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Celebrate Spring with Some Fun Educational Nature Activities

Nature’s Workshop Plus! 

Copyright 2015

All Rights Reserved.

Website:  http://www.workshopplus.com/

Spring! What a wonderful time of the year. The sunshine becomes warmer, dormant grass awakens from its necessary winter nap,  trees seem to wake up and wave hello to all who take notice, and life springs from nearly every place we look.  We also get to experience the spring rains which boost the season into its new identity. Your students might like to start a nature journal during this season.  There is so much to record!  Here are a few ideas.

  1. Begin by noting the daily weather patterns and discuss how it relates to the greening of the grass. Make a grid in the journal and record the daily temperature, rainfall quantities, amount of sunshine, types of clouds, etc. Reinforce the journal concept with a study of cloud formations.
  1. Sketch a tree and the growth of its leaves. Look up the scientific name of the species and record it in the journal along with its common name.  Leave space in the journal for revisiting that section during the season and resketch the leaves as they grow.  Once the leaf is full grown, leave enough space for a sketch of the colorful Fall leaf. You could even begin a leaf collection of several species beginning with the smallest leaves in the Spring and ending with a colorful Fall collection.
  1. Record beautiful poetry about the spring season in your journal.  Perhaps adding appropriate Scripture, personal thoughts, and beautiful artwork could complete each entry.
  1. Plant seeds and record their growth.  Small children love to plant bean seeds.  Plant the bean seeds in a glass jar so that the growth is visible. They grow quickly, and the seeds are so large that the shoot, growing up, and the root, growing down, are very easy to see. Draw the growth stages in your journal. Label all parts of the plant. Older students might like to plant flower and vegetable plants.  Record the growth data in your journal using Metric measure. Keeping careful records now allows the children to gain experience in recording data.  Once they enter into the upper level sciences, lab reports will be required.
  1. Have an insect section in the journal.  It wouldn’t be Spring and Summer without our little “friends”.  Again, look up and record their scientific and common names, draw the species, label its parts, record where the insect lives, and what it eats. Study the metamorphosis of the insect.  Does this species experience complete or incomplete metamorphosis? Draw its life cycle. Start an ant farm and observe the diligent activity of the ant. Observe in nature or via video a butterfly leaving its chrysalis. The video “City of the Bees” examines the life of the honey bee.  This video shows the inside of the hive, how the bees gathers nectar, how the bees communicate, and more.  It is fascinating to watch. Don’t forget to serve toast and honey!  Using colorful photographs as your guide, sketch the bees and their hive into the journal. Label as mentioned before.
  1. Begin a rock collection.  Draw what you see.  Hand magnifiers or stereo microscopes allow for more detailed viewing. I haven’t met a child yet who didn’t have a touch of “rock hound” him or her! This activity just about requires a field guide for proper identification.  A beginner guide works better for children than an overwhelming larger volume which might be harder to use.
  1. Go on a nature hike and record what you do and see.  Take a pair of binoculars for bird watching.  Make sure to begin a bird section in your journal.  They are so beautiful.  Set up a bird feeding area in your yard and keep a field guide handy for quick identification. Learn the common birds of your area.

These are just a few ideas for you nature journal.  Allow your imagination to help you plan.  Your children might enjoy this activity better if they can decide which area in their journal to develop first. Always include art and poetry in the journal. Supply your students with a set of colored pencils, drawing pencils and a good eraser. One thing we have found is that children don’t want to “mess-up” a page in their journal, so we recommend that each page be completed in a loose leaf format then placed in a binder when the child is satisfied with the page. If you use a binder with a clear plastic cover, the students can decorate a page and insert it into the cover for a custom look!  For upper elementary and middle school students, look up the taxonomy of the species being studied and note it in the journal. The more you do toward preparation for high school biology the better.

Nature journaling will also require nature studying.  The “Handbook of Nature Study”, by Anna Botsford Comstock, http://www.workshopplus.com/ProductCart/pc/viewPrd.asp?idproduct=734&idcategory=0  is an excellent resource for a teacher or parent who needs to know more about topics in nature.  The book was originally published in 1911 and contains 887 pages. It is divided into 4 major sections: The Teaching of Nature Study, Animals, Plants,and Earth and Sky.  It is a store house of information to help you teach you children/students about nature.  Please see.http://www.workshopplus.com for information about both this book.

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Below are some additional resources that you can use for your spring lesson planning.  You may have to copy and paste these links into your browser.

Garden Pirate

http://www.workshopplus.com/ProductCart/pc/viewPrd.asp?idproduct=4069&idcategory=0

Make the world a little greener by depositing seed “bombs” in forgotten outdoor spaces. Using fun shape molds, you can cast seed bombs from fast-growing flower seeds, growing medium, plaster gypsum, sand, and water. Once the seed bomb shapes have dried and hardened, they can be distributed in appropriate outdoor places. After a while, a beautiful cluster of flowers will explode in those spots. Learn about botany, flowering plants, seeds, nature conservation, tree planting, and more.

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Nature Kaleidoscope- http://www.workshopplus.com/ProductCart/pc/viewPrd.asp?idproduct=3127&idcategory=0

A make-your-own kaleidoscope kit.

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Hanging Bird Feeder Kit- http://www.workshopplus.com/ProductCart/pc/viewPrd.asp?idproduct=3893&idcategory=0

Adults and children will enjoy building this old fashion, hanging bird feeder.

Deluxe Insect Collecting Kit- http://www.workshopplus.com/ProductCart/pc/viewPrd.asp?idproduct=4166&idcategory=0

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This  Deluxe Insect Collecting Kit includes a 12 x 18 inch insect display case, professional grade 10 inch Safety Glo insect net, foam spreading board, 100

Love Plant (Great for Mother’s  Day!  http://www.workshopplus.com/ProductCart/pc/viewPrd.asp?idproduct=4176&idcategory=

loveplantgrowing(1)_1831_generalThese carefree plants are easy and fun to grow and will thrive in any terrarium.

With so much to see and do this Spring, don’t forget to take time for simple, peaceful, observation. Children need quiet time in their lives to reflect, think and form opinions about life. They can learn form observing nature, listening to nature, studying nature, drawing nature, planting, being outside, getting dirty, splashing in a creek, and chasing butterflies! If we can teach them to enjoy these lovely God-given gifts, we are giving them an enormous gift that no mass media gimmick can ever match.

Blessings to you,

Diana Ruark

Nature’s Workshop Plus!

For free catalog or more information:

(888) 393-5663

http://www.workshopplus.com/ 

All resources mentioned in the article are available through Nature’s Workshop, Plus.

