Fundamental Needs is one of my favourite topics of all in Montessori. This topic usually comes after the presentation of the Third Great Story however if you are teaching in a Public Montessori where you are required to teach a particular Social Studies topic it can easily be linked into that.
When I taught Years 1-4 or ages 6-9 in Public Montessori I ran a two tiered Fundamental Needs programme. For younger students I looked at Fundamental needs generally and for older students aged eight and nine I looked at Fundamental Needs through time. More recently teaching in a 'normal' class I have looked at both concurrently.
Some ideas/teaching points
--When teaching Fundamental Needs across time make sure to incorporate your local indigenous or First Nations culture/s.
-- When introducing needs through time make sure to point out that you are teaching generalisations and not the rule. Encourage curiosity for example Do you think everyone ate .....? Did everyone around the world live in houses like .... during the ..... time?
--Dependent on your cohort (6-9 or 9-12) you might also want to ask questions like 'Why is it we hear so much about the Romans and Greeks and so little about Ancient China or Africa?'
-- Different Montessori trainings have different Fundamental Needs don't get too hooked up on that because when looking across time covering every single Fundamental Need gets a bit overwhelming anyway. I suggest picking five to six fundamental needs and looking at them over the different time periods.
Teaching Materials to use
You can use 'through time' cards such as my set which you can see below. In each of these sets I have a
-An introduction card
-Religion (not the Native American set this includes Social Acceptance) card
1) Lay out the pictures of the time period
2) The child matches the labels and definitions
3) The student may wish to make their own booklet about the period
4) When the student has been introduced to all of the different periods they may choose to compare all of the 'clothing' cards from the different periods and compare and contrast them.
Students in the 6-9 age are generally quite content learning about the periods and then undertaking projects about a certain area or need such as how food has changed over time.
At the 9-12 level Independent research projects that allow students to dig deep into Fundamental Needs are particularly important. A particular need for students of this age is justice and equality so projects where students get to explore these issues are necessary to help students develop this area and are also part of our Cosmic task to help students be peaceful, reflective and assertive.
Having a range of good quality books allows students to research about needs through time too.
Make sure to read my related blog post about teaching Fundamental Needs which includes some freebies
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