The Montessori Elementary Curriculum

The Montessori curriculum integrates history, geography, and physical and biological sciences. We are in no short supply of Language Arts, Mathematics, Geometry, Foreign Languages, Art and Music either. Maria Montessori called this “cosmic education.” The structure of the curriculum centers around Montessori’s Five Great Lessons:

  • Creation
  • Timeline of Life
  • Evolution of Humans
  • History of Writing
  • History of Math

They are repeated each year and are layered upon with new meaning and discoveries each time the presentations are given. It is the interconnectedness of the studies and follow-on aspects of the student’s work that make this curriculum work in its richness, breath and depth of the subject matters.

What follows then, is a brief list of some of the subject matter of the curriculum and the areas which may be served by the studies. The list is not exhaustive. For a chart of topics by year, download our Outline of Montessori Lower Elementary Curriculum.

History

  • Concept of Time
  • Personal timelines
  • Creation Story
  • History of our Solar System
  • Timeline of Life
  • Clock of Eons
  • Timeline of Human Beings
  • Fundamental Needs of Human Beings
  • Ancient Civilization Studies
  • The Migration of Humans
  • US History
  • State Studies

Geography

  • Creation Story
  • Physical Geography
  • Land Forms
  • Advanced Land Forms
  • Political Geography
  • Economic Geography
  • Country Studies
  • Sun and Earth
  • Composition of the Earth
  • Planetary Studies
  • Work of Air
  • Work of Water
  • Earth Sciences
    • Time Zones
    • Map Studies
    • Rotation of the Earth; Tides and the Moon
    • Temperature Studies and Populations
    • Clouds, Winds, Currents
  • Rivers
  • Geology
    • Metamorphic, Igneous, Sedimentary Rocks and Minerals
    • Types of Mountains
    • Volcanoes
    • Plate Tectonics
  • Chemistry
    • Structure of an atom
    • Study of Water
    • Periodic Table of Elements
  • Physics
    • Light
    • Sound
    • Magnetism
    • Simple Machines

Language

  • Reading
    • Decoding
    • Fluency
    • Comprehension
    • Jr. Great book Discussion
    • Genre
  • Spelling
    • Short Vowels
    • Long Vowel Sounds
    • Syllable types
    • Contractions
    • Sight Words
  • Writing
    • Mechanics
    • Pencil Grip
    • Short Stories
    • Poems
    • Spelling
    • Papers: How-To, Comparison and Contrast, Informative, Descriptive, Persuasive, Cause and Effect, Research
    • Six Traits of Good Writing: Ideas,  Organization, Voice, Word Choice, Sentence Fluency, Conventions
  • Grammar
    • Parts of Speech
    • Compounds, Suffixes, Prefixes
    • Etymology
    • Commands
    • Sentence Analysis
    • Punctuation
  • Oral Expression (opportunities for public speaking include Peacemaker Project, Poetry Café, Presenting a Personal Project, Author’s Circle,  Jr. Great Books, and Newsday Tuesday)

Biology

  • Trees, Roots, Leaves
  • Biomes
  • Classification of Plants and Animals
  • Animal Studies/Plant Studies
  • Who Am I?
  • External Parts
  • Vital Functions
  • The 5 Kingdoms: Prokaryote, Protoctista, Plants, Animal, Fungi
  • Advanced Classification
  • The Study of Cells
  • The Great River – A Study of the Major Systems of the Human Body

Math and Geometry

  • Concept of zero as a place holder
  • Association of quantities of 1 – 1,000,000
  • Four Operations; process and nomenclature, static and dynamic
    • Addition
    • Multiplication
    • Subtraction
    • Division
  • Fractions
  • Multiples and Factors
  • Memorization and move to abstraction
  • Measurement
  • Clocks
  • Lines, Angles, and Plane Figures
  • Money
  • Graphing
  • Decimals and percents – concepts
  • Multiples and Factors LCP and GCF
  • Exploration of polynomials: squares, cubes, roots
  • Problem solving skills and strategies
  • Calculating Areas and Volumes
  • Coordinate Geometry
  • Pythagorean Theorem
  • Probability
  • Data collection and Graphing
  • Positive and Negative Numbers
  • Linear equations and word problems