Observation; Science in the Montessori Classroom

Observation; Science in the Montessori Classroom

Nov 3, '21

“Scientific observation has established that education is not what the teacher gives; education is a natural process spontaneously carried out by the human individual, and is acquired not by listening to words but by experiences upon the environment." 

~ Maria Montessori 

Teaching is a continuous process of going through scientific discovery using observations. Thinking and reflection on how children take in new information and retain that information. In Montessori practices teachers use this specific practice of planning a lesson, teaching the lesson, assessing how children absorb the information and then decide what learning will be taught next.

Scientific observation of the child informs the teacher just as data informs a scientist. Have students fall in love with scientific observations by creating stimulating and sensorial experiences for children to engage with the natural world. Check out this free Montessori Conference to inspire your teaching practices.   

Scientific Observation:

Nature walks are a wonderful way to teach children how to observe the world around them. While on a nature walk, invite the children to gather some of the items they find. Leaves, sticks, pine cones, acorns and rocks can all be used in the classroom for a range of lessons on the science shelf.

Encourage the children to be scientific observers. Look for animal footprints left in the mud and use the animal tracks wood memory game to help children identify more prints they see in nature.

The animal footprint sensory stone set can be used in clay so children can recreate the animal footprints. Encourage students to think scientifically about the print. How hard did you need to press to create a good print? Would the weight of the animal make a difference in the depth of the print? Think about the way that animal walks how close together would the prints be?

Go even further with scientific discovery with classification of animals. Use of the Land/Air/ Water classification cards and objects will get children thinking about how animals live in different habitats opening further discovery and conversation about animal classification with this Animal Species Sort and Classify work. 

Autumn Tree Painting

Add art exploration to your classroom with painting an autumn tree. Through this lesson, children can learn how to care for paint brushes and can learn how to properly put on an apron.  Remember, it is important to teach children the full cycle of work, so be sure to show every step from set up to clean up.

As children learn about different trees through natural observation and works in the classroom like the miniature trees or the bark and grain photo cards, ask them to think about what type of tree they would like to paint. Through this exercise, children will learn how to observe their natural world and begin to express this observation through art.

This week’s worksheet is a tree outline to use when painting and autumn tree. Invite the child to cover the branches with the colors of changing leaves using their artistic medium of choice.


Free Tree Outline Worksheet for painting


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