Lower Elementary Curriculum

Overview of the Elementary Classroom Areas

It is at the elementary level that children become fascinated with the “how” and “why” of everything. Using the skills acquired in the primary years, the elementary student becomes an explorer of the universe in a more profound way. This is the start of a period of imagination, reason, socialization, and moral justice.
While the primary aged child, from age three to six may ask the adult, “help me do it myself”, the elementary child asks, “help me think of it myself”. Montessori education teaches children to think, not just memorize facts. Students learn how to become fully engaged in the learning process. Children work both individually and in groups, and are encouraged to pursue their own passion, with the guidance of the teacher. One distinct characteristic of the Montessori elementary program is the absence of regularly scheduled grades and tests. Children are able to assess their work weekly in personal conference with the teacher. Individual goals are set for the following week, allowing each child the chance to know what it means to work to his or her fullest potential. The freedom to work in the classroom and the expected responsibilities enable the child to develop a strong sense of self-esteem and inner discipline that is carried throughout the child’s life of learning. Dr. Montessori’s plan for educating the elementary child was to give him a vision of the universe and raise a thinking child. The result of her work is an integrated curriculum: The Five Great Lessons, Mathematics, Geometry, Language Arts, History, Matter and Astronomy, Zoology, Botany, Cultural Geography, and Physical Geography.

The Five Great Lessons
The Story of the Universe
The Coming of Life
The Coming of Humans
The Story of Writing
The Story of Numbers

Concrete to Abstract
Golden Bead Material—deeper investigation into the hierarchy of the decimal system
First static equations, then dynamic equations
Principles of squaring and cubing
Weights and measures

Fractions, finding common denominators, improper fractions, mixed numbers
Geometric shapes and solids
Finding area, perimeter, and circumference
Classifying triangles

Language Arts
Nine parts of speech: article, noun, verb, adjective, adverb, pronoun, preposition, conjunction, and interjection
Cursive Handwriting
Sentence Analysis
Literature Analysis
Types of poetry
Daily Reading Program

History of the Universe
Time, seasons, months
Distinction between B.C./B.C.E and A.D./C.E.
Timeline of Life
Fundamental needs of people
Ancient civilizations
American government

Matter and Astronomy
Parts of an atom
Elements, mixtures and compounds
S.T.E.M. curriculum
Planets and the solar system
The universe

The Five Kingdoms
Vertebrates and Invertebrates
Classification of animals

Botany Cabinet
Classification of plants
Classification of leaves

Cultural Geography
The seven continents
Countries, capitals, languages, economics, governments, and cultures

Physical Geography
The globe as a map
Types of maps
Cardinal and ordinal directions
Land and water formations