This month in our homeschooling journey, we are concentrating on learning about the world. A wonderful place to start Montessori continent learning activities is with the sensorial sandpaper globe (tactile), colored globe (visual & tactile), 3-part cards (pre-reading), continent song (auditory), and Montessori continent puzzle (fine motor).
Little Bee's first work for learning the continents of the world was to learn the concept of "rough" and "smooth." I presented him with the Montessori rough/smooth board and we talked about how the two different sides felt while he touched them.
Side note: It was wonderful to see that Little Bee grasped this concept when later he was working with the velcro dressing frame. He ran his fingers over the "rough" and "smooth" (soft) parts of the the velcro. He then looked up at me and said, "Mommy, this one is rough and this one is smooth." Next, I presented the Montessori sandpaper globe to Little Bee and he ran his fingers over the "rough" and "smooth" parts of the globe. I explained to him that the rough parts are land and the smooth parts are water. In the photos below, you can see that he is really thinking about this new information and absorbing it.
Please also visit - Land, Water, and Air Montessori Presentation
The final lesson that day was to present Little Bee with the Montessori colored globe. He touched the raised colored areas and the smooth flat blue areas on the globe. I explained that the raised colored parts were land and the smooth blue parts were water. The continents on the globe are a specific color for each continent. These colors coordinate with the other Montessori geography materials such as the continent puzzle. This color coding system gives the child a strong visual cue for helping to identify the various continents.
- North America - Orange
- South America - Pink
- Europe - Red
- Asia - Yellow
- Africa - Green
- Australia - Brown
- Antarctica - White
Later that week, I presented Little Bee with a hole-punched booklet (3-part cards) of the continents of the world. As Little Bee looked at each continent on the cards, I told him the name of the continent. We compared the cards with the colored globe.
Please note: I do not expect Little Bee to memorize or remember the names of the continents at his age (2.5 y/o). My intent is to expose him to these concepts so that when I reintroduce the continents to him at a later time, he will have a foundation to build upon. Please also note that every child learns at a different pace. Not every child will be able to absorb and retain information this quickly. So please follow your child and introduce these concepts to them at a pace that will work for your child.
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The next step was introducing Little Bee to the "Continent Song." I laid the continent cards out in order of the song. As the song played on the computer, I pointed to each continent card. I personally don't have the continent song memorized, so I am learning it right along with Little Bee.
Here are a couple examples of the "Continent Song" for you to enjoy.
In the photos below, Little Bee is pointing to each continent as I sing the continent song to him. A few days later, Little Bee worked on the continent puzzle. As he placed each continent puzzle piece into it's slot, I named the continent for him. We compared the puzzle to the globe. I explained to him that the puzzle is a "flat" map, but the world is actually a round planet. I'm not sure he understands this concept yet. We still need to complete a unit study on the planets and outer space. I think that will help him begin to grasp the meaning of earth.
Fun extension exercises for learning the continents is to incorporate animals, famous structures or landmarks, people, country flags, and cultural items from each continent. The cutout felt African continent (pictured below) is part of a Felt Map of Continents set that I found on Etsy. The African Schleich animals are from Amazon.
For a Montessori Geography Scope and Sequence, please visit the Montessori Compass.
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