Sunday, February 13, 2011

Our new geography unit

One of the things that I love so much about Montessori education is its emphasis, from a very early age, on geography.  And to be perfectly honest, my knowledge of geography increased tremendously when I became a Montessori preschool teacher. Montessori education helps children develop an understanding of their place in the universe.  One thing that I like to do early on in the school year is to teach the children the "continents song" at circle time.  The version of this song that I have used in the past is as follows:
Tell me the continents, tell me the continents.
Tell me if you can
North America, South America,
 Africa, Asia and Europe
Don’t forget Antarctica, don’t forget Australia
Tell me the continents, tell me the continents
Tell me if you can.
While singing this, I have the continent map in front of me (see photo above) and I point to the various continents as we sing them.

Borrowing the name “Expedition Earth” and ideas from another blog called Confessions of a Homeschooler, I designed and adapted our own geography curriculum. I needed something which was fun, simple for 3-5 years old kids and general. I don’t want to bombard the children whith too much facts ; I just want them to become aware of the world around them and of the different ways of living. This unti is also a nice way to embrace the theme of cultural diversity,  tolerance and equality.
So this month, we have started “Expedition Earth”, our geography unit study that covers the 7 continents across the world. In this study, we learn about children and how they live on the continents, new songs about different countries, animals, food and we have some fun activities along the way (crafts, games etc..). 
Of course, no world wide expedition would be complete without a fun souvenir for the children! As we visit continents, we are adding documents and photos to a fun passport, created for each child. The children will bring this home at the end of the year along with their work copy and their portfolio.

We started  with Africa at the beginning of February and the topic will run until the end of the month. Our curriculum has planned as follow:
Now-February / Africa
March / Asia
April / Australia
May/ North & South America
June / Antarctica
I am afraid we won’t have time to go over Europe this year as I started a bit late in the year. I apologise if this post is a bit long. I have so much to mention, so much to display. I promise I will try to refrain my enthusiasm. Blogging is so much fun though, and it allows me to put all my ideas out here, at easy access, all clearly and retrievable at the click of a button. It is helping me so much clearing up my head and getting organised!!! So if this blog was initially created for parents at my facilities and for other green Montessori teachers like me, I have just realised how valuable it is for ME!!!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please leave your comment right here. Thank you :)