The First Great Lesson

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In Montessori education, students often start off their school year with “The First Great Lesson.” Says Ms. Vickie, teacher in E2: “The lesson is intended to make an impression on the children and spark an interest in the world around them. We do a series of experiments that demonstrate basic science to inspire and motivate them to want to learn new things.

“Maria Montessori said: ‘Knowledge can be best given when there is eagerness to learn, so this is the period when the seed of everything can be sown, the child’s mind being like a fertile field, ready to receive what will germinate into culture. [In lower elementary], all items of culture are received enthusiastically, and later these seeds will expand and grow.’ (To Educate the Human Potential, pg. 4).”

As a grade level, we would suggest that the parents look through the classroom blogs for pictures of the First Great Lesson and discuss them with their child and see what they learned and what they thought was exciting and fun!”

First Great Lessons often touch on the origin of the earth, science, physics, astronomy, composition of matter, geology, chemistry and biology. This is the ultimate way to spark excitement for learning; to build a foundation for future learning; and to give a “big picture” perspective on how fields of study work together within the universe. For an example of lessons given, click here.

Foothills Montessori School is a private Montessori school serving families in Henderson, Las Vegas and Southern Nevada.

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