Editor’s Note: For additional springtime articles, lesson plans, recipes and more, please visit http://www.amonco.org/montessori_spring_handson.html

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Spring Forward 2015 with AMC Lesson Planning

I recently revised and uploaded the new 2015 AMC Montessori Lesson Planning Springtime Newsletter. To see the contents of this newsletter please see below.

Visit http://www.amonco.org/montessori_spring_handson.html

Peruse through the entire lessons.

Then, download the new AMC Montessori Hands-On Creative Lesson Planning Newsletter. You can also access this newsletter by visiting http://www.amonco.org and clicking on the new eBook Library.

Below, is just a partial listing of the offerings included in the newly uploaded AMC Montessori Spring Hands-On Newsletter.

Part I – AMC Spring Newsletter

Sandy R. Wilbur answers general as well specific questions which will help you to understand the benefits of bird-watching with children. You’ll learn how to get started, what types of products to buy, and what pitfalls to avoid, to name a few. Sandy is also sensitive to the concerns educators may feel about presenting lessons on this topic

Montessori Dianne Knesek reminds us that numeration is the basis for all math concepts. An important aspect of that understanding is the ability to sequence numbers from least to greatest. Exercises are very easy to make.

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The Language Salons are the brainchild of Director François Thibaut, who’s been a foreign language teacher since the late 1960’s. Thibaut’s best known for founding the renowned Language Workshop for Children and the Cercle Franco Americain French of Adults program in 1973. Read about this program in Part I of this newsletter.

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Part II – AMC Spring Newsletter

Rae continues to show us why we should visit the Creative Process website. Her innovative ideas will greatly add to your spring lesson planning.

Dr. Borenson shares some free Hands-On Equations® Basic Algebraic Concepts.

 

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Montessorian Richard Lord offers free Downloadable “Simple Reading Books” & Free Geography Set of Land and Water Form Cards.

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Learn also how to make a flannel board from Fun Felt.

Part III – AMC Spring Newsletter

John shares his entertaining as well as educational activities entitled “I CAN’T TAKE THE PRESSURE and The Needle Proof Balloon.”

Nan shows us how to make some delicious peanut fudge. See how you can plan extension lesson exercises combining handwriting, cooking and illustrating!!!

Does your middle school student enjoy participating in fun, challenging puzzles? Are you looking for some activities to help your student prepare for the ACT or SAT?

In honor of two major spring holidays, Alan Stillson, the author of Middle School Word Puzzles, invites you to find these words and expressions that are related to Easter or Passover. Alan also offers some fun, challenging food puzzles for middle school students. Check out the new free samples from Alan’s newest book, Brain Warmer Uppers, as well.

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It’s Time to Think Outside the Book and Kindle, Too! Curious? Read this section to find out how you can use the creative ideas of Rita Arpaia from Literatureplace.com in your home and school classrooms right now!

Part IV — AMC Spring Newsletter

Dale Gausman, from North American Montessori Center, offers the timely Introducing a Bird Feeder and Making Grass-Eggshell People. You will also found three additional outstanding Montessori extension exercises – My Family Tree,  Marble Design Paper, and  Montessori Easter Activities: Ukrainian Easter Eggs in Culture and Science Curriculum with free .pdf downloads – all offered by NAMC.

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Part V – AMC Spring Newsletter

Marie and Kim illustrate how drawing helps children develop a mental map. Discover a Montessori extension exercise that is designed for age group 5 to 95. :)

It’s time to get up and “move” with Go Green!, a brand new CD form Kimbo Educational http://kimboed.com/gogreen.aspx#.UtRAIvZVe0e “GO GREEN! Caring About Our Earth contains song about playing outdoors, recycling, planting a garden, stopping pollution, and more inspire children to connect to the Earth and encourage them to be responsible for the Earth. Action fun and singable songs motivate children to be involved and to be aware of the outside world

Look for the Guide/Extension Activities by Dr. Pam Schiller in this section of the newsletter.

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Find the lyrics and directions for the song, “The Alphabet March and Match”, by Pam Schiller, Ph.D., from the new Kimbo Educational CD release, Move and Learn.

The focus of the song is on letters, which aids in literacy knowledge. Move and Learn is a unique resource, providing 17 guided, action-packed educational songs, featuring concepts and skills that are necessary for every child to learn, including numbers, colors, literacy and more.

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Part VI – AMC Spring Newsletter

Dr.Borenson, from Hands-On Equations®, offers more samples of algebraic concepts.

Download free French and Spanish songs with translations from Professor Toto.

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Part VII- AMC Spring Newsletter

Ruth shares a needlepoint lesson which is designed for students 12 years and older.

Marjorie shares a classical music lesson plan for springtime from The Four Seasons by Antonio Vivaldi.

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Download the new, free “Anti-gravity water – is it possible? science activity from Exploration Education.

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Don’t forget to read Part VIII – AMC Spring Newsletter

Celebrating the Personal Life of George Washington

Montessorians will appreciate the imaginative George Washington lesson planning ideas that author Sara Ambarian has provided. Traditional colonial recipes are featured and can easily be incorporated into Montessori’s practical life exercises. Sara has done an excellent job of presenting sufficient information about this subject, without bogging down educators with too much data.

Diana, from Nature’s Workshop Plus, knows that we are all looking forward to the beauty of spring, so she showers us with some springtime nature activities that are sure to be enjoyed in any Montessori environment.

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The late Montessorian Kathy O’Reilly uses eggs as the focus of food related exercises. Her multiple subject integrated approach is supplemented with a Booklist for additional extension lessons.

This post contains only a very small sampling of what is offered in this newsletter.All of the lessons contained in the newsletter are free of charge. Visit http://www.amonco.org/montessori_spring_handson.html to download the newsletter in .pdf.

Enjoy!

Heidi Anne Spietz
http://www.amonco.org
Celebrating 27 Years of Serving School and Home Educators
Montessori for the 21st Century

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Creative Christmas and Hanukkah Lesson Planning Ideas

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, it’s time to focus on Christmas and Hanukkah lesson planning.  Below are some unique reading books, resources and additional holiday hands-on activities:

Christmas Homeschooling Activities, Books, Crafts and Printables List

“I thought that I would put together a list of  Christmas homeschooling resources. I have seen a lot of great stuff floating around the web lately.  :-)  A lot of these things can be found on my Pinterest boards.”   For details, please see http://stacysewsandschools.blogspot.com/2012/11/christmas-homeschooling-activities.html  Stacy Sews and Schools.

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Carols for a Kids Heart

“No other time of the year is filled with as much excitement and gleeful expectancy as Christmas, and no one seems to enjoy the season more than children. Christmas is a time for making memories. And musical memories are one of the most precious gifts we can give the children we love.
Authors Joni Eareckson Tada and Bobbie Wolgemuth offer some of their favorite Christmas carols in this collection for children to cherish. This treasure book will give your children a special vision of the true meaning of Christmas.
Let the children you love celebrate the joy and warmth of Christmas with heartwarming stories and singing along with Joni, Bobbie, and the children on the enclosed richly orchestrated CD.

