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Look! No Thumbs

10/7/2013
Students in the Upper elementary class have an understanding of the connection between the natural world and the people who inhabit it. UE students study the evolution of humans, searching for their fossil relatives. They compare and contrast ancient civilizations and begin the study of American history. 

In the fourth grade students learn the taxonomic classification of the human being so that the history of the species can be viewed in context with other species. Together we work through the classification charts, from the Kingdom through the order of Primata, explaining the charachteristis that distinguish the group, that make us related to the other members of the group. 
Maria Montessori created a system of learning in which the application and and meaning of what one was learning should come across to every child. The Opposble Thumb Activities is an example of an application that shows students what it would be like if we did not have an opposable thumb. They are asked to perform a number of tasks with their thumb wrapped so it rests across the palm of the hand. Tasks range from picking up a piece of paper to tying laces on a dressing frame. Not only did they understand the  relationship between man and other primates, they also developed an appreciation for their thumbs. 
As Montessori teachers we constantly challenge ourselves to come up with activities that help build an understanding of the lessons. As the year progresses we will keep you updated on different activities that we incorporate in our lessons. 

Stephen and the UE team