Montessori21stCentury’s Weblog

Montessori Lessons, Ideas and More…

Hello, World! Foreign Language and Culture Studies

“The world is so full of a number of things,

I’m sure we should all be as happy as kings.”

Robert Louis Stevenson

Montessori education encourages exploration and tries to open up a child’s horizons by encouraging a positive and curious spirit. The world around us contains wonders for students to explore at many levels, from the microscopic to the universal. 

Foreign languages and cultures can provide rich and varied experiences for young people through new words, new places, new traditions, new food, new music, new art, new fashion, and many other cultural components. So, whether your students will start by learning more about their own family heritage or will be introduced to a completely new culture, there is literally a whole world of potential adventures for students studying other languages and cultures.

* * * * *

For almost 40 years, François Thibaut has been teaching young children to speak new languages, using immersion, visual cues, and humor. His highly-acclaimed Professor Toto programs are designed for children from ages 2 to 8, and they are available in French, Spanish, Chinese, Italian and German. Visit the Professor Toto website to view excerpts from the instructional videos, read reviews of the program, and find out more about their 30-day risk-free guarantee. http://www.professortoto.com

You can also read the personal impressions of a teacher and grandmother when she tested out the Professor Toto system with her 27-month-old English speaking Chinese granddaughter. https://montessori21stcentury.wordpress.com/2009/03/20/adventures-in-chinese-for-children

Reading, Writing and Spelling in Spanish helps you build customized, creative Spanish lessons for students 3-11 years old, with grammar, vocabulary, number, time, geography and many more resources. http://www.amonco.org/montessori_spanish.html

Foreign countries can provide an interesting basis for unit studies.  Most of us have worked with unit studies before; but if you are not familiar with them, you will find a good overview here:  http://www.examiner.com/homeschooling-in-albuquerque/benefits-of-homeschool-unit-studies

This unit study guide for Italy provides many ideas and resources, and might also inspire you to design your own unit study for a country or region that you feel would engage your students. http://www.amonco.org/montessori_italy.html

For more great Italian unit studies ideas, be sure to peruse “Oh, How I Love Italy” from Marjorie Kiel Persons at Classical Magic, Inc. http://www.amonco.org/summer4/montessori_summer4.pdf

* * * * *

For more on the benefits to children of learning a foreign language, read this interesting interview article from The Duke University Talent Identification Program. http://www.actfl.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=4724

Also, review this analysis from the NEA. http://www.ncssfl.org/papers/BenefitsSecondLanguageStudyNEA.pdf

* * * * *

Find out more about how childhood varies in selected countries, with articles for students and by students. http://library.thinkquest.org/CR0212302/akidslifein.html

To explore more about both multiculturalism in the United States and world cultures, check out this extensive resource: http://www.everyculture.com

Leave a comment »

Take a Tour of Italy – Montessori K-6 Unit Study

The AMC Montessori Italy Unit Study has just been updated for 2012. Visit Montessori Italy Unit Study to access the links listed below.

These PreK and K-8 links will lead you to articles, hands-on activities and other exercises that are compatible with the Montessori classified reading cards, phonics, grammar, creative writing, science, social studies and other extensive lesson plans found in Montessori at Home, Modern Montessori at Home and Modern Montessori at Home II books.

Links for Learning the Italian Language

Beginning French Lessons (Use the Materials for Lesson Presentations in English, Spanish and Italian)
Beginning Italian – Learn the Parts of a House
Beginning Italian – Colors
Teaching Children Italian: Parts of the House
The Alphabet: Teaching Children Italian Part 2
Numbers: Teaching Children Italian Part 3
Parts of the Body: Teaching Children Italian
AMC Montessori Grammar Game (Customize to Present Grammar in Italian – Free Game Templates Included)
Download a Free Italian Song

Links to Italian Art, Art History and Renaissance Fashion

Art Projects for Elementary Students on Da Vinci Leonardo da Vinci Drawings
Art Appreciation for Preschool and Elementary Children
Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci
Hands On Michelangelo Projects
Italian Renaissance Costume Construction (for Older Children and Teens)
An Easy Italian Renaissance Gown
History of Italian Art
Italian Art & Italian Craft
Montessori Renaissance Art Presentations
Renaissance Art of Italy
Classroom Drawing and Painting Supplies for Your Art Prsentations

Links to Music of Italy

Oh How I Love Italy – Music, Art, Food Seasoned with History and Geography
Vivaldi’s Musical Activities and Lessons for The Four Season
Italian Music Terms
Music Unit Study (William Tell Overture Finale by Gioachino Rossini) Ages 5 – 7
Music Unit Study (William Tell Overture: Finale by Gioachino Rossini)Ages 8 – 10
ITALIA – Musical Instruments Museums in Italy
Montessori Renaissance Music Presentations
A Brief History of Italian Opera – Listen to the Audio