In this third volume of Hymns for a Kid’s Heart, Joni Eareckson Tada and Bobbie Wolgemuth collaborate to help you teach twelve classic Christmas carols to the children you love. With richly orchestrated music, true stories, prayers, and Scripture, Christmas Carols for a Kid’s Heart will feed your child’s soul during the Christmas season.
Passing along a favorite Christmas tradition has never been easier or more fun. This yuletide collection features twelve timeless and traditional Christmas carols with delightful stories from the Bible, devotionals, simple piano music, guitar chords, and beautiful original illustrations by Sergio Martinez.
“Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!”
—2 Corinthians 9:15 (ESV)”   For details, see http://www.homeschoolfcgs.com/christmas-carols-for-a-kids-heart/

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Color the Classics Christmas

“Where did we get our Christmas carols? Why did it take 4 men 115 years to write “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing?” Your kids (as well as yourself) will discover the origins of the Christmas carols. How long did it actually take to compose “Messiah?” This Christmas remember the carols that honor Christ! With the carols playing in the backround, your children will color the illustration while you retell the carol’s story. This is a great family holiday activity to start shortly after Thanksgiving. How the Program Works -Have the child start coloring or painting an illustration. -Take the information from the book that describes that illustration and retell this information as a story. -Play the music that belongs to the illustration. -Have the children finish the picture. This multi-sensory approach will lock the experience in your child’s mind. The original purchasers of these books have the right to reproduce the illustrations for use with their own children only. (Total time for Christmas CD: approx. 45 minutes)”  Purchase from http://www.workshopplus.com/productcart/pc/viewPrd.asp?idproduct=2730&idcategory=0  Nature’s Workshop Plus!

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My Little House Craft Book

“Eighteen projects from Laura Ingalls Wilder’s “Little House” stories. Laura and her family had to make the most of their own household items, using whatever materials were available. All you need to get started are a few simple supplies, and you’re on your way to making fun and useful pioneer crafts you’ll enjoy. A few of the crafts explained in this book are Charlotte’s straw hat, Mary’s Christmas tassels, Ma’s button lamp, Mary’s beaded bracelet and ring, Ma’s embroidered pillow-sham, baby Carrie’s button string, Laura’s corncob doll, and Ma’s prairie garden. 64 pages, paperback, 8”x10”.”

Purchase from http://www.workshopplus.com/ProductCart/pc/viewPrd.asp?idproduct=2180&idcategory=0 Nature’s Workshop Plus!

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The Farolitos of Christmas 

“With her father away fighting in World War II and her grandfather too sick to create the traditional luminaria, Luz helps create farolitos, little lanterns, for their Christmas celebration instead.”   Please see https://www.literatureplace.com/Books/Farolitos+of+Christmas/  Literatureplace.com for details.

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 James Herriot’s Treasury for Children

“Warm and joyful tales from the memoirs of Yorkshire, England veterinarian, James Herriot. In addition to his well-known 5-book series, All Creatures Great and Small, he also authored 8 children’s books. James Herriot’s Treasury for Children contains his complete set of 8 children’s books in one large, beautifully illustrated volume. Each story features adorable animals, pleasant townsfolk, and all the warmth and good humor that have made his stories so beloved the world over. You and your children will be captivated by the beautiful, realistic artwork which makes the stories come alive and sweeps you away into the English countryside! The 8 stories are entitled: Moses the Kitten; Only One Woof; The Christmas Day Kitten; Bonny’s Big Day; Blossom Comes Home; The Market Square Dog; Oscar, Cat About Town; and Smudge, the Little Lost Lamb. This collection of stories is especially good for reading aloud with your little ones gathered around looking at the pictures! Enjoyable for the entire family. 250 pages, hardcover, 8 1/2″x10 3/4.”  Purchase from http://www.workshopplus.com/productcart/pc/viewPrd.asp?idproduct=537&idcategory=0  Nature’s Workshop Plus!

 

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A Christmas Carol Study Guide

“The classic Christmas story of greed, cold-heartedness, and redemption. Scrooge is content with his life of work and petty self-interest–or he would be if he were content with anything. Scrooge begrudges anyone a morsel of joy or happiness even himself. That is until three Christmas spirits force him to see what his actions have done to himself and others, and reawaken him to the commandment, “Love your neighbor.” A novel rich in literary technique. Setting: London, 1800s

Progeny Press study guides include vocabulary, comprehension, analysis and critical thinking exercises. They also contain questions on Biblical principles and other activities related to the story. An answer key is included. ”

Purchase from http://www.excellenceineducation.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=EIE&Product_Code=ACCSG&Category_Code= Excellence in Education.

A Christmas Carol

Christmas Songs Made in America

“Here is a treasury of stories about Christmas songs written in America from its founding to the Civil War and from the depths of the Great Depression to the brink of prosperity. For decades, songwriters and lyricists have used popular, folk, rock, sacred, and country music to celebrate the season’s heartfelt cheer. Some were written for Broadway, others for Hollywood. Some entertained children, others set a romantic mood. Some grew from the chains of slavery, others from the joyous freedom of faith. If there’s a story to tell about a Christmas song, you’re likely to find it here.”  Purchase from http://www.excellenceineducation.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=EIE&Product_Code=CSMA&Category_Code=

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Feliz Navid, Christmas Carols in Spanish

“Celebrate the Christmas season while you learn your favorite carols in Spanish.

Perfect for the whole family to sing along and learn. The Teach Me…Christmas title is a bilingual celebration of Christmas traditions in Mexico through the magic of song. The beautifully illustrated book will teach the reader about the rich heritage, culture and beliefs of Mexico during this delightful season. Narrated and sung in Spanish along with an English version and translation.”  Please see http://www.singnlearn.com/Item/feliznavidad

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Feliz Navid, Christmas Carols in French

Sing Along and Learn Christmas Carols in French
From Teach Me Tapes

“The Teach Me…Christmas title is a bilingual celebration of Christmas tradition in France through the magic of song. This beautifully illustrated book will teach the reader about the rich heritage, culture and beliefs of France during this delightful season. Narrated and sung in French along with an English version and translation.

Classic songs for the holiday, perfect for all ages to sing and learn French.”
Visit http://www.singnlearn.com/Item/frenchchristmas for more details.

