In the Spark studio, the guides take great care in making and switching out works as the seasons’ change, using Equinoxes and breaks to surprise the learners with new works on the shelf. Through the prepared environment, guides create opportunities for the children to connect with Nature and to observe and absorb the inevitable temporariness and the cyclical nature of Nature and all the beauty it brings with itself. The hope being that the young learners embrace the greater interrelatedness, and see themselves as a part, as well as, a contributor, to this very harmony that sustains us all.
An example of a ‘multiple-step experience’ that the guides introduced to the learners included observations of science and art. The learners dyed flowers with food coloring as part of a science experiment. Once dried for 2-3 days, the flowers were further dried in a flower press for 3 weeks. As a culmination to this, the learners made their own masterpieces using the dried flowers and were able to take home their framed art.
Another example of a season-based activity is embracing planting and gardening – The learners began planting and sowing herbs, flowers, succulents in the Spark Courtyard. First, the learners checked the pH levels of the soil, after which they prepared the soil for planting. They shoveled soil for a few days and then planted saplings/seeds. During this multi-step process, unboxing planters was also on the learners’ plate. They are learning that processes have steps and span over days. Seasons bring important lessons of patience, love for and understanding of Nature, and so much more.
We end this post with quotes from Maria Montessori and pictures from our courtyard and the end of the session project the learners took several weeks to work on.
May the season of Spring bring sprouts and blossoms of peace and harmony to all!
“When the children come in contact with Nature, they reveal their strength.”
“There must be provision for the child to have contact with nature; to understand and appreciate the order, the harmony and the beauty in nature.”
“The greatest gifts we can give our children are the roots of responsibility and the wings of independence. The land is where our roots are. The children must be taught to feel and live in harmony with the Earth.”