The First Great Story is an awesome story. It has taken me a few years to get to a point where I am comfortable delivering it and ensuring that I am giving a variety of engaging lessons before and after.
The following recount took place over three weeks. Some Montessorians say that it is essential that you deliver this story on the first day. I am more pragmatic. I think establishing relationships and routine is helpful so you can pitch the story the right way.
Starting off we had our calendar using Te Maramataka (Māori Lunar Calendar) and the Gregorian calendar with a discussion of the moon and sun and time telling.
To start off with I introduced the Laws of the Universe experiments. This is a set I have made which feature pictures of the equipment and use common house hold materials.
I printed off the experiments and put them in a folder. I mentioned that they were there and periodically presented them. Sometimes they were asked for and I would present the lesson. I kept a tray with experiment material on hand so that everything was in one place.
A few days after I gave the First Great Story.
Before the Great Story we looked at the key vocabulary to tune in to words that might be heard. You can see these cards of mine here
We then went into the story. I set Mr 6 up on the computer to turn the pages on the presentation, while I spoke the script.
The experiments that go with the First Great Story were a favourite. I had them on a tray with the instructions.
Heavy layers sink and lighter layers go to the top:
During the story there were a couple of times where questions or comments were given. It was great to see the level of engagement!
At the end I asked if there were any comments or if they wanted to do any of the experiments. There was no particular interest so I left the Great Story stuff for the day and came back to it the next day.
The next day I asked what was remembered about the story. There wasn't much comment so I presented the choice board. While there wasn't any direct interest on the exact things from the choice board but Mr 6 loved painting his own volcano.
The experiments continued to be a hit, including this one about the volcano. There appears to be a pattern of interest here!
We were fortunate enough to be awake at a great learning time to watch the Perseverance land on Mars. This was a fabulous link to the First Great Story.
We had some great discussions about team work, scientists, engineers, and how long it takes for images to get back to Earth. I loved the NASA coverage of this event.
After we had watched the landing and cheered at the success of the team I printed off my fact sheet on Mars from the Planet Research Projects . This led to a great discussion on whether humans had landed on Mars and how when people do land on Mars they could look drill for minerals and what safety precautions they would need to take.
My son was talking lots about dirt and "writing the numbers." I thought he meant the numbers in the fact sheet we had read.
It turns out I was wrong! He was more interested in recreating the numbers he had seen scrolling across the screen like in the landing.
You can read the next bit of our adventure here