The main Montessori elementary material is a series of impressionistic charts. These charts are designed to entice the child's imagination without giving too much technical information - enough to fuel an interest to study more without giving all the answers.
Imagination allows for exploration of what cannot be physically explored or experienced. Our understanding of this power enables us to truly assist the children in our environments. Understanding of these concepts is one of the determinants as whether or not the adult is running a real Montessori environment, as opposed to a environment just using Montessori materials. If the adult does not understand the importance of appealing to the imagination, it is very easy to fall into the trap of using the materials and charts as teaching tools or props. Some teachers may use the charts as visual aids, but that is even not their true purpose. Their purpose is to help the imagination of the child work with the reasoning mind to come to a point of understanding. Our materials and charts are certainly important and do provide concrete provocation of the imagination so the child can go from using materials to understanding something in her mind that was not presented with the concrete materials. The child will come to understanding, to conclusions, utilizing the abstract.