Celebrating the earth and all of nature’s wonders is an everyday activity for the children of Neshaminy Montessori, the outstanding learning program for ages three through Kindergarten at Trevose Day School.
This April, our two Montessori classrooms put a special emphasis on environmental education as they geared up for Earth Day. Through the arts, gardening, poetry and classroom discussions, their love of the natural world blossomed as their curiosity soared.
The children of Mrs. McNally’s class began the month learning the following poem, which they sweetly sang to the tune of “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star:”
Elm trees stretch and stretch so wide
Their limbs reach out on every side
Pine trees stretch and stretch so high
They nearly reach up to the sky
Willows droop and droop so low
Their branches sweep the ground below.
The students also tapped their inner artists, creating beautiful images with fruits and vegetables. Using a printmaking technique, they transformed celery hearts and oranges into wonderful design tools. This lesson not only created a piece of artwork — it raised awareness of reusing, recycling and composting objects often considered to be “trash.”
The budding gardeners also planted zinnia seeds in upcycled yogurt containers which they decorated in monochromatic collage. Our hope is that the seeds will sprout and grow just in time for Mother’s Day and make a wonderful gift for mom!
In Mrs. Hines’ classroom, the children also turned their attention gardening and the life cycle of plants. Here, a young child gets his hands deep in the mysteries of healthy soil as he plants flower seeds to help keep the earth in full bloom.
These pro-recyclers also created flowers out of plastic water bottles, proving that beauty can grow anywhere we focus our minds and talents on. By cutting the bottoms off of the bottles, peeling back the “petals,” and painting the plastic flowers in a rainbow of colors, “garbage” items were transformed into marvelous mobiles that bring a touch of the great outdoors into our classrooms.
On Earth Day, our students lit a candle in honor of the Earth’s birthday, and sang the following Montessori poem to the tune of “Happy Birthday.” It captures the harmony and sense of togetherness we aspire to as a classroom community and engaged citizens of the world:
We celebrate your birth and your place on the earth.
May the sun, moon and stars bring you peace where you are.