The Montessori Great Lessons are taught to elementary students every year, each Fall. The elementary child is completely different in his needs and his pursuits from the former, Primary self. This new child has an overwhelming drive to dive into intellectual academics, and he doesn't want to do it alone anymore as he used to one-on-one with his Primary teacher; he wants to do it with his peers, in small groups that fuel the fire to find, answer, and know the universe.
Elementary teachers capitalize upon this natural opening of the child's curiosity, and teach lessons that inspire them to feel quest-driven. In the last few weeks, your students saw the Clock of Eras and the Hand Timeline. The Clock of Eras is a portrayal of how long it took the earth to form and take shape, but its 4.6 billion years are contained to a 12-hour clock face. Thus, the formation of earth's crust is 4 hours long, the great rains that formed our rivers and oceans is 6 hours long, and at the very, very last edge before the clock strikes 12, is a fingernail-thin red line that represents human existence; on this clock, humans have existed for only 14 and 1/2 seconds! An excellent follow-up to this is The Hand Timeline, a "stretched out" timeline of the thin red strip of human existence from before. But now it is a 10-foot long black cloth that ends yet again with a red strip. It is 3 inches wide, and it now shows the amount of time humans have been writing (called History) versus the amount of time we existed before we began writing (known as Prehistory).
These thought-provoking lessons inspire children to realize the vastness of earth, the universe, and how truly insignificant our existence has the potential to be. So it is with great gusto that, every day, your 6-9 year olds come to school to engage their minds with quest-driven curiosities and thoughts, to make their existence meaningful in the great vastness of the universe.