Elementary child is curious about the world

When the child enters the second period of development around the age of six they will join our elementary program. Elementary child is curious about the world outside of their immediate environment. To feed this curiosity we offer to students a Montessori curriculum that consists of two essential parts.

Cosmic education


At Lisbon Montessori School there is a lower elementary (LE) and an upper elementary (UE) classrooms. Lower elementary is for students of grades 1, 2 and 3, and upper elementary guides children in grades 4, 5, and 6.

Both elementary classrooms are equipped to serve grades 1 through 6 (ages 6-12) and both, LE and UE AMI-trained guides are trained to work with students of the same ages. Because no child is required to be on the same page, this provides for the necessary accommodation of varying abilities. For example, if a student is particularly talented in one subject they will join lessons and do practice on their level instead of waiting for their peers to catch up to continue to advance in the curriculum. The same is true for students who need to repeat some practice or require more time to advance.

The elementary classroom is lined with shelves that hold various supplies and a multitude of scientifically designed Montessori materials designed to help each student self-educate. Students often choose a partner or work in small groups to create and research a project.


The first part of the elementary curriculum is referred to as cosmic education, and it encompasses in-class presentations on subjects starting with beginnings of our universe, through coming of life, and present-day scientific discoveries. The great stories give the child the big picture of each major subject and all subjects are studied as part of a whole relating to one another. Key lessons help the students with acquiring skills and tools needed to study various parts of the curriculum and conduct interest-driven research. Gratitude to those who have come before us is a spirit that guides our learning.

The in-class curriculum includes, but is not limited to:

Language, math, sciences, history, geography, biology, arts, music.

The Montessori curriculum is considered holistic, because it contains multiple open-ended education opportunities which is all that is needed to complement the child’s natural development. However, intending to embrace and appreciate Portuguese language and culture the Elementary students have afternoon Portuguese-as-a-second-language lessons with a specialist language teacher. Children also engage in physical education activities and team games a few times per week.

The second part of our curriculum is called going out and it allows a small group of students to plan, schedule and visit a place of interest related to their research. The classroom guide or assistant will chaperone children on such trips.

There are no grades assigned to students for their work. However, the teacher meets with each student frequently to help supervise the course of studying noted in the student’s journal and to plan subsequent presentations.

It is true that the teacher supervises the children, but there are various things that ‘call’ the children at different ages.

The laws governing the universe can be made interesting and wonderful to the child, more interesting even than things in themselves, and he begins to ask: What am I? What is the task of man in this wonderful universe? Do we merely live here for ourselves, or is there something more for us to do? Why do we struggle and fight? What is good and evil? Where will it all end?