Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Africa Study

Last weekend, I spent a couple of mornings in the classroom setting up for our study of Africa.  I am excited to share some of the lessons and activities which will introduce my students to this dynamic continent.

 Practical Life: Dry Transfer activities.

While shopping at a local store,  I came upon a Montessori teacher's dream for African-themed Practical Life spooning and pouring lessons:
Teff, a traditional grain of Ethiopia and kamut, another grain from Egypt.  Who knew?  I am excited to share this information with my students!
Spooning teff.  It is quite granular, yet soft.  I also used teff in a pouring activity using a funnel.

Pouring kamut.

Spooning and sorting various beads.

Making bracelets.

Play dough mat with green play dough.

Practical Life: Wet transfer lessons.
I have incorporated the color green to correspond with Africa on the Montessori colored globe and world map.

A rich assortment of African-themed books (among others).

I look forward to sharing additional lessons and materials as we learn more throughout the coming weeks.


  1. I think its wonderful that you are using traditional grain, but do you think you could use it as a food prep or tasting? Seems a bit wasteful to use food as a toy when so many go without.

  2. I do like the idea of using the traditional grains as a food prep/tasting activity. I question the use of the term 'toy' in this context as I do not refer to the exercises of Practical Life as games or think of them as frivolous activity. In addition to promoting concentration, independence, coordination, and order, these lessons are designed to facilitate an awareness and understanding of the surrounding world. I would never present these materials with the notion that they are 'toys' to be used without much care or attention. Instead, they are presented with a sense of appreciation and gratitude while acting as catalysts for further discussion, learning, and exploration. Over the years, I have visited numerous Montessori schools - each one maintaining their own ideals and instilling a strong worldview within their students. Items such as grains, rice, beans, pasta, etc. are mainstays of such environments in Practical Life lessons.

  3. Dear Sasha,
    Thank you so much for sharing your new Africa activities. I love how you incorporated elements of the study of the continent in all the areas of your classroom. It all looks beautiful and I'm sure your students are loving learning and doing!

  4. Thank you, Laura. It is always a joy to hear the children discussing and learning among themselves as they complete their activities!

  5. How to get the Teff i am in Netherlan