The Montessori method introduces the young child (3 to 6) to the full timeline of history, both ancient and modern, since the start of time.
This is done using the “5 Great Lessons”, and can be adapted to suit an evolutionary or creationist view.
We recommend this excellent online resource for preparing to introduce the child to the “5 Great Lessons”. The materials can be purchased in physical format from the site or you can simply follow the online instructions
The Montessori approach towards the teaching of History is particularly interesting for the following reasons:
The spirit with which Montessori approached and taught history in her day was both unique, at the forefront of all approaches and timely. Remember that she lived through two major wars.
The way in which she taught history was with the use of timelines, experiential activities, and active learning. The children learn through doing and so easily comprehend the story of the Creation of the Universe. She taught about the wonder of creation filling in the minute details for the child.
The materials she used were interesting and stimulating and helped the visual, kinaesthetic and linguistic learners.
She constantly brought in the Cosmic Approach – meaning that the child learns about preservation of the species, the inter-relatedness of EVERYTHING about us. The child learns to cultivate a natural wonder for the world.
Montessori said that as we all have a common past, present and future so the children become aware of their responsibility to preserve the planet.
Montessori used the Cosmic approach meaning that she inter-related history – the world of man – with all the other subjects to provide context to the child of their place in this world.
Children love to hear stories about how the world used to be (they love stories told by parents about what the parent used to do as a child) and so history in the Montessori classroom subscribes to this need.
Montessori felt that children should understand their role in the history of mankind; to make them aware of their environment and their contribution to maintaining the conditions necessary for the future existence of mankind.