Montessori Nature Study: Rocks, Minerals & Fossils

November has seen our Nature Study really take off. It took us a few months to find our rhythm. I wanted to be sure it was not forced and that if flowed holistically into what we were already doing. We are often exploring nature anyway, but this has given us a better direction and given me an overview to prepare materials from. 

Here’s a glimpse into our November study of rocks, minerals and fossils.


We travelled to one of the local lighthouses to get up close to some big rocks. We brought a picnic and made a day of it. It was windy but we were well bundled. 


We spent the day at our local museum getting up close and personal with a mummified baby mammoth, looking at ammonite fossils and adding to our gemstone collection. By the way, he’s holding cookies here. His newly acquired quartz and amethyst crystals are safely in my bag. 


We went on a field strip to a gem and rock shop in search of treasures to add to our newly formed gemstone collection. This was an unexpected pleasant surprise. The staff there were incredibly kind to us (you can read about our experience here). 

I hadn’t expected Quentin to be as engaged as he was there and I highly recommend looking into your own local rock and gem store for interesting materials to add to your home or school environment. 


Last week we added geodes to our Nature Tray. Quentin loved smashing them to find the sparkly centre. This took a bit of help from me. Mostly to guide the hammer. It made me think of how to make a meaningful hammering Practical Life work for him.


We took out many different books from the library over the month, but this one has always been our favourite. Quentin loved matching is own specimens to the end pages. 


Today we finished our study by bundling up, packing some snacks and heading to our local beach. Quentin observed that the rocks were most likely granite but he was also cautious and curious of the waves. As winter approaches so does the storm surge in the Pacific. 

It has been such an amazing month. As we pasted some mementos into our nature journal and slowly filled the page with watercolour, we looked back on a really wonder filled month. And that’s what it’s all about isn’t it? Tending to the fire of awe and wonder burning within the child. 

If nature study and nature journalling are new to you, go slowly. Take your time, pick a topic that is easily doable in your area and as always, follow the child

Author: Beth - Our Montessori Life

A mother of 2 boys and a Certified Montessori Teacher teaching in a 3-6 class. We don't homeschool, but our home is full of a love of learning. Most importantly, Montessori is not just school for us. It is our life.

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