THE MONTESSORI METHOD - online book

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

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 INTELLECTUAL EDUCATION            243 GRometric Analysis of Figures; Sides, Angles, Centre, Base The gRometric analysis of figures is not adapted to very young children. I have tried a means for the intro­duction of such analysis, limiting this work to the rect­angle and making use of a game which includes the analy­sis without fixing the attention of the child upon it. This game presents the concept most clearly. The rectangle of which I make use is the plane of one of the children's tables, and the game consists in laying the table for a meal. I have in each of the " Children's Houses" a collection of toy table-furnishings, such as may be found in any toy-store. Among these are dinner-plates, soup-plates, soup-tureen, saltcellars, glasses, de­canters, little knives, forks, spoons, etc. I have them lay the table for six, putting two places on each of the longer sides, and one place on each of the shorter sides. One of the children takes the objects and places them as I in­dicate. I tell him to place the soup tureen in the centre of the table; this napkin in a corner, " Place this plate in the centre of the short side" Then I have the child look at the table, and I say, " Something is lacking in this corner. We want another glass on this side. Now let us see if we have everything properly placed on the two longer sides. Is everything ready on the two shorter sides? Is there anything lack­ing in the four corners ? " I do not believe that we may proceed to any more com­plex analysis than this before the age of six years, for I believe that the child should one day take up one of the plane insets and spontaneously begin to count the sides and the angles. Certainly, if we taught them such ideas