I'm going to go over why geography is important in Montessori and how it's taught and what children in the 3-6 age group learn about it.
I'll also give you a list of the traditional Montessori geography materials that are used in classrooms all over the world.
I included shopping links in case you are interested in buying the materials, as that's a request I get a lot.
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Why is geography important in Montessori?
In Montessori, the interconnectedness of humankind is woven throughout lessons.
In order for lessons on culture and connection to make sense, children must understand the geographical makeup of the planet on which we live.
Montessori geography lessons help pull together difficult concepts in an age-appropriate way, which helps aid children in their learning when they leave the primary program and move on to public school or a Montessori elementary program.
Topics like politics, history, weather and climate, and social studies cannot be fully understood without a strong base of knowledge in geography.
What a child learns about geography in the Montessori 3-6 classroom
In a Montessori primary program, children learn the basics of geography.
They learn that the earth is round and is made of land and water.
Children also learn that the land on earth is divided into continents, and which continent they live on.
If a child is interested, they may learn the states of the country in which they live and about the geographic makeup of other countries.
How Montessori teaches geography
Montessori schools teach geography in a way that is unlike any other educational method. Children don't simply look at a map and memorize where different places are located.
In Montessori, children get to experience geographic concepts in a hands-on fashion while simultaneously linking different cultures to their geographic locations.
Geography is taught in the order of whole to parts. That means children will learn about the earth's makeup as far as land and water, then they will learn about continents, then countries, states, and so on.
List of Montessori geography materials for ages 3-6
This list of geography materials/lessons is a good resource for those who are considering Montessori homeschooling.
- 3 years old
- The Sandpaper Globe is a smooth blue sphere, covered in rough sandpaper where the continents are located. This material aims at giving children a sensorial impression of the geographic makeup of the earth.
- 3 years old
- The Continents Globe, or the Colored Globe, is a smooth sphere that has each continent marked with Montessori's geography color-coding. This material helps children better understand the geographic makeup of the earth, as well as the size and shape of each continent.
- 3 years old
- The Land and Water Forms are plastic trays that are molded with the impression of the earth's land and water formations. The purpose of this material is to give children a concrete representation of land and water formations.
- 3.5 years old
- The Montessori Puzzle Maps are knobbed, color-coded puzzles of the continents and countries. These maps teach children to learn that the earth is made of continents, continents are made of countries, countries are made of states, ect.
The Flag Stand
- 4 years old
- The Flags of the World Flag Stand helps children identify each country by its flag.
Montessori's way of teaching geography, and the materials it uses, helps to give children a strong base understanding of the world and to prepare them for future learning.
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