Lesson Plans & Classroom
Preparing the Environment
Before you scroll down to the actual lesson plans (similar to mini-scripts to guide you through offering a lesson), take a moment to skim this. Why? Because, before a child can become a true master of our language, s/he he needs self-confidence, an organized mind, a knowledge (internal dictionary) of words, endless opportunities to practice speaking/using words, phonetic awareness (knowledge of the sounds/symbols in our language), endless opportunities to create/write words, and the desire to write/read. The complete Montessori 3-6 curriculum directly meets each of these needs of the child.
The information presented here will be most effective only when the rest of the Montessori curriculum is being implemented. Specifically, if you are observing disorder in the child's ability to master our language, your first remedy is to address the disorder in the child's environment (both the physical space and his/her routines). Organizing the child's space and routines is a rich art that is an integrated part of the Montessori 3-6 practical life/everyday living curriculum (which includes specific lessons on caring for the self, caring for the child's environment, learning gracious/courteous behavior, and mastering motor skills (control of movement). You can learn more about the overall structure of a Montessori school from AMI USA. All of these guidelines were developed to respect the natural tendencies of human beings.
So, in addition to lesson plans, I've also included guidelines for sequencing the shelves in a 3 to 6 Montessori environment. Remember that the child absorbs the input s/he receives from the environmental directly into the neuronal framework within the brain. The structure of the brain is directly altered by the child's interactions with her environment. Really! So don't skimp on your work to prepare and maintain the classroom. It is critical that the environment we offer children be organized, free from clutter, logical, and aesthetically just plain lovely. If there is anything in your room above the child's eye level, take it down or cover it up. We must allow the eye to focus on what we have prepared for it. If you have storage or things only meant for teacher use, put them out of sight. We must not distract the eye with extraneous information. (For more information on the research behind this point, see our blog post on Less is More: Crowding the Visual Field.)
The lesson plans are derived from the founder of Maitri's AMI Montessori Albums. If you are not a trained Montessori directress/director (teacher/guide), get trained! Visit AMI USA's website for details. There is much more to this amazing educational method than just the materials. In any case, be sure to practice your presentation alone or with a friend many times before presenting any materials to a child... you want your presentation to be flawless, precise, consistent/repeatable, and completely free from distractions so that the child can focus on, connect with, and learn from the materials. Each lesson is like a choreographed dance that you memorize the movements for. Your performance of the movements must be precise but your interactions with an individual child will of course vary somewhat as you adapt to meet the needs of the moment. This flexibility amidst precision is the true art of guiding children.
Montessori Lesson Plans & Theory
- Practical Life Overview (the most important part of the environment!): READ ME FIRST!
- Practical Life Material Organization & Sequence
- Our blog post on Public School Practical Life: Breakfast as Snack
- Our blog post on The Best Snack Procedure
Our blog post on Setting up Sensorial
1. Spoken Language
- See our blog post on Natural Conversations
- See our blog post on Word Webs & Reading Circuits/Going Deep with Spoken Language Lessons
- See our blog post on The Motherload of Spoken Language Lessons
- See our blog post on Spoken Language Montessori Lessons
- Phonetic ABCs
- This MP3 file sings the alphabet song using the sounds each letter makes instead of their names. Sing it this way with your children! You can also use this as a reference to understand which sounds are meant when people say "phonetic."
2b: I Spy/Sound Games
- See our blog post on Montessori Sound Games/Teaching Phonemic Awareness
- See our blog post on Phonograms Made Easy
2e: Metal Insets (links coming soon)3. Reading
The child below is just beginning to read independently using 3-Part Phonogram Reading Cards. He has already read the word labels, matched them to a photo, and laid out the control cards (on the bottom) to check his work. Watch as he finds and fixes his own error. Being able to fix one's own mistakes is vey beneficial for learning.
3b: Puzzle Words
- See our blog post on Phonograms Made Easy
5. Word Study (coming soon)
6. Reading Analysis (coming soon)
- Montessori Math Overview: a PDF of a photo presentation of some of the main math materials in use in my old 3-6+ classroom (faces are obscured to protect anonymity of my students). I use it when I try to help non-Montessorian's gain some insight into the incredible intelligence of the concrete Montessori Math materials.
- Math Material Organization & Sequence
- Math Equation Cards
- Dot Game Lesson Plan
- This is a PDF of pages are straight from my AMI Montessori Album. They present basic information on how to present the dot game. If you are not a trained Montessorian, always seek the aid of one who is before presenting materials to the child. (Download Dot Game paper on our Materials to Make page.)
- The Montessori Method (1912) by Maria Montessori (Digitized by Google)
- The Advanced Montessori Method (1917) by Maria Montessori (Digitized by Google)
- Dr. Montessori's Own Handbook by Maria Montessori (Digitized by Google)
- Pedagogical Anthropology
- by Maria Montessori (Digitized by Google)
Planning Book/Record Keeping (3 to 6+ Curriculum)
These books list the entire Montessori primary curriculum as I have it in my original albums (extensions included). (NOTE: I would make changes to these today based on my growing knowledge but this is a good starting point.) At the end of each day in the classroom, I made notes in these books. I made one book for each child and was more or less able to keep them up-to-date. On the front cover I wrote the child's name and put his/her sticker (the sticker matched their cubby hook and storage drawer sticker). Sometimes the child would bring me his/her book when s/he was looking for work. Sometimes I would ask them to bring me their book if they needed redirection and I couldn't think where best to send them or recall which lesson they needed. My assistant was also able to use these books to redirect children (I would write a sticky note and post it on the inside cover with a list of specific lessons I wanted to give or thought the child would like to repeat.)