Learning for Life: Another trip!

Learning for Life: Another trip!


CardBoard is a stuff which can stimulate children's creativity to it's Highest

                                               GREAT WALL OF CHINA MADE BY CARDBOARD

A Montessori is not a typical classroom where kids get the facts and figures ,but its a real life journey to discover things and that is how we humans learn.
Geography is a beautiful subject and we as Montessorians start the lessons from the Sand Paper Globe and goes as far as discovering each Continent and then many countries with all it's culture and traditions . So this November we choose  Asia as our main discovery continent .
      As we have started our project of the month that is ASIA, we picked CHINA as a main country to discover . There are lots of things to do, to learn, to investigate , but as I always follows my student's interest more when it comes to pick one thing from a list of dozen , I discovered that they were in love with the GREAT WALL OF CHINA.
                      So we talked about it ; how it was built ,who ordered the wall, how much time it took to build it , how many people worked for it and many more things.
    For children every news is  fascinating, every thing they explore is a  discovery.
 As we were discussing the history of China , one of child asked me," Miss Erum, why did the King order to build the wall to his people, I think this is bad to Order". I was just  amazed at his thinking that children are naturally tuned towards goodness and Justice.
                 Then I announced ,"so what do you think , can we make our own great wall of China ?". They all shouted simultaneously,"with the cardboard". And I felt great that now my students are in love with the cardboards.

We selected this box to start with. And then all my students started bombarded me with questions on how we would be making this wall, how many cardboards we needed, how to cut them.

So the work was started then ,we distributed the work perfectly , one group was working with me as I started cutting the cardboard box, holding it from sides, making room to turn, opening the sides , etc.

 Children are infact so systematic, that they can't let you jump to any other part of the work unless the first one is done. I was thinking of taking out all the boxes and work simultneously on them, but they all shouted,"Miss Erum, lets finish this one please".

So we started cutting the first one , its me who was supervising them, but I think children are far better in a position of judging their environment , especially when it comes to safety issues. What we can do is just "be there".

 Throughout my Teaching career ,I witness that children are the best managers specially in the absence of any adult (miraculous). They have all the abilities to direct , calculate, make most authentic division of labour  , and work accordingly. So now in most cases I am a passive OBSERVER.

We opened the cardboard box , cut it as required ,matched it with the length of other pieces. After the final cutting, I was thinking of how to design the wall, how to paint it and how to actually make it stand on the floor? But to my surprise children were thinking on some Different lines, their natural curiosity towards the particles of each thing took them towards the LEFTOVER pieces which I was thinking to clear up with our Child sized brooms.

And suddenly  I discovered that the whole group of my class from age 3-6 years all were exploding into Writing their  LOVELY MESSEGES to their parents, teachers and friends. Isn't amazing that they just follow their INTUITION ,and that is always brilliant.

It was a  wonderful  scene , I just stopped every thing and like a PASSIVE observer was recording their movement, their communication, their conversations, their sharings,  their creativity and everything they did on that day.WOW!

Even the tiniest of my children were exploded into writing and they just wrote everything from a letter to a special- sign messege in their special language .

The next day they all were curious to paint the Great wall of China, so I handed over the Aprons to them.

So they all were getting ready ,for the much excited activity of the day ; Painting  the Great wall.

And its only children who knows the real meaning of HELP ,they will help out anyone anyway when they feel it that somebody need it genuinely. In a Montessori environment children from the very begining of their first few years start "Helping each other" as it is already present in their souls when given the right kind of environment to flourish.

So everyone in my class helped each other in wearing the Apron.

You can see the happiness and satisfaction in their eyes, they know the worth of friends .

And then we started the first layer of painting,  some kids love to take brushes, some prefer sponges, some just want to explore it by hand .

So the final look was given the next day with the second layer of terra cota paint and it looked amazing.
Throughout our month long China project,my children were asking me many questions about China, why they created Dragons, why they wanted the Great wall of China to build ,why  they were the inventers of all the basic stuff, how the Great wall helped them, Who climbed the Himalaya ?and so on. I think its not imporatnt for us as teachers and parents to just read out the FACTS and FIGURES of  history and Geography to our children, the main thing is to involve them in such a manner that they will become  curious to know more throughout their life. That is the  real learning!