Montessori Scope and Sequence: Cosmic Studies

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Montessori FoundationThe Cosmic Studies Scope and Sequence was designed to be a comprehensive resource that provides essential information to Montessori guides for Lower and Upper Elementary classrooms. As was mentioned in the introduction, this scope and sequence was not intended to be a “one-size-fits-all” checklist of all the lessons and materials that should be covered, but instead a resource to select from when planning lessons and recording student progress.

The organizational design of the Cosmic Studies Scope and Sequence was created specifically to be used in Montessori Compass. Within Montessori Compass, guides have access to the entire scope and sequence for their classrooms, but can use the organizational structure and search features to efficiently find the exact content they need. It is also important to note that within Montessori Compass, schools and guides can adapt the curriculum, at any organizational level, to meet their own needs.

Cosmic Studies lessons and units of exploration are designed to give students a sense of the story of the universe, how life developed, and the story of our history. These lessons and experiences are introduced in the hope that they will inspire in students a sense of wonder and awaken interest, appreciation, and understanding. This is what Montessori had in mind when she wrote: “The secret of good teaching is to regard the child's intelligence as a fertile field in which seeds may be sown, to grow under the heat of flaming imagination. Our aim is not only to make the child understand, and still less to force him to memorize, but so to touch his imagination as to enthuse him to his innermost core. We do not want complacent pupils, but eager ones. We seek to sow life in the child rather than theories, to help him in his growth, mental and emotional as well as physical, and for that we must offer grand and lofty ideas to the human mind.” With these goals in mind, the sequence of the use of lessons and materials is important. All of the content for Cosmic Studies is divided into sub-categories and these sub-categories and the lessons within them are listed in the order in which they would be introduced for most children in many Montessori classrooms.


Cosmic Studies in Montessori Compass

Cosmic Studies consists of Laws of the Universe Experiments and the Five Great Lessons. The sub-categories reflect that content. In addition to parent-friendly descriptions, lessons are accompanied by defined measurable learning objectives, referred to within MC as "elements." A guide may choose to plan a lesson such as “Story of the Creation of the Universe,” or to plan for a specific element within the lesson such as “Participates in the retelling of traditional stories of how the world came to be. ” The same is true for recording student progress. The guide could mark the student’s progress in the general lesson/activity, “Story of the Creation of the Universe,” or mark progress within a specific element. *It is important to note that elements, with defined measurable objectives, have been aligned to the CCSS; not the individual lessons. 


Viewing Cosmic Studies Online

The Cosmic Studies Scope and Sequence is displayed on the spreadsheet with the same organization as within MC. For the example given above, the lesson “Story of the Creation of the Universe" is listed adjacent to the sub-category of "The First Great Lesson: Creation of the Universe." The parent-friendly descriptions and the associated elements for each lesson are included as well. Please note that when multiple elements are present, the lesson and lesson description are present multiple times. Lastly, the recommended cycle years for the lesson/activity is indicated by an 'X' in the columns on the right.  

The viewer contains controls to help you better navigate the S&S. The 4 horizontal lines = Table of Contents, Magnifying Glass = Search, and the Square on right = Full-Screen.