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Christmas Felt Advent Calendars, Felt Board Stories and Activity Books

“Start a new tradition with the children in your life using Story Time Felts unique Christmas felt products. Help children get ready for their favorite holiday with our traditional felt board stories, or reinforce skills with our activity felt books. Our felt fabric advent calendars help them count down to Christmas and make great gifts for children and adults alike!

We’ve found that when adults and children tell felt stories, it brings them closer together as they listen to the story, touch the soft felt pieces, and interact with the felt board. With Story Time Felts products, story time is together time. What better time to bring closeness to your family than Christmas!”

Purchase from http://www.funfelt.com/christmas.html

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Hanukkah Activities and Resources for the Montessori Classroom

The following is from the NAAMC Montessori Teacher Training Blog:

“When I taught in an elementary Montessori classroom, one of my Jewish students enjoyed giving a lesson to the class for every Jewish holiday. The best part of the lessons was her personal and personable approach to storytelling. Her classmates were completely engaged, asked tons of questions, and other, shyer, Jewish students would eventually join her in giving the lesson. I would recommend starting with your Montessori students and their knowledge for these kinds of lessons. You can supplement their lessons with your research and experiences, books and activities.”  To read the post in its entirety, please visit http://montessoritraining.blogspot.com/2009/12/hanukkah-in-montessori-classroom.html

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Check back frequently to this blog for some additional winter and holiday creative idea lesson planning ideas in the weeks to come.

Enjoy!
Heidi Anne Spietz
American Montessori Consulting
www.amonco.org

 

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2014 Winter and Holiday Lesson Planning for the Classroom

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Winter and the holidays are now just around the corner, and once again, the AMC resource participants have not let their readers down. Many of the participants have contributed outstanding lesson plans, recipes, crafts and other interesting activities that you can use right now in your school and home classrooms. Below, are just some of the highlights of what you will find in this issue.

Part 1

See http://www.amonco.org/winter1/montessori_winter1.pdf

In Part 1 you will discover the following:

Rae, from the Creative Process, has offered numerous free activities that will spark the imagination of your students: Scribble Designs, Masks and Mask Making, A Sharing Food Unit Study, Teaching Alternative Energy Ideas, and some timely information to help you get ready for a “new” year will all add some zip to your winter lesson planning.

The North American Montessori Center (NAMC) offers a blog filled with Montessori activities for school and home school educators.    See the end of Part I to discover the Montessori Magnetic Chips, Snowman Picture and Christmas Flower Arranging activities.

Part II

See http://www.amonco.org/winter2/montessori_winter2.pdf

A yummy Old Fashioned Sugar Cookie Cutouts is a delicious treat that you will want to include for your holiday celebrations.

Nan Barchowsky has generously contributed her Big Numbers Writing Activity. Receive directions and templates for a writing activity that you can use right now with your children.

Why not have some hands on science fun this winter? John, from Exploration Education, introduces the “Air Lift” and “To float, or not to float?” science activities.

Next, turn your attention to creating some integrated social studies lessons by using the Christmas in Australia unit study.

Finally, try your hand at making a delicious crustless pumpkin pie.

Part III

See http://www.amonco.org/winter3/montessori_winter3.pdf

Receive a direct link to a Montessori Napkin Folding exercise courtesy of the North American Montessori Center (NAMC). Children will enjoy this practical life exercise as they participate in preparing the holiday dinner table for guests.

Nothing smells better during the cold autumn and winter months, than walking into a room filled with the smell of baked apples. The Ginger-Coconut Baked Apples recipe submitted by NAMC is sure to delight your family and friends.

Dale has also shared the Montessori Button-Buddy and Acting Out How Animals Survive Winter exercises. This latter exercise will greatly aid children in their understanding of hibernation, adaptation, and other key science terms. Receive step-by-step instructions on how to present these lessons, plus extension exercises for further applications.

Richard, from LORD Company, has uploaded some various Montessori related free materials for you to use in your school and home classrooms. You will also find two geography-based resources in this section of the newsletter. Download a free set of Land and Water Forms Cards from LORD Company. Birdcage Press has provided an amazing set of materials that can be used for a unit study about ancient Egypt.

Are you looking for something different to bring this year to your favorite annual holiday potluck?  Let Sara Ambarian walk you through the steps to creating a delicious Ginger Turkey Salad.  Just click on the link above to get the recipe and additional accompanying information.

Part IV

See http://www.amonco.org/winter4/montessori_winter4.pdf

The Scented Basket project, contributed by Mariaemma of Coaching for Learning Success, provides an opportunity for your students to learn more about art, and they will end up with a special holiday gift in the process.

Dianne, from Conceptual Learning, provides yet another tasty Nutty Chocolate Pudding Squares treat that will be enjoyed by guests at your holiday parties. Dianne has also contributed some outstanding Montessori Math Sequencing lessons in .pdf Elaine, from Kimbo Educational. Kimbo has a number of multicultural CDs and songs. In this section of the newsletter, you will find some lyrics from Kimbo Educational’s new Hanukkah and Chinese New Year CD. You will also receive some valuable resource lesson planning information for the Chinese New Year.

Dr. Borenson, from Hands On Equations, has once again contributed a free hands-on algebra activity. In Part IV, you will also discover more about the free Montessori Animals in the Winter unit study. Hands On Equations has recently unveiled some exciting new algebra program apps for the Android, iPad and iPhone! See Part IV for details.

Are you tired of including the same holiday side dishes to your holiday meals?  Why not try some additional new recipes this year?  Let Sara Ambarian show you how.  Check out her Zesty Cranberry Relish and Cheesy Baked Cauliflower recipes here in Part IV, plus other new tasty recipes that have been added to other sections of this newsletter.

Part V

See http://www.amonco.org/winter5/montessori_winter5.pdf

Have some fun with words pertaining to food this winter! Alan Stillson has generously contributed to yet another edition of the Montessori seasonal newsletter. See this section to access the free Middle School Word Puzzles by Stillsonworks.

The Handprint Towel activity is a wonderful hands-on project, with the dual effect of doing something truly meaningful with children and helping them to create a gift with lasting memories. The younger set will also enjoy Karen’s special Pumpkin Pie Scented Playdough recipe.

Ligia, from Childsake, submitted an easy to make, delicious Holiday Cheesecake. Yum!!

Next, get ready for some sizzling science with The Little Big Bounce Science Activity!

Finally, Montessorian  Dianne Knesek has generously shared some Montessori math based lessons that your children are sure to enjoy!.    You can find instructions to downloading some of her free “Exchanges” and “Roman Numerals” activities by clicking on the link above.

Part VI

See http://www.amonco.org/winter6/montessori_winter6.pdf

Another recipe that is sure to delight the chocolate lovers in your family is Farmer’s Favorite Fudge recipe, courtesy of Farm Country General Store.

