Moorestown, New Jersey –  Montessori Children’s House continues the Young Masters Little Wisdom Discovery Curriculum after spring break as the children enter unit three to discover  The Hidden Treasure – gratitude.   As usual things kick off with the Young Master’s pledge,  “I promise to use my gifts everyday….”  After reading  The Hidden Treasure, children discuss all the different things our characters, Phylos and Butaan, are grateful for.  The children are then directed to close their eyes for a few moments and think about what they are grateful for.  Each child puts a little heart inside a pinata treasure chest as they claim the things or people for which they’re grateful –  family, friends, school, the beach, sunshine and trees.  The list goes on as they explore what’s important in each of their lives.

The children then learn about a very special gift.  Each child is asked to lift the top and look inside a beautifully wrapped gift box to discover the greatestStephanie Pelly and The Hidden Treasure giftof all.  What could it be?  “It’s not something that can be bought in a store,” said  class facilitator Stephanie Pelly.  They are each asked to open the box and look inside.  “Don’t tell anyone what it is,” Stephanie says, “wait for each person to have a turn.”   Each child opens the box and peeks inside only to see their own reflection in a mirror placed at the bottom of the box.  A big smile appears each time a child realizes the greatest gift  is – them.  Beautiful,  unique, special – them. Once everyone has a turn looking inside the box they place their hands on their hearts and say, I AM A GIFT, an affirmation of self-realization and acceptance of their own intrinsic value.

The greatest gift

Next in the center of the circle a gift box is placed and Stephanie tells the children she’s going to use her imagination and give each child a gift.   They won’t be able to see it but if they use their imagination they’ll know what the gift was.  Each child accepts a gift according to their own imagination.  What fun!
The day’s lesson ends by playing a game and singing the song, Circle of Appreciation.  When the lyric says “point to the one you’re thankful for,” each child points to their friends and says “I’m thankful for you.”
One child remarks, “I like the way each book ends with “thank you for being here.”   Another little boy confesses to his teacher “I love Tuesdays.” When he was asked why he said “because Miss Stephanie comes on Tuesdays to share the YOUNG MASTERS program.”  These children are indeed thankful for Miss Stephanie.  What are you thankful for?  And what gifts are you accepting for yourself?
Stay tuned for next week when this Montessori class discovers  a new secret of the heart – courage!
See video clips of the Young Masters Little Wisdom Discovery program:
Young Masters Little Wisdom Discovery Curriculum is available now for free.  Find out more by clicking here.

Voorhees, New Jersey – The children of Naudain Academy were excited to learn about The Hidden Treasure today and as they discovered the next Secret Of The Heart. Students had several guesses before Stephanie Pelly, the program facilitator, revealed the secret. “Is it love, friendship or sharing with your friends?” they asked.

Stephanie slowly drew the the word gratitude from her special container. This was a new word for most of the children, so she explained that gratitude means being thankful. She also explained that being grateful is showing appreciation for people or things in your life.

The children were excited to hear the story from the Young Masters Little Wisdom book,  The Hidden Treasure. They began to understand that while it’s wonderful to receive gifts, the true gift is being thankful.  They discussed the many things for which Butaan and Phylos were grateful for in the story and after the story they shared all for which they were grateful as a class.

Then Stephanie passed around a red gift box and told the children that there was a wonderful, amazing, awesome, super, fantastic and great gift inside.  In fact it’s the greatest gift.  She told them they could all have a chance to peek and see it, but they would need to keep the gift a surprise until each person discovered the gift themselves.  One by one the gift box was passed as each child took a peek inside.  She repeated, “thank you for being here, you are a gift!”  as one by one they each looked inside the box and saw a star mirror and  – their own face looking back at them.  Some children got it right away… some took a moment to realize that they are the gift.  It’s who they are and all that they can share with other.  Some were a little confused and didn’t see themselves as a gift, so after each person had a turn Stephanie asked, “So what is this wonderful, amazing awesome, super, fantastic and great gift?”  One little boy raised his hand and said, ” Each one of us is a gift to the world!”  “Exactly,” Stephanie said.  “We can share our smiles and friendship with people every day! We each have something to give. Something for which to be truly thankful.”   She then asked the children to share some of the gifts they can give to others.  Immediately they chimed in, “friendship, imagination, love, kindness, sharing and playing together.” “Yes, all the secrets of the heart,” said Stephanie.


Stephanie then told the children she was going to use her imagination to give each child a gift.  One child said, “we learned all about imagination in the book The Magic Eye.  They remembered.  She went on to tell them that  in order to receive the gift she was giving them, she would need to use her imagination… and so would they.  One by one she pulled out “imaginary gifts”  and placed something inside each child’s hand or around their necks or once in awhile I even rolled a special gift to a child.  Every child said “thank you” and said they were grateful for their gifts.  One child said… “I know what my gift is, a baseball.”  Another child said, “You gave me sparkles.”  “My gift was a mircophone!” “I got a telescope.”  “I got a necklace.”  One child pondered long and hard and might still be thinking about what his gift really was.  “You can think about it while you’re in bed tonight, ” Stephanie said, and added, “I gave you each my love with your gift…and that’s the best gift.”

They sang “Circle of Appreciation” and had fun playing a game where the students got to point to all their different friends during the song.  They loved this song and game.  The lesson ended as they passed  around earth ball and shared the many gifts they earth gives to us.  “Something for which we are are very grateful,” said Stephanie, “to be on this beautiful Earth with our families and friends.”

Stay tuned for the next secret of the heart and the continuing journey for these very fortunate Young Masters at Naudain Academy.

See what wonders are happening at Naudain Academy.