The Friendship Seed – Teaching the art of friendship to five year olds

Moorsetown, New Jersey – Stephanie Pelly implemented the Young Masters Little Wisdom Discovery Program for twenty eager young students at the Montessori Children’s House in Moorsetown yesterday.  The program, a special addition to this quarter, began April 5th and will run through May 17th.  Each Tuesday, Stephanie brings one “Secret Of The Heart” to students through story, song and creative interactive workshop.  The first “Secret Of The Heart” was friendship.  It all began when children took the Young Masters Pledge and talked about what a gift was – not the kind of gift you buy in a store, but the kind that you carry inside your heart.  The gift of friendship.  They listened to the story, The Friendship Seed and found out, not only how you make a friend – but how you keep a friend.  They talked about the qualities of friendship and wrote them on their big flower poster, they discovered some of the things we all hold in common and learned how we’re all connected.  The paper friendship chains they exchanged was an example of that connection they got to take home with them.  It was a great day for these children as they learned what it really means to connect with someone – what it means to be a friend.  After all what would the world be without friendship and what would life be without the good friends make along the way.

Montessori teachers:  You can download this curriculum for FREE!  Young Masters Little Wisdom Curriculum for Montessori

Click here to watch a little video of the day’s activities.  Young Masters Discovery Program – The Friendship Seed

Flower poster to learn about friendship.

How do children really learn what it means to have an imagination? 

Moorsetown, New Jersey – Stephanie Pelly introduced Montessori students to their “Magic Eye” this past week.  Children naturally use their “magic eye”, their imagination, but do they really understand the value of this important gift that’s always available to them?  The Young Masters Little Wisdom Discovery Program works to connect children with concepts like imagination.

Stephanie Pelly, co-creator of this curriculum, is facilitating the Discovery program at Montessori Children’s House where this week she focused on empowering children to use their own imagination in a variety of ways. The children start with the Young Masters Pledge, then read and listen to the the story from Young Masters: The Magic Eye.  Next they are guided through several right brain activities as they creatively express themselves, verbalizing all that they’re seeing in their mind’s eye.

Stephanie and boy with the Magic CircleThey practice being storytellers as they examine pictures of different people from magazine cut-outs. They use “The Magic Circle”, a hula hoop, to pretend they’re fishing, eating a bowl of ice cream or building a sand castle. One boy even sees a train moving around in circles on a track. They sit inside “The Magic Circle” and pretend they’re somewhere else.  One child is  in a big city naming all the vehicles he sees, one sits at home petting her dog. One little boy even sits on the Easter Bunny’s lap. What does the Bunny look like, what color is he or she? What fun!

 The song  Circle Of Creation, from “The Magic Eye” CD is played as they pass the “earth ball.” When they song lyric says “tell me what you see,” the children name different animals they see on the globe.

Stephanie then makes the connection as she explains  to the children that they can use their imagination any time.  It’s always available to them, whether they’re laying in bed and feel afraid of the dark or feel bored and are looking for a way to entertain themselves. They can use their imagination to decide what color socks to wear in the morning or to solve a problem…and they can exercise their imaginations by playing these games with another friend or by themselves.  A powerful concept that can later translate into children understanding how their imagination can be used to create their future.

Stephanie and three childrenConnecting children to the gifts that come natural to them are what the Discovery Program is all about.  Helping them discover who they are and what makes them unique.  Encouraging them as their individual characteristics and personalities emerge. This is the gift that teachers like Stephanie Pelly give to children.  

Click on the links below to view videos from the Young Masters Little Wisdom Discovery Program from Unit 2 of
The Magic Eye

Young Masters: Circle of Creation

Young Masters: The Magic Eye – Learning How You Make A Difference

Stay tuned for the next unit – Young Masters: The Hidden Treasure as the children at Montessori Children’s House discover gratitude and why it’s so important to be thankful.

