Montessori understood that children best absorb culture through the use of their hands. It is therefore important that an environment be created that encourages the physical exploration of all aspects of life, including the cultural subjects of music, art, geography, biology, zoology and anthropology.
With practical life exercises, children can be exposed to work that allows them the experience of interacting with their environment through the care and maintenance of plants, animals, rocks, tools, and various instruments.
Likewise, the areas of sensorial (new knowledge gained through new materials), language (vocabulary and verbal expression) and extension exercises (allowing the children use of knowledge they have gained) offer rich opportunities for further investigation and exploration. All of these experiences help the children understand that everything in life is interrelated, which encourages a relationship to, and a respect for, that which makes up their world.
A few times throughout the school year, we are lucky enough to have a parent or grandparent visit our classrooms to share part of their culture with us. We have experienced presentations on celebrations such as Dia de los Muertos, Chinese New Year, Holi (festival of lights), as well as musical performances of all kinds. We feel very lucky to have a wonderfully diverse group of families year after year and appreciate them sharing with us!