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Montessori Lessons, Ideas and More…

Animals in the Winter – Links for a Unit Study

Find the links you need right here for a complete unit study on Animals in the Winter. These PreK and K-8 links will lead you to articles, hands-on activities and other exercises that are compatible with the Montessori classified reading cards, phonics, grammar, creative writing, science, social studies and other extensive lesson plans.

What happens to animals as it becomes cold outside?

Animals in Winter – Explains hibernation, migration and adaptation.
Animals in Winter Scavenger Hunt

How do animals prepare for winter?

Winter Animals
Acting Out How Animals Survive in the Winter
Animals in Winter

Why do birds fly south in the winter?

Why Birds Fly South for the Winter

What is hibernation?

Hibernation
Animals Themes
Mrs. Jones – Hibernation
Groundhogs Day – Waking Up from Hibernation
Mammals Middle School – Lessons for Middle School Students

How do bears and badgers spend the winter?

Wildlife in Winter
How Do Animals Spend the Winter
Winter

How does the color white help animals in the wintertime?

Arctic Animals of Alaska
More About Camouflage

Where do the insects go in the winter?

Where do all the insects go in the winter?

How do fish survive in the winter?(Compare and Contrast)

Where do fish go in winter?
Fish in Winter – Lesson and Resources
Birds in Winter Lesson Plan

How can you help birds in the winter?

Inexpensive Tips for Helping Birds in Winter
Helping Birds Survive Winter in Your Backyard
Helping Birds Survive a Harsh Winter

Let’s Write, Discuss and Talk About Animals in the Winter

Winter Teaching Ideas
Animals in Winter
Hibernation Background Information and Activities
Write Your Own Books – For K – 3rd Grade(Part I)
Write Your Own Books – For K – 3rd Grade (Part II)

Visit American Montessori Consulting and look under New and Notable for other unit studies. Copyright 2007-2015 American Montessori Consulting

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Montessori Lessons to Jumpstart 2015!

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 amonco.org 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 2015!

Visit www.amonco.org often throughout 2015 to discover new Montessori lesson planning.

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

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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.

http://www.busybeekidscrafts.com/Winter-Activities-for-Kids.html

http://www.primarygames.com/seasons/winter/winter_fun.htm

http://prekinders.com/winter-theme

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

Here are a variety of fun, warm indoor activities to consider. http://voices.yahoo.com/fun-indoor-winter-activities-keep-kids-warm-knitting-760361.html?cat=25

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). http://www.amonco.org/winter7/montessori_winter7.pdf Find more great German recipes here:  http://www.kitchenproject.com/german/german_food_recipes.htm

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

http://www.foodnetwork.com/comfort-foods/package/index.html

http://www.joyofbaking.com/

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 Literatureplace.com submits some ideas in “Fables, Myths, and Legends:  The Origins of Today’s World Cultures”.  http://www.amonco.org/winter2/montessori_winter2.pdf

For more on how to incorporate children’s literary heroes and heroines into lesson plans, check out this interesting article. http://www.educationoasis.com/bc/articles/exploringheroes.htm

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? http://www.worcester.ac.uk/discover/closing-the-book-on-classic-childrens-literary-heroes.html

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. http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/features/the-100-favourite-fictional-characters-as-chosen-by-100-literary-luminaries-526971.html

Winter is also a great time to explore the arts.

Here are 10 great tips for getting children interested in classical music. http://www.bachtrack.com/for-kids-top-tips

Marjorie Kiel Persons’ Classical Magic and Back-to-Bach http://back-to-bach.com/ 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.  http://www.amonco.org/winter7/montessori_winter7.pdf

Want more ideas?  http://www.education.com/reference/article/Ref_Introducing_Arts/

 

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. http://stayathomemoms.about.com/od/activitiesandfun/tp/Winter-Fun-For-Kids.htm

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! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TrPEi8m7aO8

For more outdoor fun ideas, check out these snow day activities! http://www.parents.com/fun/activities/outdoor/snow-activities-kids/

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. http://www.mnn.com/family/family-activities/blogs/toasty-tots-keeping-kids-warm-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. http://www.in.gov/fssa/files/weatherwatch.pdf

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.  http://www.smithsonianeducation.org/educators/lesson_plans/journals/smithsonian_siyc_fall06.pdf

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” http://www.amonco.org/winter3/montessori_winter3.pdf  and the Animals in Winter Unit Study. http://www.amonco.org/winter4/montessori_winter4.pdf

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.  http://video.nhptv.org/video/2238002342/

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: http://www.proteacher.net/discussions/showthread.php?t=69293

 

For preschoolers: http://www.everythingpreschool.com/themes/winter/science.htm

 

For more miscellaneous lesson ideas, check out these resources: http://voices.yahoo.com/outdoor-fall-winter-science-activities-crafts-for-4276665.html , http://teacher.scholastic.com/lessonrepro/k_2theme/winterfun.htm , http://nstacommunities.org/blog/2011/02/09/winter-science-activities

 

Get more ideas for outdoor science activities from this informative article from the Worcester (Massachusetts) Telegram & Gazette, “Winter is perfect bird-watching weather”. http://www.telegram.com/article/20110106/NEWS/101060635/1011

 

For high-quality equipment and resources to help you go in-depth in wide variety of science subjects, check out Schoolmasters Science. http://www.schoolmasters.com/scienceMenu.cfm?div=sc   

 

Weather-related subjects—

 

Start your meteorological studies with this article on understanding winter weather subjects. http://www.usatoday.com/weather/wwinter0.htm

