Sunday, January 21, 2024

Fourth Great Lesson - Extensions

It is so much fun to teach the Story of Written Language (in Montessori schools, this is called the Fourth Great Lesson and is done every year with children ages 6-9). The essential components are the story of written English, since this is what we use in school. These include cave paintings, Sumerian cuneiform, Egyptian hieroglyphs, the alphabet (Sinaitic, Phoenician, Greek, Roman), illuminated manuscripts, and the printing press.

I've kept track of all the stories I used this year:
2024 Story of Written Language - Books & Activities

There are so many wonderful things you can bring in as extensions here. Here are some of the books I have on the shelf that would work beautifully:

Chinese - The Cloudmakers by James Rumford (a lovely book about papermaking with hemp), My Little Chinese Book of Words

Arabic - The Monster in the Alphabet by James Rumford, The Day of Ahmed's Secret by Florence Parry Heide, Silent Music: A Story of Baghdad by James Rumford, Pandora's Box by Henriette Barkow

Cherokee - Sequoyah: The Cherokee Man Who Gave His People Writing by James Rumford, The Apple Tree by Sandy Tharp-Thee

Braille - Six Dots: A Story of Young Louis Braille by Jen Bryant, DK Braille: Animals, DK Braille: On the Move, DK Braille: It Can't Be True! Incredible Tactile Comparisons, Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney

I also have a Rubik's Tactile Cube
(something I don't have, but want: Rubber Stamps for the Braille Alphabet)

This was the first year I realized I had several books in Arabic. At the back of The Monster in the Alphabet, Rumford shows the Phoenician alphabet with its "most famous offspring," which are English, Greek, Hebrew, and Arabic.

I never knew that the Arabic alphabet was a relative of the Phoenician one!

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