Fundamental Needs {It's Elementary! Link Up #3}

Dr Montessori was captivated by how man's needs have remained constant through time and across cultures and how man has simply changed the way these universal needs are met.

The focus of the Fundamental Needs of People work is to bring to the consciousness of the child that all human being have the same needs from early man to now. This work provides the framework for exploring the history of humans.

There are two aspects to this work:

Horizontal Study - (usually 6-9) focuses on a specific time period e.g. Stone Age, Ancient Egyptian, Middle Ages, etc

FNOP - Ancient Egypt

Vertical  Study - (usually 9-12) the focus is on researching how one need has changed over time, the progress of civilisation.

FNOP - Food

This work can provide a spring board for many discussions, not just history - I have often used it to introduce topics such as nutrition and health.

This work ties in closely with People of Climatic Zones, Timeline of Humans, The Hand Timeline, Red and White Timeline (BCE/CE), Interdependencies Chart,  and leads into work with the Migration Charts.


- creating own chart, draw or cut out from magazines images for each of the fundamental needs
- allow children to explore their interests, e.g. the history of toys, computers or bicycles
- make mud bricks or model dwellings
- red and white timeline used in conjunction with cards of a particular need (vertical study)
- write a play to perform
- create own timelines (could include diagrams, images, data)
- the possibilities are endless as the charts are a blue print for researching all aspects of history and cultures.

It's Elementary!

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