Are you wondering how to teach Montessori geography? Teaching kids about the world is not easy, but necessary.
Montessori geography lessons, activities, and materials are a beautiful and unique part of early childhood and elementary classrooms.
Geography Understanding & Child Development
Before we dive into the lessons within Montessori Geography, let’s take a step back and consider child development. What is happening in children’s brains throughout the early childhood classroom?
Two and Three-Year-Olds
- Becoming more aware of the physical aspects of identity, such as skin color, hair color and texture, eye shape and color, and other physical characteristics.
- Become aware of gender differences
- May begin to notice obvious physical disabilities, such as a person using a wheelchair.
- Organize their self-concepts around physical features and motor performance, such as “I have long hair.” “I can jump high.”
- May begin to show signs of “pre-prejudices.” They may show fear of approaching people that look different than themselves or may only play with dolls or children that look like themselves.
Three and Four-Year-Olds
- Seek explanations for differences
- Are aware of their own and others’ physical characteristics and differences in gender
- May question why various religious beliefs and holiday observances are different.
- Begin to wonder if skin, hair, and eye color will remain constant as they begin to recognize that getting older brings physical changes. May ask questions like “Will my skin color change when I grow up?” and “Will you always be white?”
- May begin to ask questions about people with obvious physical disabilities and their physical differences.
Four to Five-Year-Olds
- Begin to build a group ethnic identity
- Can more fully explore the range of differences and similarities within and between racial and ethnic groups
- Begin to understand scientific explanation for differences in skin color, hair texture, and eye shape
- Are more aware of family traditions and family history
There are two main parts of Montessori geography learning:
- Physical Geography
- Political (or Cultural) Geography
We begin with the big picture (e.g., the universe) and eventually get to the details of a community, home, family, and ourselves.
A primary aim of the Montessori works is to introduce children to the fact that we are a small part of this giant universe, and within that universe, we must co-exist with many other things in life.
Montessori Geography Scope & Sequence
I adapted this Montessori geography sequence of lessons from coursework, lectures, and Montessori “textbooks” used throughout my training. You will find many Montessori geography lessons the same, but the sequence will differ.
Physical Geography Works
- Introduction to the Universe
- Planets of the Solar System
- Layers of the Sun
- Layers of the Earth
- Land, Air, & Water
- Land & Water Globe
- Land & Water Forms
- Biomes & Habitats
- Continent Globe
- Globe to Map (“The Earth is a Sphere” lesson)
- Puzzle Maps
- Making Maps with Puzzle Maps
- Cardinal Direction / Compass Rose
- Introducing Scales & Measurement
Cultural Geography Works
- State – Where We Live State Study (and Map Making)
- City/Community – Where We Live City Study (and Map Making)
- Home – Where We Live Study (and Map Making)
- Anti-Bias Work (e.g., What is a Family?, Peace Flag Activities)
- Flags of the World (Make Your Map Activity)
- Parts of the Flag
- Continent Boxes
Cultural Geography Activities
- Teach Kids about Anti-Bias & Diversity
- Anti-Bias Activity for Preschoolers
- 8 Anti-Bias Curriculum Ideas for Your Home & Classroom
Montessori Geography Activities
- 2 Unique Hands-On Montessori Geography Activities with Kids
- Montessori Geography Rock Activity for Kids
- 8 Awesome Preschool Geography Activities & Crafts
- 10 Montessori Geography Extensions Work
- Montessori Geography Continent Map Activity
- Montessori Land & Water Form Cards to Teach Geography to Preschoolers
- Teach Your Kids Geography with this Simple Yet Powerful Land Air Water Activity
- Easy Montessori Geography Activity for Preschoolers: Land Forms
- Montessori Geography – How to Teach Cardinal Direction
- How to Teach Montessori Geography
Montessori Geography Resources
Montessori geography materials are beautiful and worth every penny. There are loads of Montessori geography extensions across a wide age range.
- The World in the Palm of Her Hand
- Montessori Map Work
- Country & Flag Match
- Sandpaper Land & Water Forms
- Montessori Continent Maps
- Animals of the World
- World Flags
I hope you found this list of Montessori geography resources helpful! Join our private Facebook group for the latest in Montessori Living & Learning!