Saturday, September 13, 2008

The Great Lessons

Correne asked me in one of the comments what the Great Lessons were. I thought I'd devote a single entry to them!

The Great Lessons are the start, if you will, of the social studies and science study at the elementary level. They are impressionistic stories which are aimed at giving an interesting, big picture presentation to the kids.

The first Great Lessons is God Who Has No Hands. It's basically the story of the creation of the universe and solar system (not a Biblical rendition--it's really designed to just be a story which gives an impression of how things happened). It is accompanied by some basic science demonstrations (like hole-punch circles on the surface of water on a bowl) and is the beginning of looking at science. From what I understand, some Key Lessons tied with this are in the areas of astronomy, physics and chemistry.

The second lesson is The Coming of Life. It gets into the development of life on Earth, from first life up until the appearance of man, exposes the children to eras and periods, etc. It is accompanied by a timeline chart and usually a black ribbon, proportional to the time since the beginning of Earth, with a tiny red line at one end to show when humans showed up. From this lesson, the children are encouraged to explore biology, zoology and other scientific areas.

The third lesson is The Coming of Humans. Discusses how we are different from other animals, gets into things like houses, clothing, how people started writing down history, etc. This is a starting point for a study in history, cultures, anthropology, archaeology... One Key Lesson tied to this is The Fundamental Needs of Humans: shelter, food, transportation, etc.

The fourth lesson is The Story of Writing--how human writing developed from pictures to alphabets.

The final lesson is The Story of Numerals--the development of writing down quantities from pictures to the numerals we use today.

All of this is available here except I can't seem to find the English version of The Fundamental Needs of Humans, but the French version is there. There are extra lessons in the History for 6-9 album. Two of the timelines are also available there.



Anonymous said...

You can find all the lessons on in english. They are well phrased and there are resources listed for further reading etc.

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