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Zoology in the Montessori Classroom

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In Montessori Education, connecting with nature helps drive the child’s innate curiosity and allows for exploration that also provides rich sensorial experiences. Dr Maria Montessori believed that the outdoor environment was an extension of the indoor classroom, because nature provides endless opportunities for experimental learning.

Let us suppose, instead, that through long and patient exercises we have already trained our teachers in the observation of nature, and that we have raised them, for example to the level of a zoologist who goes out into the woods and fields to witness the early activities of some family of insects in which he is interested. He may be weary from his walk, but he is still watchful. He is only intent in not revealing his presence in the least degree so that the insects may carry out peacefully hour after hour those natural operations which he is anxious to observe.

The Montessori curriculum expands children’s interest for the Natural world and offers opportunities to engage and learn about Botany and Zoology. In our Cycle 1 classrooms, children learn how plants grow, which extends to learning about the life cycle of plants and the life-cycle of animals.

Last year, the children connected to an online incursion by Taronga Zoo. The children learnt about different animals and how they live in their natural environment, and how to protect animals. As a follow-up to what they had learnt, and to further their interests the children created animal habitats using recycled materials – in this picture a Cycle 1 child has created a Possum habitat.

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