Geography is the study of the life of man, the way humans live, and the way of life that has been established by a human society to sustain life. It is the study of the features of the earth, and the cultures that were developed in the various parts of the world by human beings. The needs of man are universal, but the way these needs have been met, differ. So we have many different peoples around the world who live differently, who have adapted differently to what the world has offered them in different locations.
We begin our study with the child with the home culture. We give the child a rich experience of the culture in which he lives. Then we expand from the home culture to other cultures and other places. This helps the child to understand that all humans need to make a way of lie that will support not only life but a good way to live.
The geography work has two divisions: physical geography and political geography. The work in these two groups goes parallel to one another. As usual, we will give the child keys
For Physical geography, we will give the child the basic forms of landmass. We will use models, pictures, and books to bring this information to the child. We will also talk about climate zones and how they affect the people who live in them. For political geography, we will look at the divisions of the world that have been made by humans.
As in Art and Music, the directress will be in charge of giving the information to the children. She must follow the children’s interest and cater to them. It is important for the directress is keep a positive attitude for all cultures, so the child can pick up on the fact that there is value and dignity in each human culture and is to be respected.
There will be some direct teaching with the Three Period Lessons and a lot of language work where information is passed on conversationally. The directress will also have to make most of the materials herself. One of the largest pieces of material are the geography folders. These contain two folders for each country.Geography work as a whole is open ended. We must follow each child’s interest and supply him with the information he is seeking. Geography work is done to teach the child about the society in which he lives and others around the world. We want to convey the feeling of people around the world. This will help the child to realize that he is not only a member of his society, but a member of the world.
Show the child a photo of the planet. Discuss how beautiful the world is seen from the sky. You may want to give a few quotes from astronauts. Elicit the responses and ideas from the children. Look to see where there are clouds or areas where we can see the land and water masses. Discuss the concept that this is where humans live, it is our home. Because it is our home, we need to take care of it, just as we do in our classroom and out home. This gives the child and his absorbent mind the early idea that we need to take care of our world.
See Sensorial Album for how to present this material. Remind the child about the image of the Earth from the sky and how it looks similar.
Materials: The material consists of trays with clay models for the following: island and lake, peninsula and gulf, isthmus and straight. A tray with a small bucket, jug, cloth, some blue dye, a spoon, and a sponge are also needed.
Classification cards on the different land and water masses. These come into specialized vocabulary of language section. Refer to the presentation of Classified Cards.
Photos and images of the different land and water masses. These are to be presented a few at a time and discussed conversationally. If the child is not familiar with one of them, you must give him information on it. This is a form of language training.
These are taught through the use of sets of pictures (such as the Arctic, the Tropics and the Dessert). Each set shows the basic needs of man that are met in the specific climates. This is another form of language training.
These are used to outline the land and water masses the child has seen with the model trays. He illustrates any of the land or water masses he has seen. The child can then color a specific landform (such as and island) and using a brown colored pencil, he can color in that specific landform.
Classified cards seen in the Non-Reading Exercises but this time the presentation includes labels.
Refer to the Sensorial Work for this presentation.
See Sensorial Album for presentation. Begin this lesson however, by having a piece of blue play dough that is rolled into a sphere. Discuss how this looks like the globe. Cut it in half and flatten both halves. Discuss how now the world is flat and how it now looks like the map. Move from the map of the world to the map of the home continent, and to the home country.
Working with the maps, fill in some information about some of the countries and their flags. Some children might be interested in the history of a specific flag and it is wonderful to give this to the child. If you do not know, feel free to look it up in a book with the child. This is all part of language training.
These cards teach the children the parts of the flag. For this oral work, use the cards with no labels.
Geography folders with pictures of the home continent and home country. The child can then move out to the other folders on different countries and different continent. Each classroom must have the two folders for each continent. Folders on some of the other countries of the home continent are based on the child’s interest and on the principle of contrast. These folders are presented with the maps. You will want to take out the map of the home continent and place the puzzle piece of the continent in the center of a mat. Place one photo at a time around this puzzle piece. Discuss each one with the child. Add other images to the mat and present them in a similar manner. You may chose to do a few at a time and come back to it at a latter date. Once all of the pictures have been presented, the child can then work alone with the material. This same presentation should be done with each of the folders.
These are presented in the same way as other Classified Cards
Classified cards with the labels of such cards as the children from around the world and flags. Books about the subjects should also be presented for further information.
You have already taught the names of the puzzle pieces of the maps and now the child can take the prepared labels and place them on the Puzzle Maps. You will simply need the appropriate maps and the corresponding labels. For Europe, you may need to take the pieces out to label them since many of the countries are quite small. The child can then check his work with the control maps.
Such cards are:
A wooden map of the home continent with the outlines of each country. There are three holes in each country. One hole has a red circle around it and is for the peg with the capital name. The other two holes are for the flag of the country and the name of the country. You will show the child how to begin by only placing the country nametags where they belong. The child can check his work with the control map. Later, show the child how to place the flags into the appropriate holes. As a last step, you may need to teach the names of the capitals separately (in a Three-Period Lesson) before having the child work with the Wooden Map. Once he does know the capitals, he can use the nametags and the Wooden Map.
Use the Puzzle Maps and compare it to the map in the Atlas. For example, you can compare the Puzzle World Map to the World Map in the full Atlas.
It is important to celebrate the home country first but all countries can be celebrated in turn. It is nice to show images of the country around the puzzle piece on map. The children can gather around and talk about the country, recite a poem or song from the country, and eat some traditional food.
The can compare this globe to the other two globes and with the Atlas. The child is free to discover this alone and at their own rhythm.