Gert, from Kimbo, shares her personal holiday favorite recipe for our special winter issue. Read the history of The Grandma Cake – A Celebration Tradition and encourage the children in your life to make their own special Grandma Cake.

Elaine, from Kimbo Educational, makes informal entertaining quick and easy with her delicious Spinach Dip Recipe. Elaine also provided a literature link activity for Three Little Kittens.

Alan Stillson has included an interesting holiday-themed song from his hit play, I Remember Lou.

Now, for some soapy science fun!!! You read that right. John, from Exploration Education contributed a free Soap That Grows lesson in .pdf which contains all of the illustrations, pictures and detailed lesson plans you need to make this activity a success.

Part VII

See http://www.amonco.org/winter7/montessori_winter7.pdf

As the weather cools down, many of us will spend more time in the kitchen. We’ll be making the usual family favorites as well as trying different recipes that are eye-catching. Another new recipe added to this issue, Bauernfruhstuck, (German Farmer’s Breakfast), is presented by Anna and Wolfgang.

Take a stroll from Germany to France to discover a light and fluffy French favorite.  Professor Toto offers the French Crepes recipe which will tie right in with an existing Montessori curriculum.   This practical life exercise can be used as part of a unit study about the French culture; or, it could also be used for specific multicultural celebrations.  Last but not least, this dish would be a scrumptious addition to any holiday meal.

Rita, from homeschool.literatureplace.com, has written an interesting article for homeschoolers.  Historical Fiction: Where Fact and Fiction Merge Planning a New Literature Program for Your Child will be a boon for parents who have been searching for ways in which to select and organize their booklists.

Music lovers will appreciate the winter-themed music lesson planning ideas featured in this section of the newsletter.  .The Winter by Vivaldi unit study can be used in conjunction with art, science, existing music and geography activities, to name a few.

Please see http://www.amonco.org/winter7/montessori_winter7.pdf
to view this entire lesson plan.

Now that you have some new lesson plans, delve in and begin to put some extra sparkle into your school and home school settings. I wish you a fun-filled winter.

Visit American Montessori Consulting and look under New and Notable for additional articles and free lesson plans.

If you are looking for service oriented projects, please visit Community Service Projects for the Upcoming Holiday Season

Heidi Anne Spietz
American Montessori Consulting
Celebrating 26 Years of Serving School and Home Educators
Montessori for the 21st Century
http://www.amonco.org

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Spring Hands-On Activities and Learning Adventures

Enjoy spring through the study of nature.

Visit http://www.pinterest.com/amcmontessori/spring-hands-on-activities-and-learning-adventures/ to get started today!

Enjoy!

Heidi Anne Spietz
http://www.amonco.org
Celebrating 26 Years of Serving School and Home Educators
Montessori for the 21st Century

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Spring into Reading, Writing and Other Expressions

Good language skills are important for children, both for learning and for self-expression.  Children are especially receptive to language-related learning during what’s called the “sensitive period of language” between birth and about six years old.  (For more on this subject, please see: http://www.amonco.org/spring6/montessori_spring6.pdf )

Take advantage of this absorbent period of your students’ lives with lots of time in conversation and reading aloud.

Poetry has interesting rhythms and repetitions to engage and enchant young listeners.  Look for poetry books in your local library, or get started with some spring-themed poetry here: http://www.poemhunter.com/poems/spring/

For more read-aloud fun, look through these suggestions of spring-themed books.

http://www.readingrockets.org/articles/books/c346/

http://theoaklandjournal.com/childrens-book-reviews/spring-chrildrens-book-reviews/

http://suite101.com/article/5-spring-themed-books-for-children-a95709

http://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/526716-may-2011-spring-time-theme-master-list-and-general-discussion

Combine reading and writing practice in a non-traditional way with Nan Barchowsky’s “Make Your Own Illustrated Favorite Foods and Recipes Notebook”. http://www.amonco.org/spring3/montessori_spring_3.pdf

Barchowsky1

For another educational “twist”, consider these biography projects that aren’t traditional informational narratives, in “It’s Time to Think Outside the Book and Kindle, Too! from Literatureplace.com.  http://www.amonco.org/spring3/montessori_spring_3.pdf

Additional new resources to look at include:

https://www.literatureplace.com/Start_with_the_Winners/awards_institution.asp  Link to Institution Awards

https://www.literatureplace.com/Start_with_the_Winners/awards_yrc.asp   LInk to Young Readers’ Choice Awards

images

On a related subject, check out these non-traditional book report ideas which give students options in how they share their impressions of the books they read.  http://ksumail.kennesaw.edu/~jcope/Eng3391/ABRIdeas.pdf

http://teachnet.com/lessonplans/language-arts/more-ideas-than-ever-book-reports/

Have some fun making books with the children in your life.  For details, see http://www.amonco.org/fall_sup1.html

Anytime is a good time to reinforce children’s interest and proficiency in language skills, so why not try something new today?!

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Creative Music and Art Spring Lesson Planning

Spring is literally days away, so take a moment now, to look through your upcoming lesson plans for the months ahead.   Do some of your art and music lessons seem stale?  If so, read below.  Even if you think you have everything perfectly planned, you will want to peruse the following resources.  You may just find some unique ideas or resources that you might want to use this springtime.

 Music and Dance Resources

Have you thought about teaching dance to your toddler and preschool age children?  If you experience trepidation at the thought of doing this, fear no more!!  Gari Stein will fearlessly take you through the steps needed to feel confident while making the dance presentations.   In no time at all, you will be confident in teaching your students dance steps for May Day and other springtime celebrations. .  See “What? Me Teach Dance?” http://www.little-folks-music.com/what.htm  to get started today.

May Day Related Dance and Music Resources

http://resources.woodlands-junior.kent.sch.uk/customs/questions/mayday.htm May Day Traditions and Customs in England

 http://www.pecentral.org/lessonideas/ViewLesson.asp?ID=10049#.UycpgV5aO0c May Day Dance Lesson Ideas Preschool – Grade 5

More Montessori Spring-Themed Music Lesson Planning Ideas

http://www.justmontessori.com/montessori-curriculum/week-29-day-2/

Spring Song

http://www.justmontessori.com/montessori-curriculum/week-29-day-2/

Signs of Spring

http://www.justmontessori.com/montessori-curriculum/week-29-day-2/

Sounds of Spring

http://www.justmontessori.com/montessori-curriculum/week-29-day-2/

The Seed Story Play

http://handsonhomeschooler.com/2013/08/music-discovery-tables-for-kids.html

Music Discovery Tables for Kids

http://www.singnlearn.com/Item/beethovenswig4

Beethoven’s Wig 4: Dance Along Symphonies

beethovenswig4

Each of the Beethoven’s Wig CDs has featured a new twist and Beethoven’s Wig 4: Dance Along Symphonies is no exception, as it celebrates classical music for dance. Included are pieces written for the two-step, ballet, waltz, polka, minuet, rondeau, habenera and march. Creator-lyricist Richard Perlmutter has widened his focus on the classics to include such notable composers as Scott Joplin and John Philip Sousa along with favorites like Bach, Tchaikovsky and Strauss.

