Stereognostic Materials

Stereognostic Bag

Material Description:

A box or bag with twenty-four small prisms of two types; twelve identical cubes and twelve identical rectangular prisms.  A blindfold.

Presentation:

  • Introduction
  • Bring the bag to the table or chowki and take out one of either prism.  Inspect it closely; it’s faces, vertices and vertices with the whole hand and pass it to the child to inspect.  Show her the other type of prism in the same way.
  • Presentation
  • Take all of the prisms out of the bag, placing them at random on the table
  • Wearing the blindfold sort each prism into two groups according to their shape, allow the child to participate, wearing her blindfold if she is ready

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Exercise:

As in the presentation

Language:

None

Criteria of Perfection (Control of Error):

  • Visual check after the exercises

Direct Aim:

  • Refinement of the Stereognostic Sense

Age at Presentation:

Three years

Footnote:

  • Before going on to introduce the grains introduce variations of bags or boxes containing different geometric shapes and have coins of different types to pair.  Later give the child more similar objects such as types of rice or a measure of bird seed mixture.
  • The term Montessori used for Stereognostic was ‘Palpare’, indicating the palm, touching with the whole hand and not just the finger tips

The Mystery Bag

Material Description:

A drawstring bag made of beautiful fabric.  The contents of which consist of a small number of items – the more surprising the better – although the child must also be familiar with them.  For example; a key, a tiny comb, a walnut, a marble, a feather, shells, miniature toys, a paperclip, changing some or all of the objects regularly.  A blindfold.

Presentation:

  • Bring the bag to the table or chowki and put the blindfold on
  • Place the hand into the bag and feel an object, describe it’s shape and texture.  Name it  saying; ‘I have a …’
  • Remove the object from the bag and ask the child if it is accurate
  • When the bag is empty remove all of the objects and check visually
  • Replace the objects into the bag and invite the child to try, wearing her blindfold

Exercise:

As in the presentation, the child can do it with a partner or check her guesses visually at the end.

Language:

The names of the objects

Criteria of Perfection (Control of Error):

  • In the observer if there is one, otherwise visually check after the exercises

Direct Aim:

  • Refinement of the Stereognostic Sense and mental visualisation

Age at Presentation:

Three and a half to four years

The Discrimination of Grains

These grains are the same that the child sees and sorts in her first few days at the Children’s House, now she revisits them using the blindfold to re-explore with her new level of awareness.

Material Description:

A tray with four saucers in the same material and colour

  • Tray 1; three saucers containing different legumes, grains and seeds e.g. beans, peas, cloves, and an empty saucer
  • Tray 2; three saucers containing smaller and finer grades of grains and seeds than Tray 1 e.g. rice, mung beans and lentils, and an empty saucer

Presentation:

  • Introduction
  • Bring the tray to the table or chowki and take out one item, put it in the palm press it gently and roll it between the fingertips and pass it to the child to inspect.  Show her the other items in the same way.
  • Presentation
  • Take a few of each item and place them in the empty saucer
  • Wearing the blindfold pick up one item from the mixture and feeling it with the pads of the fingers place it in the appropriate saucer
  • Continue to do this with the mixture until all the items are sorted
  • Remove the blindfold and visually check
  • Remake a small amount of the mixture and allow the child to participate, wearing  her blindfold

Exercise:

  • As above, choosing an appropriate amount, depending on the child’s ability, perhaps just using two types of item at first.  Later use all the grains from all the saucers.
  • Tray 2 as above

Language:

The names of each item may be introduced

Criteria of Perfection (Control of Error):

  • Visual check after the exercises

Direct Aim:

  • Refinement of the Stereognostic Sense and mental visualisation

Age at Presentation:

Three and a half to four years

Footnote:

  • Coins, beads and small buttons can also be used

Comments

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