Early Childhood – Circle of Life: Ceremony of Death
Celebrations and rituals are important in the lives of children. Through them, they learn that we experience the circle of life, death, and the large milestones in between. Children feel deeply; they express joy and grief openly without reserve. It is therefore important that the circle of life be celebrated within the Montessori community.
Many children become curious when they are first exposed to death—with a dead bug or dead animal on the road, for example. Developmentally, children can’t fully conceptualize death until ages 10–12, but we can help them begin to learn about it. Let yourself be guided by your child’s questions, answering only what is asked. Children often repeat the same question in order to hear the information again, not because they want more elaborate explanations. Most importantly, be honest. Research in developmental psychology shows that children manage better when they’re given truthful explanations about death.
During this observation, children talked about the different parts of a frog. This is an extension of the indoor lessons of knobbed puzzles and labels, as well as comparing the parts of the frog to a human body, and their functions.