The book “About Life on Earth – the Story of the Black Ribbon” is the 2nd book in the series of 5 Great Lessons for the Montessori Curriculum.
The coming of life (as described in this 2nd book of the series of 5) revolves around the Timeline of Life. This is a long chart with pictures and information about microorganisms, plants, and animals that have lived (or now live) on the earth. The great diversity of life is emphasized, and special care is paid to the “jobs” that each living thing does to contribute to life on earth.
The “black ribbon” that is referred to in the title, is the original method Maria Montessori used to tell this story of life. Using a narrow black velvet cloth wound upon a wooden spindle, she places images upon the cloth as they appeared in the timeline. This helped the children to visualise the development of the earth in the correct order of the known timeline. This enables children to learn both visually and aurally.
Children in the lower elementary level (grades 1 to 3) are presented with the 5 Great Lessons every year. This helps the children to understand the development of the earth as their understanding of the complexity of nature grows. They start with “small” ideas that gradually widen into larger concepts.
Children in grades 4 to 6 are also presented with this timeline every year, increasing the complexity of the information, until the largest concept of all is presented – that of the beginning of the Universe.
The Five Great Lessons that are referenced, are traditionally –
- First Great Lesson (Part 1) – Coming of the Universe and the Earth
- First Great Lesson (Part 2) – Coming of Life
- Second Great Lesson – About Life on Earth – Black Ribbon
- Third Great Lesson – The Coming of Humans
- Fourth Great Lesson – The Story of Writing
- Fifth Great Lesson – The Story of Numbers
Item No: 523131
23 page narrative by Petra Braun for young schoolchildren
Dimensions: 14cm x 14cm