Monday, August 12, 2013

Parts of the World Coloring Sheet

For a long time I have felt frustrated about how much it costs to be a Montessori teacher.  Some of us are very lucky and have schools that cover our costs, while others of us bear much of the expense of teaching.  I think that is the real reason that I have this blog and do what I do.

There is a principle involved here that I have never been able to think or learn away.  It is this... Maria began her work with the poorest in her country.  These children had not had much experience with beauty, grace, or loveliness in their lives.  They were poised to become a miracle in the eyes of the world BECAUSE of what they had lacked.  So many of us teach the children of well-to-do families, and we love what we do, but it is, in my experience, the children of those who struggle financially that dive into the works with abandon, who really have an inner appreciation and love for the beauty on our shelves and in our environments.

The reason for bringing it up at all is that I love what I do and want to serve children globally, if possible.  If it is my goal to lift up and free the potential of the disadvantaged child, I need a better way to do it.  If one has to outlay so much money just to get the printed materials downloaded, before printing costs, what are they not able to provide in the classroom.  This is an ethical question for me and  prompts me to action since I have it within my power to change this situation.

My blog doesn't have a huge following, but I get emails and comments every week, at least, telling me how much it means to someone in a developing country, or a small school or homeschool on a tight budget to have access to these files for free.  I am sure some Montessori minds out there dislike that there is not a tighter control on what people have access to, and may frown on my blog.  I would simply ask if they really feel they are watching out for the needs and interests of the children of our planet.

  --I actually have a reason for this post besides getting my thoughts down.  I can not find a nice and free Parts of the World Coloring Sheet.  I was sitting through my Geography part of the course this summer, saw what we were given to use as our masters and knew that I could make one in just about 1 hour that I would love to have in my geography area.  The other master would have, and has worked for others, just fine, but I really like clean lines.  The new one I have made is beautiful to me.  I believe it will be enticing to the children.

This coloring sheet is done after the children have had work with the Parts of the World Puzzle Map for a while.  This one is unlabeled so it can be used for oceans as well as continents.

Parts of the World Coloring Sheet
click on picture to link to file


  1. Dear Cathie,

    Thank you for your wonderful material that we all can find throughout your blog. I think that Montessori teaching is about sharing. What would be the purpose of education if kept only for the rich? Only for those who can afford private schools and tools ?

    Maria taught us that kids are all born with the same chances and adults have to protect those possibilities, not to restrain them.

    I live and teach in France and I cannot always use your tools, but I get inspired to create my own and I have helped my young pupils thanks to those, thanks to you, who shares your ideas and thus spreads them.


  2. Cathie - Please do not feel discouraged about your work. You have obviously found your own cosmic task!

    It occurs to me that you could draw up a minimum list of card material which needs to be prepared for all ages and areas for the primary
    Montessori child and produce black and white masters to cover them all. I agree that coloured ink can be prohibitively expensive.

    When I trained more than twenty years ago there were few computers and we hand produced all our work which I enjoyed very much. Having an excellent quality outline is a great start.

    Areas you could help with include Vocabulary Enrichment, pictures for Cultural Folders, Animals of the Continents and so on. You will know what is needed. This would be a wonderful service. People would not even have to print them, but could trace them from the screen. Of course you could still provide photos for those that are able to afford them.

    1. I have been reading through some of the posts and remembered about this one. I am trying to make blackline masters for all my work that others can use to make their own with. I think I will have to put them in a set when I have a big set. Thank you for the thought.

  3. It is refreshing to hear your thoughts. You know, this summer I've been reading a lot about Steiner's Waldorf schools (in contrast to Montessori) and I'm so surprised by the secretive nature of his pedagogy.

    I'll never understand why an educator -- Montessori, Waldorf, etc. -- would keep information and resources well hidden rather than share, for the well-being of all!

    You do wonderful work here. And, your readers are grateful. :)

  4. You are a great teacher. I like your thoughts.

  5. It IS beautiful! While I do love looking at old hand-drawn masters, I admit that I, too, require clean lines on anything that I give my children to work with. It's just an aesthetic quirk that's important to me.

  6. Thank you! This is fantastic, I too love clean lines. Your materials are all so inviting. I appreciate your generosity with your talents.

  7. I just want to say that you are awesome! I have been following your blog for awhile now and will be using the material for my 3 year old daughter I will be homeschooling. We start in a couple weeks! I'm overwhelmed and excited. I'm appreciative of the time you devote to kids, and I look forward to any new and upcoming information.

  8. I want to thank you for your hard work and dedication. One of the first things I was told when I began my journey as a Montessori teacher was that it is a labor of love. I have found this to be true. As a teacher in a small school, in a small and isolated community, it is a constant struggle to produce and provide quality materials for our classrooms. The burden falls on us, the teachers. It is expensive, this Montessori thing. But the appreciation and adoration we get from children and parents is well worth it, as long as there are people, such as yourself, who truly believe in the hidden potential of each and every child. Thank you for sharing these invaluable materials! You have no idea how much you have helped our children grow! Sincerely.

  9. Thank you, your perspective is so refreshing! My own intention is to create accessible lessons/tweaks for parents with limited resources, be they time, money, or space, so I feel a kindred spirit with your perspective. I don't think that its wrong for anyone to want to make money off of their work, but there is something beautiful about creating something that exists free for mankind to better itself with; to understanding that while our intellectual property should be respected, that we are creating barriers to education and contribution by putting a price on our efforts.

  10. You have such a generous spirit, and your materials are truly beautiful! Thanks so much for all you do. The children appreciate it!

  11. Soy una mamá con 4 hijas, 2 mayores (de 24 y 20años) y unas gemelas de 2. Mis hijas grandes se educaron en un colegio Montessori (una escuela muy cara), desde pequeñas hasta adolescentes. Ahora con las pequeñas, queremos darle homeshooling con el mismo método, pero no podemos costear todos esos materiales hermosos que tienen en las aulas Montessori, por eso agradezco de todo corazón tu espiritu de compartir tan bellas creaciones!! no sabes como habia buscado materiales y no había encontrado algo tan bonito, tan bien hecho y!!! gracias, muchas gracias!!! por tu generosidad!!!

  12. Hi, I've just discovered your blog and I'm SO grateful! I'm homeschooling my two young children and it's my ardent wish to teach them using Montessori tools and principles, it runs so perfectly in line with our Islamic principals.. However, I have no money. I just can't afford any of the Montessori tools around. I find it ironic that, like you say, Maria set up her first Children's Houses for the very poorest children, but nowadays it seems only children from wealthy families can have access to her teaching methods. But I'm determined not to let a tight budget stop me from giving my children a beneficial education, and your blog will help me greatly I'm sure. Thank you so very much!!

  13. I wish I had found this 3 months ago. My husband and I searched online for days and finally settled for something...well...not like this! Exactly what I am looking for.

    Also, I just started homeschooling (3 yr old in September) and we are a family you are talking about. We don't have the money to set up our home or school in a complete Montessori way, but I try hard with the things we do have and it definitely helps to have beautiful things like this for our kids. Really wonderful. Thank you!

  14. Thank you so so much for sharing all these free material..I, myself, am in a tight budget and your free material comes in very helpful..thank you again