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Montessori saw that young children were interested in exploring the environment in increasingly complex ways. She also saw, however, that they needed to move from the 'whole' to the parts in order to understand exactly how things worked.
She developed certain areas within the prepared environment that allowed the children to gain an appreciation of biology, geography, simple science and history.
Each of these areas allowed the children to explore and experiment with new concepts such as metamorphosis, life cycles, land formations, the planets and timelines.
As in all other areas of her work she was careful to let the children lead her to their interests and she, therefore, discovered that, during the period of sensitivity to language, they easily learnt the technical names of the new things that they were introduced to. She developed systems of classified cards that enabled the children to increasingly identify and categorise the things that they were studying. The children become aware of their own place in the universe, they study the sun and its importance, the solar system, animals, plants and the continents.