Children of all ages are eager to learn about their world and everything in it. They learn their first lessons from their parents and siblings at home, and when they go to school, they learn from their teachers and the world around them. When young children go to public school, they learn by watching, listening, and reading. In a Montessori school like Triangle Montessori Academy (TMA), children are taught to experience the world using all five of their senses. This can give them new insights and allow them to think creatively. To teach young children to use their five senses, a TMA teacher can discuss each sense individually on different days. These lessons allow the students to think about what they have learned and apply the lessons to other subjects. Lessons examples are given below.
Teachers will ask children to identify objects by their physical characteristics such as color, shape, material, and size. We also show pictures of animals, buildings, people, and other objects to the students and ask them to describe each one. This can teach children to look closely at things and consider their unique characteristics.
When teaching young children about their sense of smell, we prepare three to five small bottles by inserting a cotton ball in each one that has been moistened with a spice, aromatic oil, or an extract. Interesting scents that may be used use include vanilla extract, peppermint oil, cinnamon, and perfume. This can teach children to differentiate between scents and relate them to the objects that produced them.
Teachers use recordings of various sounds such as birds chirping, children laughing, a piano playing, and other familiar sounds. The sounds are played for the children and thay are asked them to identify them and draw a picture of what caused the sounds. This can teach children to listen carefully and interpret sounds into visual images.
Often we use small paper cups with samples of foods for students to taste and explain what they experience. We always introduce healthy food as examples of sweet, sour, etc. This exercise can teach children to look for healthy alternatives to food cravings.
Our teachers place an object in a blindfolded child’s hands and ask them to identify the object. The other children can help the blindfolded child by giving hints about the object. This exercise will teach children that our skin sends messages to our brain about an object’s texture, shape, and density.
When young children use all of their five senses, they understand how their bodies work and find new ways to experience the world.
Triangle Montessori Academy is a Cary preschool emphasizing art, mathematics, practical life, Spanish, yoga, meditation, and music. The private, year-round school was founded in 2008 and accepts children from 18 months old up to six years old. The school is a member of the American Montessori Society and all teachers are AMS-certified. Students at the school are exposed to Montessori-style teaching approaches, including individual learning according to each child’s style and pace, multi-age classrooms that allow children to advance when they are ready, and a nurturing of students’ natural curiosity. For more information, call 919.463.7770, or visit our Website at www.trianglemontessori.org .