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Montessori Lessons, Ideas and More…

‘Tis the Season to be Selling with Creative Phrasing

Use the lesson below to show upper elementary and middle school students how creative word phrasing and holiday selling are linked together.   Build vocabulary and increase verbal skills and logical thinking with these unique puzzles.

‘Tis the Season to be Selling
By Alan Stillson, Copyright © 2011

One method of boosting sales during the holiday season is with letter play.  You change one letter in a well-known holiday season phrase and it plugs your business.

Here’s an example:
You own a wedding chapel.  You change “We wish you a merry Christmas” to “We wish you a marry Christmas.”

Try to find a letter change in the bold word to plug each of these businesses:

BUSINESS                                                   HOLIDAY SEASON PHRASE

Boxing arena                                    ‘Twas the night before Christmas
Florist                                              Had a very shiny nose
Health food store                              Joy to the world
Sporting goods                                  It came upon a midnight clear
Tanning salon                                   The twelve days of Christmas
Optometrist                                       The eight days of Hanukkah
Plumber                                             The values of Kwanzaa
Transmission shop                              A partridge in a pear tree

Stumped?  Send Alan Stillson an e-mail at to ask for the answers.

Alan Stillson is the author/co-author of printed puzzle books, an e-book of brainteasers and a musical that will be showing in June and July.  Please click onto for details. Please feel free to share this message.

Happy puzzling and Seasons Greetings,

Alan Stillson

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Far-Off Places – Lessons with an International Flavor

In our quest to provide children with an environment that is both “living” and beautiful, as prescribed by Maria Montessori, international and multicultural studies are a natural. The world is full of beautiful scenery, varied flora and fauna, fascinating costumes, delicious foods, and interesting traditions which can broaden and enrich our children.  If you need some ideas for bringing international and multicultural concepts into your lessons, check out these resources.

Get your students in the mood for world exploration with this soothing old standard, which was a 1948 hit for Margaret Whiting, and a song well-loved by many famous singers through the years.

Get festive in “Down Under” style with our Christmas in Australia Unit Study, including traditions, southern hemisphere Christmas flora, recipes, maps, and more.

Find lesson planning ideas for the study of ancient Egypt, and the “Go Fish” for Ancient Egypt card game from Birdcage Press both at

Georgette from Cantemos  offers a Pineapple Unit Study, including a dried pineapple recipe, geography, and music.   For more about pineapples:

Marjorie from Classical Magic offers Study Activities for Vivaldi’s Winter from The Four Seasons.   For more Italian unit study information visit  Share lovely images of Italy in the winter to help students envision Vivaldi’s world at: and  For general photos of Italian cities, navigate at upper left.

If you have a country or culture in mind, but cannot find unit study materials, check out Make Your Own Multicultural Lesson Plans, Parts I and II. and

Find more inspiration and information at the University of Missouri’s round-up of websites with information about childhood in different countries around the world. provides fast-fact overviews of childhood in selected countries.

Enhance your lessons with these nice coloring pages with international costumes.

Use masks and mask-making in your lessons with ideas from Rae of The Creative Process.

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