Faith's Weekly Update 2-17-12

posted Feb 21, 2012, 11:06 AM by Cynthia Friedman
Looking Ahead
We look forward to the Great Lesson on the Story of Language within the next several weeks! In this lesson, Maria Montessori presents language as a tool for human progress. She expresses gratitude for all the people and civilizations who contributed to our alphabet. The story underscores gestures as a very early form of communication in human history. Later human beings painted pictures to express ideas; some examples are Sumerian pictographs and cave paintings. Often people needed to communicate about fundamental needs to tribes not present. If ten buffalo were spotted, they might express this as picture of a buffalo with ten marks underneath. Pictures gradually evolved into symbols as evident in early hieroglyphics. One example is the picture of an eagle which meant eagle but later evolved into a symbol for the sound “A”.

The Great Lesson historically traces the roots of our modern day alphabet. The Phoenicians who lived around 5,000 years ago on the Mediterranean Sea of North Africa traded with the Egyptians who by now had sound pictures. As merchants, the Phoenicians needed the tool of language; thus they created the Phoenician Alphabet from Egyptian sound pictures. Other civilizations made changes to the alphabet—first the Greeks, then the Romans. In closure, the story reminds us to appreciate the contributions to our alphabet by remembering the first sounds discovered during the primary years which later the student blended to form words that have meaning. We have the ability to read great works of literature today because of the human beings who came before us! The story plants the seed for further research of the origins of languages and their impact on ancient cultures.

Field Trip to Hult Center
Our field trip to the Hult Center was a great success! Thank you to our wonderful parent drivers and chaperones: Betsy Brandenfels, Polly Sturdivant, Amanda Stout, Serafina Moses, and Catherine Inocencio.

Going Out
Students are planning small group field trips to Oregon Zoo and Greenhill Humane Society. More details to come!

Science Experiments
Students are planning small group science experiments. Your child will receive a note in the coming week with items he/she volunteered to bring for the experiment. Thank you!

Wishing you an awesome weekend!

Faith & Donna