The nation is celebrating Black History Month during February. Children across the country are learning more about the many contributions African Americans have made through the years. At world song schools, we are also incorporating Black History Month into our curriculum. But, at our center in Huron Village and our other locations, we are crafting our lessons around the Montessori Method, as we do all of our lessons.
We’re going to look at the history of the Montessori Method and Black History Month and how the two can work together to create interesting and creative lessons for children.
Examining the Montessori Method
Maria Montessori developed Montessori education in 1907 and opened the first Montessori school in Rome. She began to travel and told people about her method. It caught on and now there are thousands of Montessori schools around the world.
Montessori education focuses on self-directed activity, hands-on learning, and collaborative play. Kids learn how they can explore the world around them by themselves and how to work in groups. They learn how to be creative in all aspects of their learning.
Black History Month Background
Black History Month’s history dates back to 1915. That’s when historian Carter G. Woodson and the prominent minister Jesse E. Moorland founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History. In 1926, the group sponsored a national Negro History Week, which mayors across the country began to recognize. College campuses began to recognize it as well and it evolved into Black History Month. In 1976, President Gerald Ford officially recognized Black History Month. It has been celebrated annually since then.
Utilizing The Montessori Method to Teach About Black History Month
At world song schools, the Montessori Method inspires our lessons and the ones we teach about Black History Month.
One of the reasons why the Montessori Method has been able to retain its popularity is that it is child-centered and peaceful. Children in Montessori-inspired settings are taught by people who embrace the method and want all children to feel like they belong. There’s no judging; all children are treated the same no matter their race.
This type of lesson is one that can be appreciated throughout the year, but especially during February as we celebrate Black History Month. There were so many African Americans who fought to be treated equally. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rosa Parks are just two notable names who fought for equality.
Montessori-inspired classrooms bring a vibe of acceptance and calmness along with it. This helps children to be themselves and learn in an environment that is free of chaos and judgment. It also helps teachers to focus on the children and the lessons and values they are helping to instill.
When you approach Black History Month from a Montessori perspective, you are encouraging children to be inclusive. This is something that extends well beyond the classroom doors. The goal is that children learn this in the classroom and carry it through their entire lives.
As we continue to teach about Black History Month at our Huron Village location and other Rock and Roll franchises, there are ways you can use the Montessori method to help teach about Black History Month at home.
Be Creative When Teaching About Black History
You have to gear your lessons to your audience. Small children are not going to be interested in learning about historical dates. But, that doesn’t mean they can’t get a history lesson. When you’re creative about teaching about Black History Month, children will not only be intrigued about what they’re learning, but they’ll also remember it.
Instead of throwing out a bunch of names and dates, introduce them to African songs and dances. This is especially fun for younger students who love to sing and dance. At world song schools, we’re always using different types of music to teach lessons, and teaching about Black History Month is no different.
Introducing African food is another way to get creative when telling your children about Black History Month. This is not only a good way to get them to try new things, but to also get them to appreciate different types of cuisine at a young age. Acceptance is one of the values that the Montessori Method tries to instill.
Give Them Something They Can Relate To
When kids can relate to something, they’ll be more interested in learning about it.
When telling your kids about Black History Month, look for African-American inventors who created something that kids can use. For example, the electret transducer technology that is used in the microphones of many phones was co-created by Dr. James West. West had the job of creating a more sensitive and compact microphone when he was working at Bell Labs in 1960. Show any child a phone and tell them who helped to create the microphone inside of it. That will surely get their attention!
The Bottom Line
The Montessori Method can be a great tool to include people of all backgrounds and help teach children about Black History Month. By thinking out-of-the-box, you can help children remember important history lessons. The Montessori Method is a wonderful building block to help children learn to be more inclusive while learning about Black History Month and all year long.
Have you ever used The Montessori Method to teach a lesson at home? Share with us in the comments below.