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Can You Begin to Teach Geography Without Buying all the Montessori Materials

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 by making a map of the child's yard, 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:
    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, Japan has a haiku poem, chopsticks, a kimono, and 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!

    ~Lisa Nolan

    Photo by woodleywonderworks on / CC BY