Basic Concepts of Geography to a Preschool Child
The roundness of the earth can be introduced by showing the globe. Show the child how to carry the globe, two hands on the base. To identify the two elements of the earth’s surface: land and water sand paper globe can be given. It represents the planet earth. Steady the globe with one hand, feel the surface with the other hand. Explore the globe with the full hand, moving it from the top of the globe to the bottom in a slightly outward motion, thus rotating the globe. Convey a lightness of the touch. On the second rotation gives the language . say land when you feel the sand paper and water when you feel the smooth surface.
Invite the child to feel the globe. Ask the child to show land and water. Make sure to point out the land is at he bottom of the globe. To teach the names of the large land masses and water bodies. Land parts are painted in different colours by continent. Let the child carry the globe with two hands to a table. Say this is continent globe. Use one hand to support the globe and rotate it with the fingers of the other hand. Admire it visually. Do one full rotation and on the second rotation give the language continent for the coloured portions and ocean for the blue portions.
This big piece of land is called continent. This big body of water is called an ocean. Invite the child to have a turn. Ask him to show you continent and ocean. To give the impression of the shapes and locations of the continents and to give the names of the continents and ocean a blue hollow ball with the continents drawn in black ink and cut in half can be given. Bring over the prepared ball on a tray. State, with a globe you can only see the side that is facing you. I am going to show you how you can see the whole earth at one time.
Compare the prepared ball and the globe, they look alike. The ball has been previously cut in half, from pole to pole through the Atlantic and Pacific ocean leaving the continents complete and taped together with clear tape. Remove the tape, placing the two halves side by side. Now we can see the both halves of the world at once. If possible make small cuts at the edge of each half so that it can be flattened to show how maps were made. Introduce jigsaw puzzle map. Show the children how to remove and carry the maps with both hands.
Bring the map to the mat . this is the jigsaw puzzle ap of the world. We can see two hemispheres, two halves at once. Compare and connect the map and the globe using the continents. Put away the globe and prepared ball. Say that the material is very fragile and should be handled gently. Point to the knob and show how to remove the inset carefully. Place the inset of a continent on the mat. Ask each child to remove a continent and place it on the mat. After all continents have been removed, show how to replace an inset. Be sure to position the piece above its appropriate place and check visually. Replace it gently.
Invite the children to replace the remaining continents. Remember to use the terminology continent frequently. Have the children put away the material when they are finished. After children have experienced the picture for all the continents culture of the other lands can be introduced. Let two children remove two continents. Have another child remove the corresponding folders and mix up the pictures. The children would look through the pictures and decide to which continent they belong. To check if they are correct, the name of each continent is on the back of the picture.
Introduce the child to a wide variety of animals and teach the appropriate names. Invite a small group of children to join you at mat. Bring the basket of animals to the mat. Discover which animals the children can identify. For the remaining animals, give a three period lesson naming the animals. Use three or four animals at a time. Give a little information about each animal which inter relates zoology and geography, and also animals and man. Information should concern the animal’s habitat and anything special regarding the animal i. e. , penguins do not fly.
Continue according to the interest of children. After children have been introduced to the animals, animals can be related to the continents on which they live. Invite them to set out a mat, the map of the hemispheres and the basket of the animals. Isolate an animal on the mat. Ask the children to identify the animal. Remind them of a special aspect and add where the animals lives. Invite a child to remove the continent from the map. Another child then places the animal besides the isolated continent. Continue in the same manner with other animals according to the interest of the children.
To stimulate interest in animals and ecology introduce card stories and pictures of animals. Discuss the picture with the child; paying special attention how each animal is equipped for its own particular environment. Keep a good selection of books. when they have reached the reading stage they can also place printed slips under the appropriate pictures. To make the children aware of the three elements. Invite a small group of children to a mat. Bring the tray of jars (a jar of soil, a jar of water, and a jar of air) and pictures (pictures showing land, water and air) to the mat.
Invite each child to look and feel the contents of each jar. They then look at each picture and determine which element is shown. The pictures can be sorted in rows below each jar. To identify major land and water forms world wide, invite a child to join you. Show the child where the outline maps are located. Start with the map of the world. Use onemap for each land or water form. Decide which land or water form you going to look for, i. e. island, and select the appropriate pencil crayon. Say that you are looking for all major examples of islands. Child locate first example.
Show how to colour it carefully. Child locates next example and colours it in. have him point out the other examples which he will colour in. child proceeds for as long as he wishes. When finished, label the map according to its geographical forms, i. e. islands. To introduce the names of the countries. Prepare the following material: Flags of the world. Set for each continent, with flag stand and individual bases. Show the child where the flags are kept. Tell the child these are the flags of different countries. Select a flag according to the Childs interest, i. e national flag or the child may choose.
Remove flags from its stand. Name the flag. Ask the child to walk naturally on the line with the flag held upright. The child may now carry the flag any time he wishes. Encourage the child to use other flags and learn their names. Once the child knows a few flags, approach him and ask him to tell you the names of the two favorite flags. Say , I will show you how to carry two flags on the line. Remove the two flags from the stands and hold one in each hand, carry one flag higher than the other. Walk on the line as before. Invite the child to carry the flags while walking on the line.
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