I presented two new lessons on Lake and Island a few days ago. I had read several posts on the Montessori by Handyahoo group bulletin board regarding land forms. There were two ideas that I really liked. The first was having a child trace a simple stencil onto brown construction paper. By cutting out the stenciled shape, the child makes both the lake and the island. The child then glues the lake and island cut-outs onto two separate pieces of blue paper - I used the blue paper in my metal inset box which is cut 5 1/2 " X 5 1/2" which is what I cut the brown construction paper to. The first child to do the work was very successful. After he glued each piece down, he began to draw several, small oval shapes inside the area of the blue lake. I asked what he was drawing and he answered very authoritatively, "The fish." It reminded me of a story I read about Maria Montessori observing a child coloring her drawing of a cow purple. Puzzled, she asked the child why she was making the cow purple. The child answered, "Because God forgot to make purple cows." Well, then, that makes sense and so does adding fish to a lake. Maria Montessori wrote, "Never underestimate the creative intelligence of children."
Susan Slocum Dyer is the great-great granddaughter of Joshua Slocum, the first person to solo-circumnavigate the world and author of the classic text, "Sailing Alone Around the World."
Her blog, "Jessie Slocum - The Captain's Daughter," documents the completion of her upcoming historical fiction novel. It is narrated by her great-great aunt, Jessie Slocum, who tells the story of her life at sea during the Victorian era.
Susan Slocum Dyer's blog the "Moveable Alphabet" documents her work within and outside the Montessori classroom. She is an AMI Montessori theorist and primary guide.
When despair for the world grows in me and I wake in the night at the least sound in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be, I go and lie down where the wood drake rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief. I come into the presence of still water. And I feel above me the day-blind stars waiting with their light. For a time I rest in the grace of the world and am free.
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