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Montessori Lessons to Jumpstart 2016!

Happy New Year!!

Below are links to jump start your Montessori lesson planning for the new year.

Many of these lessons are free!

Getting Ready for a “New” Year

Animals in the Winter Unit Study Free Lesson Plans

Valentine Day Links

Montessori Winter-Themed Activities from NAMC Part I

Montessori Winter-Themed Activities from NAMC Part II

Gardening Year Round – Tips from an Expert

Beginning a Spring Garden at Home or School

Spring Tea

Year End Activities

Draw Your World Lesson Plans

Children’s Books for Summer Reading – Part II

Bird-watching with Children

Monthly Observances and Notable Data

Science Activity “I CAN’T TAKE THE PRESSURE!”

Celebrating the Personal Life of George Washington – lesson planning ideas

Valentine Origami Art & Math Activities

A Movie About Maria Montessori Worth Watching

AMC Montessori Winter Hands On Lessons

Hands-On Interdisciplinary Learning

Winter Science Links

Want more?? Click on the links below for additional free lessons and articles that are available only at the website :

Italy – Links for a Montessori Unit Study

A Maria Montessori Movie Worth Seeing

Gardening Year Round – Tips from an Expert

AMC Holiday Montessori Grammar Bingo and Extension Exercises

Apples and Oranges – Links for Montessori Unit Study

Study of the Human Respiratory System – Links for Montessori Unit Study

Medical Terminology – Links for Montessori Unit Study

The Human Cardiovascular System – Links for Montessori Unit Study

Cardiology Terminology

The Human Nervous System – Links for Montessori Unit Study

Let’s Go on an Animal Safari – See Part VII

More in store for you in 2016!

Visit often throughout 2016 to discover new Montessori lesson planning.


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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  Stacy Sews and Schools.


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


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  Nature’s Workshop Plus!


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 Nature’s Workshop Plus!


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 for details.


 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  Nature’s Workshop Plus!



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 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


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


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 for more details.


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



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


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

Heidi Anne Spietz
American Montessori Consulting


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Winter Crafting Ideas on Pinterest

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

Heidi Anne Spietz

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Holidays and Observances

There are lots of interesting holidays and observances to learn about and celebrate in the upcoming months.

These sites include a variety of holiday and observance listings for the United States and worldwide.

 Students may enjoy this simple overview with graphic presentation about holidays in America and how they are established.

Rae at Creative Process shares some interesting additional background on the origins of holidays.

Here are some lesson ideas for winter holidays from Scholastic.

Teachers and parents will find many interesting multicultural education resources to enhance your holiday studies here.

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November 22, Thanksgiving Day—The historians at Plimouth Plantation share the origins and development of Thanksgiving as an American holiday.  Also, enjoy “The Thanksgiving Song” from I Remember Lou by Alan Stillson

December 9, Hanukkah— Learn more about this important Jewish holiday.

December 25, Christmas Day—   Students can investigate the religious and secular traditions of this beloved holiday, both in America and in other countries, with these resources.


Also, check out “Winter and the Season of Giving” in the Montessori Classroom

December 26, Kwanzaa— Here is an overview of the origin and traditions of this African-American holiday.

January 1, New Year’s Day 2013—Learn how people celebrate New Year’s around the world.  Also, students can follow the time of New Year’s celebrations around the globe with this fun website.

January 21, Martin Luther King Day—Enjoy these lesson plans and links from Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site.

Black History Month, February—Check out these links for Black History Month.

February 2, Groundhog Day—You can find lots of interesting Groundhog Day facts and a live streaming video here.

February 12, Lincoln’s Birthday—Find out more about our 16th President.

February 14, Valentine’s Day—Find some theories about the origins of this holiday, as well as craft and activity links here.  

February 18, Presidents Day and Washington’s Birthday—Learn more about the man who is called “The Father of His Country”.  

March 10, Daylight Saving— The history of Daylight Saving Time is really rather fascinating.  Why not take a little time to discuss it with your students.   Older students (and teachers or parents) may also enjoy this in-depth and interesting look at the evolution of the idea.

March 17, St. Patrick’s Day—For a little Irish perspective on “the wearing of the green”, enjoy the articles and recipes here.

March 31, Easter—Enjoy a look at Easter 2012 celebrations around the world.

April 1, April Fool’s Day—Explore some theories and fun facts about the history of this “foolish” holiday.

April 22, Earth Day —You’ll find many interesting Earth Day lesson ideas for all ages here.

Let’s celebrate!

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Practical Life Lessons for the Holidays

Holiday events provide a wealth of opportunities for children to practice their practical life skills. Of course children should be reminded of the basic grace and courtesy skills if they will be guests or hosts (if you will entertain at our home).  However, do not forget other activities which are natural practical life lessons, as well.  Choosing, washing, and donning holiday clothing are all good self-care activities. Straightening the house for guests or before putting up holiday decorations teaches care of the home environment.  Participating in decorating activities and/or food preparation gives the child a sense of their part in the event, as well as a chance to practice toward mastery of these household skills.

In guiding children through the many interesting activities and chores of the holiday season, remember the words of Maria Montessori “Never help a child with a task at which he feels he can succeed.” We all need to develop a sense of mastery and confidence, and these experiences when we are young provide the foundation for lifelong self-esteem and self-reliance.

Please enjoy the following practical life lesson resources.

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North American Montessori Center has provided a whole array of interesting holiday-themed activities that help children practice many different skills. Don’t miss the interesting and versatile Furoshiki fabric package wrapping instructions, the cute cinnamon-scented gingerbread men project, the counting exercises, flower arranging, and more.

Find another nice activity  that is appropriate for the holidays in their Napkin Folding Exercise.

For more general information on day-to-day mastery opportunities, NAMC offers a very useful listing of Practical Life lessons here:

Fun Felt’s Handprint Towel craft/gift project is a nice way to combine a fun craft with an item that can be used during daily activities.

Kimbo’s Self-Regulatory Exercises use music to help young children learn to concentrate and control their own bodies.

Manners are the building blocks of the characteristics of grace and courtesy mentioned in the NAMC 3-6 Classroom Guides ( Find many manners books at Farm Country General Store.  They have a wide selection for different ages and personalities.

Another important life skill for children to practice around the holidays is writing “thank you” notes. Find some good hints on the subject here: and

Working together as a family is also a practical life exercise. Find suggestions for modeling positive perspective, gratitude, generosity, and more in Rethinking Holiday Priorities During Tough Times by Sara L. Ambarian.

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