Creating lesson plans in Montessori education is a crucial responsibility for Montessori educators.
Unlike traditional classrooms, where the teacher leads the discussion, Montessori educators must be prepared to guide and support their students as they independently explore and learn.
The focus of Montessori lessons is on the child, with the teacher facilitating their learning journey.
Montessori lesson planning follows a scientific approach, taking into account the developmental stages of the children in the classroom.
It requires careful consideration and thoughtful preparation to ensure the lessons align with the children’s needs and promote their holistic development. Through this, the students can engage in a planned activity that will gear them up for success.
But, how to create a lesson plan Montessori? Part of the Montessori early childhood education approach and curriculum is the creation of lesson guides. There are 9 basic steps in creating a lesson plan for the Montessori curriculum. First, determine the learning objective. Second, select suitable materials for the activities. Third, ready the learning environment and introduce the lesson. Fifth, allow the child to explore and interact with the materials on their own. Sixth, observe and assess by monitoring the child’s progress and engagement during the activity. Seventh, offer guidance and support; foster reflection and extension; and lastly, record your observations and reflections on the kid’s progress and learning outcomes.
By following these steps, you can create a well-designed and interesting Montessori lesson outline that supports the kid’s development and nurtures their passion for learning.
This guide will provide insights into the characteristics of Montessori lessons, some Montessori lesson ideas, and the process of creating a plan to inspire educators in their planning endeavors.
What Are the Essentials of a Lesson Plan Montessori?
In this section, we will discuss the key components that should be included in your lesson outline to achieve the educational standards of the Montessori curriculum.
Rather than following the traditional format, we will discuss them in the order that we find most effective.
Keep in mind that every educator has their own unique approach to lesson planning, so feel free to adjust the order or add sections that are important to you and your classroom.
For instance, if you are working with preschoolers with special needs, you may need to include specific student modifications to ensure the lesson is tailored to their individual requirements.
Here is an overview of the essential elements of a Montessori lesson guide:
Learning purposes are undeniably the focal point of a lesson guide.
Without a clear purpose, you are not truly designing a new lesson, but rather organizing an activity that may or may not lead to meaningful learning outcomes.
The learning goals serve as the purpose or goal of the lesson, indicating what the child is expected to achieve.
It should be formulated with precision, outlining the specific skills or knowledge the child should be able to demonstrate.
For instance, a precise learning goal could be for the student to accurately identify and label a circle, square, and triangle with 100% accuracy.
In the Montessori classroom, it is generally recommended to focus on one main goal for each lesson, even if there are related skills involved.
For instance, a lesson on shapes may incorporate a puzzle activity where the student practices fine motor skills.
While these additional skills are important, it is beneficial to acknowledge them separately within your lesson plan.
Here are several skills that a Montessori lesson might encompass, even if they are not the primary goal:
- Fine motor skills
- Gross motor skills
- Using scissors
- Developing proper pencil grip
- Self-care activities
- Cleaning up after an activity
- Emotional regulation techniques
- Counting skills
- Letter sounds and phonics awareness
In a sense, when you define your objective, you are incorporating the assessment aspect as well.
When a child demonstrates 100% accuracy in the alphabet or labeling shapes, it indicates their mastery of the topic.
However, there may be instances where a separate assessment outside of the lesson is necessary or preferred.
For instance, after presenting the lesson and observing that the child can correctly label shapes in a puzzle, you may want to ensure they can apply that knowledge in a different context.
In such cases, you could set up a tray with shape cut-outs made of cardstock and ask the child to identify each shape.
It’s important to note that this type of testing is not always essential, preferable, or feasible in a child-led classroom, so it’s essential to use your judgment and consider the specific needs and dynamics of your classroom.
Prior to presenting a lesson, it is important to consider the foundational knowledge and skills that a student should possess.
For instance, when teaching shapes, it is crucial to ensure that the student has the sensory capacity to distinguish between different shapes.
Additionally, they may need to have developed the necessary motor skills to successfully complete the task.
Take the time to identify and compile a comprehensive list of the prerequisite knowledge and abilities that the child should possess before engaging in the lesson.
Title the Lesson
Create a clear lesson title and an appropriate name!
By this stage, you should have a sufficient understanding of the content and goals to accurately title the lesson.
For instance, in the case of the CVC words topic example, you would name the lesson “cab, dab, jab!”
This section holds significant importance and should not be overlooked. It is tempting to believe that you can simply improvise or rely on your knowledge, but this may not yield the best results.
Since Montessori lessons should be concise, straightforward, and focused, it is advisable to prepare what you will say in advance.
In this section, include the following:
- Actions you will perform
- Verbal directions you will provide
- Contingency plans for when the child struggles to complete a task
While you won’t strictly adhere to this as a script, it may resemble one to some extent. It is important to study it thoroughly so that you remember the general outline of what you will say at each stage of the lesson.
Additionally, this preparation will help you anticipate the kid’s reactions and consider any medium or resources you may require for the lesson.
