Our Solar SystemPart 2: Montessori Curriculum Arts


This is Part Two of my Montessori Curriculum series, "Our Solar System thru The Arts." You can read Part One in the Series by clicking HERE. 
This article includes:
 1) How to bring Montessori-style Movement Activities into your Solar System learning and how to prepare the children for the fun.
 2) Montessori Sensorial Materials that fit nicely into your Solar System Activities 
 3) Montessori-style Book Making and why children love this activity so much
 4) Information about my TpT packet, "Solar System thru The Arts Vol. 2"

Another sure winner for presenting a new concept to young children is offering a Movement Activity to illustrate the concept.

My groups enjoyed exploring the model of Our Solar System so much that we would always have an art activity of creating a "planet" of our own from styrofoam balls, paper machete, or even simple balls of wadded up newspaper! 

Incidentally, when children are learning about our Solar System, it is an opportune time to bring out the basket of Montessori Geometric Solids and point out that the shape of a planet is a sphere. (Photo from Montessori n Such)
After the children have created their own "planets," they really enjoy this "Orbiting Planets" Movement Activity. While singing the "Planet, Planet Go Around" song, the children carry their planets while walking on the taped ellipse on the floor. (sung to the melody from "Rain, rain, Go away."

In the Montessori environment, the children have learned what an "ellipse" is because they have been working with the Montessori Geometric Insets. This is the perfect time to explore the connection to the ellipse shape from the Insets and the elliptical shape of the planet's orbit around the Sun in our Solar System. (Photo from Montessori n Such)

In the Montessori pedagogy, children are also offered many opportunities for developing body coordination by walking along "The Montessori Line," and my really fun "Orbiting Planets" Movement Activity, pictured below,  has always been a big favorite with the children in my groups! 

In my TpT Montessori Curriculum Arts Activity Pack, "Montessori Curriculum: Solar System thru The Arts Vol. 2", I have included my Mp3 download of the song, "Planet, Planet, Go Around" that goes with this popular Movement Activity along with a Montessori-style Lesson Plan with a step-by-step presentation and Extensions.

One of my own very favorite music cd's that is filled with fabulous, one-minute long, musical movement activities is "Classical Fun Singalongs" from West Music Company.  ($12.99)

I have been using the music from this cd for decades, and children still love it! (I do too)

What I love most about this cd is its short and sweet selections from many famous classical composers that have been set to really fun Movement Activities suitable for even the youngest of children!  

There are several music pieces from the cd that go well with your Montessori unit on the Solar System.

From "Classical Fun Singalongs"
~ "On the Moon" is from The Moonlight Sonata by Beethoven and is perfect not only for relating to Our Solar System, but also works beautifully when you are introducing the musical concept of "Largo" (slow) in your Montessori music curriculum.  

In fact, if you have taken my eCourse, "Musically Montessori: First Twelve Weeks" you already received this song & activity in the FREE mp3 music downloads for Week 8: "Playing the Presto & Largo Game."

If you haven't taken this eCourse, it's open for enrollment at Trillium Montessori Courses until the end of January! And, there's a special bonus Activity Pack from me to you (learn more at the end of this article)

More from "Classical Fun Singalongs"
~ "Astronauts Flying" is from Ride of the Valkyries by Wagner and is always a big hit with my groups. The secret is all in the wonderful space-sounding epic music AND the way I prepare the children for the movement activity. (We take a moment before we start to get on our pretend space suits and board our pretend space ships.) 

Now, this "astronaut" music is also fantastic for introducing the trumpet and other instruments from the Brass Family! This music is another free and exclusive mp3 download that is included in my upcoming Musically Montessori eCourse, "Instruments of the Orchestra" with enrollment opening in February.

Fortunately, I have been able to arrange an exclusive contract with the authors of the Classical Fun Singalongs cd to include 20 selections from this album as part of the free mp3 music downloads in all of my Musically Montessori eCourses! (There's also a Nutcracker Suite mp3 download from the Classical Fun Singalongs cd in my mini-eCourse, "Musically Montessori: Nutcracker Suite for Little Kids."

I don't know about you, but my groups over the years, just couldn't seem to get enough of Montessori-style booklet making. When I was a classroom teacher, our shelves were full of 3-Part Cards and their Extensions for making little booklets by the children. The children could choose from the basics, like "Parts of the Tree," to the more alluring ones, like "Parts of the Space Shuttle." 

I think the big appeal of Montessori-style book making is that the process is the same for each book. So, once the children figure out this secret, they are eager to make little books every day. That's why my shelves were full of these throughout the school year! 

1.) The process begins with an inviting shelf in the Montessori Classroom. The child will enjoy exploring the set of 3-Part Cards for whatever topic they are interested in. (See photo below of a typical 3-part card layout)

Here is an example of my Montessori shelf featuring Our Solar System thru The Arts.

Here is a photo of my "Solar System 3-Part Cards" layout from my Montessori classroom Solar System Unit. (and my TpT packet)

2.) Next, the children will be able to make their own little booklet of the topic from the 3-Part cards.

  • Each page of a typical Montessori booklet features the name (nomenclature) of the part of the topic that is featured. 
  • That particular part is featured by being the only part of the picture that is colored in. (usually in red) 
  • Each page has the same line drawing picture and so the child finds the part to feature in the picture and then colors in just that part.
  • Then, the child writes the name of the featured part on the blank line at the bottom of the page. 
  • In the beginning, the teacher or older children may help the child write in the appropriate name. Gradually, the children begin to write the names themselves. 
  • Any time s/he likes, the child may return to the 3-part card work to see how to write the name and even which part to color in! 

  • After all the pages are completed, the child puts the booklet together and makes his/her own little nomenclature book! 

3.) I like to have a tray set up with a 2-hole punch and little ribbons. However, I have also set this up with small rings, or even without a hole punch and simply staple it all together. Personally, I think the little ribbons make a lovely looking just might need to help tie the bow of the ribbon.

In my new TpT Activity Packet, "Solar System thru The Arts Vol. 2" I've included the templates for creating 3-Part Cards for the Solar System and also the template for the Solar System booklet for the child to make. 

These are a wonderful, individualized follow-up for the "Planet, Planet Go Around" song and Movement Activity (see above) and also for "The Planets Song" from my "Solar System thru The Arts Vol. 1."  

Of course, the children always amaze me with their own creative ideas for individualized follow up activities. This elaborate mixed media space ship (pictured below) took quite a bit of planning and execution on the part of the four year old in the picture below.

He went to the Free Choice Art Media Shelf in the Classroom and assembled all the materials he would need, then set to work to create his amazing creation!

I would like to invite you to check out my new series of Montessori Activity Packets at my Teachers Pay Teachers Store. 

Ooh, the BUNDLE is a great deal!


When you enroll in my Musically Montessori eCourse at Trillium during the month of January, you will get this BUNDLE as a FREE bonus download. 

You can check it out by CLICKING HERE. 

After enrollment at Trillium Courses, you will be able to scroll down to the BONUS LESSON DOWNLOAD: "Solar System thru The Arts." You'll have my entire TpT Solar System Bundle...instantly. And, it's free!

Thank you again for visiting my Blog today. I'm looking forward to your visit when I publish the third article in this series: Our Solar System thru The Arts!

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