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ERIC Number: EJ1044104
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 9
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1054-0040
Montessori and Nature Study: Preserving Wonder through School Gardens
Johnson, Kelly
Montessori Life: A Publication of the American Montessori Society, v25 n3 p36-44 Fall 2013
Current research suggests that nature experience and the cultivation of environmental literacy among students contributes to creative thinking, improved academic performance, and positive relationships with the natural world (Children and Nature Network, retrieved June 2013). Author Kelley Johnson saw this in her own childhood, which was blessed with an abundance of diverse nature experiences: helping her grandfather in his garden, shelling butter beans on the porch with her great-grandmother, snacking on her grandmother's homemade pickles, spending hours of time at the beach, jumping into rivers, hiking, and skiing in the mountains. When she became a Montessori teacher, she saw the growing disconnect between children, their food, and their natural world. Helping children sustain the strength and influence of an unshakable sense of wonder throughout life became her goal. Fortunately, the Montessori philosophy and prepared environment encourages and supports this. This article describes how she created a classroom garden with the help of a small Farm Bureau grant. Immediately, she incorporated the garden into the school's lower elementary curricula, along with the Montessori economic geography curriculum and a holistic nutrition program that she created. Following repeated evidence of the students' lack of "green time" at home and the barrage of gardening questions she received each day, Kelly decided to create a fully illustrated guide that would help teachers and parents create experiences for children that integrated nature across both Montessori curricula and daily life in an artistic way. This led to the creation of "Wings, Worms, and Wonder." A guide for creating a nature journal is provided.
American Montessori Society. 281 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10010-6102. Tel: 212-358-1250; Fax: 212-358-1256; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A