The New Fundamental Needs Chart


The Montessori Fundamental Needs Chart is a beautiful and informative tool that can be used to teach children about the fundamental needs of humans.

The purpose of this lesson is to introduce the idea that all humans throughout space and time, have had the same material and spiritual needs. It provides a universal framework for thinking about other people, no matter how different they may seem to us.

This New Fundamental Needs Chart includes an extra dimension of culture that will help tie the fundamental needs of humans into all other areas of the history curriculum and provide a robust foundation for integrating all of the Montessori cultural lessons. Please read this blog post to learn more.


This is my interpretation of the Fundamental Needs. It is based on the writings of Maria Montessori, a modern understanding of human cultural evolution, and the original Fundamental Needs chart, but this version is significantly different than what is given in Montessori training.

I have a full write up explaining my reasons and motivation for changing this lesson so much, but I truly believe it will lay a better foundation for a more integrated history curriculum the classroom. Read more here.

Listing Includes:
  • The New Fundamental Needs chart.
  • A basic Fundamental Needs chart (This one doesn’t show culture, just the needs)
  • 2 All-new “cultural transmission” charts. Please read the blog post to learn more, as these charts are not part of Montessori training.
  • 12 “mini posters.” These are 4″x6″ cards with illustrations on one side showing examples of how a particular need is fulfilled. On the back is a definition and short write up about the need, why people may have this need, and a description of how people may fulfill this need. Title card included.
The Needs:
  • Nourishment
  • Clothing
  • Defense
  • Shelter
  • Health
  • Transport
  • Trade
  • Communication
  • Relationships
  • Art
  • Philosophy
Additional Resources:

Blog Post- The Fundamental Needs of Humans: Ideas for Deeper Exploration by Letty Rising



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