What's New at Ikea for Montessori Homes (& Classrooms). February 2021
Five Things - On A Friday

Child Led & Hands On Learning - Cicada Interest Basket

Cicada interest tray at How we Montessori Otto

Today I want to share with you a little basket I've put together for Otto (3yrs) about Cicadas. Otto is fascinated by the Cicada shells frequently found at his Bush School class. I didn't know a lot about Cicadas so I started researching. They are SO interesting! I wanted to share some of this knowledge with Otto so I put together an interest basket. 

Have you used basket like this before? They can be used to spark an interest or to further develop an interest. The idea is to observe the child and follow what captures the child's attention and imagination. One topic can easily lead to another. Often you don't know where it can take you. It's very much like the Talking Tubs approach

Cicada shells at How we Montessori Sydney (1)

Child led and hands on learning is a priority in our home. Otto has seen Cicada habitats so what could I include in the basket to extend his knowledge and hand on experiences? 

Cicada photographic images and specimens (2)

In the basket we have:

  • printed, clear and interesting photographs of Cicadas found in our local area
  • a real Cicada preserved in resin
  • found Cicada shells in specimen jars - with tweezers and a small dish so the child can carefully examine them.

Cicada cards at how we montessori (1)

On the back of the photographs are the Cicada names. Because Cicada names are interesting and because I can't remember them all!

Cicada book and fact sheet at How we Montessori (1)

  • Cicada Description Mini Poster - this is for the adult (or older siblings) to read and share with the child, it helps to develop vocabulary and gives names to external parts of the Cicada. 
  • Cicada Information Sheet - this is for the adult (or older siblings) to read to the child to present short but interesting facts.
  • Searching for Cicadas - a lovely children's picture story book. 

We've also included a sound recorder (see very top picture) of Cicada sounds, and listened to a ABC Kids Listen Noisy By Nature, Singing Cicadas podcast.

Cicada cards at how we montessori (1)

This isn't about force feeding children with information. The intent is to share when asked, to provide an interesting attractive source of information for the child to explore independently or with others! We carefully select each item that goes in the basket ensuring it will benefit the child. 

It's been a while since I've visited friends but I love to see similar 'interest baskets' in people's homes, I can't help myself but to take a peek. 

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