Monday, October 12, 2015

The Great River - The Sixth Great Lesson

drawing from Natalie's main lesson book

The Nation of the Great River
one version

The Nation of the Great River (PDF)
another version

free audio file downloads from ETC Montessori

    story narration with music
    background music only

Montessori materials which we are using for 8th grade Human Physiology - the two are sold in a combined package ELCPK-4043 for $100

The Great River Montessori material
Human Physiology Montessori material

    Ages 9-12. "Dissect the secrets of human life! This set of materials covers the main systems of the human body and includes:
    • three part cards
    • control charts
    • booklets
    • experiments
    • research cards
    • teachers notes
    • lab background
    • scope and sequence
    • objectives and standards.

    "This material includes the following systems:

    • Circulatory system
    • Digestive system
    • Endocrine system
    • Integumentary system
    • Lymphatic system
    • Immune system
    • Muscular system
    • Nervous system
    • Reproductive system
    • Respiratory system
    • Skeletal system
    • Urinary system
    • Vestibular system

The Five Great Lessons are, without a doubt, the most Waldorf-y part of Montessori. These detailed yet impressionistic stories are memorized and told in the classroom using a silk (which hides artifacts, revealed as the story unfolds) and a candle.

Cosmic Education at the Elementary Level and the Role of the Materials - AMI issue

ETC Montessori forbids me to use their material to create derivative materials, yet The Great River is sometimes referred to as Maria Montessori's Sixth Great Lesson. The concept is not theirs alone.

As far as making notes, I think it's allowed!!! I don't yet have their material in hand and I need to begin to go through my Science books -- and those I requested from the library -- to find follow-up activities and experiments for each of the systems.

Natalie will be doing a four week block on a two day cycle; 14 stories with "The Great River" being the story for Day #1.

Nation – Human Body
Great River – The Blood
The President – The Brain
The President’s Cabinet and Communication Department – Nervous System
The Department of Air Quality – The Respiratory System
The Department of Nutrition – The Digestive System
The Department of Purification – The Kidneys and Excretory System
The Walls and Towers of the Nation – The Skeletal System
The Maintenance Department – The Integumentary System
The Department of Defense – The Immune System
The Department of Transportation – The Circulatory System
The Department of Water Control – The Lymphatic system
The Space Program – The Reproductive System

Notes for the Systems will follow, each with its own blog post (ideally)

And the Anticipated Order of My Presentation
and a quick summary of each, courtesy of Wikipedia:

  • 1. Circulatory system

  • The circulatory system, also called the cardiovascular system, is an organ system that permits blood to circulate and transport nutrients (such as amino acids and electrolytes), oxygen, carbon dioxide, hormones, and blood cells to and from the cells in the body to provide nourishment and help in fighting diseases, stabilize temperature and pH, and maintain homeostasis.

  • 2. Nervous system

  • The nervous system is the part of an animal's body that coordinates its voluntary and involuntary actions and transmits signals to and from different parts of its body.

  • 3. Vestibular system

  • The vestibular system, in most mammals, is the sensory system that provides the leading contribution about the sense of balance and spatial orientation for the purpose of coordinating movement with balance.

  • 4. Endocrine system

  • The endocrine system is the collection of glands that produce hormones that regulate metabolism, growth and development, tissue function, sexual function, reproduction, sleep, and mood, among other things.

  • 5. Respiratory system

  • The respiratory system (called also respiratory apparatus, ventilatory system) is a biological system consisting of specific organs and structures used for the process of respiration in an organism

  • 6. Digestive system

  • In the human digestive system, the process of digestion has many stages, the first of which starts in the mouth (oral cavity). Digestion involves the breakdown of food into smaller and smaller components which can be absorbed and assimilated into the body.

  • 7. Urinary system

  • The urinary system, also known as the renal system, consists of the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and the urethra. Each kidney consists of millions of functional units called nephrons.

  • 8. Skeletal system

  • The human skeleton is the internal framework of the body.

  • 9. Muscular system

  • The muscular system is an organ system consisting of skeletal, smooth and cardiac muscles. It permits movement of the body, maintains posture, and circulates blood throughout the body

  • 10. Integumentary system

  • The integumentary system is the organ system that protects the body from various kinds of damage, such as loss of water or abrasion from outside. The system comprises the skin and its appendages (including hair, scales, feathers, hooves, and nails).

  • 11. Immune system

  • The immune system is a system of many biological structures and processes within an organism that protects against disease. To function properly, an immune system must detect a wide variety of agents, known as pathogens, from viruses to parasitic worms, and distinguish them from the organism's own healthy tissue.

  • 12. Lymphatic system
  • The lymphatic system is part of the circulatory system and a vital part of the immune system, comprising a network of lymphatic vessels that carry a clear fluid called lymph (from Latin lympha meaning water) directionally towards the heart.

  • 13. Reproductive system

  • The reproductive system or genital system is a system of sex organs within an organism which work together for the purpose of sexual reproduction. Many non-living substances such as fluids, hormones, and pheromones are also important accessories to the reproductive system.

    An interesting article:
    Three Approaches from Europe: Waldorf, Montessori, and Reggio Emilia
    Carolyn Pope Edwards
    University of Nebraska at Lincoln

    UPDATE: We have finished this block and I created a blog post with photographs of all of her main lesson book pages here. Enjoy! And please write me a comment if you have any questions or suggestions.


    montessori4me said...

    I have gone ahead and checked with ETC Montessori regarding creating derivative work based on their rendition of the Great River. Apparently, they don't have a problem with the creation of other work. The problem arises when people try to use their format of presenting the concepts, or trying to use the graphics and pictures, as those are licensed artwork. They do not claim that this work is their creation. In fact they will tell you upfront that it is Maria Montessori's work. What they have done is created and reformatted the work to meet current information and educational standards.

    Renee said...

    Perfect. Thanks for checking. I am glad that my publishing curriculum notes highlighting and building on their materials isn't considered a problem. I do think they're fablous and I love to recommend them!