Jul 22, 2012

Getting Ready for Geography

I'm so excited to teach my girls some geography this year; It was always one of my favorite subjects in school. In Cycle 1, we'll spend a lot of time learning the countries of Africa, which is great for us because that's where Mary's favorite country is - Egypt! However, I don't want to just jump right into the countries without teaching her the seven continents first. So, in anticipation of the new cycle, we've been slowly and steadily learning the continents together. Here's how we're doing it:


Above is the shower curtain in the girls' bathroom (it's so great!). Each time Mary goes potty we sing the continents song (a silly version of the Montessori one) and point to the different ones.

I made a little DIY continent map, with help from this site. In the Geography chapter of Leigh Bortins's book The Core, she has great ideas for beginning to draw the continents. I used some of her suggestions by drawing the lines of latitude, but since Mary is still a little young and can't draw herself, I cut out the continents from glitter foam (glitter just makes everything more fun!). Then I printed out some labels from The Montessori Print Shop (great instant downloads, and the labels are free), printed a control card for her to look at for help, and viola! We now have our very own continent map in a box!




Okay, it's confession time: Although I do love my little homemade map, I have not introduced it to Mary yet. I want to make sure she's really confident about the names and general locations from our potty-time review (that's so silly to think about, but it actually works for us! ha!) before I bring this out. We had a super-really-horrific experience with writing when I started her too early, so I absolutely want to avoid a repeat of our Handwriting WITH Tears incident. But, she's almost there, so I do anticipate playing and learning with this map before CC officially begins in about a month.


I also have these great maps and labels pictured above printed, laminated, and ready to go for more fun review. Speaking of laminating, I have been doing a LOT of that lately! 

Thanks to Brandy over at Half-a-Hundred Acre Wood for putting together the Classical Conversations Blog Carnival! Be sure to check out her amazing site; it's where I go whenever I have a CC question, so like everyday pretty much. ;)


8 comments:

  1. What a wonderful idea! I love how you've included the major lines of latitude - I would like to do this, especially for my youngest! Better yet, I may have my oldest child make this for my youngest! :D

    Thank you for participating in the CC Carnival!
    Brandy

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  2. Fun Idea! Thanks for sharing :) I've been working on making activity bags for my little ones to work with during school time while I"m working with the older kiddos and I think I'll make a smaller version of this to include in their selection (I just noticed Brandy's comments and I may too have one of my big kids make it instead of me, good thinking!). Also just so you don't feel like your the only ones...We use "potty time" for review around our house too. I post our previous weeks memory work in the bathroom as well as any that didn't stick as well and needs extra review. We've found it be a great way to make use of that time that would other wise be wasted just sitting there ;). Even dad has learned lots from this review time :)

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  3. Chelsey, I love that you review on the potty, too! Ha! No time is wasted! Thanks so much for stopping by!

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  5. Hi! I love this idea and I think I will turn it into a game for my students. I think I'm going to make it just a tiny bit bigger and put staples in one part of the continents. Then, after the students place the continents in the appropriate spots I can have them "fish" them out as I call them out with one of those magnet "fishing" rods that go with the little "fishing" puzzles. Or I also have a homemade fishing rod made from a dowel, some yarn, and a magnet. FUN!!!

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    1. That sounds GREAT! I'll have to try that, too! Thanks so much for sharing! :)

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  6. I love, love, love your geography cards! When do you think you'll have semester two complete? Will you share again?

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    1. Hi LeeAnn! I"m so glad you like the cards! I plan on making the second semester's set during the Christmas break, and I will most certainly share! :)

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