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Montessori Lessons, Ideas and More…

2014 Winter Olympics Lesson Planning

Breaking News

Keep up with the very latest Winter Olympics 2014 News

Olympic- Facts
Learn about the Olympics games

Fun Facts About the Olympic Games
Locate facts, history of the Olympic Games

Olympic History and Symbols
Learn more about Olympics history, traditions and symbols

PreK – Elementary Lesson Plans

For specific  cross-curricular lesson planning for middle school students, please visit

Here is a sampling of what you will find there:

Learning from the Past lesson plan.

Grade 6-8

Social Studies/English

Heroes and Heroines lesson plan

Grade 6

Social Studies/P.E./Art/English/Music

The Power of Music lesson plan.

Grades 4-8

Social Studies/Geography/Music/English

Creating a World of Peace at Home and Abroad lesson plan.

Grades 4-8

Social Studies/Geography/English/Art

Why Here? Why Not There? lesson plan.

Grades 6-8


National Customs lesson plan.

Grades 4-8

Social Studies/Geography

Nationalism and the Olympics lesson plan.

Grades 6-8

Social Studies/Geography

The Birth of Olympism: A Legacy of Peace lesson plan.

Grades 6-8

Social Studies/Geography


Previews of events

Parade of Nations

Learn more about countries that have hosted the Olympic Games. Connect
to facts, maps, and history lesson planning information.

Canadian Olympic School Program – Teacher Resources

See also  Free Montessori Olympics Grammar Game

Be sure to also follow American Montessori Consulting on AMC Facebook
AMCMontessori Twitter

Heidi Anne Spietz


Montessori Lessons to Jumpstart 2014!!

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

Healthy Nutritional Tips for 21st Century Families

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 2014!

Visit often throughout 2014 to discover new Montessori lesson planning.


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Winter Learning and Fun — Indoors and Out

Winter can be a fun and exciting season for a wide variety of learning opportunities, if you are practical, flexible and enthusiastic.  There is no need for children or adults to feel penned-in or bored during the winter months.  Just switch your priorities, as folks have done through history, to make the most of both the time indoors and the recreational possibilities outdoors while they last!

In winter I get up at night

And dress by yellow candle-light.

In summer quite the other way,

I have to go to bed by day.

Robert Louis Stevenson


Indoor activities—

Be ready for blustery days and long winter evenings with a stockpile of fun activities like these mazes, coloring pages, crafts, games, stationery and more.

Special academic exercises can also provide fun and challenging indoor diversions.  Diane from Conceptual Learning shares “Exchange” an interesting math exercise for ages 5-7.

Here are a variety of fun, warm indoor activities to consider.

Cooking is definitely a great way to learn, have fun, and keep warm at the same time. Ethnic foods, comfort foods, and baked goods are all especially enticing and interesting when the weather turns cooler.

There aren’t many cuisines that are heartier or more satisfying than Germany’s.  Get started with Anna and Wolfgang’s easy recipes for a German Farmer’s Breakfast (bauernfruhstuck)  and German Potato Soup (kartojelsuppe). Find more great German recipes here:

You might also enjoy these other resources for more cool weather recipes.

When it’s too cold or wet to have outdoor adventures, reading is always a cozy activity.  Spark children’s imaginations with exciting fiction.

Rita from submits some ideas in “Fables, Myths, and Legends:  The Origins of Today’s World Cultures”.

For more on how to incorporate children’s literary heroes and heroines into lesson plans, check out this interesting article.

This article from the UK discusses the decline in knowledge of and interest in classic children’s fiction. If classics are, by definition, the “standard” by which other literature is judged, is it not a shame that many young people are no longer being exposed to these timeless works and characters?

In the following article, famous UK authors share their favorite literary characters. Many of these are from adult books, so they aren’t necessarily all pertinent or appropriate for discussion with your students.  However, some of the authors do cite children’s literature.  This can help start a conversation about how many adults still value many of the same books your students are reading now, as well as how a love of reading can last your whole lifetime.

Winter is also a great time to explore the arts.

Here are 10 great tips for getting children interested in classical music.

