What is it?
Young children are natural scientists. They find the greatest joy in making their own discoveries in their world. To aid in the unfolding of their scientific minds, the cultural area focuses on:
Sparking interest and curiosity in the world
Encouraging exploration, experimentation and inquiry
Helping to develop the powers of observation
Helping to give a framework and appropriate vocabulary for classification
Knowledge is initially linked to the child’s interests and things that are apparent in the world around them, and therefore easy for them to relate to and learn about. A broad range of areas is included so that the child is given the 'keys to all areas', so that 'new worlds will open up to him when he is ready'.
Concepts Taught in the Cultural Area
Young children love to know where and how they belong in this big, amazing world of ours. From the seven continents and five oceans, to common land and water forms, natural wonders and famous monuments, to specific countries and cultures all over the world. Montessori materials make this learning fun and easy.
Plants are all around us and are essential to life on Earth. In Montessori, children can learn all about plant life cycles, parts of trees, flowers, leaves, roots, fruits and seeds. They can also learn to identify different types of plants, flowers, leaves and fruits, from familiar to unfamiliar. This also helps to invigorate interest in gardening.
Animals are fascinating to children. Many children become captivated by certain types of animals, from the largest of dinosaurs to the smallest of insects. They love to learn their names, appearance and behaviours. Many even love to incorporate this knowledge into imaginative play.
Scientific investigations incorporate many important skills. These include questioning, predicting, planning, investigating, interpreting results, communicating results and reflecting. There are endless scientific enquiries and experiments that are perfect for children of young ages.
Time can be an abstract concept for children to learn. Children can learn about seasons, days and months of the year and how to read the time. As children get older, they can explore various timelines, both on smaller scales (e.g. timelines of their own lives) to much larger scales (such as timelines of Australian history).
There are so many other fields to explore within the area of the sciences. Astronomy, biology, geology and meteorology are just a few. Children can be interested in anything and everything and in the Montessori classroom, educators are able to run with and build upon these interests.