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My kids and I have been doing a variety of geography activities this year. Although geography was never something I had much interest in before, I have to say that geography has been one of our favorite subjects. I was so excited to get into the Montessori landforms lessons with my kids. I had seen so many cool ideas for teaching landforms and I was excited to introduce them to my kids.
In this post I’m sharing 5 different Montessori-inspired activities we did to learn about landforms.
Note: You can find more kid-friendly geography activities on my Geography Unit Study page.
Most of geography activities have come from KHT Montessori geography manual. After doing several activities to learn about the seven continents (see this post, this post, and this post), we have moved on to learning about landforms.
1. Reading about landforms
One of the first activities we did was to read about landforms. I purchased the Land and Water Form photo book from Montessori Print Shop and shared it with my children as an easy introduction to landforms.
2. Looking at landforms on a globe
While we were reading about landforms, my kids had the idea to grab our globe and look at landforms on our globe. My son immediately started making connections between the shapes of the land on our globe and the shapes of the landforms described in our book. He even started sketching some of the forms on our Crayola Dry Erase Activity Center.
3. Matching photographs of real landforms
The Land and Water Form photo book from Montessori Print Shop included photographs of real landforms, and I printed out a second set of land and water form photographs from The Helpful Garden to make a matching activity.
Rather than having to match two copies of the same photograph, I had my kids identify the landform in the photo and match it to the same landform as depicted by a different photo.
Here is what their work looked like when they were done.
4. Matching photographs of landforms with illustrations of landforms
After matching two sets of real photographs, I introduced a set of landform illustrations, also from The Helpful Garden.
In many ways, it was easier for my kids to identify the landform in the illustrations than in the pictures. They worked to match each illustration to the real photograph of the landform.
Here is their completed work.
5. Building landforms with sand
Finally, we got around to building landforms – the activity I had been most looking forward to!
I provided my kids with a small plastic container and some wet sand they could use to create each landform. Although this worked, I really wish I had made a batch of brown play dough for this activity instead because my kids were kind of annoyed with all the sand sticking to their hands.
Despite this, they took turns selecting a card and then creating the landform with sand in their plastic containers. This was a really excellent, hands-on way to help them learn their landforms.
Since building our landforms with sand, my son has also enjoyed either finding or creating landforms with his food. For example, if the sauce from one dish spills over into another, he’ll declare that he’s seen a gulf. Or if he eats his rice in such a way that he leaves a hole in the middle, he’ll announce that he’s created a lake! He has really taken to our geography lessons and has had so much fun identifying landforms wherever we are.
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
- Montessori continents activities
- Teaching the continents by making a globe
- Montessori animals and their continents
- Montessori continents and world map printables