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Montessori Lessons, Ideas and More…

Sizzling Summertime 2015 Lesson Plans


Learn how to make and fly a kite in your neck of the woods.

Planning a trip to Southern California? All the fun is not necessary had at the amusement parks. Take a side trip to Seal Beach, a quaint beach town, that has much to offer. While there, you won’t want to miss the monthly Seal Beach Kite Club meetings. Click here to see what the city of Seal Beach has in store for you and your family. Then, venture to Hobby City for some additional free hands-on fun.


Learn how to make a band in minutes. Yes, you and your children can make a coffee can drum and yogurt container shakers by following the easy instructions provided by

Montessorian Dale Gausman will show you how to make and introduce rhythm sticks in your school and home classrooms. Click here for details.

The Blow Ye Winds , Paddle Wheeler and Erie Canal – and Wabash Cannonball are free extension activities from the guide written by Dr. Kathryn A. Short, for Kimbo’s CD release: “Songs About America,” Celebrating America Through Song.. See Kimbo for details.

Download The Number Eating Alligator from and discover how these songs can be incorporated into your ECE and elementary math and music lesson planning. Click here for details.

Marjorie Kiel Persons presents two marvelous integrated lessons for your summer music presentations. – Water Music Alla Hornpipe by George Frideric Handel. and Oh, How I Love Italy ? Music, Art, and Food seasoned with History and Geography See Click on this link to access both lesson plans.


Dale Gausman, owner of the North American Montessori Center, shows how children can plan, prepare, and execute a Spring or Summer Tea. Dale’s Friendship Salad makes a perfect addition to the Spring Tea menu or any other event planned for the upcoming months. Click here for details.

Encourage children to try making some new recipes this summer! Make lunchtime interesting by including some rollie poultries and stuffed apples into your meal planning. See

Learn how to present an authentic Montessori food unit study featuring the yummy Watermelon Blueberry Banana Split recipe.

DIanne Knesek, Montessori teacher and owner of Conceptual Learning, shares a mouth watering Summer Fruit, Cheese, and Meat Kabobs recipe. Visit this link for complete information

Planning a unit study about pirates? Try these three pirate snack ideas – Treasure Chests, Pirate Ships and Cannonballs, all of which, can be easily integrated into any pirate unit study. Click here to access the recipes.

For a festive change, create your own hot dog buffet and serve some fudge cupcakes for dessert. Then, cool down your lazy afternoon with some delicious green smoothies.


Are you looking for an additional aid to help inspire good penmanship? Nan Barchowsky may have just what you need. Check out A Bit of Yarn for Good Pen Hold by clicking here.


Begin the summer science learning adventure with hands on fun. Children will discover how to change the color of a flower and how water travels up plants by participating in the Changing a Flower’s Color activity submitted by Dale Gausman. See for details.

John, from Exploration Education, presents an excellent, fun-filled simple and effective activity about static electricity is for children six and up. Click here for details.

Invite children to vicariously go on an animal safari! To access resources for a unit study, visit

Children marvel at identifying the different birds that they encounter at the park, beach or even in their backyard. Find out how Backyard Birds can be incorporated into your ornithology presentations by visiting

Rae, from Creative Process, shares a leaf print activity that combines the study of botany with art. To access this information, visit

Richard, from the Montessori Materials LORD Company, is offering FREE reading books, and a Montessori land and water labels

Easily create a seashell unit study. Quickly locate links to seashell classification materials and other resources by visiting


Summer gardening can be especially meaningful if you plan ahead. A Gardening Unit Study (With the Focus on Summer)Montessori Lessons will provide the info you need to customize your garden lesson planning. Find the gardening resources and lesson plans now, so that you embark on your summer gardening journey when late May arrives.

In Nurturing Budding Botanists – Learning and Teaching the Basics of Plant Science, author Sara L. Ambarian has provided the indepth botany lesson planning information and resources needed Click here for details.


Receive some free hands-on algebra exercises designed by Dr. Henry Borenson See Hands On Equations for details. Check out DIanne Knesek’s Montessori problem solving lessons by clicking here.


What type of learner is your child? Mariaemma, from Coaching for Learning Success(tm), has the resources you need to discover the answer to this question, plus she has generously contributed her Basketball and Whole Body Memorizing Activity. Access this information, as well as The Whole Body Learner – Gifted for Moving! article by visiting Click here for details.

