Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Playing with the Planisphere or Working with the World (Part 1)

It's a famous family story that when my aunt, Joan, was just around 2 years old; she had a huge puzzle of the United States of America, the puzzle pieces were the 50 states, and she knew all 50 by name and by shape. So if you do a Montessori three-period lesson (TPL) with her and ask "Where is Delaware" (2nd period of the TPL), she can find it; and when you ask "What is this" (3rd period of the TPL) while holding the shape of Mississippi, she can tell you. Of course she has always been quite smart; 23 years later, she became the valedictorian in the country's most prestigious law school and the topnotcher in the 2005 bar exams. She is now learning and exploring New York's real-life shape and borders as she takes up International Legal Studies at NYU.

I'm reminded of that story because this week I brought out the puzzle maps of the continents.


This is just one of the eight puzzle maps from a Montessori Geography Cabinet. This one shows the 7 continents of the world. The other seven are maps of each of the continents and the puzzle pieces are the countries that belong to the specific continent.



Ia and Julia, both 6, take out the pieces, trace them onto a
big paper, and color and label them accordingly.
Asia - yellow, Europe - red, Africa - green, North America - orange,
South America - pink, Australia - brown, Antarctica - white.



As variation (since repetition is always the key with children), I prepared other activities using these:
You can download the templates of the seven continents from Montessori in a Box.
Do feel free to download and use. I'd appreciate a link back to my site,
but it is not a requirement.



Variation 1: Making a Booklet
You can make the shape of each continent; glue them to a paper; and later compile them into a booklet.

To make the continent shapes: 1) You may opt to use toothpicks or pushpins, 2) you may create a control of error and punch in holes along the outline of the continent shape, like a perforation, so that when the children use the scissors, it will be easier for them, 3) or you may just let the child use the scissors to cut (this may be tricky)--decide which you like to do depending on the readiness of each child.


You can let the child use a toothpick or pushpin to get the shape out.


You can make perforations before you give the sheet to a child,
so that when he uses the scissors, it will be easier.




When the children have made all 7, they can put them
together within a paper cover to make a booklet.



Variation 2: Making a Planisphere

You can download the templates of the seven continents from Montessori in a Box.


Watch out for Part 2 of this post, Playing with the Planisphere or Working with the World.

9 comments:

  1. Thank you for the idea. I have a project about the Universe in my class, so I'll use some of your ideas. Thanks again for inspiration.

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  4. such a nice idea! my son is 2 and soon we can be doin some nice work like this soon!

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    1. And I hope you and your child have a lot of fun on his first day of school/daycare on Monday! :)

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  5. Great ideas! I look forward to using them :)

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    1. Thank you, Channon! :-) I'm glad you find these useful. :-) Enjoy!

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    2. The puzzle maps look neat, would you happen to have a resource for them? Or something like them?

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