Montessori Scope and Sequence: Practical Life
Competence, independence, willingness to embrace the challenges of change are, quite possibly, the most important building blocks of the Montessori Method. These skills will enable children to thrive – and not just survive – in their lives. We can help our children learn to read, do math, and understand science, but how can we prepare them for the changes, life experiences, and new technology they will face throughout their lifetime, when we can’t even begin to imagine what the future will hold? And so, in Montessori, we provide opportunities to help our children learn these skills at the most basic level: Practical Life. Beginning with lessons on using a mat or rug intended for the youngest child, and extending all the way to learning how to run a small business, the Practical Life Scope and Sequence was designed to be a comprehensive resource that provides essential information to Montessori guides for classrooms ranging in age from Toddler through Upper Elementary. 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 Practical Life 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.
The Practical Life Scope and Sequence provides students with many opportunities to feel independence and competence, and develop their fine and gross motor skills, as they engage in real world activities such as washing tables, folding clothes, and preparing food. With these goals in mind, the sequence of the use of lessons and materials is important. All of the content for Practical Life 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.
Practical Life in Montessori Compass
The Practical Life Scope and Sequence is designed to help children develop concentration, coordination, independence and a sense of order. The sub-categories reflect that purpose in their areas of focus. 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 “Dressing Frames,” or to plan for a specific element within the Dressing Frames Lesson such as “Works with zippers on dressing frame.” The same is true for recording student progress. The guide could mark the student’s progress in the general lesson/activity, “Dressing Frames,” 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 Practical Life Online
The Practical Life Scope and Sequence is displayed on the spreadsheet with the same organization as within MC. For the example given above, the lesson "Dressing Frames" is listed adjacent to the sub-category of "Care of Person: Dressing/Grooming." 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.