SYLLABUS OF MONTESSORI THEORY & METHODS UNIT 6 DIFFERENT TYPES OF SENSORIAL ACTIVITIES DAY 15 – 17

Pre Home Assignments

Learning Activity 1: Read passage & Meditate (as home assignment): Should read the passages in this unit minimum 3 times. After reading each paragraph, close your eyes & think about the paragraph content in a few minutes.

All students should do all preparations and practices with fullest effort for the live class session too.

Learning Activity 2: Digital Visit: Digitally visit a Montessori House of Children and observe the Prepared Environment, Learning Materials and children’s different activities and write a report in 2 A4 pages in your Assignment Book.

Learning Activities for Live Class Session:

Learning Activity 1: Pair Talk: Two pupils sit face to face and talk regarding Montessori’s concept regarding senses.

Learning Activity 2: Group Discussion: Arrange a discussion about the activities following in Montessori schools for the development of senses in children.

Learning Activity 3: Question Answer Session for Parents: Conduct a Telephonic Question Answer Session like in TV relate with Sensorial Activities in a Montessori House of Children:

Learning Activity 4: Speech: Write the name of each sense on a small piece of paper (total 9). Fold or roll them and keep together. Let one trainee pick one from the lot as a lotto pick and give a speech about that sense for 3 minutes. After that remove that lotto from the lot and continue the process with the remaining lotto.

Learning Activity 5: Group Discussion: Arrange a Group Discussion like in TV. All students are participating in the discussion.
Round 1: Purpose and objectives of learning and practicing the content in this theory unit
Round 2: How to apply the knowledge and the ideas in this unit in your life, career and in society.

Learning Activity 6: Imaginary Activity practice/ Visualization with closed eyes: Sub: Sensorial activities in Montessori House of Children by using all five imaginary senses.

Learning Activity 7: Skit: Make a skit and present based on the sense development idea of Dr. Montessori.

Learning Activity 8: Face to face Interview: Two pupils sit face to face like a TV interview. One acts as Dr. Maria Montessori. The other one asks questions to her regarding the idea behind mixing different age groups in her school, imagining that she is Dr. Maria Montessori.

Learning Activity 9: Learning activity as per students’ choice. Conduct a learning activity as per the choice of lesson activities coordinating group.

Self-Home Assignments & with classmates:

Learning Activity 1: Self Speech in front of Mirror: About Learning activates following in a Montessori School for developing different senses of children. Talk about it in 5-10 minutes.

Learning Activity 2: Pair Talk: Two pupils sit face to face and talk regarding Montessori’s concept regarding senses. Faculty prepare the list & put it in the group.

Learning Activity 3: Face to face Interview: Two pupils sit face to face like a TV interview. One acts as Dr. Maria Montessori. The other one asks questions to her regarding the Sensorial activities following in her school, imagining that she is Dr. Maria Montessori. Faculty prepare the list & put it in the group.

Learning Activity 4: Speech as Dr. Maria Montessori in front of Mirror: Write the name of each sense on a small piece of paper (total 9). Fold or roll them and keep together and give a speech about that sense for 2-3 minutes by imagining that you are Dr. Maria Montessori. After that remove that lotto from the lot and continue the process with the remaining lotto.

Learning Activity 5: Self Speech in front of Mirror: Regarding the benefits of mixing different age groups in in a Montessori School. Talk about it in 5-10 minutes.

Individual & pair learning activities as Post Home Assignments:

Learning Activity 1: Comparative study & Assessment: Make a comparative study regarding the sense development of children in a Montessori school and in a Non- Montessori School and write your assessment in 1 A4 page in your Assignment Book.

Learning Activity 2: Watch: Watch the different images of different Sensorial Apparatus used in Montessori House of Children through the Internet.

Learning Activity 3: Chart: Write in a chart paper about the different senses briefly as per Montessori in an attractive way.

Learning Activity 4: Slogans in Chart Paper: Write 10 slogans in a Chart Paper based on Montessori’s findings in an attractive way.

Learning Activity 5: Prepare List: Prepare list of learning activities in four A 4 pages in your Assignment Book suitable for preschool children to develop 9 senses as per Montessori.

Introduction:

Sensorial activities are developmental activities where the child mobilizes all aspects of his person, his intelligence, his will and his voluntary movements. Every human activity requires the senses.
Senses are the capacitors of the central nervous system which makes use of the tools called sense organs. What we receive from the sense body is the instrument of intelligence. An adult can connect the impressions using his intelligence because of past experience but not a child. A child’s intelligence is not well developed; as a result the child clings to the senses to interpret impressions.
Intelligence cannot go out to gather information. This information is brought in by the senses. Senses act as agents for collecting information from the environment. Intelligence depends on the sense organs to receive and transmit. We can therefore say that the intelligence gets the sense to scout for information and that they are real support of the intelligence.
A child is ready for sensorial activities even before he comes to the House of Children. But sensorial activities get started only after the entire community is settled down and are familiar with the material and the activities. Sensorial impressions are what we receive from the sense organs. These impressions are what we normally call the physical properties of matter. They not only gather information but also scout around for information at the command of the intelligence. Sensorial activities are divided into different categories. They are:

1. Visual Sense: The sense organ being the eyes aims at perfecting the perception of dimensions by sight alone. Our eyes receive two dimensional sensorial impressions. Our mind when it receives these two dimensional impressions supplies the third dimension and makes it complete. The sense that can take the impression of colour is called the chromatic sense. The visual memory is good and it can function over space provided there is light.

