The Montessori elementary curriculum is designed in conjunction with the developmental needs of the child ages 6-12. Dr. Montessori defines this time as the second plane of development. In this plane of development students transition from the lower elementary, 6-9 classroom, where students are submerged in concrete Montessori materials. In the transition to upper elementary, or 9-12, students transition from the concrete to the abstract. They rely more on research and resource materials to further discover the depth of ideas that were touched upon in the lower elementary. Students are encouraged to think and question the ideas that they discover.
Socially, What she (Maria Montessori) noted is the elementary children between the ages of six and twelve years become interested in their peers, not from a self centered viewpoint of younger children, but from a genuine curiosity and desire to understand on a deeper level the thoughts and activities of others. Rather than being focused primarily on a sensorial exploration of the factual world about them, they now want to devote the main thrust of their energies to getting along with others and doing things together. They are transformed from essentially “sensorial explorers” to “social explorers”.
– Paula Polk Lillard and Lynn Lillard Jessen, Montessori from the Start.
Mercy Montessori Upper Elementary Materials and Information: