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The Five Great Lessons of the Elementary Curriculum
One of our favorite reasons to keep your child in Montessori at least through lower Elementary (grades 1-3):
The Five Great Lessons of the Elementary Curriculum
The Great Lessons are an important and unique part of the Montessori curriculum. These lessons are bold, exciting, and are designed to awaken a child’s imagination and curiosity. The child should be struck with the wonder of creation, thrilled with new ideas, and awed by the inventiveness and innovation that is part of the human spirit.
The Five Great Lessons are traditionally presented in lower elementary (grades 1-3), and are presented every year so that children see them more than one time. Unlike the 3-6 environment, where the child is introduced first to “small” ideas that gradually widen into larger concepts, the elementary child is introduced right away to large concepts – the largest of all being the beginning of the universe. Then they can be shown how all the smaller ideas fit into the larger framework.
Traditionally, there are Five Great Lessons that are used to paint a broad picture before moving to more specific study. They consist of:
First Great Lesson – Coming of the Universe and the Earth
Second Great Lesson – Coming of Life
Third Great Lesson – Coming of Human Beings
Fourth Great Lesson – Communication in Signs
Fifth Great Lesson – The Story of Numbers

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