Welcome To Our Fall/Winter 1999 AMC Newsletter Page (Updated 2012)


Fall/Winter Issue

Copyrightę1999 - 2008

all rights reserved

American Montessori Consulting
P.O. Box 5062
Rossmoor, CA 90720
Heidi Anne Spietz, Editor
ISSN 1084-743X
Copyright 1999-2012
Revised 2012
All rights reserved

Click below to visit our AMC Montessori Bookstore


Are you looking for lesson planning information about the Canadian Thanksgiving, American Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, and worldwide December holidays? You're likely to find what you need in this issue. We know that it might be a little early to think about the traditional American Thanksgiving, but we need to consider that our Canadian neighbors will be celebrating Thanksgiving in October. We hope that the following information will help you with your lesson plans for this special holiday.

Wendy Hogan is a truly gifted person who openly shares her creative ideas with others on the net. Her sites always overflow with wonderful activitites. Be sure to visit Wendy's Canadian Thanksgiving Celebrated - Kids' Exchange at Kids' Exchange

Are you looking for a site where you can quickly locate holiday recipes, clip art, arts and crafts activities, calendars and holiday lesson plans? Then, be sure to bookmark and visit U.S. Holiday Lesson Plans & Activities for specific Thanksgiving exercises.


Select poems to celebrate autumn and Thanksgiving by visiting Thanksgiving Poetry Index. and Thanksgiving Poems Use the questions at Lesson Exchange - Pumpkin Investigations for classroom science discussions.



Hands on lesson planning with the focus on autumn leaves is available at Why Do Leaves Change Color in the Fall?


In the AMC Montessori Fall/Winter 1998 newsletter our focus was on multicultural lessons and foreign languages. Visit Holidays Worldwide to learn how families from around the world celebrate various holidays like Christmas or Ramadan. Use their search engine, and enter the name of the holiday. If you enter Thanksgiving, you'll read some of the thoughts expressed by Canadian and American teens/children. Such brief but meaningful accounts given by the children would tie in nicely with a unit on multicultural holiday celebrations.

Visit http://www.amonco.org/montessori_winter_handson.html and http://www.amonco.org/montessori_fall_handson.html for *many* free hands-on holiday lesson planning ideas.

Maria Montessori felt that movement was an essential component of learning. For instance, she felt that in order for a child to write, he must first orient himself in time and space. With this in mind, discover some extensional learning exercises like crafts and games for the younger set at The Idea Box - Thanksgiving


Try many of the 74 Thanksgiving based activities, including the Holiday Hopscotch and Thanksgiving Wreath. Peruse thorugh the Thanksgiving List (74 ideas) menu.

If you are a busy parent or teacher looking for an excellent synopsis of the Thanksgiving holiday, you'll want to visit Thanksgiving Unit. Besides receiving the detailed information about the holiday, you'll appreciate the Maple-Nut-Berry Popcorn Balls recipe for young children. The Indian Corn Science activities give hands-on practice and help children refine the art of observing.

You can use interdisciplinary lesson planning to make Native American history really come alive for your six to nine year old. Click here to read more about Modern Montessori at Home: A Creative Teaching Guide for Parents of Children Six through Nine Years of Age. This book was reviewed in the publication BOOKLIST many years ago. The lessons in this book are presented in an interdisciplinary fashion so that many subjects can be combined into a learning session.

Maria Montessori used grammar symbols to help children learn the function of the words in a sentence. You can easily make these symbols yourself. Some of the lessons require the symbols and sentence strips. These implements can be made with an inexpensive multi-color packet of construction paper and some lightweight posterboard.

Maria Montessori designated a given color and symbol for each part of speech. For example, the conjunction is purple/mauve, the pronoun is light pink, and so on. She also used grammar trays to introduce the child to the study of grammar. Exercises like the noun parsing tray exercise and adjective parsing tray exercise are relatively easy to make and present for home or school use.

You'll discover that in one of the lessons mentioned in the book, children read sentences about the American Indians, and then place the correct grammar symbols over the words. For instance, a black equilateral triangle would be placed over the noun, a pink isocele would be placed over the pronoun, etc.

In subsequent exercises children are encouraged to read books about Indians and paraphrase the sentences. Again, the child places symbols over the words in the sentence that he has paraphrased. Directions for helping your child to do this are provided in the book. Modern Montessori at Home also includes specific information to make the learning of rocks and minerals meaningful for your child. Again, you could discuss the uses of some of the endemic rocks and minerals of areas occupied by Indians.

