Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Life Cycles

Following on my last post on Montessori Cosmic Education, I want to show you one of our exercises in botany and zoology: the life cycles friezes. I find them SO easy to use and they are really popular among the young ones. I didn't say they were easy to make though!! I use  pictures mounted on white card and taped them together using that type of sticky back plastic book film to make a frieze.. Believe me, it is sticky!! Anyway, the idea behind that type of material is To understand that it shows clearly that life goes in cycles (as you unfold the frieze) and that things change all the time. It also reinforces the child's knowledge and understanding of living and non-living things in nature.

This is quite an easy exercise. I show the child one of the frieze she/he has chosen and discuss each picture with him/her, introducing new words and expanding his/her vocabulary. Once we have done that, I introduce the child to the 2 part cards I made to accompany the frieze. First, I show the child how to match the cards  to the pictures on the frieze. If the child is confident enough, I let him/her use the name slips and match them to the words on the frieze too. It doesn't matter if the child can read or not. If he doesn't read, he simply matches the words together. SO this is a double exercise: zoology (life cycle), literacy (words recognition/letters recognition) and maths (matching skills)!!!

The frog lyfe cycle

An apple life cycle

There are other ways of presenting life cycles to children. Simply use pictures or drawings on white laminated cards and ask the child to put them in sequence:

Here another way to do it: 2 A4 laminated cards. The child reproduces the first cards using pictures and name slips (sorry about the pictures being all sideways. It won't come right for me!!):