Sensorial – Part 2

Today we continue our exploration of the Sensorial area of the Montessori classroom, specifically discussing the following materials – the red rods, cylinder blocks, and the knobless cylinders . Sensorial is an area of the Primary classroom that is uniquely “Montessori.” Many of the jobs hearken directly back to Dr. Montessori when she set up her original classroom for the benefit of the young, unattended children in the housing projects of Rome in the early 1900’s.

Picture 3Another set of ten pieces is the red rods.  “The red rods are rods of equal diameter, varying only in length. The smallest is 10 cm long and the largest is one meter long. Each rod is 1 square inch thick. By holding the ends of the rods with two hands, the material is designed to give the child a sense of short and long.”

Here is an example of more advance extensions of using the brown stairs, the red rods and the knobless cylinders:IMG_0017

IMG_0104“The cylinder blocks are ten wooden cylinders of various dimensions that can be removed from a fitted container block using a knobbed handle. To remove the cylinders, the child is taught to use the same three-finger grip used to hold pencils.  Several activities can be done with the cylinder blocks. The main activity involves removing the cylinders from the block and finding the right hole to replace the cylinder in. Small, tall and short, thick and thin, are the concepts being conveyed to the children as they handle the cylinder blocks.”

Also called the knobless cylinders, the colored cylinders are exactly the same dimensions as the cylinder blocks mentioned above.Picture 2

There are 4 boxes of cylinders:

  • Yellow cylinders that vary in height and width. The shortest cylinder is the thinnest and the tallest cylinder is the thickest.

  • Red cylinders that are the same height, but vary in width.

  • Blue cylinders that have the same width, but vary in height.

  • Green cylinders that vary in height and width. The shortest cylinder is the thickest and the tallest cylinder is the thinnest.

The child can do a variety of exercises with these materials, including matching them with the cylinder bloc


ks, stacking them on top of each other to form a tower, and arranging them in size or different patterns.


Here, the knobless cylinders are used with the cylinders from the cylinder block.IMG_0105

Below, a student has combined the knobless cylinders and the pink tower, ordering the materials in sequence from the biggest to the smallest. IMG_0057

Join us on Monday as we continue to study Sensorial.