Thursday, September 12, 2013

Montessori Elementary: Fundamental Needs of People

click image to enlarge

Another work that will go along with the Third Great Lesson is the Fundamental Needs of People work.  This is a work that can really stand on its own and it will be used frequently in the classroom. In fact,  the Keys of the Universe albums that I use suggests that it can be introduced on the first day of school even before the Great Lessons.  The album also suggests that it can be used in conjunction with the following:

  • The Hand Timeline
  • People of Different Zones
  • The 1st and 2nd Timeline of Human Beings
  • Biology (Plants and animals meet needs for shelter, food, defense, transportation...)
  • Interdependencies (Geography work)
  • Economic Geography
  • History Studies of People


The chart pictured above is not the main Fundamental Needs chart. There is a main chart that shows all of the fundamental needs and then charts can be made for each fundamental need to show the different ways that humans meet that need.


Albanesi Montessori offers a full set of eight charts for $200.  The only problem is that the KotU albums suggest that by making all of the charts for each need you take away from the child the privilege of making those charts themselves.  Instead, it is recommended to make the main chart and then chose one of the other needs to make a chart for as an example for the child of what can be done.  The KotU albums come with support albums full of printable files.  The images for the "Food" chart was included there so I, of course, made the food chart. 


click image to enlarge

I just had to print and cut the images from the support album and glue them onto some foam board.  It is a large 2x3' piece. Unfortunately for me the images for the main chart were not included in the support album until three weeks AFTER I put together the Fundamental Needs work.  They are available now.  Grr.

I have been a little overwhelmed with materials making so I ordered a set from one of the few companies that offers elementary-level printables,  Montessori 123.  (I received no compensation.)  I ordered the Fundamental Needs of People Kit which comes with a fundamental need chart and several mute options, definition cards, and a massive sorting game (72 photographs).  I have even been overwhelmed with the amount of laminating I have been doing of even purchased materials so I elected to order this one precut and laminated.



I am storing the kit in one of the drawers in my set of old, brown, hardware drawers that I spraypainted blue.  You have likely seen the cabinet in the background of my photos for some time.  It isn't full and organized yet but gets closer every day.  Each drawer is about 4 inches deep and is long and wide enough to fit letter-sized paper.  The cabinet holds some printable materials, but also rock collections, magnet collections, measurement tools, and all kinds of goodies.


Below is a photo of the drawer opened up.  The green metal container is a dollar store cookie tin that I bought 20 of six years ago when we started this journey.  They are constantly recycled in our classroom but are most famous for holding sound bins.


The green, transparent, plastic container is also from the dollar store and sold in the photo section.  It is made as a case for 4x6 photographs.  They also come in a 5x7 size.

click on image to enlarge

Here is the Fundamental Needs chart and the three mute chart options.  The loose labels for the mute charts are in the small manilla envelopes at the side.  I bought a big sleeve of coin-sized manilla envelopes and find them very handy.


The materials are beautiful and beautifully cut and laminated.  My only complaint is that I assumed the charts would be 12x18 and they are letter-sized.  This means the labels are TOO SMALL to handle comfortably and I worry they will get lost.  Here is a label with a quarter for comparison.


This is the 72 card Fundamental Needs sort in its cookie tin and with another handy-dandy, coin-sized, manilla envelope.

click on image to enlarge

I was too lazy to put out the whole sort for the photo, and too lazy to use a rug apparently.  At any rate, this is how it looks partly done and I put the rest of the huge pile of photos at the bottom.  I am including a couple of closer photos below so you can get a better view of the work.  The photos of the fundamental needs are really beautiful and represent a large variety of world cultures.


 click on image to enlarge


click on image to enlarge


Have you made any Montessori Primary or Elementary Materials?  Looking for ideas?  Please visit the Ultimate Montessori Homemade Material Collaboration project in the left-hand sidebar.


Montessori Monday

6 comments:

  1. Thank you for posting these activities. Even when they are lessons we have done before, or materials we already have, I love seeing what others are doing. I'm finding as the kids grow there are fewer and fewer moms still blogging about Montessori homeschooling and I'm grateful for those who continue to do so!

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    1. Thank you for commenting Heidi! You really made my day :) LOVED your post today!

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  2. I finally get to see what is in that blue cabinet! ;)

    I have been so tempted by the Fundamental Needs extensions at the various places.... Just for myself!

    One thing I do with small labels and images we use the CGS atrium is to laminate them with a substantial border (sometimes well more than twice the size of the original card. It means that some pieces overlap, but they are so much easier for the children to handle, they can see through the borders, and the pieces are then large enough less likely slip into small hidden areas. Not perfect, so I am open to suggestions on these small cards.

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    1. Oooh, that's a good idea! This set is already laminated, but I'll keep that in mind for other things. I just wish they had made the whole work bigger.

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  3. This is great! I love it! I think this is a great work! I have forgotten about it a bit since we are doing the Story the World for history! I think that this would be a great thing to pull into our lessons! As always it is amazing!

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    1. We will be listening to Story of the World in the afternoons while we do art and other things. I've been looking forward to how the two works should fit together. We are not doing SotW whole hog, but I look forward to seeing what you do with it.

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