As the nation celebrates Black History Month in February, Rock and Roll Daycare in Alexandria and our other locations are also teaching children about the important contributions African-Americans made to our country. But, unlike some other childcare centers, our lessons are taught with the Montessori Method in mind.
Let’s take a look at the origins of Black History Month and the Montessori Method as well as how the two can work together to create interesting and creative lessons for children.
Black History Month Background
The origins of Black History Month date back to 1915. That’s when historian Carter G. Woodson and the prominent minister Jesse E. Moorland founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History. In 1926, the group sponsored a national Negro History Week. Mayors across the country began to follow suit and recognize it. By the late 1960s, college campuses began to recognize it as well and it evolved into Black History Month. In 1976, President Gerald Ford officially recognized Black History Month. It has been celebrated annually since then.
The Montessori Method Background
Maria Montessori developed Montessori education and opened the first Montessori school in Rome in the early 1900s. As she started traveling around to tell people about her method, it caught on. Today there are thousands of Montessori schools around the world.
What is Montessori education? Montessori education focuses on self-directed activity, hands-on learning, and collaborative play. Kids learn how to work in groups, as well as by themselves so that they can explore the world around them. They learn how to be creative in all aspects of their learning.
How The Montessori Method Can Teach About Black History Month
At Rock and Roll Daycare, our lessons are inspired by the Montessori Method. Teaching children about Black History Month is no different.
One of the reasons why the Montessori Method has been able to retain its popularity is that it is child-centered and peaceful. Adults can especially appreciate this. Children in Montessori-inspired settings are taught by people who embrace the method and want all children to feel like they belong. There’s no judging; all children are treated the same no matter their race.
This type of lesson is one that can serve as an example during Black History Month. There were so many African Americans who fought to be treated equally. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rosa Parks are just two notable names who fought for equality.
If you spend time in a Montessori-inspired classroom, you’ll immediately notice the vibe. It’s one of acceptance and calmness. This helps children to be themselves and learn in an environment that is free of chaos and judgment. It also helps teachers to focus on the children and the lessons and values they are helping to instill.
When you approach Black History Month from a Montessori perspective, you are encouraging children to be inclusive. This is something that people of all ages can use as an example.
As we continue to teach about Black History Month at our Alexandria location and other Rock and Roll franchises, there are ways you can use the Montessori method to help teach about Black History Month at home.
Give Them Something They Can Relate To
Giving kids something that can relate to when teaching about Black History Month can help the lessons stick. Look for African-American inventors who created something that kids can use. For example, the electret transducer technology that is used in the microphones of many phones was co-created by Dr. James West. West had the job of creating a more sensitive and compact microphone when he was working at Bell Labs in 1960. Show any child a phone and tell them who helped to create the microphone inside of it. That will surely get their attention!
Be Creative When Teaching About Black History
Lessons need to be creative when talking about Black History Month. This will help to keep children’s interest and help them to remember what they’re learning.
Instead of throwing out a bunch of names and dates, introduce them to African songs and dances. This is especially fun for younger students who love to sing and dance. At Rock and Roll Daycare, we’re always using different types of music to teach lessons. Teaching about African-American culture is no different.
Another way to get creative when telling your children about Black History Month is to introduce African food. Kids love food! This is not only a good way to get them to try new things, but to also get them to appreciate different types of cuisine at a young age. Acceptance is one of the values that the Montessori Method tries to instill.
The Bottom Line
The Montessori Method helps children to learn about people of all backgrounds and teach them about Black History Month. By thinking out-of-the-box, you can help children remember important lessons. The Montessori Method is a wonderful building block to help children learn to be more inclusive while learning about Black History Month and all year long.