Introduction to the Unit
Our unit, "The Circle of Life" is based on enhancing the study of life cycles at Richmond Montessori School's Primary and Lower Elementary (grades 1-3) through literature, creative writing, art, music, drama, technology, and physical education. This integrated approach supports the education principles that Maria Montessori introduced to America in 1912. She advocated the teaching of the whole child using a multi-sensory approach. She knew an integrated curriculum engaged her students, ultimately fostering independence and self-motivation. She was a huge believer of teaching IN nature, so all around our school are gardens that are grown and maintained by our students. The culminating event of the unit would be a field trip to the Butterflies Live exhibit at Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens.
This unit was created by Richmond Montessori teachers Mo Bennett (Art), Jeanne Bluford (Music), Wendy Mazzini (Physical Education), and Barbara McCreary (Bibliotech), and Henrico County teacher Louise Miller (K) during the 2012 Joan Oates Institute for Partners in the Arts.
Richmond Montessori School's curriculum is not based on the Virginia SOL's, but instead follows the American Montessori Association curriculum standards. The SOL references are included in the lesson plans for use by others.