Introduction to Cultural Studies
The Cultural Studies area of the classroom encompasses a variety of subjects that are supplementary to the Montessori method. Cultural subjects include: Geography, Science, Botany, Zoology, and Art & Music. Exploring these subjects provide children an opportunity to explore their curiosity of different worldly ideas.
Studying Geography and Foreign Languages allows children the opportunity to understand the immensity of the planet as well as understanding their own culture and that of others. Children can relate and understand cultural diversity and ultimately come to appreciate differences between humankind and compassion for one another.
The large wooden Puzzle Maps are one of the most popular activities in the classroom. Children can move each puzzle piece by grasping little knobs (thereby also developing their pincer grip to support writing later on). The introductory map of the world has a separate puzzle piece for each continent. Following a sensorial exploration of the puzzle map, they learn the names of the continents, countries within, their flags, languages etc.
Science in the Montessori classroom allows the children to explore and work with hands-on experiments that will cultivate a lifelong interest in nature and discovering more about the physical properties of matter of our world, for example, the concepts of sink and float, magnetic and non-magnetic are taught through materials.
Through the study of Botany, the children learn to identify plants through the shapes of leaves (what they look like, how to take care of them, how they grow, etc.) so that they may appreciate nature in a more organic way.
The study of Zoology shows children animals from all around the world (where they live, their unique eco-systems, what they eat, how they’re classified, etc.).
Lastly, the study of Music allows the children a very unique opportunity to express themselves. Music is explored through The Bells, a Montessori material where the child develops and refines the auditory discrimination of pitch. Children progress from learning each note, to learning simple songs.
Culture activities facilitate children's cognitive, social and emotional development in a constructive way.