Sometimes someone comes up with a great idea and you just want to spread it around! Geography is unsurprisingly one of my favourite subjects, and over at Every Bed of Roses is a fabulous list of geography resources. There are so many great ideas there and I am looking forward to getting into some of them.
The list includes one that I have used before, but forgotten about: MegaMaps. We once made a lovely mural of North America from the site. I thought would share the story of one homeschool day from a few years ago, where we used megamaps in our early geography.
Time warp back three years:
It started with a lovely live webcam of a hummingbird on her nest. It just popped up in my computer threads, and I showed it to the boys. I told the children this hummingbird was in North America. After our recent trips, they have been interested in places, and so he wanted to go looking for a map.
Montessori introduces children to Continents, and this seemed like a perfect way to do it. We have talked about Australia, but this is the first time we have talked about any other continent. So North America it is! We started looking for interesting, hands on materials for this continent study.
We trawled through our plastic animals. Hmm, pretty sorry collection there…
Next it was books. Ok, not so good… magazines? photos?
To the computer! The oldest has been interested in flags since Australia Day, so I found some North American flags: a small one from every N. American country and selected larger Colouring Flags from a site I had used before. We printed them off at normal size for just colouring and 75% size to fit neatly on the end of a straw. These flags had a number code to show where to put each colour, which was an enjoyable novelty at this stage, so they thought that was great. The littlest one woke up at this point, and coloured his own flag.
Maps! I did print off a small map but the best were Megamaps. My oldest child decided to draw some pictures of the animals onto the little map. We are in the process of putting it together for our bulletin board. I’m not sure exactly what we will do with that, but I suspect it will involve sticking pictures of flags, animals and maybe landmarks onto it.
At this point, the children had been fairly focused for two or three hours (with a lunch break), and he’d had enough – out he went to play. But in the next few days, we did some follow-up these activities. We tried to:
- Make a continent folder. (I’ll cover this another time)
- Find some more North American animals.
- Look up some resources to get some new ideas.
- Visit the library to get some books on the topic.
Is this Montessori? Natural learning? Themed? I’m not sure it even matters 😛 But it was a busy Sunday!
Thanks for sharing the time warp with me. Now get mapping!