Geography and Social Studies Links

Free Blank Outline Map of Italy
Maps of Italy (for Classification and Matching Exercises)
Italy: Monuments Past and Present
Italy, Rome & Roman Culture Educational Posters
Italy Timeline
Rome – The Late Republic
Italy: History, Geography, Government and Culture
Great Italians in History
A History of Italy
History of the Italian Language
A Maria Montessori Worth Watching

Italian Recipes

Apple’s Manicotti (Watch as Apple leads children through the recipe process)
Sara’s Antipasto Salad Recipe
The Italian Chef
Easy Italian Recipes
Giada De Laurentiis Recipes

Let’s Write and Discuss

Italy Around the World
Roman Food- History for Kids!
Androcles and the Lion Fable
Androcles and the Lion Felt Board Story
WebQuest for Kids
Visiting Rome with Your Kids
Visiting Italy with Children
Write Your Own Books – For K – 3rd Grade(Part I) – Create a booklet about Italy)
Write Your Own Books – For K – 3rd Grade (Part II) – Create a booklet about Italy

To access this unit study please visit Montessori Unit Study

Enjoy!
Heidi Anne Spietz
http://www.amonco.org

1 Comment »

Fun Filled Fall PreK – High School Lesson Plans

Please visit Accentuate Autumn with New 2012 Lesson Plans for free updated lesson planning.

Enjoy!

Heidi Anne Spietz
http://www.amonco.org

Copyright 2012 American Montessori Consulting

2 Comments »

Making Geography Come Alive in the Classroom

The Staten Island Montessori School course of study recently culminated in an international festival. To read this inspiring article, please
click here

For additional integrated unit study lesson planning ideas to use in your school or homeschool, please visit Montessori Unit Study Featuring Italy

Enjoy!

Heidi Anne Spietz
American Montessori Consulting
http://www.amonco.org

Leave a comment »

Experiencing Fine Art in Person with Your Children

Seeing fine art in person can be an interesting experience for both children and adults, whether you consider yourself traditionally “artistic” or not.  Paintings and sculpture can be admired from a strict aesthetic perspective, as a historical artifact, or as a window into a different culture.  You might be attracted to (or repelled by) a piece of artwork’s overall color, style and/or mood.  You might be interested to see the individual brushstrokes (or “dots” in pointillism https://www.crayola.com/lesson-plans/detail/pointillism-lesson-plan ) or sculptural details up close. Perhaps you might just be amazed by the size and scope of a painting like Gainsborough’s The Blue Boy (http://gardenofpraise.com/art39.htm ).  If you have never been, or if it has been a while, why not plan a visit to a museum near you (or one at a vacation destination) this summer?

Here in southern California, we are fortunate to have a large number of very fine art collections within just a few hours’ drive; but chances are, great art is accessible not too far from where you are, as well. Some museum collections specialize in one genre and/or time period; others display a wide variety of types/eras of art. Many also host short-term travelling exhibits. Here are just a few examples:

The Huntington Library, San Marino, California: http://www.huntington.org/huntingtonlibrary.aspx?id=202&linkidentifier=id&itemid=202

The Buffalo Bill Historical Center, Cody, Wyoming: http://www.bbhc.org/westernart/exhibits/

The Paine Art Center and Gardens, Oshkosh, Wisconsin: http://www.thepaine.org/

The Museum of Fine Arts—Houston, Houston, Texas: http://www.mfah.org/exhibitions/

The Columbia Museum of Art, Columbia, South Carolina: http://www.columbiamuseum.org/art/collection?ss=kress

The Davistown Museum/Maine Artists’ Guild, Liberty, Maine: http://www.davistownmuseum.org/MAG/MAGhome.html

Find an art museum in your area through your yellow pages or at the ArtCyclopedia: http://www.artcyclopedia.com/museums-us.html

If you are planning far ahead, Smithsonian Magazine sponsors a yearly “Free Museum Day” event, nationwide.  This year it will be on September 24. http://www.smithsonianmag.com/museumday/ For listings of other free days at museums all around the United States, visit these helpful websites: http://www.freemuseumday.org/cities.html and  http://museumfreedays.com/ This site includes Canada and some European countries as well: http://freemuseumday.com/  Some museums always offer free admission; others have a day each week/month.  These days, when every penny counts for many of us, it might be worth planning ahead to visit on a free/discounted day.

You can get into the mood for your museum visit —or do some “armchair touring” on your computer– by checking out the art portion of Marjorie Kiel Persons’ “Oh, How I Love Italy” lesson plan (http://www.amonco.org/summer4/montessori_summer4.pdf and Birdcage Press’s artist biographies (http://www.amonco.org/summer5/montessori_summer5.pdf

To do more research on other fine artists and their works from your computer, by visiting http://www.artcyclopedia.com  You can search by artist, artwork title or museum collection.  Many of the museum links have excellent zoom-viewing features, so you can see more details than you might expect.

