One of the most intimidating aspects of Montessori, other than all of those Montessori materials, is figuring out how to present a Montessori lesson. For this challenge in our #30daystoMontessori, I want to just give you basic steps and things to consider when presenting almost any Montessori lesson, rather than give you a specific lesson that might not really work for your child.
Reading a typical Montessori lesson outline can be so overwhelming in its precision. The outlines usually dictate how your hands should move, which hands to use, precise wording, and of course, exact materials. Memorizing each outline is just unfeasible if you want to really be active in incorporating Montessori into your daily routine… so how do you do it?
How to Give a Montessori Lesson
If there is a lesson plan or album that you are following, review it focusing on the following points; alternatively, if you are designing your own lesson or introducing something not in the traditional Montessori, make sure you can answer the following:
- What is the purpose of the lesson?
- Does this lesson contain specific vocabulary? Or, is it a lesson best presented silently?
- What are the “points of interest” that I need to focus on presenting?
- How should I hold the materials in a way that the children can imitate, and will help build fine motor skills?
- Know when to stop, leaving room for the children to explore and opportunities for future lessons
For example, if we were to consider the Pink Tower introduction:
- The purpose of the lesson isn’t to teach stacking, but visual and tangible discrimination of size, while also displaying the underlying concept of cubing
- This lesson is beautifully presented silently, but if necessary could use comparative language — bigger, smaller
- The points of interest are careful handling of materials, carrying each cube individually to the mat, and then using the smallest cube to “check” your work by “walking” it up the tower. Another point of interest is that when presenting the Pink Tower, you first present it horizontally to show how the smallest cube is the exact difference between each cube, which introduces the concept of “cubing” and self-correction
- When carrying the cubes, consider how children have smaller hands and need to be careful with the materials, use two hands for larger cubes and then a pincer grip for the smallest
- After showing the horizontal “stacking,” children will naturally stack vertically. If given freedom, children will also eventually explore variations — spirals, integrating the brown stair, etc. You can present these later if needed, but they shouldn’t all be presented at once
So, today, choose a simple material. It can be a Montessori material, or a new art tool, or something for the kitchen. Consider the above questions, and devise your own lesson OR if you have a Montessori material, you can choose to present an activity that your child is ready to explore.
We also have a wide collection of Montessori Practical Life Lessons here.