Marjorie Kiel Persons’ Classical Magic and Back-to-Bach materials add  lyrics to classical pieces to help children engage with and remember the music.  She also offers many lesson ideas relating to Vivaldi’s “Winter” and other classical pieces.

Want more ideas?


Outdoor activities– 

When it is time to explore and “shake out the sillies”, bundle up and head outdoors.  You will find lots to see and do!

Here are a list of varied winter activities for families, inside and out.

If you live where there is snow that stays a long time, make it a family project to clear a network of paths so kids, adults, guests, and even pets can get their daily exercise without getting super-snowy.  This cute family video gives you a tour of the pathway network in their yard.  They seem to be having lots of fun!

For more outdoor fun ideas, check out these snow day activities!

To keep things as fun as possible (because no one wants to be too cold), here are some tips for staying warm when enjoying the outdoors in winter.

The Iowa Department of Public Health, Healthy Child Care Iowa, provides a useful and interesting matrix for parents and child care providers to gauge the safety of outdoor activities in different weather conditions.

Many cities in wintery areas have informational websites with winter recreational and safety ideas.  Do an internet search for one near you for more inspiration and resources.

Even in severe winter areas, winter can be an interesting time to start or continue nature journaling. Bare tree branches and smooth snowbanks can provide a good background for children to see wildlife, and paying close attention to your local winter landscape makes the beginning of spring growth and activity even more exciting. Slower changes during winter may also make it easier to get some students into the habit of noticing the details of the environment around them.

The Smithsonian Institution has some helpful hints to help get you started.

Animals have many interesting ways to keep warm, survive and find food during winter weather conditions which are too harsh for humans.  What better time to discuss these special strategies and physical features than when you are outside in the cold yourself. Children may be able to better put themselves in the animals’ place, because although the students can go inside to warm up, animals cannot.  Get the conversation started with information from Dale Gausman’s “Acting Out How Animals Survive Winter”  and the Animals in Winter Unit Study.

Visual learners will especially enjoy this neat video from New Hampshire Public Television, which shows naturalists looking for tracks and other evidence of animal presence in a snowy woods.

Remember, there is lots of life and learning to experience, indoors and out, all winter long, if you plan to enjoy it!

The world is so full of a number of things,

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

Robert Louis Stevenson

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Winter Science and Technology

Every season brings its own opportunities and inspirations.  Winter is a great time to delve into complex subjects and practice new skills through books and technology, because it may be more enjoyable to stay indoors more of the time than in other seasons.  It is also an opportune time to study scientific phenomena which are related to or only occur during the winter months.


General science activities—


Teachers share a variety of winter science projects here:


For preschoolers:


For more miscellaneous lesson ideas, check out these resources: , ,


Get more ideas for outdoor science activities from this informative article from the Worcester (Massachusetts) Telegram & Gazette, “Winter is perfect bird-watching weather”.


For high-quality equipment and resources to help you go in-depth in wide variety of science subjects, check out Schoolmasters Science.   


Weather-related subjects—


Start your meteorological studies with this article on understanding winter weather subjects.


From the BBC, watch “How do you survive in the coldest place on Earth?”


While you are learning about extreme temperatures, perhaps you or your students missed this story about the interesting controversy over the world’s hottest recorded temperature.


For more information on low and high temperatures around the world, this site has many interesting facts and links.


Enjoy these interesting videos about and images of ice and snow.  


Time lapse footage of ice forming on a window in Fairbanks, Alaska.


The BBC presents The Secret Life of Ice (four 15 minute parts)


Here you will find pretty much everything you could possibly want to know about snow crystals, with lots of beautiful photos, from CalTech’s Dr. Kenneth G. Libbrecht.  This article from the Billings Gazette features an interview with Dr. Libbrecht and many interesting snowflake facts.


Look at ice a different way with Exploration Education’s “To Float or Not to Float” experiment.


Don’t live in an icy area?  This is an informative article with many representative photos of the various types of “temperate” climate.


This page from the University of California Museum of Palentology about the forest biome (and more) is also packed with great information.




Some folks dream big dreams during long winters. The Swedes have created an amazing astronomical map that spreads across their entire country.  Check out the Swedish Solar System.  What big project might you dream up this winter?


