Tuesday, March 29, 2011

'Ocean Animals' Booklets

We have been discussing the ocean during the past few weeks and the children have taken advantage of many opportunities around the classroom to integrate their knowledge.  For example, we have been pouring and spooning sand in Practical Life exercises and counting shells for lessons in the Math area.  The children also created beach-inspired pieces of art using sand which you can read about here.  After reading about the lovely booklets over at My Montessori Journey, I thought it might be fun for the children to make little Ocean Animal booklets as an interesting, meaningful way to incorporate the theme into our Language lessons. 

At first, I was a bit hesitant to put out a "paper" work because I really feel that the children already learn so much using just the traditional Montessori materials.  I noticed, however, that the kids are extremely motivated to make little books from their activities and take much pride in their creation.  To that end, I put together a booklet making lesson using a simple table in Word and pictures from Clip Art.  Each page of the booklet has one word of an ocean animal whose corresponding picture is on the other sheet of (larger) paper.  I decided to pre-assemble the pages of the booklets because I wanted even the youngest students in the class to have success with the material and I did not want them feeling overwhelmed by the prospect of having to put all of the pages in order.  The students were given a lesson during circle time and then I set the activity up at a table in the Language area of the classroom.

The materials at the table:  pencil for writing name, paper divider with pre-assembled booklets and page with pictures to cut out, pair of scissors and a glue stick.  The blue (art) mat protects the table surface and defines the workspace.  Animals in the booklet:  manatee, sea star, sea urchin,  orca whale, lobster, sea turtle.

For control of error, I placed the pages in order on a shelf so that the children could check their work:

Here, you can see how the control of error can be seen from where the child sits to complete the activity:

The children have been working hard to compete their booklets.  The concentration on their faces as they carefully cut around the pictures is priceless!  Also, they are really paying attention to the words on the page and those who are not yet reading were even trying to sound out the first letter of each word.  Usually, the students place their finished work in their work bin inside the classroom, but these have become coveted items and most get tucked away inside a pocket because they are special treasures!


  1. I am definetly using this idea when we learn about Ocean Animals! Thank you for sharing.
    Discovering Montessori

  2. Somehow I missed this post before my big ocean unit:)

  3. I'm loving this ocean booklet! You've posted it just in time for our beach trip. I can't wait to let the boys make this booklet in the car on the way there. Thanks for the great idea.

  4. I really like this - it reminds me to set out more of this type of work for my boys. Thanks for linking to Montessori Monday. :)

  5. Just a request - could you please grab the MM button and add it to your post? I'd hate for your readers to miss all of the great lessons linked up. Thanks!

  6. I love your ocean animal booklets! And it's always wonderful to see photos of your classroom - so beautiful! I just added your photo and post to http://livingmontessorinow.com/2011/06/16/montessori-inspired-ocean-unit-for-summer-learning-and-fun/