What is Lower Elementary?

During recent classroom observations, parents asked some great questions. One question was, "What IS Lower Elementary?". What a great question. Many parents have a fairly solid understanding of what Montessori is at the Primary level. But what about Lower Elementary? What about what Maria Montessori would call the second plane (children ages 6-12)? What about technology in our classrooms? What about work expectations?

Maria Montessori called this second plane of development (children ages 6-12) the Intellectual Period. Montessori wrote that "all other factors sink into insignificance beside the importance of feeding the hungry intelligence and opening vast fields of knowledge to eager exploration."

Montessori described children of this age as being on the threshold of reason and emerging into a rich, new world of the abstract. “They are looking for what needs to be done,” she explained. “That is, they are beginning to become aware of the problems of cause and effect."

Children entering Lower Elementary (6-7 years old) make a huge transition from the Absorbent Mind Stage into the Reasoning Mind Stage. Children in this stage become group oriented and like to work collaboratively. The question “why” replaces the “what” and students become interested in moral questions. Imaginations are used more and children begin to wonder what part they will play in the bigger scheme of life. Montessori called this The Cosmic Plan.

Linked below are some websites that can further your understanding of the transition from Primary to Lower Elementary.