DIY Africa Map and Pin Flags – Hands-on Geography Activity
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From early years children learn the basics of the world with Geography lessons. They are encouraged to explore the seven continents, each individual continent’s geographical location on the world map, learn about flora and fauna, cultural traditions, cuisine, and history.
In our classroom, we have just completed a series of presentations and learning activities on air, land, water; land and water forms; names and geographical locations of the seven continents with my kindergarten-aged child. So the first continent he chose to learn about was Africa.
2. Print and cut card country strips with flags and capital cities. Please note you won’t need all 58. I only marked capital cities that are presented on the Montessori Africa Map Puzzle.
3. Fold card strips in half and glue them around toothpicks.
4. Poke holes on the map with a push pin in place of stars (location of the capital cities).
5. Use a rolling pin to roll playdough to make a ‘mat’ the size of your map. Place the map on top.
6. Have a control map with country labels available for the child to locate each country.
Here are my recommendations
Start by presenting flags of 3 different countries. Show one flag at a time, name the country. Find it first on the labeled map. Invite the child to say its name and trace the country outline with his or her finger.
Then have the child pin the flag to the correct location on the pin map. Repeat until the student loses interest and invite to revisit this work when desired.
You may like to remind the students to be careful with the top tips of the toothpicks so they won’t poke their little fingers while pinning flags or cutting tips of the toothpicks with scissors.
With older children or if you feel the child is ready, you may also like to name each country’s capital.
In the small group setting, children who can read may like to take turns pinning flags. As a variation, students can pin flags in alphabetical order or to the countries from the largest to the smallest.
As a follow-up exercise, you can use map outlines for the students to color and label the map. Print 4 pages per sheet and make a student booklet “My booklet of African countries”. Invite the child to color and label as many countries as desired- one page per country.
Here are more recommendations kindly shared with me by one of the readers
We used to make flags for the puzzle maps in the MCH.
Perhaps you might like to try these ideas:
If you use a pair of scissors to cut the sharp point off one end of the toothpick/cocktail stick, it makes them less of a hazard.
Glue the flag with this cut end inside, so both the flag and the toothpick end are flush with each other.
Cork bottle stoppers can make bases for the flags. Use a glue gun to fix the sharp end of the toothpick into the cork bottle stopper. Check that the cork stopper is stable when the flag is attached as the size is relevant.
You may have to trim the flag size to suit and buy the right-sized cork.
It is possible to prepare the bases ahead so the child just fixed the flag to it. The flags can then stand independently on the map. There are photocopy masters available for all the flags and the children can color them independently, personalizing their learning. We also made duplicate copies of the African continents map so you have one for all the flags and another for the capital cities. Africa, in particular, can be very crowded otherwise!
As you probably know the Montessori Continents Globe distinguishes the continents by color. Africa is green. It makes it easier if the flagsticks are painted green and the names of capital cities are printed on green paper.
As the children, following their own interests, gradually discover all the continents it is easier to sort if the materials for each continent are a color-coded match.
This resource contains colored and blackline political maps of Africa with and without labels. It can be used with various age groups and in many different contexts – for coloring, labeling, pinning flags, marking locations, etc. Small strip cards with 58 flags and labels plus capital cities are also included.
Three-part cards with African flags. The corresponding picture cards include the country’s map highlighted with red and the corresponding flag. Encourage your students to practice writing and develop fine motor skills with this blackline option to create a student booklet.
This resource gives students an initial introduction to the continent of Africa. It contains 28 picturesque continent cards with photographs and short commentary. These cards provide a visual presentation of the cultural diversity of the continent, its natural beauty, architecture, and traditions.
Three-part cards with 9 examples of South African Animals for the object-to-image matching activity.
The printable provides a set of cards with photographs of 9 different types of animals included in the Safari South African Animals TOOB – African elephant, lion, lioness, spotted hyena, white rhino, giraffe, zebra, African buffalo, and chacma baboon.
This unit study of Africa contains hands-on resources to teach students about unique aspects of the continent while developing their concentration, logical thinking, comprehension skills, reading and so much more.
Three-part cards are an excellent tool to help interactively learn new vocabulary and spelling. Classified cards can be used to enrich the child’s vocabulary, to develop reading, writing, and classification skills while broadening the child’s knowledge of the world. Create bilingual/multilingual cards for the students in your minority language with ease.
Three-part cards with 10 images for the object to photo-matching activity. The printable features clear real-life photographs. Includes a set of Endangered Animal vocabulary cards – mountain gorilla, giant panda, Bengal tiger, orangutan, black rhinoceros, black spider monkey, Amur leopard, African wild dog, Asian elephant, and a snow leopard.
I decided to make this bingo game printable when I noticed how much children ages 3-6 enjoyed playing bingo with their classmates in my classroom. I picked the most known animals of the seven continents in this one fun game. All images of animals are very clear on the white background.
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