Our elementary students learned about the world of plants this week. We wrapped up a group experiment aimed at discerning the needs of plants -- discerning the commonalities of warmth, mineral, light, water and air. At the conclusion of the needs of the plant experiment, it is tradition in the Montessori classroom to tell what is called the “Story of Plants.” This story highlights the diversity of the world of botany. We touch on all the different environments, and also how plants achieve the cosmic task of creating an atmosphere in which life can thrive on Earth. “We never take without giving back,” the plant says in the story, “and we joyfully complete our Cosmic Task.” The story and exploration of plants speaks to the heart of each elementary child that desires to know the world beyond the confines of the indoor world. The idea of the Cosmic Task is a central theme in all of Montessori education. It rests upon the idea that each member of creation has a contribution to the functioning of our planet, that we all have the potential to contribute in a positive way.
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