http://www.singnlearn.com/Item/267

Best Loved Stories in Song and Dance

http://kimboed.com/babyballetcd.aspx#.UyctT15aO0c

Baby Ballet

A wonderful introduction for children to the world of ballet, designed for ages four through six. Complete barre and center work. All tracks have repeats. Plies, Tendus, Coupe Passe, Grand Battement, Port De Bras, Saute, Spring Points, Chasse and more.

season_sings

http://kimboed.com/seasonsings.aspx#.UycuKl5aO0c

New!  Season Sings

Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall -30 active songs from Hat & Jacket, Pants & Boots to Jump in Puddles, Spring Flowers, 10 Little Goblins. All fun and developmentally appropriate for early childhood teachers & kids! 29 songs

 http://www.amonco.org/spring5/montessori_spring.5.pdf

GO GREEN! Integrated Action/Music/Literature Activities

Download free French, Spanish, German, Italian and
Chinese songs with translations

http://www.amonco.org/spring6/montessori_spring6.pdf

Art Resources

Draw some life into your springtime cart lesson planning projects

Your first stop should be to Excellence in Education.

http://www.excellenceineducation.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=CTGY&Store_Code=EIE&Category_Code=ARTSUP

EIE Art Supplies

EIE

http://www.excellenceineducation.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=CTGY&Store_Code=EIE&Category_Code=CRFT

Crafts Kits and Supplies

Interdisciplinary Drawing Lesson Planning

Some children are reluctant to draw, because they feel that what they draw doesn’t quite measure up to the masterpieces they see their peers create.  Fear of criticism or a general lack of self-esteem may prevent an artistically challenged child from expressing his creative side.

images

Marie Hablitzel and Kim Stitzer, creators of Draw Your World,  share Maria Montessori’s philosophy that each child will blossom according to his unique timetable.   Draw Your World  http://www.drawyourworld.com/ will appeal to every budding artists, irrespective of his innate drawing ability.

As we know, beauty is in the eye of the beholder,, and what one considers a masterpiece, another may consider an eyesore. What’s important is to instill confidence in your child so that he feels comfortable expressing and developoing his God given abilities.

 For additional lesson planning,  ideas and resources please visit the Draw Your World blog http://www.drawyourworld.com/blog/

Additional Springtime and Holiday Art Lesson Planning Resources

 With Mother’s Day and summer camp just around the corner, it’s time to think of some fun group craft projects.  Bountiful Spinweave offers pootholder looms, backstrap looms, and knitting kits etc.    See http://bountifulspinweave.com/kids-page.php#.UyczuV5aO0c

sch_mini_loom_sm

http://prekandksharing.blogspot.com/2013/05/montessori-inspired-flower-math-activities.html

Flower Activity

http://beautifulsunmontessori.blogspot.com/2009/04/color-theory.html

Color Theory

http://montessoritraining.blogspot.com/2011/04/studying-artists-and-their-works-in.html#.Uydb315aOvs

Studying Artists and their Works in the Montessori Classroom

http://www.justmontessori.com/montessori-curriculum/week-31-day-5/

Mondrian Art

http://www.amonco.org/spring2/montessori_spring2.pdf

Crayon Resist Projects

http://www.amonco.org/spring2/montessori_spring2.pdf

Flower Themes, Flowers in Art Picture-A-Day and Time Lapse Photography Ideas

http://montessoritraining.blogspot.com/2009/04/easter-and-springtime-integrating.html#.UydaZV5aOvs

Easter and Springtime Activities

http://montessoritraining.blogspot.com/2013/03/montessori-easter-activities-ukrainian-eggs-pysanky.html#.UydbJ15aOvs

Montessori Easter Activities

http://www.amonco.org/spring4/montessori_spring4.pdf

Making Grass-Eggshell People

http://www.amonco.org/spring4/montessori_spring4.pdf

Marble Design Paper

http://montessoritraining.blogspot.com/2013/04/adding-new-works-to-montessori-environment-spring.html#.Uyda0F5aOvs

Nature Art

Looking for some additional interdisciplinary spring themed lesson planning ideas? Please see https://montessori21stcentury.wordpress.com/2014/03/18/spring-into-reading-writing-and-other-expressions-2/ Spring into Reading, Writing and Other Expressions.

Enjoy!
Heidi Anne Spietz
www.amonco.org

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Let the Games Begin!

This coming spring, light up your hands-on lesson plans with games.  See how easily games can be used with many of your existing Montessori presentations.    Take a moment now to look at some resources you may not have even considered.  You’ll notice that I have included a short quoted snyopsis in each of the recommended resources below.  Hopefully, this will save you time, as you search for the perfect games to add to your existing curricuum. 

Spring is the the perfect time to prevent lessons about nature and the environment.  Montessori Muddle has some innovative ideas of how to introduce games and other actiivities into the ecology and food-web presesntations. http://montessorimuddle.org/tag/environmental-science/  

Make the study of food chains come alive with Ampersand Press Nature’s Food Chain Game.  “Step into the forest and discover the fascinating world of natural food chains.  Cards represent animals and plants that are found in the forest.  Each card lists what the animal eats and what it is eaten by.  The game works just like the natural food relationships in the forest with players “eating” and being “eaten” just as they would be in the wild.  Rules include several versions to play.” 

Perhaps you are in the process of presenting lessons on biomes, as a logical extension of the Montessori Land and Water Form http://www.lordequip.com/land water.php exercises.   If so, consider the ones offered by Ampersand Press.  Children are offered 7 ways to play the Onto the Desert Game.   “Take a wild trek onto the desert.  Beautifully illustrated cards represent plants and animals that are found in the desert.  Element cards represent the powerful forces of nature.  Reveal the awesome balance of nature as you follow the chain of life in the desert.”  See http://www.ampersandpress.com/page2.html  for additional information. 

G300OntoTheDesert

For additional wildlife and nature extension exercises, visit Birdcage Press http://www.birdcagepress.com/SearchResults.asp?Cat=3

 There you will find a collection of “wild card” games and book sets that are known to increase, memory, concentration, reading, visual processing and strategic thinking.  Topics include the following: North American Birds, Backyard Birds, Baby Animals Around the World, 52 Amazing Places National Parks, Dinosaurs, For the Love of Dogs, For the Love of Cats, North American Mammals, Bugs!,  and Who’s Hiding?

