In Montessori Elementary classroom we begin our academic year with the presentation of the ‘First Great Lesson’ during the first two weeks of school. My Elementary team and I are able to strike the imagination of those young minds as we present it collectively to our Elementary community. The First Great Lesson is a scientific story, or scientific theory, of how the universe has changed over time. It focuses on the universe’s history and the miniscule time that the humans have made Earth their home.
The story is about how the Earth cooled and looked like a tiny pearl. The sun just kept looking at it and then one day it began to rain… and it rained and rained. It washed off the rocks and the salts from the sea.
Each year I am absolutely in awe as I rediscover during lesson planning how the Ecology curriculum unfolds under the significance of the ‘First Great Lesson.’ Below I share with you the lessons/curriculum that is presented under the First Great Lesson during the three-year cycle.
The 6-9 Geology curriculum is divided into two strands, Physical Science and Earth Science. Today I am briefly talking about Earth Science.
Layers of the Earth
- Rock Making
This semester the children received lessons on Parts of the Volcano. We use 3-part cards from ETC Montessori. In addition to the cards, I was looking for something more to evoke wonder, awe and curiosity in the children. Something that helps them to make connections and is inviting when displayed on the shelf. This is very important for repetition, and that the children return to the lesson for practice. I came across this wonderful ‘Parts of the Volcano’ puzzle by MirusToys.
How it Aligns with the Montessori Philosphy:
This puzzle is meticulously crafted with built in control of error and isolates difficulty for children. It encourages independence, focus and leads to mastery. This handcrafted puzzle is well-loved in our classroom, as it serves the purpose of three lessons and rock sorting tray. The front of the puzzle goes well with ‘Parts of the Volcano’ cards by ETC Montessori.
The children are familiarized with the vocabulary with the help of the wooden labels- ash cloud, crater, parasitic cone, lava, vent, conduit and magma reservoir. The back of the puzzle has types of rocks definitions. It lists the classification and also mentions some of the famous landmarks of the world.
How We Use It:
As I mentioned earlier, the puzzle can be used in multiple ways and for various lessons:
- Parts of the Volcano puzzle with labels
- Types of Rocks- Back of the puzzle has definitions and important landmarks
- Rock Cycle with wooden labels
- The base of the tray serves as a sorting tray for rocks from our collection in the classroom.
- The illustrations on the back help the students identify the famous landmarks and how they can make connection in the real world.
I hope you enjoyed this review. If you would like to check out this puzzle, click here. I look forward to sharing more unique products with you.