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Puzzle Maps - The Country

Language

Names of the various departments/states/cities.

Purpose

Direct
Visual recognition of the forms of the political divisions of the child’s home country.
To help the child acquire the names of the counties/departments/states.

Control of Error
Fitting the pieces together.

Age
3 1/2 – 4 1/2 years

Materials

- A wooden map with the counties/ departments/states cut out as puzzle pieces.
- Each piece has a small wooden knob for lifting it.
- The Puzzle Map of the Continent

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 the country. (Work with the school’s home country.) 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 continent and have him place it to the left of the country map. Have the child sit to your left.

Procedure
- Point to the country (for example Ireland) on the world map.
- Ask the child for this country’s name.
- Show the child that the Ireland on the Europe map is the Ireland that is in large (on the country map).
- You can point out the outline of the country on the Ireland puzzle.
- Tell the child that now (on the Ireland map) we see the counties.
- Ask the child to put the Map of Europe back.
- Slowly, by using the knobs, take out three of the puzzle pieces (three different counties, not touching, and preferably, not the same color.)
- Place each one on the mat to the left of the puzzle.
- 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. Dublin, Donegal, Cork.
- Repeat the names.
- Then ask the child to replace them, using their names. For example: “Please put back Dublin.”
- 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 Dublin.”
- Once all three are out, ask the child, “What county would you like to put back?” (The child should respond with the name of one of the counties.)
- Repeat this Three-Period lesson for the other counties until the child knows all of the counties by name. (This may be over a period of time.)

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

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