2. Auditory Sense: The sense organ is the Ear. We recognize four different acoustic impressions.
a. Noise – which is an irregular sound?
b. Sound – which comes in regularity.
c. Human speech -these are the sounds produced by the human vocal cords
d. Silence – not absence of noise but minimum of noise.
The acoustic memory is fairly good and it can function over the medium being air.

3. Tactile Sense: This is the sense of touch and is located all over the skin. Certain parts of the skin are more sensitive. It takes in the impression of surface texture like rough or smooth, hard or soft. The tactile memory is there but not easily remembered. It does not function over distance.

There are also movable materials to be used. These materials are gathered into separate groups, each for a specific exercise. There are collections of the following:
a. Cards of varying grades of smoothness
b. Sandpaper cards of graded coarseness.
c. Different kinds of Fabrics.

4. Olfactory Sense: This is the sense of smell. The sense organ being the membrane inside the nostrils, which are very sensitive. The olfactory sense responds very soon and the memory is very weak and it does not function over space.

5. Gustatory Sense: This is the sense of taste. The sense organs are the taste buds located on the tongue. The tongue should be wet in order to make the impression. It is therefore kept wet by fluid called saliva. The classification of taste:
a. Sweet – Tip of the Tongue
b. Sour – The two edges of the Tongue
c. Bitter – the base of the Tongue
d. Salt – All over the Tongue
The gustatory memory does not carry for a long time and it does not function over space.

6. Thermal Sense: This sense gives the impression of hot and cold. It is very relative, which relates to the body temperature. The sense organ is the various nerve endings. Certain parts are more sensitive because the nerve endings are close to the skin. There are two nerve endings – one which registers as hot and another which registers cold. Both are very close to each other. Thermal memory is very weak and it does not function over space.

7. Chromatic Sense: This sense helps the child to recognize and distinguish fine shade differences in colors; develops a vocabulary for colors. The classification of colors:-
a. Primary Colors: Consists of three pairs – Blue, Yellow and Red.
b. Secondary Colors: Consists of II Pairs – Yellow, Red, Blue, Green Orange, Purple, Brown, Gary, Pink, white and Black.
c. Tertiary Colors: Consists of 63 tablets with nine colors in seven different shades – Red, Blue, Yellow, Purple, Orange, Pink, Brown and Gary.

8. Baric Sense: This is the sense of weight. The baric sense helps us to estimate weight with the help of our muscles. The baric sense takes in the impression of heavy and light. There is no baric memory and it does not function over space.

9. Stereognostic Sense: This sense deals with the comprehensions of three dimensional figures. It registers the sensorial impression of three dimensions. It is located in muscles. The stereognostic memory is very good and does operate over distance.
Exercise of practical life acts as a preparation for sensorial activities. The child who is familiar with the exercises of practical life settles down easily. The child develops an interest for intelligent and purposeful activities. He becomes aware of his need to perform these activities and also knows that there is an intelligent purpose behind performing the sensorial activities.
The senses start functioning even before the child is born. So by the time he reaches the House of Children, he is saturated with sensorial impressions. There is nothing new to be acquired from the point of view of sensorial impression. What is required now is for the child to become conscious of what he already knows or what he has already absorbed.
The child should be helped to sort, classify, and distinguish the various sensorial impressions absorbed by him. This is the various physical properties of matter under which the classification can be done. The child can then utilize his intelligence to classify the various activities. Sensorial activities lead to the appreciation of shapes and colors. There is elaborate preparation given to the child in the field of writing through the performance of sensorial activities. The more experience the child has, the more he wants to express and this leads to the development of an enriched vocabulary which helps the child to read and write fluently.

PINK TOWER

Pink Tower is one of the most interesting sensorial activities which children enjoy doing repeatedly. Let us see how it is presented by the Montessori Directress to Children in the class.

Material Description: It consisted of 10 wooden cubes. The measurement of the Cubes varies from 10 centimeters in the largest to 1 centimeter in the smallest. Characteristics: The material lends itself to grading activity. They represent the mathematical succession of 13 , 23 , 33 , 43 , 53 , 63 , 73 , 83 , 93 , 103 . They also materialize items of human culture namely units of measurement of volume and weight. It is displayed in the form that it assumes after the activity is done. The height of the tower is 55 centimeters. It is displayed on a low stool. The color of the stool should go with the décor of the House of Children.