After you view and/or learn about the works of the masters, get your own creative juices flowing with a wide variety of trusted brand name art supplies at discount prices from All Art Supplies.   http://www.allartsupplies.com

Then use the detailed suggestions in “Teacher as Curator” from Rae at Creative Process to set up your own art gallery or museum. She gives interesting ideas on theme, location, artwork resources, and even ideas for a party with a related theme! http://www.amonco.org/summer4/montessori_summer4.pdf

You may bring out the undiscovered artist – or art critic – in yourself and/or your students.

 

3 Comments »

Classical Music Lessons for Children and Teens

Montessori Consistent Classical Music Lessons for Children and Teens
by Classical Magic

Available from Sing’nLearn

Winter – The Four Seasons by Antonio Vivaldi
Written by Marjorie Persons

May Be Adapted for Presentations to Students 4 through 13 Years of Age


Winter celebrations are not complete without music. The Four Seasons, by composer Antonio Vivaldi, inspired Marjorie to write many interdisciplinary seasonal lesson plans for children ranging from PreK through Grade 8. The Four Seasons – Winter lesson plan incorporates science, social science and other activities to make an interdisciplinary unit study that is consistent with the Montessori method.


Marjorie compares and contrasts the Baroque Period with the Pilgrim’s landing at Plymouth Rock. Marjorie stated, “So children can develop a historical framework for the information they gather, I teach them one important date in American history for each century as a reference point.”


The lesson features biographical information about Antonio Vivaldi and provides a framework for helping students clearly see the relationship between understanding important music concepts through word study and listening exercises.

The free lesson plan, lyrics, suggested supplemental activities and links to additional resources are available for viewing by visiting
http://www.amonco.org/winter7/montessori_winter7.pdf


Spring – The Four Seasons by Antonio Vivaldi

Lesson by Marjorie Persons

May Be Adapted for Presentations to Students 4 through 13 Years of Age

In this lesson, Marjorie helps usher in spring, with springtime curriculum integration ideas that spotlight Vivaldi’s masterpiece.

“Children learn music better with words and words better with music.” Marjorie noted. (No pun intended.) To help reinforce this concept, Marjorie provides exercises which help children discover various left to right and up and down movements used in music and in the rhythm of language.

To download this lesson and resource links, please visit Sing’nLearn and
http://www.amonco.org/spring7/montessori_spring7.pdf

Water Music – Alla Hornpipe by George Frideric Handel.

Lesson Plan by Marjorie Kiel Persons

Classical Magic®

Adaptable for Ages 8 – 14

Once again, history buffs will appreciate how well Marjorie connects her musical lesson presentations with historical events and figures. Marjorie sets the stage by providing the story behind the Alla Hornpipe from the Water Music. “King George I loved Handel’s music and asked him to compose special music for a royal water pageant down the Thames River in London. The king’s party enjoyed the festivities on the royal barge while Handel and his orchestra played the Water Music from a barge that floated nearby,” remarked Marjorie.

Marjorie, again, uses an interdisciplinary approach to help children and teens understand music concepts and theory.

Oh, How I Love Italy – Music, Art, and Food Seasoned with History and Geography
By Marjorie Kiel Persons

Classical Magic, Inc.

Marjorie invites students to vicariously spend the summer learning about Italy with books, art projects, Internet resources and by experiencing some delicioso Italian cuisine.. This innovative lesson plan can also be easily incorporated into a free unit study about Italy. Please see http://www.amonco.org/montessori_italy.htm for details.

To access Marjorie’s free lesson plan and links to other resources, please visit http://www.amonco.org/summer4/montessori_summer4.pdf

Autumn by Vivaldi – from The Four Seasons
By Marjorie Kiel Persons

Classical Magic®

Have you ever thought about introducing lessons involving apples, pumpkins, leaf rubbings with the study of Antonio Vivaldi and his composition, The Four Seasons? Marjorie will lead you step by step, on how to do so, plus she will even provide an autumn party theme that can be adapted for PreK – Grade 8. These creative ideas coupled with the indepth lesson plan are sure to make the musical experience come alive for students. Please see
http://www.amonco.org/creative7/montessori_fall7.pdf

Besides the free lesson planning information, you will want to spend some time on the Sing ‘n Learn website. In particular, visit Sing ‘n Learn/Classical Magic. and click on Themes to Remember. While, at the website, you will want to explore other sections as well.

For additional music and art lesson plans which compare and contrast the Renaissance and Baroque Periods, please visit AMC Montessori Part I and AMC Montessori Part II

Enjoy!

Heidi Anne Spietz
American Montessori Consulting
http://www.amonco.org

Leave a comment »

Fall Forward with Fun Filled 2010 Lesson Plans

Please see https://montessori21stcentury.wordpress.com/2011/07/28/fun-filled-fall-prek-high-school-lesson-plans/ to view the updated 2011 issue!

Heidi Anne Spietz
http://www.amonco.org

1 Comment »

Take a Tour of Italy – New! Montessori K-6 Unit Study

Please visit Take a Tour of Italy – 2012 Montessori K-6 Unit Study for updated information.

Leave a comment »