 

From the BBC, watch “How do you survive in the coldest place on Earth?” http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-11875131

 

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. http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/09/13/13845024-death-valley-recognized-with-posting-worlds-hottest-temperature-99-years-later?lite

 

For more information on low and high temperatures around the world, this site has many interesting facts and links. http://www.mherrera.org/temp.htm

 

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

 

Time lapse footage of ice forming on a window in Fairbanks, Alaska. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eMVxTqP13OE

 

The BBC presents The Secret Life of Ice (four 15 minute parts) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tUdGr9AAHxE&feature=relmfu

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TMTCiSoDA2g&feature=relmfu

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FfS8asm8ONU&feature=relmfu

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6NeIAeEzc1M&feature=relmfu

 

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. http://www.its.caltech.edu/~atomic/snowcrystals/  This article from the Billings Gazette features an interview with Dr. Libbrecht and many interesting snowflake facts. http://billingsgazette.com/news/local/article_770d7e8e-024a-11df-8ce4-001cc4c03286.html

 

Look at ice a different way with Exploration Education’s “To Float or Not to Float” experiment. http://www.amonco.org/winter2/montessori_winter2.pdf

 

Don’t live in an icy area?  This is an informative article with many representative photos of the various types of “temperate” climate. http://phillipshs.wcpss.net/Earth_Sci_pdf/Temperate%20Climates.pdf

 

This page from the University of California Museum of Palentology about the forest biome (and more) is also packed with great information. http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/exhibits/biomes/forests.php

 

Astronomy—

 

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. http://www.amusingplanet.com/2011/10/world-largest-scale-model-of-solar.html  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. http://my.execpc.com/60/B3/culp/astronomy/Winter/winter.html

 

For more ideas, equipment and resource materials for exploring the night sky, check out the extensive astronomy section at Nature’s Workshop Plus! http://www.workshopplus.com/productcart/pc/viewCategories.asp?idCategory=2

 

Learn new computer and technology skills on your computer—

 

Find free on-line typing lessons (plus much more, check the side bar). http://www.free-training-tutorial.com/typing-tutorial.html

 

Miscellaneous on-line computer tutorials and resources (many are free). http://www.lausd.k12.ca.us/Jefferson_HS/lscomp.htm

 

http://www.homeschoolinginthebluegrass.com/freeonlineresources.htm

 

http://tomsmerk.com/explore/learn.html

 

Get young kids playing chess.  http://www.chesskids.com/newcourse/index.htm

 

For parents and teachers—

 

If your students are using the internet unsupervised, you may be interested in these lessons in on-line safety.  http://www.gcflearnfree.org/internetsafetyforkids

 

This article discusses some of the uses, advantages and a few disadvantages of technology in homeschooling. http://homeschooling.about.com/od/computersinternet/a/technology.htm 

For more about technology and homeschooling, take this interesting Discovery quiz. http://dsc.discovery.com/tv-shows/curiosity/topics/homeschool-technology-quiz.htm

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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. http://www.coycreek.com/artlessonsforchildrensixvolumeseriesondvd-2.aspx

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.  http://www.harrisville.com/woolworks.htm

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.  http://www.amonco.org/creative7/montessori_fall7.pdf

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. http://www.homeschoolfcgs.com/advanced_search_result.php?keywords=calligraphy&x=6&y=8

For more fun art lessons which combine the coordination skills for drawing and writing, be sure to visit Draw Your World. http://www.drawyourworld.com  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 http://www.amonco.org/creative5/montessori_fall5.pdf  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. http://familycrafts.about.com/od/craftingforcharity/Crafting_for_Charity.htm  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 TheMusicHouse.com. http://www.themusichouse.com , and a wide variety of music-oriented curricula and activities at Sing ‘n’ Learn. http://www.singnlearn.com

Gardening, science, and outdoor adventuring—

Rae from The Creative Process offers autumn planning tips in her Gardens for Schools. http://www.amonco.org/creative01/montessori_fall1.pdf   She also has lesson plans and curriculum resources for a classroom “Plant a Tree” project. http://www.amonco.org/creative/montessori_fall4.pdf

Exploration Education offers year-long science curricula appropriate for both traditional and homeschool environments for students from kindergarten through 10th grade. http://www.explorationeducation.com

The Elephant Sanctuary in Hohenwald, Tennessee, offers two free curricula—one for K-3, another for 4-8  http://www.elephants.com/curriculum.php

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. http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/forestry/education/activity_guides.html

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.  http://covenantfamilytutorial.blogspot.com/2010/09/nature-journaling.html

Maybe this is the year to invest in a microscope http://www.workshopplus.com/productcart/pc/viewCategories.asp?idCategory=30 , grow an insectivorous plant http://www.workshopplus.com/ProductCart/pc/viewPrd.asp?idproduct=2105&idcategory=36 , or set up a bat house http://www.workshopplus.com/productcart/pc/viewPrd.asp?idproduct=829&idcategory=0 . 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. http://www.workshopplus.com  You can also find high-quality science equipment at Lab Essentials. http://www.labessentials.com

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. http://learningsuccessinstitute.com/radioshows.html

North American Montessori Center also offers professional development courses.  See http://www.montessoritraining.net

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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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, http://www.amonco.org/winter3/montessori_winter3.pdf 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!

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

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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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Free! Montessori Winter Lesson Plans

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. Please see to read the current 2013 issue!

Heidi

http://www.amonco.org

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New! Free! Montessori Winter Lesson Plans

Please visit

AMC Winter Lessons for updated 2010 information.

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