Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Montessori Elementary: History Question Charts

These are the History Question Charts that I made last week.  These charts are just one of the tools that is used in Montessori to teach the child how to research, take notes, and organize their findings. They can serve as a skeleton for a written report or oral presentation as well. 

Helena Reid has shared her MINW training course notes on the History Question Charts.  Her notes are a good read and also provide a clear list of all the questions for each chart if you plan to make your own. I also recommend the Montessori Teacher's Institute Mentor Transcripts on this topic.  The transcripts detail how to train the child to use them and how to scaffold the experience.

Charts are made so that they can be stacked with just the headers showing as in my first photo.  Above you can see them all laid out at once.  

Here is a closer look a two of the charts...

...and the other two.

The charts should be big enough so that you and the child can answer the questions of your choosing, write the answer on index cards or quarter sheets of paper, and lay them in the appropriate rectangle on the chart.  You might stack multiple cards in one triangle.  My charts are sized large enough to hold quarter sheets of paper but I threw some index cards on there to snap the photos.  I should point out that I originally typed up charts on the computer and printed them only to realize in the end that they were TOO SMALL.  When I made them the second time I bought large sheets of posterboard.  For your reference, my largest chart (the red one) is 28 inches wide and 14 inches tall.

You are also not limited to simply answering questions.  Helenda Reid stated in her notes, "The blank spots on each chart are an invitation to the children to place their own questions on the chart.  They are also a way of showing the children that not only do we not have all the answers we don't even have all the questions we could ask."

Montessori Monday


  1. Thank you for posting this - I had not come across it at all and it looks a great tool for researching a point and place in history in context. My daughter and I were talking about Captain Bligh the other day (those home-ed conversations, right) and how his actions seem harsh to us now, but by the standards of the time his discipline was moderate. These questions and others are a great prompt, and I'm looking forward to reading the linked material too!
    Best wishes

  2. Thanks for the link. Unfortunately, Scribd wants you to pay for the download.

    1. Sorry Anon, there's nothing I can do about that unfortunately. It's the only place the material is available. The people who have a Scribd subscription (or contribute, contributions add up to free access) will probably appreciate the link. If it were available elsewhere I would post that link instead, but no luck. I do NOT get any kind of money from Scribd...it's not an affiliate link or anything.

  3. Interesting! I have never seen these laid out! I like them though. I may have to make some to go with out continent studies and Story of the World. Bunny like direction and this would give it to her! Once again, you have done an amazing job! Happy School!

    1. I love them because the remind me of the index card method I was taught to use in order to write research papers in middle school. I used the SAME method to write my PhD dissertation...useful skill!

  4. Just wanted to drop in and thank you for referencing the mentor transcripts. I will be spending my afternoon reading through them. What a great resource! Thanks again!

  5. Hello, I am presently in elementary Montessori training after getting my diploma for the primary this past July. I stumbled across your blog while I am presently making my albums. I am absolutely fascinated!! This has always been my dream - to take the training an one day hopefully use it for my own children in a homeschooling fashion. But i didn't know that anyone else actually did this! Happy day!
    But what i really want to ask you is (if you don't mind sharing) why you decided to homeschool Montessori over just sending your children to a Montessori school? People never understand my reasons so I'm curious to hear yours (and perhaps have a little support in my thoughts).

    I look forward to hearing back. This is awesome and fills me with so much hope...