The Montessori Great Lesson Page

My name is Barbara Dubinsky. I have been involved in the Montessori community for 30 years, through my own children, as an assistant, administrator, Lower Elementary teacher and now as a trainer. Fourteen years ago, I joined the movement of Montessori into the public schools - a most exciting expansion. I teach at a magnet school in Charlotte, NC. It is both challenging and ever so rewarding at the same time. Our school is given much freedom to do what we need to do as Montessorians; we have fought fiercely to have this freedom and have proven that what we do is the best system for children.

For many years, as a member of the Montessori Educational Listserv ( - write Subscribe Montessori-L in the body of the message) I saw many questions about the Great Lessons themselves and how to keep the work of the Great Lessons active in the class. I had previously written a webpage ( providing easy access to sites that supported research in linked areas, but began to feel that a site for teachers was also needed. So, this page was written to help teachers integrate the Great Lesson work.

This year I have finally pulled together all my work into four albums. They include all five Great Lessons, follow up work in the Universe, Earth sciences, Chemistry, Functional Geography, Bacteria, Zoology, Key lessons, Classification, Botany, Civilizations, and Interconnectedness. I have posted the table of contents for the albums. I hope this better enables you to know if they meet your needs. If you would like to see something else included that is not listed, please drop me a line at my e-mail address below. The language support work is formatted and pictures are provided as needed. The albums can be purchased from for $85.00 by clicking here. They arrive on a CD ROM using Priority mail service. I hope my work continues to support your work. I have worked with so many talented, creative, kind, nurturing young people and can only hope that your experiences are similar. Be sure to fight for your right to stay true to Montessori's curriculum. Just allowing students to choose work is not enough - they must be doing cosmic work introduced by the Great Lessons. If I can ever be of service to you, e-mail at

This year my students again voted to do a play for our Winter Village Celebration. Three third graders surprised me by asking if they could write the script. I advised them that the play had to accommodate 45 parts as we had invited another class to join us. I would also need a script by the end of November. They had a month. They told me they were writing a play on early humans as we had ended there last year. They were very busy writing on the computer and gave me their notebooks only a few days late. I took them home that weekend and much to my surprise, it was really good. They had scenes with saber tooth tigers and mammoth hunts and clearly understood the progression of human life. I have added a bit to smooth the transitions, but the heart of the play is there's. We performed it this year and now I am sharing it with you. The students had such a good time acting this play out. Look under The Early Humans section. I hope you enjoy!

The Great Lessons

The Beginning

The First Great Lesson weaves a tale of the origins of the universe and our own planent. Using impressionistic charts and experiments directly related to the basic physical properties of matter a foundation is made for the future study of physics, chemistry, astronomy and geology.

The Time Line of Life

This time line represents the beginnings of life on Earth from the simplest forms through the appearance of human beings. A great variety and magnificence of life is presented, with each organism a contributor to a vast, ineffable cosmic scheme.

The Coming of Humans

Continuing the exploration of life on Earth, this time line stresses the development of humans from the earliest beings through the use of tools.

The History of Writing

A theme area rather than a specific time line (although time lines may be developed), this follows the development of writing from its appearance in primitive cultures to its role in modern society.

The History of Mathematics

Also a theme area, this lesson involves the use of mathematics as an expression of the refinement of the human mind and as a response to the specific needs as well as the shared needs of human groups.

The Great Lessons Play

A play that incorporates the first three Great Lessons.

The Great Lessons Journals

A collections of journals from the first Great Lesson.

The 2001-2002 Journals

A collection of journals from the 2002-2002 school year.

If you have any advice, experiences to share, or items you might like to post on this page please contact me via e-mail at:

Copyright © 2007 Barbara Dubinsky