501-2T

Childsake also offers many excellent educational resources for those preparing presentations about the environment.  One book that is ure to catch your eye is the  Eco-Fun: Great Projects, and Games for a Greener Earth.

 In the forward to his book, scientist David Suzuki writes, “This book contains activities that will help you see and experience the world in a different way, bring you into contact with nature, and remind you that you are a child of the Earth.” Through a variety of fun-filled and intriguing eco-related activities, he encourages readers to get to know their world by working with air, water, soil, energy, plants and animals. The projects, experiments and games help understand the various elements, their role and interconnection as well as show how they are being damaged by recent human activity. This collection includes projects to create miniature forest ecosystems, make recycled paper and a veggie chili, measure air pollution and create a solar water heater, build wormeries and worm composters and make “green” household cleaners.  See http://www.childsake.com for additional information. To order, visit http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1550548239/childsake

Let’s not forget the younger set.  Fun Felt offers a nice selection of felt activity books that can be used in conjunction with games for preschoolers.  Fun Felt’s Toggle Books are 8.5″ x 11″ felt covered hard adventure books with interactive felt figures that teach early learning skills, similar to file folder games preschools use. “They are named Toggles because the book has a wide seam and folds in either direction!  Each set comes with felt covered book, felt figures, lessons, worksheets, activities, and reproducible art.   Perfect for the car, quiet time, and centers at school!”  Currently, Fun Felt is offering the following environmental themed books: Bees and Hives, Dino Days, Ducks on the Pond, and In the Jungle Toggle Books. To view the complete selection, visit  http://www.funfelt.com/toggles.html

funfelt

It’s time to get up and “move” with Go Green!, a brand new CD form Kimbo Educational http://kimboed.com/gogreen.aspx#.UtRAIvZVe0e   “GO GREEN! Caring About Our Earth conatins song about playing outdoors, recycling, planting a garden, stopping pollution, and more inspire children to connect to the Earth and encourage them to be responsible for the Earth. Action fun and singable songs motivate children to be involved and to be aware of the outside world. The resource guide, by Dr. Pam Schiller, includes creative activities and 2 literature links per song, that reinforce the important purpose of this kid-friendly, Earth-friendly, CD. The Wind; I’m Going To Plant a Garden; Cultivate, Germinate, Irrigate, Relocate; It’s Everyone’s World; My Kite; My Chance To Dance; My Brother, The Whale and more.”

KIM9318CD

 

Look for the Guide/Extension Activities by Dr. Pam Schiller in the soon to be released AMC Montessori Spring Newsletter. 

 As you can see, movement and Montessori go hand in hand. 

Let’s look at two rather unique resources you can use in your school or home classroom. 

The Learning-Success™Institute continues to offer products and services that bring out the star in every child!  Kids who are tactile-kinesthetic,whole body learners, and/or like basketball will love the Basketall & Whole Body Memorizing activity.  Check out this free game and activity by pointing your browser to http://www.amonco.org/summer2/montessori summer2.pdf

Combine movement and music with the Music for Little Folks resources.  Gari Stein offers many different types of resources plus  a complete curriculum package for those preschoolers. Click on http://www.little-folks-music.com/CDs.htm  to learn more about this fun movement activities and songs, as well as additional products and resources.

Did you know that you could easily integrate a “game” into your Montessori reading music presentations?   Read the post http://www.whatdidwedoallday.blogspot.com/2013/03/montessori-music-reading-music.html  on What DID We Do All Day?  to access the lesson plus discover additional fun Montessori music based activiities found at this blog.

Why not create some Montessori math games using the following resources?

The LORD Equipment Company offers a free curriculum guide for the Money and Math Bank Game.

“From an early age, children are fascinated with money a they see the interchange at the grocery, at the bank, and changing hand a part of day to day transaction.. They observe with fascinaIon the feeding of money to countless machine that produce treasure of candy, drinks, gum, and game that challenge youthful energy at mega pizza parlors. This high interest factor suggest a natural learning opportunity, capitalizing on children’s enthusiasm. Money become a natural tool for their practice and exploration of basic math and economic concepts.

The Curriculum Guide for the Money and Math Bank (M&M Bank) s designed to be used in classrooms, club groups, faith based programs, or a a family project.  The M&M Bank is an instructional tool for teaching children basic concept about money and the economic fundamental of spending, saving, invesIng, and giving.” 

For complete information about the Money and Math Game please visit http://www.lordequp.com    To download the curriculum introduction and lessons, please visit http://www.lordequip.com/images/MMbank.pdf   You can view students working with the Money and Math Bank game by visiting http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s2JQ0ai9x8I

If you are looking for a new math app, check out the newest one from Hands-On Equations http://borenson.com   Download the free lite version called The Fun Way to Learn Algebra for the Kindle http://www.amazon.com/The-Fun-Way-Learn-Algebra/dp/B00H3DSEKU/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1390673188&sr=8-2-fkmr0&   “Post a comment and rating on the Amazon Appstore, copy your comment to info@borenson.com and we (Hands-On Equations) will gift the Hands-On Equations app of your choice.”

 Visit the Homemade Montessori http://homemademontessori.blogspot.com/2008/12/math-games.html blog for some additional ideas to use with your existing Montessori math curriculum. 

The Winter 2014 Olympics,  https://montessori21stcentury.wordpress.com/2014/01/08/2014-winter-olympics-lesson-planning/ allow children to watch thousands of athletes engaged in competition in a friendly, uplifting environment.

To help reinforce this cooperativeness of the Olympics use the Cooperative Games Lesson Ideas from The Creative Process.  “Cooperative games provide a shared experience of problem solving and achievement, and thus encourage repeat experiences throughout life.”

By using the The Everybody Stand Up (or Sit-Down) Together  and Arm Wrestling for Raisins, http://www.netposterworks.com/resources/curideas/cooperative-games.html   children learn the art of cooperation.  Interesting enough, theses games were played at the World Celebration Camp, an off-shoot of the World Peace Celebration http://www.creativeprocess.net/peace/

Whether you are tutoring in a one-to-one learning environment or  presenting lessons in a classroom setting, chances are using one or more of these recommended games will add a new dimension to your lessons.  In so doing, you will be helping to make your student(s) learning experiences more meaningful. 

Enjoy!
Heidi Anne Spietz
www.amonco.org

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Winter Crafting Ideas on Pinterest

Receive some additional winter crafting resources by visiting Winter Crafting Ideas on Pinterest

Enjoy!
Heidi Anne Spietz
www.amonco.org

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Explore the Beauty of Autumn through the Arts

The exciting colors and interesting silhouettes of autumn can be very inspiring creatively; and arts and crafts projects and musical interludes can provide students with a welcome break from their re-immersion into academics during the back-to-school season.  So be sure to take some time to explore the resources and opportunities available to help kids explore the beauties of the season with arts, crafts and music.

