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Social Studies – Preprimary (ages 3-6)

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Learning about each other and how to get along with one another are fundamental lessons of the early years at Ancona. Through the Montessori Grace and Courtesy curriculum, every child learns how to move and behave courteously, kindly and cooperatively in a social environment. They learn how to make friends and maintain a peaceful environment. Given Ancona’s diverse population, student exposure to cultural diversity is assured and children are encouraged to share their authentic stories. Parents, grandparents and other family members often visit the preprimary classrooms to share ethnic and religious customs and cultural traditions with the children.

Learning about human life is grounded the concept of the Needs of People—for food, clothing, shelter, tools, language, arts and music and in the geography of Earth. Using the specially designed Montessori materials, students in our Montessori preschool learn the basic geographic concepts of earth, land, air and water and learn to identify the continents. Every year, our young global citizens learn about China and other Asian countries and celebrate the Chinese New Year with a parade; they learn about African cultures during African-American History month; and they learn about the islands of the Caribbean as the school year draws to a close. Each classroom will have additional social studies units (an imaginary trip to national parks, the famous buildings of Chicago or the reenactment of Harriet Tubman’s journey) depending on the interests of the children and their teachers.

Even at the preprimary level, social studies is an interdisciplinary subject. For example, in the context of their study of Black History, Preprimary students explore how Jazz is related to the Black experience. Through collaboration with our Librarian, and our Art Teacher, they followed the progress of jazz from its origins in African rhythms to its fusion with French Creole, Mississippi Delta (Gospel and Blues), European and Afro-Cuban musical forms in New Orleans, and its spread across the United States to places like New York, Kansas City, and Chicago, and the West Coast, to finding an international audience and global acceptance as it was embraced around the world and continues to evolve in sub-genres, such as Be-Bop, Fusion, Latin-, Cool- and even Acid-Jazz. At the same time, students design, test, and float their own boats to understand how transportation along the Mississippi made the spread of goods and ideas possible in 19th Century American history.
The most important social studies materials in the preprimary classroom are the children themselves. Therefore, Ancona students begin by learning about themselves, their classmates and about each other's families.

Through highly interdisciplinary studies, and often based in their personal interests, Preprimary students explore in depth the manifestations of the basic Needs of People in many different cultures, regions, and periods of history.
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