Botany, 3-6, 6-9
Bot•a•nist – an expert in or student of the scientific study of plants (Oxford Languages).
- How do you inspire children to become nature literate? Using Montessori materials, I slowly noticed children developing competency in identifying every aspect of plants, and this began with leaves: parts, shapes, venations, margins, arrangements. The study of plants and their parts has fueled their appreciation of nature. That is why, I am excited to share a post on the Leaves Shapes Puzzles from Alison’s Montessori. These puzzles would be a great addition to children botanical study.
- There are 2 Leaves Shapes puzzles. The first puzzle, Botany Leaves Shapes Puzzle, represents the 18 classic shapes from the Montessori Botany Cabinet, and comes with a control chart. It is a potential alternative for families on a budget, or for someone looking for a quality peg grasping puzzle. It is a preparatory material for a pre-primary and primary child, especially because it offers three pinch grip opportunities while teaching scientific terms that can be readily observed outdoors.
- The second puzzle, North America Leaves Shapes Puzzle, represents 24 leaves shapes that can be found in North America such as: Birch, Poplar, Ash, Oak, Maple, Douglass Fir, etc… It also comes with a control chart. Children will be thrilled to identify leaves they can find outside. It is ideal for children to focus on the different parts of the leaves and make inferences by carefully observing the tips, margins, and bases.
- Indeed, nothing is better than real specimens in nature. However, I found that materials keep the knowledge and interest alive. When children manipulate materials, they are able to organize their learning and integrate the knowledge.
Here are some of the observations I drew from children interacting with concrete materials:
-children perceive materials as toys, they enjoy them as much as any popular toy.
-children’s environment has a significant influence on their personality.
-children can draw passion out of the environment.
-children forget what is out of sight. Materials keeps them abreast with learning.
-children visualize and process knowledge better through sequenced materials.
-children will apply acquired knowledge and skills in different contexts. Focus on process, not only product.
- Post primary learners will be able to pursue this knowledge acquisition through a variety of botany materials found within other materials at the elementary level. They can use nomenclature cards with definitions, and learn more about plants through the Botany Impressionistic Charts and conduct experiments to observe their learning concretely.
- In parallel to nature walks, leaf collections, and preservation, it would be helpful to incorporate the Botany puzzles to the children learning environment. The puzzles are versatile, and can be used across age groups 3-9. For younger children, it is a fine motor skills and eye-hand coordination exercise. It is also language enrichment, as well as a classification awareness device. For older children, it is another opportunity to sharpen their knowledge and a great way to sort leaves based on more detailed features (magins, tips, bases). I find it important to keep knowledge from primary available in the elementary years as well. It allows children to develop more complex thinking about a concept they may not have fully comprehend before. They experience the joy of an ah-ha moment.
Find below extra resources (aff. links)
Thank you for reading this post. I hope it helped you gain an additional perspective on Montessori materials benefits. This experience has been made possible by Alison’s Montessori, who entrusts me with the wonderful novelties they create, at no cost, no requirement.
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