CYLINDER BLOCKS

This set consists of 4 Blocks that are made of Solid Beech wood, Teak Wood or Rosewood.
1. Progress in height and diameter from small to large.
2. Progress in diameter from thin to thick.
3. Diminishes in height, yet increases in diameter from tall and thin to short and thick.
4. Progress in height from short to tall with the diameter remaining constant etc.

NUMBER RODS

The Number Rods are very similar to the long stairs; the child has been working with. They are arranged according to length and also according to the order of the first natural numbers.
The advantage of using number rods is:
1. The Material being familiar helps the child concentrate on the names of the numbers which we are going to offer. Distraction is avoided.
2. The arrangement of the Rods helps the 10 natural numbers to fall according to their order and size.

IDEA BEHIND MIXING DIFFERENT AGE GROUPS

Advantages of having a mixed age group in a Montessori School as compared to traditional Nursery School are the following:

1. The older children have a great sense of responsibility. They take charge of juniors naturally. The younger, new children settle down faster as they are assisted by the senior children.
2. The senior children give help to the junior children. By extending that help, they become better and stronger. Accepting assistance gracefully comes naturally to younger children.
3. The Directress realizes that every child is unique and different.
4. Outwardly comparing children is easily avoided by the directress.
5. Automatic appreciation of work at different levels becomes probable.
6. All the children learn to look at various aspects of things.
7. The children in the school do not need frequent reminders about conduct and behavior. The seniors live the codes of conduct and the juniors learn by example. There are no strict rules or discipline. All children learn to behave well and practice the conduct that mobilizes their consideration for others.
8. The mixed age group goes a long way for a judicious distribution of the learning materials to children of all age groups.
9. The performance of Exercise of Practical Life and Sensorial Activities at different stages of development proves to be an indirect stimulation for further activities.

STORIES, RHYMES AND BALLAD

Stories fascinate everybody. We enjoy listening to stories. They play an important role in our lives. They provide amusement and relaxation for the mind. Children love to listen to stories. They learn new words and their meanings in the context in which they are mentioned. It is a very effective way of strengthening children’s word power. They learn many facts and new things about the past and the present by listening to the adult’s reading and narrating stories. Imaginary tales and real incidents can be narrated as stories. Children get a lot of knowledge from them. The Montessori Directress should equip herself for this activity of story-telling. She should have a ready stock of carefully chosen stories. They must be told in clear and simple language. The story must not have too many characters or incidents.
Any story can be narrated in five to seven minutes. Stories should be such that the children can relate the experience in their everyday life. The incidents should show themselves as moving pictures in front of them. Stories from real life which are new to the children are also can be used. The skills of animals and birds can keep the children thrilled and excited for a long time. Stories can be taken form religious Texts like Bible, Ramayana and other epics. Any time is good for telling stories.
A story will take about five to seven minutes only. Clarity, facial movements and the voice are important in the narration of the story. Montessori encourages ‘speak-reading’ of story books. Children should be allowed to narrate their own stories also. They love to hear and repeat the same story again and again. When children laugh, the Directress can laugh with them but not at them. Teachers can choose stories from books available locally, nationally or internationally. She can adapt, shorten and change these stories according to the age and needs of the children.

RHYMES AND SONGS

Every child loves songs and rhymes. What intrigues one in all these rhymes and songs is not what the poet or author has aimed at conveying, but the way he does it. Many of them may be absurd or senseless. Some of them have intense emotions, sublime thoughts and great charm. But they all give enjoyment. They flow on with a majestic splendor carrying off everything before the uninterrupted torrent of music. It is easy to teach difficult Poems if they have a fascinating rhythm, pictorial image or an absorbing story. Poems for children should have repetition. For instance, in the simple song “Are you sleeping” each line is repeated. Such poems children easily learn by heart. Montessori Directresses should know that rhymes are said or recited and songs are sung.
Rhymes should be taught for enjoyment and rhythm. Meaning of the rhymes is of little importance. Rhymes can be used to start activity or to separate one part of the activity from another. Children need not become word perfect in a rhyme or song in the beginning. Rhymes and songs may be divided into solo parts, group chorus parts, or full class chorus parts. Children should say or sing with rhythm and enjoyment.
All children love very much listening to rhymes and songs. They learn them on time and repeat them for their own pleasure, satisfaction and enjoyment. Rhymes and songs enrich children’s vocabulary. In selection of rhymes, the Directress is guided by most of the criteria that refers to the choice of stories. Rhymes which make no sense to a child of three years are avoided. Duration of each rhyme or song can be about 5 Minutes. Every Montessori Teacher should know by heart about 40 to 50 Rhymes and Songs.

Edited & his Methodology applied by: Baba Alexander, New Delhi

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