For a long time I wanted to cover the subject of land and water forms the Montessori way, but there was never a good starting point. The perfect opportunity showed up during our stay in Finland this summer. We were travelling through a land full of lakes and islands. We saw Norwegian fjords and watched the Helsinki archipelago almost every day for three weeks. We played on a beach next to a lake and next to a small bay. In addition we had very limited access to any learning materials and this topic turned out to be very easy to prepare and very engaging for the kids.
First of all I tried to draw Rascals’ attention to the different land and water forms we were seeing. We were also studying different maps were it was easy to see countless lakes and islands.
As an introduction we build different land and water forms when playing on a beach. Digging a lake was always a big hit but after a while we started to create different landscapes.
After several days of playing in the sand we made at home our materials. The original Montessori trays, though beautiful, were completely out of our range.
land and water forms; http://www.absorbentminds.co.uk
We built the forms using an instant mash potato (a lot of it) and water mixed with blue food colouring.
After working with more concrete materials we turned to the abstract ones. On small pieces of paper I drew outlines of different land and water forms and gave them to kids along with the pencils in blue and brownish colour. They were supposed to colour them accordingly. The task was a bit too demanding for S (too much colouring, he still has to work on an appropriate pencil pressure) and N decided to add a short description on the back of each card.
To sum up I prepared an A4 sheet of paper with all the forms we were working on (typically 5 pairs, I reduced to 4 due to Polish language nuances). First kids were trying to locate and name each of the form on the paper, after that N glued their names in corresponding places.
One of those days N showed me a piece of ham with a hole in it saying it was a lake. It’s always nice when they like the subject we’re working on!
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