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The Great River

Today we re-told the sixth Montessori Great Story - 'The Great River' - on our Zoom call. The Great River is a metaphor for the bloodstream or circulatory system and is an introduction to human physiology.

I have not told any of the Great Stories remotely before and felt nervous about doing so. If anything, though, it seemed that the children concentrated harder to listen and to use their imaginations in the stillness of their own personal spaces. They came prepared with 'an amazing fact' about the human body, so we had lots of, 'Did you know...'; and a young sibling joined in and had even made a working model of the digestive system for us to support this work, which she explained beautifully.

This cosmic fable told by Mario Montessori begins something like this: “I know of a marvellous nation, a marvellous country where the inhabitants are more numerous than those populating our planet. Most of the inhabitants of this country are hidden from sight, but there is a Great River which flows in secret and links all of them, where all the different groups are specialised according to their work. And the fable ends like this: “Can you feel the Great River that is flowing through us right now? Do you see the strange nation, this strange country? Its inhabitants are in each of us; the Great River flows through all of us. The smallest parts out of which each body is formed, the cells, work unconsciously to keep the body alive. In the human body, a marvellous and divine work of creation, all is unconscious, untiring, constantly working, all is in perfect harmony.” (AMI Communication 2004/2-3).

The children are now choosing hands-on activities and research projects to share and bring back to our calls in the coming weeks.

The image is an example of the chart that supports the telling of The Great River.


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