Soon more birdhouses were created of all shapes and sizes. They were accompanied by sticks, rocks, bricks and grasses. Anything that could make this area more attractive or comfortable for the birds was added. Birdseed was brought from home. Each person in the class would take time out of his or her recess to help build the latest addition.
Free time during class was spent researching birds. Groups of children were found on rugs making booklets of the parts of a bird. Another student was researching bird pictures on the computer so she could copy them into her sketchbook. Two more kids were studying x-ray pictures of birds. All realistic, yet all creative.
Did I mention that the teacher did not give one lesson concerning birds? She didn’t suggest the research. She didn’t encourage the booklets. She didn’t help at all. This learning was completely spontaneous. These children found an interest and worked toward the common goal of learning more about it. This is the heart of the Montessori classroom.
Written by Shannon Bennett, Elementary Guide