In a Montessori geography curriculum, you begin with:
STEP 1: Sandpaper Globe (buy here), which is one of the first geography materials to introduce to your child at around two years of age to explain the difference between land and water. The sandpaper globe is a concrete representation of our earth as a sphere. The land on this globe is raised and is represented by sandpaper, which feels rough to the touch, while water is smooth to the touch. Through this material, the child learns water/ocean and land/continent concepts predominantly through child’s tactile senses. (See Sandpaper Globe presentation post here.)
STEP 2: is to introduce the Painted/Colored Continent Globe (buy here). To transition, show the Sandpaper and Colored globe to a child – point to the differences in color and texture. Focus on the Colored globe: isolate with both hands just one part (for example a continent such as Europe which is color-coded red, or an ocean) and present a 3-Period Lesson:
- Period 1: THIS IS -"This piece of red is called a continent… This water has a name – it is called an ocean. We have continents and we have oceans.”
- Period 2: SHOW ME - “Show me a continent/ocean etc.”
- Period 3: WHAT IS THIS?
To help her brother remember the oceans, Julia (6 years old) made up this 🌊Ocean Song:
🎤 "Oceans, oceans, do you know your oceans? Oceans, oceans all around the world – Atlantic Ocean, Pacific Ocean, Indian Ocean too. Don't forget the Southern Ocean and don't forget cold Antarctic too."
Julia then matched the three-part ocean cards.
You may download for your personal use Maps of the World and labels of continents and oceans here, which I purchased from Montessori Print Shop.
Adrian is four years younger than Julia, and her song was put to the test.
As a result of singing Julia's Ocean Song, Adrian at 33 months learned the names of oceans and their positioning on the globe, and, most importantly, he had a lot of fun in the process.
To learn more about STEP 2: Colored Continent Globe presentation, read a post here, which includes a📽video of Adrian singing 🎤 the Continent Song using a Montessori Colored 🌈 Continent 🌎Globe at 29 months.
Also, read the "World Continent Puzzle Map" post here, which explains how you would transition from the Earth as a sphere to the way cartographers put Earth on a flat map.