Between storms, winter skies can be very good for astronomical observations. This informative web “tour” from 45 degrees North Latitude will get you and your students excited about bundling up and checking out your own night sky.


For more ideas, equipment and resource materials for exploring the night sky, check out the extensive astronomy section at Nature’s Workshop Plus!


Learn new computer and technology skills on your computer—


Find free on-line typing lessons (plus much more, check the side bar).


Miscellaneous on-line computer tutorials and resources (many are free).


Get young kids playing chess.


For parents and teachers—


If your students are using the internet unsupervised, you may be interested in these lessons in on-line safety.


This article discusses some of the uses, advantages and a few disadvantages of technology in homeschooling. 

For more about technology and homeschooling, take this interesting Discovery quiz.

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Plan Ahead! Part II

“First comes thought; then organization of that thought into ideas and plans; then transformation of those plans into reality. The beginning, as you will observe, is in your imagination.” Napoleon Hill

Here are some more resources and ideas for extended lesson plans in other subjects.

Arts, crafts and music—

If a subject is new to you or beyond your personal experiences or education, why not invest in a specialized curriculum.

Coyote Creek offers several sets of art lessons.  Their “Art Lessons for Children” contains six volumes; so if you bought the whole series, you could plan to explore approximately one volume per month for a traditional school year, or one every two months for a full-year’s art instruction.

Harrisville Design’s WoolWorks Curriculum for grades 3-8 offers 12 lessons which help you use fiber arts study to reinforce math, social studies, science and other academic subjects.

Beautify your whole year with handwriting practice and/or calligraphy lessons.

Try the Barkowsky Fluent Handwriting system to help students learn neat and attractive handwriting. Also, as a fun combination of practice and creativity, have students try some calligrams—artful shapes made of handwritten words.

To get even more creative and ornamental, why not introduce on-going calligraphy lessons? Calligraphy teaches coordination, neatness and attention to detail, plus it can be a very useful life skill.  It’s also an “art”/aesthetic outlet that may appeal to students who don’t consider themselves “traditionally creative”, because it is based on set rules and patterns, but allows for individual interpretation and technique. You can find an assortment of calligraphy instruction materials at the Farm Country General Store link below, or at your local library.

For more fun art lessons which combine the coordination skills for drawing and writing, be sure to visit Draw Your World.  Also check out their “Draw Write Now” book series for grades 1-8 and other art and handwriting materials in their on-line store.

Dale from North American Montessori Center’s “Friendship Quilt” project  is a fairly short craft/sewing project. However, after students complete this quilt, perhaps they would be interested in collaborating on additional quilts.  There are many charity organizations that look for donations of blankets or quilts. You will find some here.  A quilt could also be an attractive raffle or fundraiser prize.  Once students feel a sense of confidence from the first quilt, having them help make an additional quilt or two (perhaps with varying decoration techniques to introduce new skills) will help them develop more of a feeling of mastery. Repetition builds familiarity. If you make a quilt for charity, you might also get students interested in other charity craft projects, as well.

If musical studies are part of your year-long lesson plans, you can find musical instruments, sheet music, CDs, and more at , and a wide variety of music-oriented curricula and activities at Sing ‘n’ Learn.

Gardening, science, and outdoor adventuring—

Rae from The Creative Process offers autumn planning tips in her Gardens for Schools.   She also has lesson plans and curriculum resources for a classroom “Plant a Tree” project.

Exploration Education offers year-long science curricula appropriate for both traditional and homeschool environments for students from kindergarten through 10th grade.

The Elephant Sanctuary in Hohenwald, Tennessee, offers two free curricula—one for K-3, another for 4-8

The Minnesota DNR has a great round-up guide to curricula and projects for a wide variety of science and outdoor subjects. Some are state-oriented, some are national.

Nature journaling is a great year-long project which can be enjoyed by students of all ages. Because they are open-ended and potentially unstructured, each student can record new concepts, observations, and inspirations in their own way and at their own level. One student might write descriptions of what they see. Another student might sketch plants or landscapes. A third might (if observing nature in a place where it is permitted) gather leaves, feathers or other natural materials to identify and/or remind them later of things that they saw. If students have access to cameras, some might want to shoot and add printed photographs. Just make sure that the students have regular outdoor time, direct and encourage observation and identification, and see what your students decide to record. The following article has some good information and ideas to get you started.