The Young Masters Little Wisdom Discovery Curriculum for Montessori and other versions of this curriculum are available right  now for free.  Click below to take advantage of this offer so you can share this gift to the children in your life.

Young Masters Little Wisdom Curriculum

Voorhees, New Jersey – Leddy Naudain, owner and administrator of the Naudain Academy, now in it’s 35th school year, has always been one step ahead of how to change children’s lives. Her daughter Lauren follows in her footsteps as a co-administator who thinks outside the box.  So it was no surprise that the Naudain Academy, where peace education has been a mainstay for students for many years, decided to introduce  the YOUNG MASTERS LITTLE WISDOM DISCOVERY PROGRAM to it’s  extended Day (Kindergarten) students.  What is a Young Master?  Read on and find out about this incredible program that teaches core values and life skills to children 4-8.


Stephanie Pelly who teaches this self-discovery program in the New Jersey area, conducted the first of thirteen classes this week, by asking the children what they thought a Young Master was.   “Someone who shares, a person who is peaceful, someone who does karate or ballet,  a person who is loving and someone who helps others,” were some of the answers.  One little girl asked, “Are you going to teach us how to care for ourselves and others?”  “All great answers”, Stephanie commented and then went on to explain.”We’re all born with special gifts that we can share with others, “said Stephanie,  “these gifts are not necessarily presents that you give to people that you buy from a store, but rather gifts that you can share from your heart –  they’re the secrets of the heart.  A Young Master is you!,” she said, “learning how to use those gifts.”  The children were fascinated.


During the 13 week program, that spreads across the 2011-2012 school year, they will discover six different Secrets of the Heart. There is one book, chocked full with music and story for each secret.  Stephanie  asked the students if they would like to discover the first Secret of the Heart.  With great enthusiasm they all screamed YES and from her little red treasure bag, she pulled out our first secret – FRIENDSHIP!  The children were very excited.


Before they read the story, she shared the Young Masters Pledge with them and they repeated after her , “I promise to use my gifts every day, in every way, for I am a Young Master!”  This group of 24 students were fast learners and proudly said the pledge a second time holding up their peace fingers as they spun around smiling and standing proud.


Stephanie then introduced the first book in the series YOUNG MASTERS – The Friendship Seed.  She explained how Bunny Hull, the author used her imagination to create characters like Buttan, EEtha and Phlyos for the stories.  The children listened carefully to the words of the story and learned that a smile is like a “friendship seed” they can share with anyone, anytime. They talked about how friendship grows when you share a smile or kind words with a friend.  One child said, “You can plant a Friendship Seed when you ask a friend to play with you.” “So right,” said Stephanie.


Naudain Academy – The Young Masters Little Wisdom Discovery Program

They talked about how they’re all connected.  They took turns saying “I am a good friend because… ” and they each shared their own unique answer.  Some children stood up and said, “because I respect others, because I am helpful, because I share.” They giggled as they talked about caring for their friends, making others laugh and being kind.  Concepts of friendship were taking root.


Stephanie pointed out to the children that on the work mat she had a stone statue called the circle of friends.  They listened to words of the music on the books CD as  together they made a a circle of friendship and each child took a turn standing up in a circle and sharing their wonderful affirmations about friendship.  They took turns connecting fingers together with the person next to them and they held hands.  The children were asked to think about what it meant to be a good friend and to notice the differences in each other. “Do all friends look alike and act the same?” asked Stephanie. “Friends look different, they have beautiful different color skin, they may like different things, a different sport, or different game, but they’re still great friends.”


They created a friendship chain together where each child took two pieces of colored paper cut in strips and wrote their name and what makes them a good friend.  They connected their chain of answers, words like helpful, kind, share and play together.  Their understanding was growing. At the end they talked about how the friendship chain has many different colors. The colors can represent the differences in friends like, the different likes we may have or different talents. It was clear the children liked this idea.  Their friendship chain will hang on their holiday tree for the next month.  They were encouraged to create a friendship chain at home with their families.

