The broad goal of the cultural curriculum is to help children understand how the world has come to be as it is and to help each child determine what his or her place may be within the larger scheme of civilization. Students also examine their own responsibilities as citizens of this world.
Specific Concepts for Understanding Physical Planetary Development and Structure
- Creation – presentations of a range of creation stories from around the world, introduction to the three states of matter
- Structure of the Earth – study of the physical structure of the Earth
Specific Concepts for Understanding Biological Development (Botany/Zoology)
- The Coming of Life – presentation of the Timeline of Life story: reintroduction of different eras
- The Coming of Humanity – examination of the mythological and religious ideas of the rise of humans on Earth, presentation of the vocabulary and developmental time frame of human evolution
Specific Concepts for Understanding the Development of Earth’s First Civilizations
- The Fundamental Needs of Humanity – physical and spiritual needs
- Early Civilizations – broad presentation on the development of early civilizations
- Civilizations/History – study on Greeks, Romans, Incans, and Mayans on a rotating basis
Specific Areas of Study for the Biological and Physical Sciences
The study of biological and physical sciences comes directly from the three states of matter: solid, liquid, and gas.
- Solids – experiments in simple physics, properties of solids, skeletal/muscular systems, soil profiles, etc.
- Liquids – experiments in simple chemistry, properties of liquids, water quality, water conservation, etc.
- Gas – astronomy, properties of gasses, global wind patters, Earth’s atmosphere, weather patterns, etc.
FINE ARTS CURRICULUM
The art studio exploration for the 9- to 12-year-old child is geared towards strengthening creative problem-solving skills through both two-dimensional and three-dimensional spatial concepts. Through media experimentation, concepts are explored in more detail and sophistication. The studio atmosphere also encourages cooperative learning. The students will be exposed to a variety of media, including colored pencils, charcoal, graphite, chalk and oil pastels, watercolor, acrylic, and oils.
The projects explored in the art studio are primarily criteria based, with the application of specific skills and concepts as a goal. There is always room for individualism and creativity within a given assignment as each child is unique in his or her approach.
The Montessori approach strives to give children an awareness of the interconnected nature of their studies to the world around them. It is the goal of the art director to integrate his or her program into the core curriculum.
The goal of the music program is to install a joy of music by incorporating the following: exposure to all forms of music, singing, listening, ear-training, movement, instrument playing, and creativity with the use of drums, traditional rhythm instruments, and the recorder.
PHYSICAL EDUCATION CURRICULUM
The Upper Elementary physical education program continues to build on the goal of instilling a love of movement and physical activity. Group activities that focus on gross motor skills, coordination, spatial relations, fitness, and strength are combined with advanced games utilizing equipment such as balls, flags, cones, paddles, racquets, and targets. Sportsmanship and competition are encourages with core Montessori principles such as grace, courtesy, and respect in mind. Students continue to use the “PE Shelf,” which allows students to choose independent PE work.