The Montessori science curriculum introduces students to seasons to understand the passage of time and life cycles. They learn how plants, animals and humans adapt to changing seasons. Activities include taking nature walks, making art projects, trying seasonal foods, observing the weather, and incorporating songs, poems and books into classroom lessons. This hands-on approach aligns with Montessori's emphasis on experiential learning and fosters a deeper connection to nature and time.
Throughout the fall, students in Calhoun's Children's House classroom explored the world of apples. Teachers immersed the children in tactile experiences to learn about apples, build on their creativity, and explore the delicious and versatile fruit. They began by learning the details of the apple – its stem, skin, flesh, seed, leaf and core – and the life cycle of the fruit. Next, they took a trip to the market and used their senses to test different apple varieties, including Pink Lady, Golden Delicious and Macintosh apples. This activity helped them discover differences in taste, texture and color, fostering their appreciation for the diversity of apples.
To conclude their apple unit, children became chefs and scientists for a day! They chopped apples and combined them with cinnamon in a crockpot, before blending the apples with an immersion blender. The grand finale was tasting the homemade applesauce, sharing their culinary creations with their classmates, and discussing the experience. Additionally, students learned apples turn brown because of the process of oxidation and used different solutions to test which ones cause the apple to oxidize. The children quickly discovered that apple slices soaked in vinegar oxidized, while slices placed in salt water, milk and soda did not. The apple unit allowed students to celebrate the fall while learning greater lessons about the changing of seasons and life cycles.