You can also focus on states where the Indians and colonists settled. Talk with your child about unique geographical features of these states. Use the map game mentioned in Modern Montessori at Home II: A Creative Teaching Guide for Parents of Children 10 through 12 Years of Age as a template. You can modify this game to introduce states and capitals. Simply design a game focusing on the states and capitals where the Indians and colonists lived.

Whether you are planning to cook the holiday meal yourself or just want to acquaint your child with what is served during a traditional Thanksgiving, you'll probably find it here at Thanksgiving Recipes on the Internet - Thanksgiving - Internet Family Fun

If you are looking for more indepth historical information for your lesson planning visit The Mayflower and Thanksgiving Recipes from America's Past



Don't forget to stop by Christmas - Carols Net for lyrics to many of the traditional Christmas songs.

If you don't have access to the web, don't despair! Here are some excellent books for fall lesson planning. You'll want to borrow one or more from your local library. Click on the link(s) to learn more about the author and content of the title(s) that interest you. These books are also available from Amazon.com


The Circle of Thanks: Native American Poems and Songs of Thanksgiving
The First Thanksgiving (A Step 2 Book)
Sarah Morton's Day: A Day in the Life of a Pilgrim Girl
Samuel Eaton's Day: A Day in the Life of a Pilgrim Boy
Crafts for Thanksgiving (Holiday Crafts for Kids)
Happy Thanksgiving!: Things to Make and Do
Across the Wide Dark Sea: The Mayflower Journey

Additional online recipe information and book recommendations are included in our Fall/Winter 1997 newsletter. View this newsletter online at the AMC website by clicking here.



The winter months are full of exciting holidays, and children love to learn about different traditions and customs. Visit Kwanzaa for literature connections, poems songs, and art activities. I think that these hands-on, interdisciplinary lesson plans are very consistent with the Montessori method.


More Kwanzaa interdisciplinary lesson planning.........

One of the seven symbols of Kwanzaa, the Mkeka, can be used to present an interesting lesson in math. The Celebrate Kwanzaa:Weave a Mkeka will also help children to refine motor skills.

Additional sites you'll want to visit for Kwanzaa history include: Everything About Kwanzaa and Kwanzaa - What is it? Alice N. T. Reid (Khadijah) has produced a Kwanzaa Activities, Recipes, and Crafts site geared for family fun. Homeschoolers are sure to enjoy the Celebrate Kwanzaa site, but many teachers might want to adapt some of the ideas for fun learning adventures as well.

Scroll down and read about children activities involving the African scavenger hunt at the public library, Kwanzaa meal planning, and directions for making the Oware game. If you are planning to make a traditional Kwanzaa meal, be sure to stop by Kwanzaa Recipes.


Your initial stops for Chanukah information should be to Chanukah Guide. Armed with a good overview of what this holiday represents you can trek on to some of the other following sites for additional resource information like Chanukah. Comprehensive data about Hanukkah and the menorah is proved at .

You'll find complete, easy to follow directions for families and others who want to learn how to make a Chanukah mobile. Stop by Idea Box - Hanukkah. Your child can even play the computerized dreidel game at this site by visiting The Dreidel.

Hanukkah: Festival of Lights offers a synopsis of the history of Hanukkah, some traditional songs with sheet music and verses, and the discussion of a game - dreidal. Designs for different dreidals are provided, and an illustration is provided in the event you want to make your own. To see how Hanukkah is observed in different parts of the world go to Hannukah Around the World

Rediscover the meaning of Dickens' A Christmas Carol by visiting Children's Christmas Additional online texts of other classics are located at Wacky Anne's Christmas Library.




Some students enjoy decorating an international Christmas tree. You will find find a pattern by visiting International Christmas Tree. Visit How to Say Merry Christmas to learn Christmas greetings in various languages. Another excellent site for comparison and contrast lesson planning is Christmas Around the World.

Specific lessons on the meaning of Christmas for Christians are available at Christmas, Visit Palestine - Bethlehem for research information and maps of Bethlehem and the surrounding areas. The Teaching Unit The Teaching Unit - December Celebrations takes a five day period and incorporates social studies, language arts, mathematics and art to help children, grades 2 - 6, compare and contrast December celebrations. You might also consider presenting lessons which compare and contrast a 19th century Christmas with our modern day version. The site 19th Century Christmas should provide most everything you need for your research. And if you want to compare how Christmas is celebrated in Germany with how it is celebrated in the United States click on Holidays - A Comparison.