Maybe this is the year to invest in a microscope , grow an insectivorous plant , or set up a bat house . Nature’s Workshop Plus! has all those items and many more. Be sure to check their clearance items for some excellent deals on science and art products.  You can also find high-quality science equipment at Lab Essentials.

Professional development—

You can also get a good start on your year’s strategies and goals with some professional perspective and enrichment.

Mariaemma Pelullo-Willis and Victoria Kindle Hodson of LearningSuccess Institute have lots of good information and ideas for teaching children of all ages, personalities, and abilities. You can get a good idea about the kind of information they have to offer by listening to some interesting past interviews Mariaemma has posted on their site.

North American Montessori Center also offers professional development courses.  See

Bookmark this post, and Plan Ahead! Part I so that you can refer to this resource information throughout the school year. :-)

Stay tuned for more lesson planning ideas and resources that will be published in the weeks to come.


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Winter Hands On Montessori Newsletter Just Released!

Please see Winter and Holiday 2012 Lesson Planning – Montessori Style for updated information.


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The Study of Animals – Some Hands On Lesson Planning

The American Montessori Consulting website contains some hands on lessons about animals that you can use right now in your school and home classrooms.

In Part III, of the AMC Montessori Hands On Newsletter, Montessorian Dale Gausman contributed the Acting Out How Animals Survive Winter exercise. This exercise will greatly aid children in their understanding of hibernation, adaptation, and other key science terms.

For additional information about how animals survive during the winter months, please visit Animals in the Winter – Links for Montessori Unit Study

Anna, from Wood, Etc., suggested that young children make Zebras that can be used in an Animal Safari unit study This project is indeed easy and inexpensive to make. Click here to download the instructions for this and other general hands on exercises.

To plan a unit study about wild animals please visit Let’s Go on an Animal Safari!


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Free Montessori Winter Lesson Planning

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 more 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


In Part 1 you will discover the following:

Montessori teacher Mollie Heaberlin introduces the Collage Paste Mix activity. Mollie has undoubtedly used this activity many times in her Montessori classroom.

Rae, from the Creative Process, has offered three free activities that will spark the imagination of your students. Scribble Designs, Masks and Mask Making, Sharing Food Unit Study and a wonderful, brand new Teaching Alternative Energy Ideas will all add some zip to your winter lesson planning.

Part II


Rick, from Fun With Languages, contributed a Miami style Pistachio Poppy Seed Cake recipe. This recipe would be a great addition to any holiday gathering. Speaking of recipes, renowned Montessori teacher, Kathy O’Reilly, from Cooking With Children Can Be Easy, submitted a yummy Old Fashioned Sugar Cookie Cutouts. This recipe is also perfect for your holiday celebrations.

Nan Barchowsky has once again generously contributed to the seasonal AMC Montessori newsletters. For the winter edition, Nan contributed the new 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 Science Activity “Air Lift”.

Part III


Receive a direct link to Montessori Napkin Folding exercise. This exercise was contributed, courtesy of the North American Montessori Center. This Montessori practical life exercise will be enjoyed by children as they participate in preparing the holiday dinner table for guests.

I love the smell of baked apples. This autumn and winter try a new apple recipe. Ginger-Coconut Baked Apples is sure to delight your family and friends. Dale, from North American Montessori Center, has also shared the Montessori Button-Buddy activity. Dale takes you step by step on how to present this lesson and provides an extension exercises as well.

Finally, in Part III, Dale contributed the Montessori Acting Out How Animals Survive Winter exercise. This exercise will greatly aid children in their understanding of hibernation, adaptation, and other key science terms.

Richard, from LORD Company, has uploaded some FREE materials for you to use in your school and home classrooms. Read Part II of this newsletter to learn more about The Land and Water Forms Cards and Labels set and how to use them.

Shari from Shari and Jerry, contributed the delicious Nanny’s Zucchini’s Bread. Yum!! Shari has also provided excerpts from the Cooks in the Classroom. Among the topics discussed are
the relationship of nutrition to ADHD and a discussion of essential fats.

