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Each year, International Day of Peace (World Peace Day) is observed around the world on Sept. 21. The United Nations General Assembly has declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples. Annually, HI USA has been joined by HI hostels around the world to host various events in celebration of promoting peace. If you can’t make it to one of our hostels on Sept. 21, don’t fret! Here are eight other ways you can celebrate the UN’s World Peace Day.
For example…you can create a “masterpeace” or make an origami dove…
peace-sign-1 origami-1
Miss Courtney and Miss Leigh Ann are honing in on grace and courtesy skills this month. Please work with your little Villager at home to further emphasize these wonderful basics of social interaction and watch your child beam with pride for accomplishing them and being able to share them with you.
Grace & Courtesy in a Montessori Classroom
Grace and courtesy are an integral part of the Montessori curriculum beginning in the early childhood classroom and continuing through the elementary levels. In The Montessori Method, Dr. Maria Montessori stated, “Considering the method as a whole, we must begin our work by preparing the child for the forms of social life, and we must attract his attention to these forms”. Lessons which help children learn these social strategies are taught so they may navigate friendships and collaborations with others that will benefit them throughout their life.
Early Childhood Classroom
Grace and courtesy lessons are given as a group as a role-play. Each lesson isolates the positive behavior the teacher wishes to model. During the lesson, there are five steps. First, the specific behavior is identified and defined. Then, there is a preview of what the children will happen. Next, children observe a role play of the lesson. There is then a debriefing about what the children saw and observed. Finally, guided role play allows the children to repeat the lesson. The following are examples of lessons given.
• Accepting or declining an invitation
• Accepting help
• Asking permission
• Excusing oneself
• Greeting or saying goodbye to another person
• Helping a classmate
• Inviting a classmate
• Observing lessons
• Refusing help
• Requesting privacy
• Speaking in a low voice
• Waiting for help
• Serving snack
Elementary Classroom
Grace and courtesy lessons continue in the elementary environment, but the format changes from guided role plays to group problem-solving and community meetings. Because the students have entered the second plane of development, they are able to process situations differently. Small meetings between classmates or larger community meetings help students navigate social situations. During these groups, students learn the role of civil discourse, allowing one person to speak at a time. Students discuss situations, and they offer solutions. Students continually evaluate these solutions until there is one which works for everyone.
These lessons are incredibly important for children to learn, as they provide a solid foundation on how to navigate through their lives. Although children may encounter a lack of grace and courtesy in everyday life, in the Montessori classroom, the lessons they receive will help them be kind and compassionate members of society. Dr. Montessori believed that children are a hope and promise for mankind (Education and Peace). Grace and courtesy lessons are the origins of this belief.
Miss Courtney is spending the month of September working with our Primary Villagers on the topic of two of Montessori’s founding tenets that go hand in hand: grace and courtesy. These are Montessori’s foundational magic words!
“Montessori introduced Exercises in Grace and Courtesy in reaction to the young child’s need for order. The child has a need to know and to absorb the social structures in order to be more at ease in his environment. Grace and Courtesy lessons give the child the vocabulary, actions, and steps required for him to build his awareness and responsiveness of those around him. This in turn gives the child a better sense of orientation in his social structure.
The Primary Class is the perfect place to begin these Exercises in Grace and Courtesy because the child at the end of the First Plane of Development is not yet self-conscious. The child is therefore willing to try anything new and will then incorporate it more easily into his person.
Grace and Courtesy lessons are given to each child in the environment and usually in a group. This allows the child to have a clear understanding as well as a place to perfect himself with others. It is the Directress’s role to give the children the correct words, and the precise movements and steps. The child then fully absorbs the how, the when, and the vocabulary used in his environment to make life more pleasant for other and for him.
In the end, the child will have incorporated these graces and courtesies into his everyday life, which will allow for a more pleasant classroom as well as a more pleasant environment wherever the child may go.”