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Puzzle Maps - The Continents

Language

Names of the various countries.

Purpose

Direct
Visual recognition of the forms of the political divisions of the continents.
To help the child acquire the names of the countries.

Control of Error
Fitting the pieces together.

Age
3 1/2 – 4 years

Materials

- A set of six wooden maps, one for each continent except Antarctica.
- Each continent is divided into puzzle pieces according to the countries.
- The wooden knob is approximately in the position of the capital city of each country.
- The Puzzle Map of the World

Presentation

Introduction
Invite the child to come and work with you. Tell him that we are going to need a mat. Have him take out and unroll a mat. Bring him over to the puzzle maps and tell him that today we will be working with the puzzle map of one of the continents. (Begin with your home continent.) Have him bring it over to the mat. Have him place it on the right side of the mat. Then have the child bring over the puzzle map of the world and have him place it to the left of the continent map. Have the child sit to your left.

Procedure
- Point to the continent you have chosen (for example Europe) on the world map.
- Ask the child for this continent’s name.
- Show the child that the Europe on the world map is the Europe that is in large (on the continent map).
- You can point out the outline of the continent on the continent puzzle.
- Tell the child that now (on the Europe map) we see the countries.
- Ask the child to put the Map of the World back.
- Slowly, by using the knobs, take out three of the puzzle pieces (three different countries, not touching, and preferably, not the same color.)
- Place each one on the mat to the left of the puzzle.
- Then replace them, one by one.
- Take out another three pieces and have the child replace them in their correct spot.
- Take out four of the pieces and have the child replace them correctly.
- Take out another four pieces and again have the child replace them correctly.
- Have the child take out all the pieces and then replace them.
- Allow the child to work with the pieces of the country map.
- You take out three of the pieces.
- Give the names of the three pieces, i.e. France, Poland, Norway.
- Repeat the names.
- Then ask the child to replace them, using their name. For example: “Please put back France.”
- Repeat until all of the pieces have been put back.
- Then ask the child to take out the same three pieces, one by one, and by name. For example, “Please take out France.”
- Once all three are out, ask the child, “What country would you like to put back?” (The child should respond with the name of one of the countries.)
- Repeat this Three-Period lesson for the other countries until the child knows all of the countries by name. (This may be over a period of time.)
- Once the child knows his home continent, he can choose to work with another continent map and the presentation is as above.

Extension:
The child can build the continent puzzle outside of the puzzle board.

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