“Those things which we call encouragement, comfort, love, respect, are drawn from the soul of man, and the more freely we give of them, the more do we renew and reinvigorate the life about us.” Maria Montessori, The Montessori Method, chapter 2
“Nature is part of our humanity, and without some awareness and experience of that divine mystery man ceases to be man. When the Pleiades and the wind in the grass are no longer a part of the human spirit, a part of very flesh and bone, man becomes, as it were, a kind of cosmic outlaw, having neither the completeness and integrity of the animal nor the birthright of a true humanity.” Henry Beston, in the foreword to a new edition of his classic book, The Outermost House: A Year of Life on the Great Beach of Cape Cod.
Solar Energy -
The primary source of energy in our solar system is the large star at the center. Called the Sun, it provides the energy in the form of light and warmth for plants to grow and the plants provide energy for us to live.
A familiar sight in Montessori classrooms is the celebration where the birthday child walks around the “sun” (a candle or lamp) holding an Earth globe the number of times that match the child's age and stops on the month and date he or she was born.
The birthday celebration, which introduces how the Earth orbits the Sun and the ideas of months and days of the month, would also be an excellent time to experience baking cupcakes in a solar cooker.
Solar Cooker Plans:
Wind Energy -
Wind is the flow of air, or other gases, that compose an atmosphere. Wind provided a power source for mechanical work such as pushing a boat with a sail, raising water with a wind mill, generating electricity with a turbine, and flying a kite in the wind.
Wind energy can have a special meaning to a Montessori educator. Maria Montessori relates how a vision and prophecy of Ezekiel influenced her - “In fact, the words–‘I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live,’ seem to me to refer to the direct individual work of the master who encourages, calls to, and helps his pupil, preparing him for education.”
US Dept of Energy- Wind Powering America: Wind Energy Curricula
Video - How to make a pinwheel
KidWind Project - Build a classroom wind turbine