We certainly learn by doing at MIC!
Our Senior Primary students are taking extension lessons from the third Great Story (The Coming of Humans) into the great outdoors with the construction of an Early Man Hut. The hut is being built by hand with logs sourced from our local natural environment. One of the many benefits of our 22-hectare bushland setting!
In the Story of the Coming of Humans children learn that humans have three special gifts that make us different from anything else on Earth: the hand, the mind and the ability to love.
We use hands to make things and hold those we love, minds to think of solutions to problems, and love to make us want to do things for others.
Our students certainly get the opportunity to do all of these things at MIC.
One of the key lessons often taught after the Story of Humans is The Hand Timeline. This is a three-metre long black strip – the timeline is black as recorded history is unknown and the last one centimetre is white to represent recorded history. A hand holding a rock – man’s very first tool – is in the middle. The picture of the hand reminds students of one of our special gifts as humans as – right from the beginning – we were using our hands to fish, gather fruits, rock babies and build things.
Children learn that once humans discovered how to use tools, their lives changed. They could make clothing when the weather turned colder, they could make blankets to lay on and they could cut down trees to make houses they covered with skins.
Of course, housing is one of the Fundamental Needs of Humans – another fantastic Montessori lesson and a blog for another day!
All of the Montessori impressionistic lessons are designed to invite children to imagine another time and place. The accuracy of the child’s imaginings is less important than using the imagination to build essence ideas about the topic being taught.
And, for our students at MIC, there are no textbooks required when there’s an opportunity to get outdoors, pick up some tools and try it for yourself with your own hands!