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Social and Physical Science

    The Montessori classroom integrates social studies and the sciences as they are integrated in life.  There are, therefore no sharp distinctions or lines of demarcation among the areas included in these subjects when they are studied in the Elementary environment.  Some of the subject areas incorporated under this broad heading are:  anthropology, astronomy, biology, botany, chemistry, economics, geography, geology, history, physics, politics, sociology and zoology.
    The overlapping and integration among subject areas are very evident.  For instance, history in the Montessori classroom follows the development of the solar system, life on earth, the beginning of humankind, early civilizations and then recorded history.  The study of geography shows the child how the physical configurations of the earth contribute to history.  In turn, geography becomes the basis for the study of economic geography and an appreciation of the interdependence of all peoples.
    The first science experiments are designed to give the child the knowledge fundamental to the understanding of the solar system, the earth and its physical characteristics, life on earth, and the needs of plants, animals and humanity.
    The Montessori Human Relations Curriculum is an organizing center for the "cultural" subjects, especially geography and history.  It is introduced as early as possible in the Elementary Program.
    The classic Montessori chart, "Fundamental Needs of Humankind", is intended to evoke the children's curiosity and discussion in the areas of material or concrete needs (food, clothing, housing, transportation) and spiritual and abstract needs (culture, religion, love, adornment).  Discussion helps children understand that the needs of people are the same in all places of the earth and in all times of history.  Children can come to understand the fundamental similarity among all people and the variety of ways in which they meet their essential needs.  Classroom visitors, field trips and a range of special projects enrich the Elementary children's understanding of the social and physical sciences.