Other fun sites include Christmas - Games & Activities and Christmas for Kids

Click on Studying Snowflakes and Wonderful Water - Super Snow Flakes for additional science related projects. Finally, be sure to visit Dave's Snowflake Page to get patterns and instructions for creating beautiful snowflakes.

Here are some excellent books for winter lesson planning. You'll want to borrow one or more from your local library. Click on the link(s) to learn more about the author and content of the title(s) that interest you. -)

Children Around the World Celebrate Christmas
Christmas Around the World
A Christmas Celebration : Traditions and Customs from Around the World
Celebrate Christmas Around the World
Children Around the World Celebrate Christmas
Christmas in Ukraine : Christmas Around the World (Christmas Around the World from World Book)
Christmas Is Coming : Holiday Projects for Children & Parents
All the Lights in the Night
Eight Days of Hanukkah : A Holiday Step Book (Holiday Step Book)
By the Hanukkah Light
Beni's First Chanukah
Crafts for Hanukkah
Celebrating Hanukkah
The Children's Book of Kwanzaa : A Guide to Celebrating the Holiday
Celebrating Kwanzaa
Kwanzaa: A Learning Guide for Parents, Teachers, and Children
The Children's Book of Kwanzaa: A Guide to Celebrating the Holiday
The Complete Kwanzaa:Celebrating Our Cultural Harvest
Eight Days of Hanukkah : A Holiday Step Book (Holiday Step Book)
How to Plan a Kwanzaa Celebration: Ideas For Family, Community and Public Events

New and Notable Resources........

American Montessori Consulting sometimes receives requests for middle and high school Montessori curriculum. Here is what author Heidi Spietz had to say about A History of Western Society ISBN 0-395-90431-5.

Like most Montessorians, I try to use hands-on materials and books which will stimulate the student's thinking. Montessori teachers spend an ample amount of time reviewing materials to make sure that they are suitable for the students. Some texts can be so boring.

Recently, I reviewed an AP history text published by Houghton Mifflin for inclusion in the Montessori Resources: A Complete Guide to Finding Montessori Materials for Parents and Teachers book. Copyright 1999 American Montessori Consulting I was thoroughly impressed with this particular text.

The AP European textbook A History of Western Society offers a complete study of the western civilization from antiquity to present. Students who have been educated in a Montessori setting will appreciate the superb manner in which the subject manner is organized and sented. The authors are able to transport the student in any given time frame, so that he can almost vicariously experience what life was like in, for example, ancient Egypt or during the iconoclastic 1960's. The authors help the student see the mitigating circumstances which surround a given event. The section about the first world war is just one example of how brilliantly the authors thoroughly cover a given time period for enjoyable reading.

The student is able to understand how the variables in the geographic regions, prevailing attitudes and lack of communication contributed to the start of World War I. A letter and diary entry given at the conclusion of the chapter assist the reader in interpreting the events from a first person perspective. Throughout this text graphs, maps, pictures and commentary encourage reflection and reinforce understanding.

The supplemental study guide assists the student in remembering key points. The essay questions are thought provoking, providing an excellent introduction to the subjective test that the student will be exposed to in a college setting.

The Understanding History Through the Arts section in each chapter allows the student to see how the historical period influenced art and literature. A selected literature booklist and discussion of particular art pieces are provided for further investigation. The evaluation materials are also very consistent with material provided throughout the study guide and text.

Houghton Mifflin has several numbers to assist homeschoolers and school educators. Homeschoolers should call (800)462-6595; schools requesting information about secondary books should call (800)323-5435. Educators seeking K-8 book information should call (800)733-2098 or (800)462-6595. You'll also want to stop at EduPlace where you will find a complete K-8 resource center for parents, teachers and kids.

You can find out about additional Montessori resources by visiting Montessori Home Series Page

We hope you have a wonderful holiday.

American Montessori Consulting
P.O. Box 5062
Rossmoor, CA 90720
Heidi Anne Spietz, editor
Fall/Winter 1999
THE AMC MONTESSORI NEWS
all rights reserved
Copyright c1999-2012