Fundamental Human Needs Chart, Alison’s Montessori

History 6-9

In the Elementary level, prior to studying the Fundamental Human Needs, a child will have developed a stronger notion of time, learned about the age of the universe and the Earth, and understood how to read a timeline. This material, Fundamental Human Needs Chart is introduced prior to an in-depth study of the the fundamental needs that humans had have and still have in common: clothing, food, shelter, defense, transportation, communication, and physical health. Alison’s Montessori Charts are always visually appealing; you will appreciate the artistic realistic pictures that capture the child’s imagination. Let’s explore it together:


  • One Control Chart on Fundamental Human Needs
  • One Mute Chart on Fundamental Human Needs
  • 23 pictures for the Mute Chart
  • 10 labels for the Mute Chart
  • 1 sheet of instructions containing materials, introduction, presentation, and extensions. The presentation is scripted.

How it works

  • Step 1 – Prepare the Control Chart. Invite the children to imagine ending up on a deserted island. Ask them to imagine what they would need to have to survive, if left with nothing. You could take notes on a board. They will make a list of needs vs. wants. You will discuss what is a need vs. a want, and eventually cross out the wants. You can present the Control Chart and discuss Spiritual Needs through a series of questions on community, religion, art, and self-adornment.
  • Step 2 – The next day, you could discuss the Material Needs through a series of questions on shelter, nourishment, clothing, and defense.
  • Step 3 – From now on, the children can use the Mute Chart, cards, and labels to recreate the Fundamental Human Needs Control Chart. Children should be encouraged to research elements of interest for the needs that they have learned: how clothes were made, how food was grown, etc…

The children absolutely enjoyed this lesson to which they could relate. I will keep the transparent box with the chart available for them. They will be invited to revisit the charts before our next presentation. The children will be ready for an in-depth study of the Fundamental Human Needs using a vertical model, and an horizontal model. I will describe these models in a different post. Please leave a comment for more information on The Fundamental Human Needs Chart from Alison’s Montessori.

1 Control Chart, 1 Mute Chart, 23 cards, 10 labels, and instructions
Pre-cut, laminated version, ready in one minute!
Our clear container for the materials
This material comes with instructions, scripted presentation, and follow-up activities
Presentation from Montessori Research and Development
History Manual Vol. I, Elementary I

Disclosure: this experience was made possible thanks to Alison’s Montessori for having the confidence in their house-made products, and letting us try The Fundamentals Humans Needs at no cost, with no requirement on my part. I do write unbiased honest reviews, because I only write about products that work for us.

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