next we examine the life cycle. What did it start as? Sequencing picture cards tell the story of its life cycle:

First a seed was planted and out came a sprout. It grew tiny buds until it finally blossomed bright, yellow flowers. Once the flowers died, the pumpkin grew in its place. It started off green, and the farmer knew it was ready to pick from the vine when it was finally round, orange, and bumpy.

The children enjoy playing games with the cards in pairs—one child waits with her eyes closed while the other child mixes up the cards on the mat and then invites her friend to put the cards in order.

Classify Different Types

Next the children study and classify the different types of pumpkins, squashes, and gourds. In the afternoons they conduct taste tests and smell tests, determining which ones have the biggest seeds or the smoothest rinds.

Try at Home

Try science exploration at home by grabbing a basket, magnifying glass, and a leaf guide and embarking on a leaf exploration. See how many different kinds of leaves you can find. How are the leaves alike? How are they different? Do any of the leaves you found match the leaves in the leaf guide?

When you return from your walk, invite your child to spread out the collection. Ask, What do you notice about your leaves? Can you sort your leaves into groups? What kind of groups (size, shape, color, patterns, etc.)? Keep the leaf guide handy to enhance the exploration.

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