* * * * * *

General free art resources

Dick Blick’s free art and craft ideas

http://www.dickblick.com/lesson-plans/grade-level/k-4

Montessori On a Budget’s listing of free Montessori art downloads http://www.montessori-on-a-budget.com/2011/03/friday-free-downloads-montessori-art.html

Miscellaneous autumn-themed arts and crafts

Squigly’s autumn arts and crafts ideas

http://www.squiglysplayhouse.com/ArtsAndCrafts/Holidays/Autumn.html

My Blessed Life links to 12 fall kids’ crafts.

http://myblessedlife.net/2011/09/fall-kids-crafts.html

Personalize your classroom with a Friendship Quilt, a project from Dale Gausman at NAMC. http://www.amonco.org/creative5/montessori_fall5.pdf

Leaf art and crafts

The contributors to the ProTeacher Collection share many interesting autumn leaf and related autumn projects and lesson plans. http://www.proteacher.org/c/100_autumn_leaves__fall_art_projects.html

Here are 25 crafts using or replicating autumn leaves. http://www.remodelaholic.com/2012/09/25-leaf-crafts

Turn autumn leaves (or prints of them!) into butterflies.

http://www.artprojectsforkids.org/2012/09/butterfly-leaves.html

Autumn Colors Tissue Paper Art Project http://www.amonco.org/creative5/montessori_fall5.pdf

Here is a very striking, but fairly simple, watercolor technique using actual leaves as templates. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QwBM11Wmpo0

For more ideas, look at these professional artists’ and photographers’ autumn compositions.

Top 6 Incredible Artworks Made from Autumn Leaves

http://inhabitat.com/top-6-incredible-artworks-made-from-autumn-leaves

Dan Bacich’s leaf paintings

http://www.autumnleavesart.com/paintings.php

Miscellaneous autumn art examples at Fine Art America

http://fineartamerica.com/art/all/autumn+leaves/all

Here are some examples of the autumn nature photography of Alexander MacPhail, from a hike on Mt Passaconway and the Sandwich Range, New Hampshire.

http://whitemountainsojourn.blogspot.com/2012/10/9-29-12-mt-passaconway-sandwich-range.html

Apple art and crafts

Here’s a step-by-step tutorial on drawing a red Delicious apple, with an in-screen “draw while you learn” feature. http://www.drawinghowtodraw.com/stepbystepdrawinglessons/2011/10/how-to-draw-realistic-or-cartoon-apples-with-easy-step-by-step-drawing-lesson

This is an interesting time lapse of an artist painting a still life with apples.  It contains rather advanced shading, but could still inspire students with new ideas for techniques to try. Students may also get a kick out of comparing the original apples that inspired him with the finished product. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G7WtTtaEems

Easy Apple Crafts for Kids

http://www.notimeforflashcards.com/2012/08/easy-apple-crafts-for-kids.html

Crafty Crow’s apple crafts

http://www.thecraftycrow.net/2011/09/apple-crafts.html

Video: How to Craft Apple Stamps

http://www.howcast.com/videos/343105-How-to-Craft-Apple-Stamps

For some additional apple themed lesson planning, peruse through the unit study Hands-On Autumn Adventures – Autumn Leaves, Pumpkins, and Apple Classification Harvesting Activities and Unit Studies  http://www.amonco.org/creative01/montessori_fall1.pdf

Need a little more inspiration?  Why not bake Oma’s Cake, a German recipe using pears or apples, and let the fruity, cinnamony fragrance stoke your autumn spirit! http://www.amonco.org/creative7/montessori_fall7.pdf

Pumpkin art and crafts

Even your youngest students can have fun, with your help, making adorable fingerprint pumpkins. http://www.billybear4kids.com/Learn2Draw/FingerPrints/Pumpkin.shtml

Simple Kids’ Crafts breaks the process of drawing a pumpkin down into very simple steps. http://www.simplekidscrafts.com/?z=summer-drawings-how-to-draw-a-pumpkin

Whether for carving or just on paper, these cute jack-o-lantern face ideas will get kids inspired to expand their own pumpkin caricatures. http://www.how-to-draw-cartoons-online.com/drawing-pumpkin-faces.html

Combine some really fine watercolor art techniques with color theory, art appreciation, literature, and Canadian geography in this well-presented pumpkin art lesson for young children. http://www.scs.sk.ca/van/inventions%20articles/inventions%20articles/Giant%20Pumpkins.pdf

Now that your students are comfortable with their shapes, why not try sculpting some of these traditional autumn motifs in sandable, paintable/stainable home-made wood dough? Richard from The Lord Company shares a recipe and instructions. http://www.amonco.org/creative/montessori_fall2.pdf

Music and poetry

Get into the spirit of the season with fun autumn songs and rhymes!

NIEHS’ Kids’ Pages:  Songs

http://kids.niehs.nih.gov/games/songs

Early Years Experience’s Songs and Rhymes Page

http://www.bigeyedowl.co.uk/show_songs.php?t=50

Preschool Express’ Music and Rhyme Station

http://www.preschoolexpress.com/music_station.shtml

Go more in-depth with Classical Magic’s lesson plans revolving around “Autumn” from Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons.  http://www.amonco.org/creative7/montessori_fall7.pdf

There are also a number of neat YouTube videos like this one that use Vivaldi’s “Autumn” as the background music for beautiful scenes of grape harvests, mushrooms growing in the woods, autumn foliage, and more seasonal sights your students might enjoy. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1uaVhKocqPw

For more suggestions of classical pieces children might enjoy, as well as ideas for getting students involved with the music, check this blogpost.

http://www.prekinders.com/classical-music

Want to get more hands-on? Anna from Wood, Etc. shares instructions for making a Zebra Stick Craft. http://www.amonco.org/creative08/montessori_fall8.pdf, and Lois from Bountiful Spinweave, shares instructions for making the Broken Rib Scarf with Seed Stitch Border. 

* * * * * *

It is a common theme in literature and poetry that autumn is a sad time of year, and although many writers have lauded autumn  in their own ways, http://www.livinglifefully.com/fall.html , perhaps Samuel Taylor Coleridge explained the beauty and spirit of autumn the best.

Why is it that so many of us persist in thinking that autumn is a sad season?

Nature has merely fallen asleep, and her dreams must be beautiful

if we are to judge by her countenance.

 

Help your students see, explore and appreciate the beauty of this magical season through the arts!  Refer back to this post during the next few weeks to see how you can infuse some of these creative ideas into your existing curriculum.

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