Building the child’s awareness and sensitivities to the noise around him and the noise he creates.
Seeing if they are able to “create silence” individually and as a class.
2 1/2 – 6 years
Awareness of their body and building up balance.
- The Silence Board
Constant noise can create irritability, frustration, confusion, and even sleepiness. Everyone needs moments of peace to rest our bodies and to listen to our thoughts. Dr. Montessori says that a deeper level of awareness and sensitivity to noise can help is to enter into a “more refined and subtle world”. Montessori therefore came up with the “Silence Game” or “The Exercise of Silence”.
During this lesson, the children in the class can choose to participate in the making of the silence. In order to “make silence”, the child must have self control, they must become aware of everything in their bodies that can move, and they must want to cooperate with those who are silent around them.
But before the children can even play the game, the child must have developed good coordination of movement, they must have a strong will, they must have a great awareness of themselves and of others, and they must have experienced some silence before. When the children do create silence, they will not only have experienced a moment of peace and tranquility, but they will want to play it over and over again!
- Invite the whole class together to come and participate in the “Exercise of Silence”.
- Tell the children that they will be creating silence together. But in order to be silent, they must not make a noise.
- Introduce the silence board by explaining that on one side there is the word “silence”, and on the other side, there is a picture of a peaceful and tranquil place.
- Tell them that when they see the word “silence”, we can all begin creating the silence. When we see the picture, we can stop making the silence.
- Show the children where in the environment the silence board is hung.
- Remind them that when we see the word “silence”, we are silent so we do not move.
- Tell the children that you will then whisper their names one by one and they are to come sit next to you as quietly as possible.
- Ask the children if they are all sitting comfortably and remind them to breath quietly. Turn over the board to show the word “silence” and begin the game.
- Begin whispering their names before you feel as though the children can no longer hold the silence. Once they are all sitting quietly next to you, turn the silence board over to end the game.
If the children have created silence, introduce the idea that they have.
If silence was not made, bring the children’s attention to what caused the silence not to occur.
Tell the children that thy will have many other opportunities to play the silence game in the future.