Setting up a Montessori Inspired Library Corner
Updated: Jul 20, 2022
Reading books is one of the best ways to reinforce interest-led reading and love of learning in general and there's no denying the positive feelings for learning that come from the closeness shared in books together. Reading can broaden children's imagination by mentally transporting them into worlds where anything is possible.It inspires creativity, helps them regulate their emotions, and thrive in social situations. For some children, books serve as escapism from ordinary life .
Young children identify books by their covers, and not by the words on the spines. This is why the Montessori method recommends ways of book storage that are designed to display covers in the best possible way.
The reading area also needs to be accessible to the child. Forward- facing books allow children to independently retrieve and put away books. This makes reading easier, and helps maintain order in the reading space. Arranging your little ones' books with the covers displayed encourages reading and literacy.
This can be achieved in a variety of ways, and can be tailored to your space. Include some bean bags, cushions and a carpet to create an inviting space for the children to lay down. Add little details like a small lamp and plants to add to the visual environment for maximum effect.
Use matching child-sized furniture like reading tables to create a cozy space. Strict and rigid looking furniture that is too heavy or bolted to the floor limits activities, discourages collaboration, and detracts from the learning experience.
It's helpful to set out your school library in a way that allows children to find peace and solace for reading time. Some schools also use their library as a calm space. This is particularly effective for children with learning difficulties or special educational needs. In this case, we'd suggest using muted colors and calming imagery. Scenes from nature are proven to improve wellbeing, so these can work well.
Categorization and order are a big part of Montessori materials and environments as proposed by Maria Montessori. Research also shows that order and neatness in the environment helps develop order in the mind, as it offers psychological safety, calmness, and predictability in the child’s surroundings to allow the mind to focus on learning by organising new knowledge in a better way.
Divide books into categories - mammals, birds, amphibians, seasons etc. Label books as per theme or subject area. Colour coding of books and shelves with small pieces of mask tape or coloured sticker on each book helps children to return their books to the proper shelf. An added benefit is that this system helps cultivate students’ independence and help them take more responsibility for restoring their own environment, which is another important aspect of the Montessori approach.
Colour coding will also help teachers when teaching a particular theme e.g. dinosaurs. The teacher will know she has to select books from a particular colour code.
Reading the Montessori Way
The Montessori method recommends realistic stories for young children (for example, books about real animals, not talking animals). Choose books that reflect a child’s reality. Children love books about home, family, pets, and school because they can make exciting connections and understand their reality. Real-world books about places, animals, plants, and nature are treasure troves for children because there is always something new to discover when reading them again. Children also love nature and feel a deep sense of connection with it. Change some of the books every few weeks, adding new ones based on the interests of the children, and the current curriculum you are presenting. Children will light up when they discover a new book in the library that just "happens" to be about the very topic they are keenly interested in.
Have multiple copies of books in the school library, just in case it gets lost, and also for other students to borrow at the same time. Sometimes, children love reading the same book again and again. There are so many reasons why they crave this repetition. It is comforting and familiar but on a deeper level, they are connecting with the book’s rhythm and its sound patterns. They are also diving into the book and making meaning out of it. Every reading seems different, new and special!
Complete List of Early Years Books to set up a Pre-School Library
How do we choose quality books that will enrich children's lives, follow their interests, and help them deal with their feelings and life situations? The complete list of early years books to set up a Pre-School library consists of 14 different themes with colour coded references. This list will help you discover some brilliant children's books that your students will love. We have all the hard work done for you to help you get started fast. Under each theme, the book name and its ISBN are listed to make it easier for you to find the book to purchase and set up your theme-based library corner. The list allows you to rotate books weekly or twice a month. Children are excited to see new books in the reading corner.