Life sciences are an essential part of the Montessori classroom. It is important to develop children’s connection to nature and understanding of the world around them. Botany and zoology areas are useful for this development. They represent living objects and their connection to each other and to humans. Such activities as repetition, sequencing, sensorial experience, and others could enhance children’s knowledge and inclination to the learning of nature. The role of adults is especially important in areas of preparation and material presentation. The teacher should increase kids’ interest in botany and zoology and prevent possible mistakes in the process of learning.
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How Do the Botany and Zoology Areas Relate to the Other Curriculum Areas? Please Give Examples
Typically, a Montessori classroom consists of five main learning areas: practical life, sensorial activities, languages, math, and culture. The area of culture is especially important for natural world discovery (Lillard, 2016). On Earth, all living and non-living objects create a global ecosystem. Therefore, it is impossible to study botany and zoology with no relation to other Natural Science areas, in particular, to geography, chemistry, physics, and astronomy. On the one hand, plants and animals change their surroundings and have an impact on the relief and available sources.
On the other hand, the environment determines the conditions in which organisms live. It is the connection to Geography. Life itself depends on chemical reactions within living cells. Therefore, without knowledge of chemistry, it is impossible to learn the physiology of plants and animals. Living organisms also depend on physical characteristics of the environment such as temperature, light intensity, mechanical pressure, radiation level, and others. Finally, no life is possible without the Sun. Understanding the relationship between our planet, the Sun, and other sky objects are important. All life sciences require math calculations to provide studies and to find and prove regularities. Therefore, math is highly essential for understanding the laws of botany and zoology.
Please Define the Sensorial Experience in the Botany and Zoology Areas and Give Examples.
Sensorial experience in botany and zoology areas is the process of gathering information about living objects using humans’ senses. According to Rathunde (2013), a sensorial experience is a basis for abstract thinking development. Natural sciences are an especially important resource of children’s sensorial experience. Botany and zoology areas provide a wide range of opportunities for sensorial experiences. Different colors and patterns of living organisms (colors of flowers, birds, and insects, patterns of wild cats and snakes) affect the visual sense. Flowers’ smells develop odor sensing. Besides, nature is especially rich for sounds: animals’ “conversations,” birds’ songs, sounds of a wild forest. It is possible to record the audio for children in the classroom. Sensorial experiences are important for the children’s all-around development.
What are the Purposes of the Botany and Zoology Areas in the Classroom?
These areas provide an opportunity to learn about the surrounding world in detail. A botany area is focused on plants. It typically contains seeds, plant parts (leaves, branches, flowers), and models. Available materials should represent different classes of plants. A zoology area is focused on animals. In this area, children learn about vertebrate and invertebrate animals, discuss their relations and role in the environment and global life cycle. It is also important to change materials in the areas according to the current learning topics. The purposes of these areas are the following: to help children to discover the natural world and relations between living organisms, to enhance knowledge about the structure and functions of botany and zoology objects, and to develop natural observation abilities (Johnson, 2013).
What are the Roles of the Adult in Preparing the Botany and Zoology Areas? Please Give Examples
The Montessori system is based on children’s freedom. A teacher performs a role of a tutor who directs children on their path of self-development and self-construction (Isaacs, 2014). The role of a teacher is to prepare botany and zoology areas. The areas should contain material according to the children’s age and current topic of learning. It is also important to change the provided content because kids need more information to learn. A tutorial should also pay attention to the learners’ feedback, notice what was the most interesting for them, and attracted the most attention. Another possible function of an adult person is to control the process of learning and to save children from possible mistakes (Isaacs, 2014). A tutorial should explain to children what objects and processes are represented in the area and what is their global role in the environment.
Please Define Sensitive Periods in the Botany and Zoology Areas and Give Examples.
Sensitive periods are special periods in the children’s psychological development when they have an intense interest in particular areas of learning. The process of learning became much easier for children during this period because of the increase of the natural ability to accept the information as well as the growth of the interest (Lillard, 2016). Sensitive periods in botany and zoology are periods when children are especially interested in learning about living organisms: plants and animals. For example, children could ask about the different animals’ names and where they live. In older age, they could be interested in different relations between living organisms and how they create the world around them. Children have an inclination to learning nature. Their interest in living objects and the surrounding world is natural. The role of a teacher is to maintain children’s desire to discover nature (Johnson, 2013).
Please Define Mathematical Mind in the Botany and Zoology Areas. Please Give Examples.
The mathematical mind is the natural inclination to calculate and to learn math. All-natural sciences are connected to math (Lillard, 2016). The ability to calculate is especially important for understanding biological features. Characteristics of living objects could be divided into qualitative and quantitative. Children need the mathematical mind to calculate and remember quantitative features of animals and plants. For example, children need to calculate how many petals a flower has, how many seeds produced a plant, or how many paws an insect has. The ability to calculate would be important for older children to measure the size of living objects and their proportions.
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Please Define the Importance of Repetition in the Botany and Zoology Areas. Please Give Examples.
According to Montessori’s ideas, sensitive periods are periods of repetition. In this time, a child repeats certain actions or information over and over again until he or she remembers it. The repetition, therefore, is highly important for learning (Lillard, 2016). For younger children, the repetition could be used for teaching them the name of different animals or flowers. Such approaches as songs and verses are highly effective tools. Repetition is also important in practical doings, for example, in flowers and animals painting (for younger children) or herbarium preparation (for older children).
Please Define Sequence in the Botany and Zoology Areas and Give Examples.
Sequencing is a highly important approach for learning. According to this principle, each new lesson should contain just one type of new information. After learning the basic concept, more advanced information should be introduced by one factor in time (Cifuentes & Prozesky, 2014). In the case of botany and zoology areas, it means that children should learn the basic information at first and more advanced issues later. For example, kids should first learn the names of different animals, then be introduced into its systematic. When older children learn the anatomy and physiology of animals, they do it step by step, from one body system to another (muscles and skeleton, breathing, digestion, and others). In the botany area, the principle is the same: at first, children learn the name of plants and their general structure, then they discover more about systematic plant functions and their role in the environment.
How Do We Prepare the Botany and Zoology Areas in the Classroom to the Young Children? Please Give Examples.
Botany and zoology areas should represent different aspects of plants and animals’ life and functions. It should be clear and interesting for children. To prepare a botany area, it is possible to make a herbarium with dried leaves and flowers. Examples should be collected in spring and summer. It is also necessary to prepare illustrations and models of plants. A zoology area should contain animals’ pictures and models. All the provided materials should be bright and attractive to children. Besides, the concept of safety is crucial. All the preparation materials should be safe for kids’ usage and do not contain sharp or fragile parts (MacDonald, 2016).
Please Plan a Field Trip. What Do you Need to Prepare or Do Before, During, and After the Field Trip? Please Give Examples and Include Any Additional Information.
Outdoor activities are very important for children. They make their connection to nature stronger and teach them to love and respect the surrounding world. Class field trip is one of the possible outdoor activities. Before the trip, it is important to plan it in detail and to determine the purpose. A possible aim of the activity could be to collect herbarium. A teacher should explain to children the purpose and the procedure of herbarium collection. Before the trip, it is also important to determine the place that should be not far from the school. During a journey, adults should first of all care about children’s safety and attentively watch their activity. A teacher should focus children’s attention on different plants and explain how to distinguish them. It is also important to explain the role of grasses in the ecosystem. After a trip, children should be given a task to prepare a herbarium and to share with the class their feelings and thoughts about the trip. This activity is useful to increase children’s interest in nature, to develop their attentiveness and ability to analyze information (Johnson, 2013).
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