Stillsonworks offers more unique puzzles designed for middle school students. Try your hand at the free exercises included by clicking here Access additional FREE puzzles for children/teens by visiting

Be sure to check out the cooperative games by Rae from Creative Process. (Click here for details.)

THIS and THAT…. Additional unique, creative lesson planning info.

Rae from Creative Process generously has provided the following free activities], articles, and lesson plans: Calendar Activity, Teacher as Curator : Setting up a School Gallery and Sharing Food, Food in Art? Access this information by clicking here

Are you taking your class on a literature journey? Why not start with the classics. Let Rita Arpaia of show you how. Point your browser to Read Rita’s other articles and learn more about how’s resources for your school and homeschool libraries.

Sara Ambarian has written a two part article which will further help you with your selection of children’s books. In Part I of her article, you will learn about the books selected by the AMC resource participants.

In Part I read about community recommendations. This balanced article is sure to help you select just the right books for your school and homeschool classrooms.

If you would like to view the complete table of contents of the newsletter, or you have experienced any difficulties accessing the links above, please visit

Now, with these fun activities, recipes and lessons, you are set to make this summer the best yet!

Heidi Anne Spietz

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Summer is Coming! – Let’s Celebrate

As we approach the first day of  summer, take time now to focus or refocus on the summer months ahead.  You’ll discover why these links are well worth a second look.

AMC Montessori Summer Hands-On Learning Newsletter

Experiencing Fine Art in Person with Your Children

Indoor Activities Get You Out of the Sun


MONTESSORI LESSONS -A Gardening Unit Study (With the Focus on the Summer)

Innovative Montessori Music for the Summer

Montessori Summer Activities: Woodworking

I wish you and your family a very blessed upcoming summer.

Heidi Anne Spietz

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Savoring the Second Half of Summer

It seems like, for many people, summer and other vacations speed by so quickly that we can hardly remember where the time went.  If that is the case for you– or even if you have started to get a bit of the mid-summer doldrums, and run out of fun and educational ideas– this is a great time to refocus and come up with a few more ways to make the most of the rest of the summer.

Free game and practice worksheets

Fun, free worksheets like these can be a great thing to take along on a driving trip, a lazy day at the beach, or just for a quiet hour under the trees in the backyard.

And here are some great ESL worksheets, too!


Free video lessons

When it’s just too hot to go out and play, and kids are restless, remember that your computer can connect you with a wide variety of free and fresh educational opportunities.  Here are a few links to get you started.

Cool food for hot weather

When the summer sun starts to take its toll on everyone’s energy and patience, check out some quick and easy recipes which don’t require you heating up the kitchen by firing up the stove or oven.  Many are both kid-pleasing and kid-friendly to assemble, so you can share the kitchen duties to speed up and/or socialize the process and make meals truly a family affair.

Try these great recipes for children to help prepare–  Summer Fruit, Cheese and Meat Kabobs from Dianne at Conceptual Learning and Watermelon Blueberry Banana Split from the late Kathy O’Reilly’s “Cooking With Children Can Be Easy”.


Here are a variety of other listings of hot weather meals your family might enjoy. Some are also useful for short-term power outages and other disaster situations, when you might go oven-free by necessity, rather than by choice.  Perhaps you could also discuss these scenarios with your students as you plan and prepare the recipes.


Farmers’ Markets

Many of the tastiest no-cook or quick-to-cook summer recipes involve enjoying the bounty of local summer fruits and vegetables in a fairly natural state. This is a wonderful opportunity to encourage our children (and whole families) to both eat healthily and learn or remember where these delicious foods come from. 

In summer, even a trip to the supermarket is usually a feast for the eyes, but perhaps you and your students would enjoy a visit to a local farmers’ market. 

There is something extra-enticing about produce that hasn’t traveled hundreds of miles or been sitting in cold storage for months (though we love those fruits and vegetables, too.) Small farmers are able to grow more-perishable and often more-unusual varieties than big commercial farmers do, so the variety of colors, shapes and sizes of fruits and vegetables can be nearly amazing.  Since the produce is often fresher and riper, it also tends to have a richer aroma, which is certainly an important element of both the anticipation and enjoyment of good food. 

