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Mackfam
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Posted: July 08 2007 at 10:04pm | IP Logged Quote Mackfam

I was wondering if we could post our wish lists for geography items we'd like to add to our cultural centers/geography boxes. I'll share my ideas and wishes in the hopes you guys put up some more great resources that I can add to my lists. I could have added soooo much more, but this is what I've narrowed it down to. Also, I couldn't link to it, but the Michael Olaf catalog has an awesome set of 7 topographical continent maps for 9bucks!!! It's on page 25 of their Child of the World Catalog. Here's a neat write-up with some good geography information from Michael Olaf.

Montessori For Everyone Continent Kits

Montessori N Such - Coin Collection

Montessori N Such Children of the World

Montessori N Such Continent Animal Kit

Montessori N Such Animals of the World

Montessori N Such Polar Animals Set



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Posted: July 08 2007 at 11:07pm | IP Logged Quote lapazfarm

I'd really like these:continent cards
and these
but that's outta my price range right now.
I'd like these:
Count your way around the World
I have not been able to work on these boxes much from here. Plus the fact that my budget is blown! I don't actually even have the boxes yet!I will be working on these full steam when I get back home.
So far I have: the coin set Jennifer links to above. It is awesome. I also have the Dolls of Europe and the Continent books from Montessori N Such, plus the little pin maps I made. I have some chopsticks and a little silk purse for the Asia box. A set of Matreshka dolls for Europe. Some mini maracas for NA, plus some Alaska stuff.


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Posted: July 09 2007 at 12:41am | IP Logged Quote Eleanor

I'd like to have one or more fabric squares for each continent.

Colorful Guatemalan fabric for South America,
Buckskin for North America,
Batik and silk for Asia,
Tartan for Europe,

etc.
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Erin
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Posted: July 09 2007 at 1:06am | IP Logged Quote Erin

Jennifer

Feel free to tell me if you want me to start this as a new topic, but just what do you plan on doing with these items once you have your boxes set up?

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Posted: July 09 2007 at 1:25am | IP Logged Quote lapazfarm

Eleanor wrote:
I'd like to have one or more fabric squares for each continent.

Colorful Guatemalan fabric for South America,
Buckskin for North America,
Batik and silk for Asia,
Tartan for Europe,

etc.

Great idea!

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Posted: July 09 2007 at 2:37am | IP Logged Quote JoJo

I love geography, so I am putting some time and effort into expanding this area of curriculum. Some things are have made (or are trying to make) are:

* Continent Folders - similar to those linked by Theresa - I am using A5 sized cards (~ 8.5" x 6") and pasting pictures cut out from old National Geographics (I bought a huge collection of these a couple of years ago). Even though some of the magazines are quite old, once laminated the pictures do turn out very beautiful. On the back I put name of the continent, plus a sentence or two about the picture. I've only made a couple so far though.

* Continent matching cards - to learn the names and shapes of the continents

* Traditional costume cards - a set for each continent. I made these using a DK Barbie sticker book.

* Continent globes - I made that by painting a 6" globe with acrylic paints - turned out quite nice, for only a couple of dollars.

* I've also bought a wooden map with flags to match to selected countries.

I would also like to make an activity for matching animals to each continent (I do have have one for Australia - our home, but not for any of the others).

Plus we have a great library with several children's atlases and geography books - including Children Like Us, Children Like US Celebrations, Life Like Mine and DK Picture Atlas - all great read alouds.

To that I would like to add some resources for art and craft activities for the different continents. I'm still thinking more about that.

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Posted: July 09 2007 at 2:40am | IP Logged Quote JoJo

I forgot to add that a couple of weeks ago my parents in law came back from a trip to Europe and brought back a selection of coins for my 6yo dd. How terrific was that?

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Posted: July 09 2007 at 3:56am | IP Logged Quote lapazfarm

Oh, I forgot that I also have for my Asia box some carved Jade, a Chinese character stamp and ink set, some paper money, tangrams, origami paper and instructions, and some pearls.
For Africa I have a small pyramid paperweight.
For NA I have some fur scraps, some whale baleen and ivory scrimshaw jewelry.
I am really in need of some South American and Australian stuff as I have nothing! Any ideas?


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Posted: July 09 2007 at 4:04am | IP Logged Quote lapazfarm

I was thinking of different cultural items that could be easily found at a grocer, but would be non-perishable.

