For many years I presented this story, the birth of the United States, to my class of Montessori children ages 2 ½ to 6. They loved it. I would only tell them a small part of the story each day as I laid out illustrations of the people and events in order of occurrence. I often gave them a cliff hanger so that they could contemplate and discuss what might happen next, as they eagerly awaited the next part of the story.
When I was finished telling them the story, these activities were available for further practice:
Timeline with small pictures so that the children could sequence all the events.
Booklets of all the people, major events and the Declaration of Independence.
Question and answer game of the events and people. (Appendix B in the book.)
Timeline of events
Booklets of people and events
Next I presented the children with the results of liberty by laying out approximately 100 pictures of inventions. They were fascinated to learn that these inventions included things like blue jeans, band aids and even peanut butter. They can easily see that most anything that they use or see in school and home came about because of individual ingenuity made possible because of political freedom.
There has been a movement in our country to omit the study of early American history from our schools. This is a disgrace. No child should be denied knowledge of the history of his country. It is important for children to understand that what people have done in the past have an effect on how we live now. They need to be able to connect the dots—to see which prevailing thoughts led to fights, what ideas led to prosperity, what actions led to other actions, and so on. It is from making these kinds of connections that the child learns how to think logically.
One day I asked the children, “What did Paul Revere say when he rode his horse to Lexington?” A four-year-old replied, “The criminals are coming! The criminals are coming!” Not only do children learn to think logically from the study of history, they also form conclusions about morality. And what better way for them to learn the difference between right and wrong than to learn the story of the birth of freedom.