Living Things A montessori inspired unit

Those of you that have been following me recently will know that I have been teaching in a ‘normal classroom.’ The schoolwide focus for this term is ‘care.’ We had a vote and the children aged 9-11 decided they would want to know more about caring about the animals and plants.
I have used this schoolwide focus to help introduce the children to elementary montessori botany and zoology.
I have adapted the montessori scope and sequence a little and have also integrated guided reading and arts activities about caring for the earth.
Here is what I have taught this term (click the picture to download a copy). I have taught things based on the interest level of the children. The children can choose the materials of the shelf when they have had a lesson on them.
Here are some photos of what we have been up to:
We have been growing plants. The children love volunteering to water them. A local supermarket has been having a giveaway where you get a seedling for a certain amount of money spent. My parents donated a whole lot to my class. The children have been fascinated to see how plants move themselves towards the light.
Our made up animals! The children loved writing creative things about their animals!
I put the children into groups of mixed ability in week 4. On the monday we had rotations and the children spent 5-10 minutes on some botany and zoology activities. As they now knew how the cards worked this was a way of introducing them to new content.
We have been learning the names of animals in Måori. I have been making materials for the children to help with this.
The timeline of life
This child made a fliip book about Chimpanzees. I was really interested in this child, she was concerned about describing Chimpanzees as Black as she thought this was racist. This has lead me to think about teaching more about race!
In the groups from above children did music. This is the first time this year (or last) they have done music. The children used body percussion to make a sound scape about a day in the forest. It was amazing seeing and hearing their creativity. Each picture represents a sound.
The montessori booklets, where children get to make their own, are a favourite of the children!
 Vertebrate flip book - you can get it here
-Montessori for everyone zoology and botany resources
-NAMC timelines
My own resources:
MRS GREN - introduction
MRS GREN - comparison
Clock of Eras

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