THE MONTESSORI METHOD - online book

Scientific Methods As Applied To Child Education In "the Children's Houses"

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EDUCATION OF THE SENSES 187
I have designed a set of utensils which are to be made of very light metal, and filled with water. These have covers, and to each is attached a thermometer. The bowl touched from the outside gives the desired impression of heat.
I also have the children put their hands into cold, tepid, and warm water, an exercise which they find most divert­ing. I should like to repeat this exercise with the feet, but I have not had an opportunity to make the trial.
For the education of the baric sense (sense of weight), I use with great success little wooden tablets, six by eight centimetres, having a thickness of 1/2 centimetre. These tablets are in three different qualities of wood, wistaria, walnut, and pine. They weigh respectively, 24, 18, and 12 grammes, making them differ in weight by 6 grammes. These tablets should be very smooth; if possible, varnished in such a way that every roughness shall be eliminated, but so that the natural colour of the wood shall remain. The child, observing the colour, knows that they are of differing weights, and this offers a means of controlling the exercise. He takes two of the tablets in his hands, letting them rest upon the palm at the base of his outstretched fingers. Then he moves his hands up and down in order to gauge the weight. This movement should come to be, little by little, almost insensible. We lead the child to make his distinction purely through the difference in weight, leav­ing out the guide of the different colours, and closing his eyes. He learns to do this of himself, and takes great interest in " guessing."
The game attracts the attention of those near, who gather in a circle about the one who has the tablets, and who take turns in guessing. Sometimes the children
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