What about spices from different cultural foods? You could set up some neat smelling jars for each continent!
Curry from India, chili (Chile?) powder, perhaps some teas or Chinese 5 spices? Allspice is Caribbean, I think. Where do cinnamon and nutmeg come from? Rosemary? Any ideas for Australian or African spices? Guess I need to read up on where spices come from!

Nuts might work well, too. I can guess where Brazil nuts come from, but what about macadamia, pistachio, and others? Any ideas here?

Dried fruits might be an option: dates, for instance. And in the Mexican section there are always dried peppers.

Sorry, this isn't a wish list, more like a grocery list!

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Posted: July 09 2007 at 5:31am | IP Logged Quote JoJo

Another easy to set up continent activity that my dd was very fond of whilst at Monty preschool was pin pricking. Print continent outlines onto coloured paper (use colours as per Montessori globe) and then show the child how to pierce around the outline using a very large needle or skewer.

It takes a lot of time and concentration to do this.

You can also cut out two blue circles and then paste the continents to make a world map.

lapazfarm wrote:

I am really in need of some South American and Australian stuff as I have nothing! Any ideas?


Some suggestions could be to include some Aboriginal artefacts or pictures, such as dot paintings, a boomerang, a didgeridoo; a few animals such as a kangaroo, koala, possum, platypus; pictures of some native flora such as a gum tree, wattle tree, bottlebrush; pictures of a couple of landmarks, such as the Sydney Opera House, Sydney Harbour Bridge, Uluru (Ayers Rock); perhaps a picture of 'outback' bush or desert habitat (with our red earth), Qld rainforest and the Coral Reef.

That's just Australia the country, not the continent. You may like to include pictures from NZ and Pacific region.

As far as spices from Australia - not sure that we have any distinctive ones, our cuisine is a blend of many cultures, although predominantly Anglo-saxon. Maybe Erin or someone else from Oz could chime in here.

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Posted: July 09 2007 at 5:40am | IP Logged Quote Erin

JoJo wrote:
To that I would like to add some resources for art and craft activities for the different continents. I'm still thinking more about that.


Jo
I highly recommend Global Art bu MaryAnn Kohl. It has activities, projects and inventions from all around the world. It really is a worthwhile investment. I just did a quick search on Amazon and couldn't find it, however contact Anna at Fountain Resources if anyone can track down books it is Anna I got mine from her for $29 Aus.

JoJo wrote:

* Continent globes - I made that by painting a 6" globe with acrylic paints - turned out quite nice, for only a couple of dollars.

* I've also bought a wooden map with flags to match to selected countries.


Love to know how you went about doing the globe.

Where did you find the wooden map? I so want to find a decent priced one in Australia if I could.

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Posted: July 09 2007 at 7:40am | IP Logged Quote Mackfam

Eleanor - I LOVE the fabric idea!!! I'm definitely going to add those!

Theresa - the spices and native nuts are another great idea, and I think fairly easy to acquire!

Erin - My idea for the continent boxes was just to provide a multisensory experience for geography study so that my kids begin to get an idea that different parts of the world have different cultures and they look, eat, and live differently than we do. Not everyone wears denim, pops over to Sonic or grabs a pizza when Mom's too tired to cook, or makes a Walmart run and then pull into a 2car garage attached to a 2story brick house with central heat and air. I want them to get a real idea from these continent boxes of the "flavor" of a particular culture through their dress, food, how they live, the type of houses they live in, the plants and animals that live there. I'd like to provide some springboards from these boxes for my 10 yo. Like, why do African houses look the way they do? What is the significance of the different tartans from Scotland? Why is a particular plant thriving in this area, but non-existent here? Then, once they have a particular continent booklet completed, I'd like to provide a tray large enough for them to make a sort of collage of the culture and perhaps present it in a co-op setting or maybe just for Daddy.   I'm going to encourage some original drawings for the boxes as well.

I'm betting others have more ideas and I'd love to hear them.

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Posted: July 09 2007 at 8:07am | IP Logged Quote chicken lady

Eleanor wrote:
I'd like to have one or more fabric squares for each continent.

Colorful Guatemalan fabric for South America,
Buckskin for North America,
Batik and silk for Asia,
Tartan for Europe,

etc.


All love all things Fiber related, please share what you do with these.
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Posted: July 09 2007 at 8:10am | IP Logged Quote ozlouise

JoJo wrote:

* Traditional costume cards - a set for each continent. I made these using a DK Barbie sticker book.


I love this idea. I was just looking at this the other day but didn't end up buying it.

We just have pictures for our boxes so far and a few coins from our travels. I bought some books at library sale that I have been cutting up along with some from the travel agent.

