Montessori Focus: Land, Water, Air Activity

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Today I am going to share with you one of the classic Geography lesson setups in the Montessori classroom for preschool children. It is a fun, hands-on Geography lesson that will help the child understand the concept of land, water, and air.
After presenting Sandpaper Globe (1), which helps the child to develop a concept of the shape of the earth, and gain an understanding of the distribution of land and water over the earth,  the child is ready to work with Land, Water, and Air activity.
When presenting this activity to my 3-year-old daughter I offer her a tray with:
 three empty jars, 
small pitcher 
blue food coloring (optional)
land, water, air cards (The Helpful Garden has a great free set)
In the beginning, I ask A to put soil in one jar – I love this because it prompts her to activate problem-solving skills. She has to think about where she can find soil and how she can get it. The same happens with water. She is asked to bring water to the pitcher, pour it into a jar, and add a drop of food coloring. The fun part begins when you ask the child to put air in a jar. When presenting it in the classroom some run outside and swing jar in the air, others blow into it. My kiddo waves her air jar from side to side.
After we have all three jars ready, I demonstrate the sorting of the cards and allow my daughter to finish the rest. Once the sorting process is complete, she can check her work for mistakes. In order for her to do self-assessment, I put stickers on the back of the cards.
As an extension or additional activity, this is one of my daughter’s favourites.

Another idea for a similar activity is to sort geographical pictures of water and landscape. You can find my free printable for water and land activity here. 

If you are short on time preparing Montessori Study Units I suggest you look into getting support from Montessori By Mom. These professional Montessorians offer a great range of prepared Montessori toolkits. Here is an example of a fabulous resource for parents, teachers, and homeschoolers: Land, Water, and Air Tool Box:
  “Your child will love making their own fleet of cork boats and balloon rockets. They will explore a variety of animals, vehicles, and land water formations”.
AFFMONA  during check out for a $10 discount! 
You can also find Free Montessori Land and Water Around the World Printables available for subscribers.

Hands-on Geography Activities You Might Enjoy

  About Anastasia. Anastasia is a former Early Childhood teacher, the founder of Montessori Nature, a blog about Montessori - inspired and Nature-based explorations. She taught in a Montessori setting for 11 years and has been practicing the Montessori way of learning and living for the last 20 years. She loves designing engaging educational printables for children. Learn more here. Browse Anastasia's educational resources on Teachers Pay Teachers.

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