Friday, April 22, 2011

Everyday is Earth Day!

I truly appreciate the fact Montessori classrooms instill a sense of awe and wonder toward the Earth from and early age.  In fact, Montessori settings provide unique opportunities to cultivate the child's curiosity and respect of the world around him - everyday!
One fundamental Montessori lesson is the Land, Air, and Water activity which demonstrates to the child that the Earth is composed of these three elements.   In our classroom, the materials consist of a set of 30 picture cards and three clear containers.  The cards are divided into groups of ten with each group depicting either land, air, or water.  The containers are for the child to collect the three different elements.  Once the child understands the differences of land, air, and water, they can then sort the picture cards underneath the corresponding container. 

Our Land, Air, and Water materials on the shelf.  The picture cards are behind the three clear containers.

The material in use.
Children in the Montessori setting also gain an appreciation and understanding about various cultures and environments through the use of the Continent Folders.  This materials is composed of seven folders each containing photos unique to one of the seven continents.  Not only does the child have an opportunity to learn more about the Earth and the names of the continents, but he also is able to nurture his curiosity about the world which surrounds him. 

Our Continent Folders in the Geography area of the classroom.
While these materials reflect only a fraction of the Montessori geography/culture materials in the classroom, I feel it is important to emphasize the fact that the Primary Montessori classroom provides numerous opportunities for the child to explore and appreciate the world in which we live.  Ultimately, this brings meaning to the children of how important it is to be responsible stewards of the Earth.

During the coming weeks, in appreciation of Earth Day, we will be incorporating concepts of 'The Earth' throughout all areas of the classroom.  I am have been preparing  lots of materials during our Spring Break and have spent time in the classroom setting up these lessons.  Here is a look at some of the Earth-inspired activities waiting for the children when they return from the break:

Practical Life: Spooning - stones in wooden pails

Practical Life: Tweezing - Sorting beans and peas.

Art - Bean Mosaic materials.

Do-A-Dot Earth Painting - similar to the one seen here.

Painting/Stamping with Re-usables/Recycle-ables:  glass jar, plastic container, and a small cork. The  clear box contains a damp sponge with paint to be used as a stamp-pad.   The paper is on a cutting board covered with a towel - I hope the padding will bring greater success to the stamping/painting process. 

Stringing wooden and glass beads on hemp strings for necklaces - Talk about 'eye-candy!'  I love the way this looks on the tray!  I pre-cut and wound the lengths of string and clipped them together with the small clothespins.  The children place the clip on one end of the string while threading beads to prevent the beads from slipping off. 

Happy Earth Day, everyday!


  1. Wonderful activities for Earth Day every day! I especially love the land, air, and water activity. I featured your post at Feel free to pick up a featured-on button from the tab at the top of my bog!

  2. Thanks for checking it out and for the link!

  3. I remember visiting this post during earth day, but came across it again while searching for great Land, Air & Water ideas. I love all of the supplemental trays you have shared. I featured your post on Montessori MOMents. Here's the link:
    Thanks for all of the great ideas!

  4. Thanks so much, Lori! I love reading your blog and thank YOU for your great ideas too!

  5. Your land, air, and water materials are so beautiful - and I just featured your post and photo at

  6. Thanks, Deb! I love your Land, Air, Water post and am honored to be a part of it!