Walking on the Line
From Montessori Album
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|Walking on the Line|
|Practical Life - Control of Movement|
|Age||3 - 4|
|Materials||taped or painted line on floor|
The purpose of this activity is ....
The children begin by standing on the line at spaced intervals.
They begin to walk slowly, placing the whole foot on the line, and taking natural steps.
Gradually the children shorten their steps, until finally they walk touching the heel of the foot with the toe of the other. The foot should be always directly on the line, the back straight and the head held high. There should be much practice of this
Points of Interest
The purpose of these exercises is to aid the children in establishing perfect equilibrium and to help coordinate movements and the development of attention and will.
Control of Error
Variations and Extensions
- The child could walk on a line of bricks edging a garden, or on the edge of a rug.
The teacher will place the holder of flags in the center of the ellipse. As the children walk by, they each select a flag. They hold the flag in front of them at arm's length so that it does not wave, and continue to walk on the line. This may be accompanied by soft music. The teacher places the spoons with small "ball-like"objects (possibly large marbles, small rubber balls, ping pong balls) in the center. The child holds the spoon in one hand and tries to keep the hand steady and in equilibrium. The teacher places the tray of glasses in the center. The children each pick up a glass by its stem, holding it with the first three fingers of the right hand. They carry the glass in front of them as they walk on the line. The object is to walk with the head held high, placing the feet exactly on the line, without spilling a drop of water. The teacher places the basket of bells in the center. Each child must pick up a bell and hold it at arms length, by the end of the ribbon. As the children walk along the line they try not to ring the bells. The children can try carrying the basket of fruit on their head as they walk on the line, using the twisted cloth as a base. The head should be held high and the feet placed carefully on the line. As a special challenge for a child who has mastered all of the above activities, invite the child to try to carry the constructed Pink Tower without dropping any of the cubes. At first the child may start with just the top part of the tower. The teacher can encourage the child to challenge himself to add more cubes until he can carry the whole Pink Tower. The pink tower is a precious material which can be damaged by dropping, and it is therefore carried with great care, and is treasured by the children. This work should be repeated daily with the children. This is the first level of this activity.
- The child could walk on a low balance beam.
In order to help the children refine posture and reinforce holding their heads high, a variety of objects is gathered for the children to carry (one at a time) while walking on the line. The objects, which vary from time o time, may include: a stand with flags of all nations a tray containing four spoons with a small ball-like object in each one a box with small bells tied to long ribbons a tray with several candles with paper shields a cloth twisted into a circle to form the base for carrying a basket of fruit on the head the Pink Tower
- Basic Montessori: Learning Activities for Under-fives by David Gettman, pages 58-60
- Teaching Montessori in the Home: The Pre-School Years by Elizabeth G. Hainstock, page 57