The way the lessons are delivered will give wonders to the learning experience of each child.
List of Materials Required
At this stage of the process, it is a good idea to compile a list of the materials you will need to present the lesson. Take into account the following questions while creating this list:
“What specific medium are required for the lesson?”
“Is there a particular location where the lesson needs to be conducted?”
“If the lesson involves creating something (such as a story or a painting), what will the student do with the end product?”
“Will there be any waste or garbage generated during the lesson, and can the student quietly student handle it?”
“Where should the supplies be positioned and organized for easy access?”
While not all of these questions may be relevant for every lesson or classroom setup, it is beneficial to consider these aspects in advance to ensure smooth implementation.
Maria Montessori’s Lesson Plan
Dr. Maria Montessori emphasizes three essential characteristics of individualized learning, and she expresses her firm stance on teachers who fail to embrace them. In her own words, these characteristics are as follows:
Lessons should be brief and avoid excessive verbosity.
Teachers should refrain from getting lost in unnecessary words. Instead, each word should be carefully chosen and spoken with precision to best support the kid’s learning.
Lessons should be streamlined to focus solely on what is true and essential.
Unnecessary information should be eliminated, and the language used should be kept as simple as possible.
Any elements not directly related to the core concept being presented, such as puppets or fabricated stories, should be discarded.
During lesson demonstrations, teachers should maintain a high level of objectivity.
They should refrain from showcasing their personality and avoid creating a surrounding where the child feels that they have made a mistake.
This approach encourages the child to learn the lesson voluntarily, participate in uninterrupted work cycles, and support the child-led learning approach.
Considering the Montessori way, these characteristics of a Montessori lesson align with her overall vision and methodology.
How To Create A Montessori Lesson Plan
1. Determine the learning objective
Identify the specific skill or concept you intend to teach, taking into account the kid’s age, developmental stage, and individual needs.
Through this, you’ll be able to narrow down the needed lessons for your child.
2. Select suitable materials
Choose Montessori supplies that align with the learning goals and are appropriate for the child’s level of development.
These mediums let the students be hands-on and can stimulate the toddler’s senses.
It should also be designed in a way where students will be able to learn at their own pace.
3. Prepare the learning environment
Create an organized and inviting space where the materials are easily accessible.
Ensure that the learning environment is calm and free from distractions.
Further, the lesson plan should also be able to cover the interaction with peers during the discussion.
4. Introduce the lesson
Capture the toddler’s attention and explain the purpose of the exercise.
Demonstrate how to use the supplies effectively and provide clear instructions on the sequence of the activities.
5. Encourage independent exploration
The student needs to be allowed to explore and interact with the materials on their own.
Foster their curiosity and encourage them to make their own discoveries with trust and guidance.
6. Observe and assess
Monitor the kid’s progress and engagement during the activity.
Take note of their understanding, strengths, and areas where the students might look like they need additional support.
7. Offer guidance and support
Provide assistance and guidance to the child if needed for the next lessons to come.
Ask open-ended questions to stimulate their critical thinking and offer constructive feedback to enhance their learning experience.
8. Foster reflection and extension
Facilitate a discussion with the child after the activity to encourage reflection.
Teaching children to share their observations, discoveries, and any questions they may have may provide extension activities that deepen their understanding and allow for further exploration.
9. Document and reflect
Record your observations with matching reflections on the child’s progress and learning outcomes especially when it comes to the 5 learning facets including practical life skills. This documentation will serve as a valuable reference for future lesson planning and individualized learning approaches.
Montessori lesson plans allow teachers to tailor their instruction to meet the unique needs and interests of one student and the next.
By carefully planning lessons, teachers can provide individualized activities and materials that support each child’s developmental stage and learning style.
In Montessori education, lesson plans are not rigid scripts but frameworks that are characterized by the flexibility to guide teachers in providing meaningful, engaging, and purposeful learning experiences for children.
They support the principles of individualized instruction, self-directed learning, and holistic development that are central to the Montessori philosophy.
With the right lesson plan, students might have the chance to perform just as well as other kids in higher education.
Do Montessori teachers make lesson plans? Yes, Montessori teachers do make lesson plans. Lesson planning in Montessori education is an essential aspect of creating a prepared environment and facilitating meaningful learning experiences for children to master practical skills and STEM subjects such as math. While the approach to lesson planning in Montessori may differ from traditional education models, teachers still engage in thoughtful preparation to meet the individual needs of their students.
What is a three-period lesson in Montessori? The Three-Period Lesson is a teaching technique used in Montessori education to introduce and reinforce vocabulary or concepts to young children. It is a structured approach that helps children develop language skills, particularly in the early stages of language acquisition.
What are the basics of the Montessori Method? The Montessori Method is an educational approach developed by Dr. Maria Montessori that emphasizes the natural development of preschool children and fosters their independence, self-confidence, and love for learning. However, it’s important to note that Montessori education is implemented in a wide range of methods and can vary across schools and educators while maintaining the core principles of Dr. Maria Montessori’s philosophy.