A deep exploration of friendship for children, designed to teach them that they are each Young Masters with many gifts to share…the secrets of the heart.  This is no doubt a highlight for the children at Naudain Academy.   They closed with the Young Masters Pledge.

Next workshop the children receive their YOUNG MASTERS JOURNALS to chart the course of their discovery.    Stay tuned.

Visit Naudain Academy and find out how their making a difference in children’s lives.


Voohees, New Jersey –  It was a rainy day and the children were ready for some indoor fun.  The theme of imagination continued on their favorite day, the day Stephanie comes to conduct the Young Masters Little Wisdom Discovery program .  As always Stephanie Pelly began with the Young Masters Pledge.  “I promise to use my gifts everyday, in every way, for I am a Young Master.”  As they reviewed what they had learned during the last class, the children remembered that their Magic Eye was –  inside their mind.  Stephanie asked, “when can you use your imagination?” “On a rainy day like this,” one little boy answered, “or when I’m laying in bed, driving in a car, at school or with my brother, sister or friend – anytime.” 

Today they played imagination games, beginning with The Magic Circle. One child at a time came up to the front of a classroom and began using their imagination to create something in the hula hoop.  One girl pretended the hula hoop was a mirror and she held it up to look at herself and strated to brush her hair.  Classmates took turns guessing what she was doing.  Another child pretended The Magic Circle was a garden of beautiful flowers.  One by one she picked a flower and brought it up to her nose to smell its fragrance.  Another young boy imagined he was typing on a computer. Even Stephanie took a turn, making a big snowball and throwing it at one of the children.  Lots of fun!

The second game they played was Magic Ball.  Stephanie used her imagination as she pretended to pull a magic ball out of her pocket.  She bounced it and tossed it in the air.  Finally, she called someone’s name and threw to them.  Using their imagination they caught the ball with both hands and passed it to a friend next to them.  The imaginary ball moved around the circle being rolled, tossed and thrown across the room even like a pitcher does in a baseball game.  Sometimes the ball grew really really big and sometime the magic ball became very small.  The children got a chance to stretch their power of imagination.

The last group activity for the day was story time.  Everyone worked together to create a story.  Stephanie began by holding up a microphone.  “Once upon a time,” she said.  The next child held the mic and continued, “There was a little boy.”  The story unfolded with each child speaking into the microphone to add their new idea.  It went something like this:  “A little boy was watching tv… and then he saw something on the news… he got scared and then went into his bedroom… and began dreaming…he dreamed about a door that was opening… and then he heard someone calling his name…he woke up only… to later hear his alarm clock ringing… he was just dreaming.”  The children cooperated by taking turns and their story was told.  “We all have a story to tell,” said Stephanie.

The program ended today by singing Thank You For Being Here and then they quietly laid their heads down to listen to some soft, gentle music.  This was one more opportunity to use their imaginations.

Stay tuned for our next Young Master LIttle Wisdom Discovery adventure.  See you next time!

Visit Naudain Academy  at





In celebration of Earth Day, master teacher Stephanie Pelly facilitated the Young Masters Discovery Program at Naudain Academy as they focused on this weeks “secret” CREATIVITY by working together on a group art project that now hangs in their classroom and the school hallways.  The project all began as children discovered creativity by reading “Young Masters: The Invisible Power.”  Everything begins with an idea.  …one simple idea – from the light bulb to an airplane. Earthday…aperfect place to begin for a group creativity project. As Stephanie lead the children in creating an Earthday mural, the children took turns drawing pictures of the earth and then switching positions with their classmates to continue drawing in a new area.  The goal of this activity was to teach the children that they could create an art project as a group! “Once an idea is introduced it can take a group of people to help make it successful,” said Stephanie. “You each have something important to add,” she said as they selected a different color crayon to add their special touch!  Songs from the Young Masters CD provided a beautiful, musical backdrop as children added birds, people, flowers and trees in all different colors.

