“North America, South America, Europe, Africa and Asia…don’t forget Australia, don’t forget Antarctica…” a group of children is overheard signing while exploring the continent puzzle map. The Montessori philosophy approaches concepts of geography in a unique and brilliant way. At the start of the school year, the children are introduced to the concepts of land, air and water. Next, the sand paper globe helps the children to further understand the elements on planet Earth. Soon the continent globe and flat map are introduced displaying the seven brightly colored continents.
One popular extension is a work that challenges the child to make her own continent map. Through pin punching, a pre-handwriting material described in the previous blog, the child carefully pokes tiny holes along the outline of each continent. Next the child traces and cuts the two hemispheres from blue paper, creating the water, and mounts them on a large piece of poster board. Lastly, by using the continent puzzle map and/or a teacher example, she carefully arranges and glues each continent to make her very own map. The children are encouraged to label the continents and title their masterpiece “My Continent Map” if they wish.