Can You Begin to Teach Geography Without Buying all the Montessori Materials
Can you begin to teach 3 to 6 Geography without buying all the Montessori materials? Here's what the book Montessori on a Limited Budget has to say: "Geography activities should begin close to home so the child has a concept of the structure of his immediate environment before he tries to comprehend an abstract representation of a more remote area (e.g., maps and globes). The concept of a map can be learned through making a map of the child's yard, or neighborhood or town, or having treasure hunts utilizing maps. For Ithaca, N.Y. children [in the U.S.], terms like lake, gorge, woods, waterfall, creek, hill, inlet, etc., will be more valuable at first than ocean, bay, peninsula, etc., (which might come first for a Floridian)." From Montessori on a Limited Budget on page 181.
When I taught in Sausalito, on clear days I used to take the 5-year-olds and a walk up the hill by our school. When we reached the top we'd look down to see the bay and an island (Angel Island). They really enjoyed it! So begin by exploring and discovering your own neighborhood and town! Then begin making a list of what materials you want to make (or dare I say buy). But hopefully, before you do, I can help you save some cash!
For a basic overview of just a few of the 3 to 6 Montessori Geography materials, try this YouTube clip. In it you'll find a gem! Cost? Zero! All you need are a couple of jars with lids! (OK, and a map and globe.) More geography resources:
- One of the best lists of links and downloads for Montessori Geography is at MontessoriMom for Free Map Printouts of Continents, States & World.
- I really enjoyed reading about how to make your own continent boxes at Montessori for Everyone! Nice pics and a whole list of resources at the end of the article!
- Visit this blog (Montessori Materials) if you do decide to make your own!
- More Montessori geography at The Learning Ark!
- Best Montessori Geography board on Pinterest: Deb Chitwood of Living Montessori Now, here (plus non-Montessori, too).
Lastly, one more piece of advice from Montessori on a Limited Budget: "In studying other countries, use concrete objects and experiences rather than pictures... Food experiences can be a good introduction to another country, for example, eating at a Chinese restaurant and trying to handle chopsticks. You can structure [the study of other countries] by putting together a box of objects [from] several different countries. For example for Japan, have a haiku poem, chopsticks, a kimono, a flag.... You can make labels for the objects, too." From Montessori on a Limited Budget on page 181.
My tip: go take a walk and explore, then visit your local library and check out a cookbook with food recipes from a different culture, then find where that culture comes from on a map! Try a different culture each week and explore another part of your city or town!
You may also be interested in my affordable online Montessori and homeschool at Montessori for the Earth!~Lisa Nolan