After they completed the group project, Stephanie talked about the creative writing and arts project in their Young Masters’ journals.  The children were asked to create and draw their very own cartoon character.  “Create your very own character,” said Stephanie, “like the illustrator Kye Fleming created Phylos, Butaan and EEtha in the Young Master books or like the characters you see on television or in other story books.”

Once the children designed the image of their character they were asked to create a story about their character.  You could see their wheels turning as Naudain Academy students searched their minds for creative ideas and inspiration.  Children were also asked to name their character.  Some children said, they would come up with a name first and then draw the character…ah the beauty of the creative process.  There are a million ways to create and no set path to a creative end.  Stephanie couldn’t wait to see their creative ideas.

Before the class was over, a couple children asked if they could share their creative art projects from their “at-home” work the week before.  Stephanie was fascinated by their imagination and creativity.  Some children used the same materials, one of those was tin foil, but each created a unique idea.  One girl made an ocean scene with tin foil and candy while another boy used a paper towel roll and tin foil to make a jousting sword.

All in all, a perfect way to honor earth day, by recycling materials and using creativity to make something!  And after all – look at Mother Earth – is she not the epitome of creativity?

They closed with the Young Master’s pledge.  A reminder that each Young Master has gifts share with the world and makes a promise to use those gifts.

Next the Young Masters of Naudain Academy have one more book to read before the school year comes to an end – Young Masters, This Little Light!  How perfect to conclude with love.  The love that is their’s to take into the summer and shine their light into the world as the Young Masters they are.   Every child is born to change the world in a way that only they can.

See you next time.

If you’d like to find out how you can use the the Young Masters Discovery Program.  Click here and download your “free” curriculum.

Voorhees, New Jersey – The children of Naudain Academy have been enjoying the Young Masters Little Wisdom Discovery Program every other week since November. Their mission has been to learn and practice the Secrets of The Heart based on the Young Masters Little Wisdom books. This past week they learned about the final secret in the first series – love.

The program began with the class saying the Young Masters Pledge together. “I promise to use my gifts everyday, in everyway, for I am a Young Master. PEACE!” “By now the children have learned they do indeed have gifts to share with the world, ” said Ms. Stephanie, “and that’s why they’re Young Masters.”

After the pledge, the children listened to Ms. Stephanie, the program facilitator as she read Young Masters:  This Little Light.  “In this storybook, the children learn the many ways love is shared with people, animals and the earth.”  The story was followed by an activity to demonstrate the power of love.  The activity is called A DROP OF LOVE. In a glass bowl filled with water, Ms. Stephanie  placed a small earth globe.  One at a time, each child took a turn and using an eye dropper filled with colored water placed a drop of love around the globe.  As they shared something they love about themselves, others or the world around them they all saw how the love they had to give helped color the world with love.   “One drop of love makes a difference in the world,” said Ms. Stephanie.  Each child had a turn as ideas like “I love my family and friends, I love my teachers, I love my dog, I love flowers and I love music,” were expressed.

After completing the activity the children created “heartprints”, this was an art project to share with someone they love.  As  they listened to music from the Young Masters:  This Little Light CD, each child decorated four “heartprints” and added their own very special thumbprint to make the shape of a heart.  As they placed their thumbprints on the hearts Ms. Stephanie told them “there is no one in the whole world that has a thumbprint like you and there’s no one in the world exactly like you.  You are unique! And the way you give your love is unique.”   On the reverse side of the “heartprint” children wrote messages like “I love you” or “I love playing with you.” Some children wrote words like “kindness” and “share.”  The children were asked to share their love by giving a “heartprint” away to a classmate, family member, teacher or neighbor. “Sharing love is making someone else feel special,” said Ms. Stephanie, “that’s how you shine your light. That’s what Butaan, Phylos and EEtha talk about in the book.”  “I love hearing the children sing along with the CD while they’re creating,” said Ms. Stephanie. “Music adds so much to a learning experience…music makes learning joyful.”

As their time together came all too quickly to an end, the students repeated the Young Masters pledge one last time and were encouraged to try making heartprints out of clay at home to share with friends or family members.

“Young Masters…learning to make the world a better place.  I love my work,” said Ms. Stephanie. Stay tuned for the next adventure in learning with the Young Masters Little Wisdom Discovery program.

If you’re interested in finding out more about how you can use this program in your school.

Stephanie Pelly is a peace educator and co-creator of the Young Masters Little Wisdom Discovery Program for children and teaches this program and others in and around New Jersey.

Click here to make a difference in the lives of children 4-8 in your world.

Curriculum is still available for free.

Naudain Academy is a Montessori school in Voorhees, New Jersey.

Vorhees, New Jersey – The Young Masters Discovery Program at Naudain Academy concluded last week. The extended day children proudly wore the headdresses they created as they received their certificates and shared what they had learned with their friends – the Secrets Of The Heart

During the final celebration each Young Master held the microphone and had a turn reciting the Young Masters Pledge.  Confidently each stepped forward to say what they now seemed to believe about themselves and…they appeared to know what that meant.  “I promise to use my gifts everyday, in everyway for I am a Young Master.”

Children were quick to answer what their favorite Secret of the Heart was and why and Stephanie gently probed them with questions to find out what stories and lessons resonated most with them.  Some children loved using their “creativity” and “imagination” during the program, some children said “friendship” and “love” were their favorites.  A number of children talked about “courage” being their favorite “secret”, because they learned to face their fears and a handful of students liked “gratitude” best!  Stephanie reminded them that all of the “secrets” are important to practice.

Wearing their colorful Young Master headdresses, each student received their certificate of completion.  Something they could hang on their wall at home to remind them what they had accomplished, and they would now bring home the Young Master Journals that they had spent class time creating and adding to during the year.

“Tell us something you learned during the Discovery Program?” asked Miss Stephanie.  One young boy raised his hand.  “I learned I have gifts to share,” said one Young Master. “Yes!” said Miss Stephanie.  “I am so proud of all the students of Naudain. It takes real courage for a child to stand up in front of their class and recite the Young Masters pledge all by themselves or to express their feelings about the program. I’ve witnessed a lot of growth with the children and I know they felt equally proud of themselves when they held their Young Masters certificates up for one last class photo.”

“I believe each child felt a little bit like Butaan, Phlyos or EEtha as they wore their Young Masters headdresses.  They really connected twith the characters in the books, loved the messages in the stories and wore wide smiles each time they sang the songs on the CD’s. I believe that First grade will be a little easier for these students.  They understand some very important concepts that will serve them well in the days and years ahead.

Many of the children were sad the program was over.  “Miss Stephanie, will you be at my new school?” asked one little girl. “You can take me with you in your heart,” said Stephanie.“You’re a Young Master!”

Stephanie Pelly conducts the Young Masters Little Wisdom Program at Montessori schools and centers in New Jersey.  If you’d like to schedule the program at your school, contact Stephanie Pelly at [email protected].

Naudain Academy is a Montessori School

To all of the beautiful teachers and friends who participated in our workshop – Bunny Hull and Stephanie Pelly would like to thank you for choosing to be with them! They are here to help you do what you do best – teach our children how to become better human beings!

Stephanie Pelly – Peace Educator

We believe that music is profoundly important as a tool you can use to help children grasp whatever it is you are teaching them. If you were a participant in the “Building Classroom Community and Character Through Music” workshop at AMS in Orlando, Florida, we think you also believe this is true.

As promised, below you will find resources that were presented in the workshop.

Building Classroom Community and Character Through Music – Resources Handout

Building Classroom Community – Notes for participants
For those who are interested, here are presenter notes which contain an outline of what was presented at the workshop. In addition the presentation was recorded and is available through AMS.

Books and Music – click here to see all the books and music we offer
A number of songs and chants which were performed during the workshop are also available on our books and CD. The Notes For Particpants above lists where you may find particular songs. All song lyrics for songs contained on CDs are available by download on the page of each product.

Affirmation Courage Crossing


Affirmation Activity from

Young Masters: Heart of A Lion
From Young Masters Little Wisdom Curriciulum
Thia curriculum is a free download and was created to support the Young Masters Little Wisdom Books and Music for use in circle time activities.

Moorsetown, New Jersey – The Young Masters Little Wisdom Discovery Program is in full swing at Montessori Children’s House as students jump into unit four in this six week program. Spontaneity is a beautiful thing! Class began with an unexpected, but perfect, twist today when the children were frightened because of a spider. They were reminded how they can be brave even when confronted by a spider as Miss Stephanie’s showed them how she could pick it up with a dust pan and bring it over to a door so it could be set free outside to roam where spiders have unlimited crawling space. Class was off and running!

Young Masters: Heart Of A LionThe children were excited to meet a new character in this week’s book Heart Of A Lion.  Her name is EEtha.  In the fourth book of the Young Masters LittleTwo brave little boys from the Young Masters Little Wisdom Discovery Program Wisdom series EEtha joins Butaan and Phylos as they travel through the magic garden learning about the secrets of the heart.  It was like meeting a new friend.

Together the children proudly state THE YOUNG MASTERS PLEDGE and discover today’s Secret Of The Heart ~ COURAGE.  In Heart of A Lion, Phylos has a choice to be afraid or to face his fears with courThey discuss why Phylos is afraid and how his friends help him face his fears.  They children notice how Buttaan and EEtha help Phylos face his fears by encouraging him and helping him believe in himself.  They talk about how they can help their friends, brothers or sisters face their fears.  The children are asked  how Phylos would have reacted if his friends had put him down or made fun of him and how afraid he felt. “Would Phylos would have found his courage if they had done that?” asked Miss Stephanie.  The children agreed that friends can help you face your fears and it’s important to encourage each other.

The children were then presented with their POWER BADGES.  Each child wore a special message:   I BELIEVE IN MYSELF.  I AM BRAVE.  I AM HEART SMART.  I HAVE COURAGE.  I HAVE FAITH.   I CAN DO IT.  They talked about times when they needed to be brave, like when they were at the doctors Stephanie Pelly and little girloffice and needed to get a shot or at night if they were feeling afraid of the dark.   They then discussed how important is it to believe in yourself when when you learn something new like how to tie your shoe, play a musical instrument or maybe when you’re trying something for the first time like standing up to speak in front of the class.  Instead of saying “I can’t do this,” or “this is too hard,”  there’s something you can do.  You can see the light bulbs begin to go off as they realize they can even encourage themselves by remembering to think or say positive messages like I CAN DO IT.  They can practice, work hard or ask for help if they need it.  A little self-talk goes a long way.

A breakthrough moment in today’s class happened when one little girl who is often too shy to participate stood upShy girl and Stephanie and walked to the front of the classroom to receive her special POWER BADGE.  The badge said I HAVE COURAGE.  “I Have Courage,” she said.   “Way to be,” said Miss Stephanie.  “She gently faced a big fear” said Miss Stephanie, and took a giant step forward with that small act today.  When the Power Badge was placed across her heart she gave a big smile and even had her picture snapped.  A snapshot of courage in a world that can sometimes be a scary place.

The children took home a small gift today.  A smooth rock that they will decorate with the affirmation that’s on their POWER BADGE.  A touchstone to remind them “I believe in myself.”   Courage rocks!    That’s the lesson from today’s Young Masters Little Wisdom Discovery program.  Stay tuned for next weeks lesson, unit five – The Invisible Power – everything begins with a single idea!

View the video of this weeks program.  Young Masters: Heart Of A Lion

The Young Masters Little Wisdom Curriculum for Montessori is currently available for free to all you wonderful teachers by clicking here.