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In the Montessori geography album we are using, after doing lessons about land, air, and water, it is time to follow them up with lessons about the continents. In this post I am sharing four simple Montessori activities for teaching the continents to kids. Thanks to these four activities, my kids have learned to name and recognize all seven continents. They have also developed a deeper appreciation for geography.
Note: You can find more Montessori geography activities on my Geography Unit Study page.
Before introducing the continents to my kids, I purchased a few supplies to help, including a Montessori world map puzzle with control maps.
#1: The continents song
I used our Montessori world map puzzle to introduce my children to the names of each of the seven continents. I first did a 3-period lesson. But the most effective way I found to help them learn the names of the continents with by teaching them the continents song from Virtual Montessori.
I shared the song with them and they had learned it and were happily singing away in less than 10 minutes. I highly recommend you check out the video from Virtual Montessori to learn the song for yourself.
#2: Pin punching the continents
Pin punching is an activity commonly found in Montessori classrooms. It is a great way to help kids focus on the shape of the continents. Plus, pin punching provides great fine motor practice.
For pin punching activities, we use a wood handled pin puncher from Montessori Services paired with a high quality, thick felt mat, also from Montessori Services.
I put together a continents pin punching tray that included a basket filled with each of the continents printed on slips of paper for my kids to pin punch, a control map for them to refer to, our wood handled pin puncher and our felt mat. The printables came from my Montessori world map and continents printables set.
My kids selected one continent at a time, placed it on the felt mat, and then used the wood handled pin puncher to punch holes along the outline of each continent.
#3: Tracing and labeling the continents
After pin punching, I invited my kids to trace the continents onto a piece of paper. They selected one continent at a time from our Montessori world map puzzle and used a pencil to trace around it onto their papers.
(If you don’t own the Montessori world map puzzle, you could print the continents from my Montessori world map and continents printables set and place them under tracing paper for your kids to copy.)
QBoy was adamant about tracing the continents in relation to each other so that his tracing would look like a world map.
He then used the control map from our Montessori world map puzzle with control maps set to help with the placement of the continents.
He also used the control map to add labels the continents he traced.
And finally, my kids have been intrigued by the compass rose ever since we learned about directionality. So of course they wanted to add a compass rose to their maps too. 🙂
#4: Which Continent is Missing? game
Which Continent is Missing? is a very simple game that can easily be adapted for kids of different ages and skill levels. We used the continent pieces from our Montessori world map puzzle in order to play.
I started by laying out three continents on a work mat. I then asked my kids to touch each continent and say its name. Then they had to cover their eyes (or go into another room) while I removed one of the continents.
When they uncovered their eyes (or returned to the room), they had to look at the remaining continents and tell me which one was missing.
For very young children you might start with just two continents at a time. For kids who are ready for a bigger challenge, you may decided to use 4 or 5 continents.
Other ways to play include adding a continent instead of taking one away, removing two continents instead of just one, removing a continent but also mixing up the remaining continents so they are not in the same place, etc.
If you liked this post, you may be interested in:
- Montessori continents 3-part cards
- Montessori world map and continents printables
- Montessori animals and their continents
More geography resources
More geography posts from Gift of Curiosity:
- Books about maps and globes
- Montessori mapping activities
- Montessori directionality activities
- How to make a working compass
- Introduction to land, air, and water
- Teaching the continents by making a globe
- Montessori animals and their continents
- Montessori landform activities
- Montessori continents and world map printables
You can find more kid-friendly geography activities on my geography unit study page and my Geography Activities for Kids Pinterest Board.
Follow Katie @ Gift of Curiosity’s board Geography activities for kids on Pinterest.
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Great and helpful as usual! THank you for the continents “campaign”, i´m already preparing my printouts:)
I hope you enjoy as much as we have!
This is lovely and very helpful, I am presenting about the continents tomorrow, I am totally inspired