Since many small farmers often consider education a part of their business, they are often a font of interesting information about the origin, history, and growth habits of the produce they sell.  What a delicious way to blend lessons in both nutrition and botanical science!

If you’re not familiar with any local markets in your area, these search engines might help you find one.  If there are none nearby, a drive to one in a neighboring area could be a fun family outing. Just remember to bring an ice chest to protect your enticing purchases from heat and damage on the ride home.


Find out more about fish

If your favorite summer adventures include a visit to the ocean, a lake or pond, or a river or stream, you may see some fish while you are recreating.  Why not bone-up on your fish facts before you go?  The following sites give lots of good information, as well as lesson ideas.

For more fish lessons, plus many more fun outdoor activities, check out the National Wildlife Federation’s “Connect Kids and Nature” pages.

Here are some cute books about fish. Look for more at your local library.


Want to get creative? Check out these neat fish art ideas.


If you like to get outdoors (and sometimes get wet), you might enjoy sport fishing.  It is a sport which allows children to practice both hand-eye coordination and patience.  It can also allow adults and children to enjoy some leisurely quiet conversation, as well as lots of excitement if and when the fish are biting.

It’s late in the summer for some of the organized free-fishing programs around the United States (many are held in June or near Independence Day). However, there is still a lot of interesting fishing information available from public parks, state and local fish and wildlife or natural resource organizations, and private associations like those below.  Check with your own local recreational agencies for more specific information and advice about your nearby opportunities.

Since we aren’t naturally equipped like fish, anytime you’re around water, it’s important to be very careful.  Here are some good tips for staying safe in and around the water.


Understanding wildfires and wildfire safety

Many children in rural areas grow up with fire safety practices and fire season preparations an integral part of their normal lives.  However, in years like this year and last, when devastating wildfires have been big news all across North America, children from all areas are more likely to be aware of wildland fire dangers.

Although we try our best to protect especially our young children from subjects that will cause them sadness or fear beyond their maturity level, some such events will affect children despite our best efforts.  In that case, sometimes information and a plan of action can provide important comfort and perspective to help children cope.

The Smokey Bear site offers information, games, and safety tips. It even has a map of active fires around the U.S., which might be interesting to older students.  Understanding your own local wildfire risks, and including children in fire safety practices in age-appropriate ways, can help them focus their energies into something positive and pro-active. 

You will also find a lot of good information at the educational links on this page.

For young children who are distressed by the apparent devastation of wildfire, you might help them find comfort and perspective through a book like,Fire! By Celia Godkin, (or for older pre-teen students,  Fire: Friend or Foe by Dorothy Hinshaw Patent, both available from Childsake and other booksellers.) These books explain the important beneficial effects of wildland fires, of which many people are not aware.

You might also consider making a visit to your local fire station.  Most fire departments welcome young visitors; and a face-to-face visit with firefighters can be both educational and comforting.  Children can learn more about fire safety (at home and in wild areas), see the safety equipment and apparatus that help fire personnel do their job safely, and even thank them for the important job that they do.  Call ahead to your local station to see if they have any specific rules about visitations.

For more wildfire information and photos, check out these interesting sites, as well.


Museums and other tours

If you haven’t taken advantage of summer leisure and weather to visit a museum, historical site, or other nearby educational site, you still have time. It is amazing how much interesting perspective and knowledge a child can gain from an outing of just a few hours.  It may become a favorite family memory, as well.  Another potential benefit is that indoor sites like museums are usually air conditioned, so they could be a pleasant place to linger on a hot summer day.

If you cannot travel and/or you do not live in a big city, you can still probably find somewhere interesting to tour. Even small towns often have at least one small historical society or art museum.  Older towns may have a district of historic buildings and/or homes you could enjoy on a walking tour.  Local parks sometimes are built on historic sites, endowed by famous local residents, or have some other interesting story behind them.  So, if, like many of us this year, you are having a “stay-cation”, don’t forget to look “in your own backyard” for interesting and educational local opportunities you might have missed.

Rae from The Creative Process has compiled some interesting links which may provide ideas or additional enrichment.

* * * * * *

Last, if you haven’t read Summer Fun Makes for Summer Memories, our round-up of summer reminiscences and fun ideas from the American Montessori Consulting Resource Partners, don’t miss it.

There is plenty of summer enjoyment and enrichment left to savor, so get out and make the most of it!  Be safe and have fun!

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