This summer, we are re-visiting our biology learning from the beginning again. It’s the perfect time to reinforce the knowledge and close gaps of understanding. We are using the Three Domains Science chart from Alison’s Montessori.
This lesson is part of the Zoology manual from Montessori Research and Development. Prior to this lesson, a child had experience with living and non-living organisms, vertebrates and invertebrates, external parts of birds, fishes, reptiles, amphibians, and mammals. They contrasted plants and animals, and understand the 7 characteristics that make a living organism, living: MRS GREF (move, respire, sense, grow, reproduce, excrete, and feed). Of course, more prior knowledge is always better. We studied ecology and animals in diverse biomes to understand adaptation, interdependence of living things, and developed a need for preserving the Earth.
This set contains:
- One Three Domains chart
- One Mute chart (empty, to be completed with labels)
- 3 description cards, one for each domain
- 3 labels, one for each domain
- 9 leaves to represent a few examples for each domain
Prior to working with the Domain Chart from Alison’s Montessori, we redefined living organisms characteristics. We previously observed bacteria from a pond in our microscope so the children saw life where the naked eye couldn’t. Then, as we were working outside, surrounded by woods and a lake, we could recall quickly the living things around us as specimen: a plant, a mushroom, the deer, the chipmunks, the toad, the snakes, the dragonflies, the fern, the moss, the lichen…
If you are not feeling confident, truly, you will still learn along with the children and find yourself as excited and amazed as they are. The chart, along with the manuals have taught me so much. I finally connected the “dots” from my own education.
After brainstorming and discussing living organisms, we looked at the Domain Chart and noticed three branches: Archae, Bacteria, and Eukaryota.
We read the first description card on Archae, and carefully focused on terminology. The cards provide the etymology (origin and meaning) of the scientific terms, which helps the child build a database of Greco-Latin roots that will come useful in many other scientific contexts. We laid out the leaves on the branch that contains pictures and names of a few examples. The shape of the leaves serve as a control for errors. If the stem doesn’t fit, you got the wrong leaf!
We then compared the Bacteria branch to the Archae. What makes it different? Well, the description card did all the job of explaining, with age appropriate terms, and great examples to which children can relate.
Finally, we tackled the Eukaryota. We had explored the anatomy of a cell so we knew that an organism could be unicellular or multicellular. We knew that plants and animal cells had a clear nucleus, and that the bacteria cell didn’t. Therefore, it was easy for the children to understand that these living organisms could be classified.
Finally, the children had fun. They understood that animals, plants, and mushrooms are regrouped together as Eukaryota based on cellular structure and of course more. They knew the 6 kingdoms chart was awaiting them, which is the next lesson, the next chart.
The Three Domains science chart was gifted to me by Alison’s Montessori per my request. I wanted to compare it to what we already had. I am very satisfied with it and that is why I’m here to share with you this unbiased review.
Make sure to check out my next review on The Six Kingdoms, which is the continuation of the Zoology Montessori curriculum.
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