Verna, from The Music House, contributed the Aromatic Basmatic Rice with Saffron. This delicious dish could be served at any upcoming multicultural event or be an unexpected delicious treat for your holiday meal.

Wenda, from Birdcage Press, has provided an amazing set of free lesson planning materials for a unit study about Renaissance and Impressionist artists.

Part IV


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. Dianne, from Conceptual Learning, provides yet another tasty Nutty Chocolate Pudding Squares recipe that is great for your holiday parties. Dianne, has also graciously contributed some outstanding Montessori Math Sequencing lessons in .pdf

Georgette, from Cantemos, has compiled information for an integrated, fun pineapple unit study. She has also contributed the delicious Chocolate Dusted Almonds recipe.

It’s not to late for the younger children to participate in the fall squirrel project. This is one new project that you will want to tuck away for next fall as well. Your students are also sure to enjoy the papier mache activity submitted by Shari of Shari and Jerry.

Dr. Borenson, from Hands On Equations, has once again contributed a free hands-on algebra activity. In this section, you will also discover more about the free Montessori Animals in the Winter unit study.

Part V


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.

Karen, from Fun Felt, has consistently demonstrated her creative talents. In this issue, she has shared her Handprint Towel. This 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. Karen has also shared her special Pumpkin Pie Scented Playdough Recipe. This is sure to delight the younger set!!

Joan, from Nation Relation, submitted a Recipe of World Tolerance. This is something we continually need to impart to those we educate.

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

Part VI


Another recipe that is sure to delight the chocolate lovers in your family is Farmer’s Favorite Fudge recipe. This was contributed by Larry of Farm Country General Store.

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.

Angela, from Wildridge Software, submitted a Hearty Fall Kale Soup recipe that is sure to warm you up on chilly wintery days.

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

Part VII


Try a unique, tasty recipe that is sure to delight your friends and family. Mary Roberts, from Hello Wood, sums up the taste of her Onion Pie recipe with one word…..Yum-m-m-m!!

Crepes Recipe for Children can be used as part of a unit study about the French culture. It could also be used for specific multicultural celebrations, and would be a scrumptious addition to a holiday meal.

Rita, from, has written a brand new 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.

Marjorie Kiel Persons contributed Winter by Vivaldi. Educators can use her complete lesson plan by customizing it to fit most age groups. Here are just a few ways educators can use the unit study:

*Put into historical context, i.e. Baroque Period – the Pilgrims’ landing at Plymouth Rock in 1620.

*Creatively used in conjunction with art, science and geography activities

*Easily incorporated into other existing music programs

Marjorie includes links to lyrics and to a portrait of Vivaldi.
Please see
to view this entire lesson plan.



Author Sara Ambarian is well known by AMC readers for her past contributions to the AMC eLibrary. For the past two years, readers have enjoyed her article Thanksgiving Thoughts: Passing Along Some Positive Perspective with the Pumpkin Pie, Now, in Part XIII, Sara provides some timely advice for those of us struggling to make our upcoming holiday season less stressful. In
Re-thinking Holiday Priorities During Tough Times Sara provides ideas and resources to help us minimize the cost and maximize the enjoyment of this season. Numerous helpful links will help you to get started on your family gift giving projects, as well. Don’t delay, begin planning today! Please to access this article.

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

Many of the resource participants who contributed to this newsletter are featured in the monthly drawings. See the AMC Montessori website for details on how to enter. Visit and today!

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


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AMC Special Holiday News, Lessons & Other Information

Visit Special Montessori Holiday News and Lessons to access the following:

Info about the recent American Montessori Society 2009 Fall Conference,
Free 2009 Fall and Winter Hands On Lessons
Montessori Holiday Themed Game
Montessori Community Service Projects
Thanksgiving Thoughts: Passing Along Some Positive Perspective with the Pumpkin Pie
Special Holiday Meals for Special Diets
Celebrating Holidays Around the World
Christmas Around the World Part I – Lesson Planning
Animals in the Winter – Unit Study
Christmas Around the World Part II – Lesson Planning

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