Some of the most eye-catching materials in a Montessori classroom are the geometric solids. Bright blue and commanding, they draw children of all ages in to touch and explore them. Find out what these materials are all about below.
The purpose of the geometric solids are many! First and foremost, they appeal to a child’s senses. Through manual manipulation of the geometric solids, a child uses her muscular-tactile senses, as well as sharpening her visual perception of solid figures. They are all the same color so that the child can focus on what is different about the solids: their shape, their appearance, the way they feel in her hands, and the way they act upon a flat surface. Just as important: the guide provides a child with the appropriate language for each geometric solid.
When introducing the geometric solids, the Guide invites a child to select three items from the collection and carry them to a mat for the lesson. The enthusiasm here was abundant!
This child chose her three solids, placed them in a basket for easy carrying, and proudly transported them to the mat she had already placed in her chosen work space on the floor. There is so much empowerment in all of these independent (but carefully guided) choices. Thus the child is invested and interested before the lesson has even begun!
Each geometric solid is presented independently and with careful appreciation. Such care is quickly picked up on by the child, who then also handles the material with care.
In this case, the child repeats the name of the ovoid, then the triangular based prism, and finally the cylinder. She feels each with her hands, then carefully hands them back to the Guide.
Next, it’s time for a game!
“Cover your eyes!”
The Guide then shows each child how to reach under the cloth to feel for a particular geometric solid. In doing so, the child reinforces her tactile experience of each material!
Once the lesson is complete, the child returns the materials to their places.
Thank you, Reghan, for demonstrating a wonderful lesson, and to Gwen, for being completely adorable!