What is the Thermic Sense in Montessori?

In the Montessori method of education, teachers are encouraged to make use of 9 senses instead of the usual 5. The teachers go against the norm and instead of handing worksheets and flashcards to young kids at this stage, they employ tactics that incorporate the use of senses to enhance the kids’ learning process. To do this, they arrange different activities and materials where the child can learn through various senses. And, it has been observed that by following such practices, a child is able to grasp the concepts better and retain information for a longer period of time as well.

One such sense that is a bit different from the usual five senses in Montessori is the thermic sense. This sense is the ability of a child to distinguish between varying temperatures by touching the objects and feeling the intensity of hotness or coldness.

Read on to see how Montessori classrooms teach thermic sense to children and how you can adopt the same practices for your child.

Montessori thermic tablets

What are the thermic bottles?

Thermic bottles are a kind of material that are used in a Montessori classroom to teach children about different temperatures. They are in a pair of cylinders and each pair has water in it of varying temperatures. The activity with thermic bottles allows the child to improve his/her memory and recognize different temperatures.

What materials are required to perform the thermic bottles activity?

To perform the activity with the thermic bottles, you need 4 pairs of thermic bottles. Each pair of the thermic bottle should have water of varying temperatures ranging from cold, cool, warm, and hot.

How to perform the thermic bottles activity with a child?

To perform this activity, you first need to prepare the thermic bottles beforehand by filling them with water at the right temperatures. Then, you have to invite the child to perform the activity with you and inform him/her about the name of the activity.

After that, here are the steps that you have to take to do the thermic bottles activity:

  • First, you need to take out all the bottles from the first set and arrange them in a single line.
  • Then. Wrap your hand around the bottle and tell the child how to feel the bottle.
  • Ask the child to do the same with the bottles.
  • After that, arrange all the bottles again in a line.
  • Then, you have to take out all the bottles from the second set and arrange them in a line that is parallel to the first one. However, the two lines should have a noticeable gap between them.
  • Pick a bottle from the first set and inform the child that you are going to find the same bottle from the opposite line.
  • Start with the first bottle from the second line, and then continue feeling the bottles until you find the right match.
  • As soon as you find the right match, invite the child to feel the two bottles in both hands.
  • Then, place the pair aside and continue the procedure with all the other bottles.
  • Once the child has gotten the gist of the activity, ask him/her to find the perfect match for all the thermic bottles in the first set.

What are the thermic tablets?

The thermic tablets are another Montessori material items that are used to teach kids about differing temperatures of tablets. The thermic tablets comprise of the following materials:

  • slate
  • steel
  • wood
  • felt
  • glass
  • cork

In the list mentioned above, cork feels the warmest among all the tablets and slate feels the coolest.

What materials are required to perform thermic tablets activity?

To perform the activity with thermal tablets, all you need are some small tablets of different heat conducting materials, preferably those mentioned above. Along with this, you can also incorporate a blindfold in this activity to give a real sense of change in temperature by the sense of touch.

How to perform the thermic tablets activity with a child?

To carry out the activity with the thermal tablets, ask the child to assist you in bringing the material over to the table. Then let the child know about the name of the material and what you hope to achieve with the activity. After that, here is what you need to do:

  • Firstly, take one tablet of each kind from the box and arrange them in a line.
  • Feel the tablet with your hand, preferably your wrist.
  • Show the child how to feel the tablet with their wrist.
  • Then, let the child feel the other tablets with their wrist as you demonstrated.
  • After the child is done feeling the temperatures of all the tablets, take out other tablets from the box and then arrange them at random opposite to the first set of tablets.
  • Set the box aside and pick one tablet at random from the first set of tablets.
  • Tell the child that you are going to find the match for this tablet by feeling the tablets from the second set while wearing a blindfold.
  • Check the temperatures using your wrist of all the tablets from the second row until you find the perfect match.
  • When you find the right match, let the child know that this is a match because both have the same temperature.
  • Place the two tablets of the same temperatures on top of each other.
  • Continue with this activity until you find all the matches.
  • Once the child has understood how to perform this activity, invite him/her to do it themselves.

In the Montessori method of education, children are motivated to think outside the box and question their surroundings. They are taught to be curious about how and why stuff works. This is why you must let them perform the thermic activities on their own and encourage asking questions as to why things have differing temperatures. You can also discuss some practical-life examples like cooking or eating ice cream to improve their concept of temperature.

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Stacy Jones

When I became a foster mother, I started researching different parenting and education ideas. Learning about the Montessori Method has been intriguing and fascinating, and I have enjoyed watching the little ones in my life learn and grow from incorporating Montessori elements into our family's lifestyle. Montessori For Today was started to provide answers to my own questions, which will hopefully become a great resource for others to learn about the Montessori Method, Montessori Schools, and how you can incorporate elements of Montessori into your own home and lifestyle.

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