The school year at Montessori School of Duluth ends with an all-day outing at Minnesota Point for the elementary and kindergarten students. This is a unique native pine forest on beach dunes, with rare dune grasses and wildlife habitat on the longest freshwater sandbar in the world. Ruins of the historic lighthouse mark the lunch site.
It’s a tradition we cherish and dates from the founding of the school on Park Point in 1981. It has always been our “rite of passage,” especially, for the oldest students leaving Children’s House and beginning first grade. This event meets the needs of children age six to twelve for independence, adventure, bonding with friends, and experiencing a unique natural setting. Our hike preparation lessons model the necessary safety and clothing needs before going on the day trip. And the children learn why this Scientific and Natural Area in Duluth is protected, as well as enjoying the Ojibwe legends and stories of early settlements.
In the Montessori learning program the outdoor learning environment is as important as the indoor environment. The inter-dependencies of living and non-living elements of nature are absorbed by the youngest children. The older children have a natural laboratory of plants, animals, water, air, and soil to study. Inside our classrooms are geography charts, experiments, aquariums, vocabulary activities, and more research material.
Every Duluth season has its outdoor biology and geology experiences, and we’re fortunate that it takes only minutes from Montessori School of Duluth to reach places like Tischer Creek, Hawk Ridge, or Hartley Nature Center, as well as Minnesota Point.