Thursday, March 29, 2012

Learning about the Six Kingdoms of Life

One thing I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE about Montessori education is the "cosmic" approach which teaches children to see the big picture.  Since I've decided to incorporate more Montessori principles into our homeschool, I have looked extensively at the free online Montessori Biology albums to decide how to teach about scientific classification of living things.  After studying the recommended sequence of presenting these concepts, I purchased the Six Kingdom Chart from Montessori For Everyone (I have a feeling Lori at MFE is going to get LOTS of business from me in the near future.  Her materials are so beautifully done!)  I also purchased the Six Kingdom Nomenclature Cards.

I presented the chart to both of my boys (although my oldest son was somewhat familiar with it from his first and second grade years at a private Montessori school) and they each recorded the six kingdoms in their science notebooks.  My older son used some of the cards from the chart set to write a bit more information about each kingdom, but I just had my first grader list the six kingdoms.  After all, I'm pretty sure no public school first graders are learning about the six kingdoms of life!!  Interestingly, Lori has recently modified her charts to include a sixth kingdom.  Apparently for a long time (and in the online Montessori album), scientists had been using only five kingdoms.

I had done a Google search about "six kingdoms" to learn more and came across a fabulous online resource called BrainPOP.  We are currently doing a free trial of it, but I may end up subscribing.  I found a video on the BrainPOP website that explains about the six kingdoms.  It also has separate videos (and correlating quizzes and activities) for bacteria, protists, fungi, plants and animals.  Pretty awesome!

The day after I introduced the six kingdoms with the chart, I had the boys watch the BrainPOP Six Kingdoms video and also the Bacteria video.  Then they recorded some info in their science notebooks.  We also played a VERY cool game on BrainPOP which required us to create our own bacteria, choose a virtual "host" to infect, and allowed us to "spray" our bacteria on various places in the hosts home so we could ensure contamination.  It was hands-on learning at its best!

The Six Kingdom Nomenclature cards are shown below. (Two of them, anyway!)

 Six Kingdoms Chart..........

Fourth grader's notebook page of the Six Kingdoms.

First grader's notebook page of the Six Kingdoms.

Apparently fuzzy photo of first grader's notebook page about Bacteria (with some help from mom on the written info.)


  1. This couldn't come at a better time for me! We were just going over this, and I was wondering how I could make this interesting. We love brain pop -- btw -- and I've putting off a subscription just because it's so expensive...but it does have the coolest resources!

  2. I don't know if you have seen this porgram for studing geography and science or not, but I have been doing it with my girls and it is amazing! :) Plus its free! Here is a link: It looks like your montessori stuff is going well! I stop by and read from time to time. I really need to stop here more! Thanks for sharing!