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Posted: July 09 2007 at 10:09am | IP Logged Quote Meredith

You guys all have such great ideas!! Mine will include MANY (if not all) of the previously mentioned items (gathered over time) and initially I plan to include one or two Saints from each Continent. As I have all boys coming up the pike I'm not sure they would appreciate the beautiful dolls Theresa has for her little girl but I know they would groove on a few Saints (male and female) and enjoy doing some research on them (similar to the Reseach Guides cards). I may also put in some holy cards of any Marian Apparitions that occured on that Continent (which will be many for Europe).

Thanks for starting this one Jennifer, our Geography Centers will be exploding with learning for our dc

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Posted: July 09 2007 at 10:32am | IP Logged Quote Mary K

This past year my family and another family would get together every few months and have a lunch with foods from various countries we were learning about. We focused on sandwich-like things such as eggrolls, pierogis, pasties, pita, etc.
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Posted: July 09 2007 at 11:34am | IP Logged Quote Eleanor

chicken lady wrote:
Eleanor wrote:
I'd like to have one or more fabric squares for each continent.

Colorful Guatemalan fabric for South America,
Buckskin for North America,
Batik and silk for Asia,
Tartan for Europe,

etc.


All love all things Fiber related, please share what you do with these.

Hmm, you mean we actually have to DO something with them?

Seriously, for now, I was just going to let the children look at them, feel them, and sort them by continent. My geography program isn't too ambitious at this point! I guess we could also use them for stereognostic exercises with a blindfold or bag, since the textures are so different.   

Now that I think about it, we could also match the little animals to the fibers and fabrics they produce: deer, cow, sheep, llama, etc. This could be very meaningful for the children, since it relates to issues such as national art and craft styles, respect for animal life, international trade, etc. (We were watching a nature documentary last night, and it led to an interesting conversation about the trade in beaver pelts, which played a pretty significant role in Canadian history.)

But where on earth am I going to find a rubber silkworm?!    
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Posted: July 09 2007 at 4:01pm | IP Logged Quote lapazfarm

Mackfam wrote:


Erin - My idea for the continent boxes was just to provide a multisensory experience for geography study so that my kids begin to get an idea that different parts of the world have different cultures and they look, eat, and live differently than we do. Not everyone wears denim, pops over to Sonic or grabs a pizza when Mom's too tired to cook, or makes a Walmart run and then pull into a 2car garage attached to a 2story brick house with central heat and air. I want them to get a real idea from these continent boxes of the "flavor" of a particular culture through their dress, food, how they live, the type of houses they live in, the plants and animals that live there. I'd like to provide some springboards from these boxes for my 10 yo. Like, why do African houses look the way they do? What is the significance of the different tartans from Scotland? Why is a particular plant thriving in this area, but non-existent here? Then, once they have a particular continent booklet completed, I'd like to provide a tray large enough for them to make a sort of collage of the culture and perhaps present it in a co-op setting or maybe just for Daddy.   I'm going to encourage some original drawings for the boxes as well.

I'm betting others have more ideas and I'd love to hear them.


This is exactly what I had in mind as well. A multi sensory experience of each continent.

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Posted: July 09 2007 at 5:56pm | IP Logged Quote earthmaven

Fun thread, everyone!

I spent many years working in the field of intercultural communication (training international expatriates, building multicultural teams, fostering global awareness within corporations, that sort of thing), and I have a few thoughts to offer that I think are just as pertinent to our homeschooling as they are to business professionals and international travelers...

First, I must say I LOVE all the ideas you're presenting to really make the idea of geography and cultural differences/similarities real to our children. How inspiring and what a fascinating introduction to our children, both young and older. You're such resourceful, creative women (and thanks for the awesome ideas!)

I'd like to suggest something to provide a context for why we're interested in our children (and ourselves) learning all about these different cultures. We can never start young enough to foster not only an appreciation for the "neat stuff" of each of these countries or cultures, but to really begin to develop an understanding of their cultural values and behaviours...

We used to begin working with clients (not only U.S. nationals, but people from all over the world) by describing culture as an iceberg (this could be a really helpful visual opener to the issues with children)...at the top of the iceberg, you have what is visible...clothing, hairstyles, food, housing/architecture, art, music and language. But beneath the water line, there's so much that is not as readily discernible...beliefs, verbal and non-verbal communication styles, expectations, concepts of time and obligation, notions of collectivity or individuality, gift-giving practices, child-rearing...Getting to those underlying values and beliefs, beginning to understand the ways in which they have an impact upon our outward behaviours and our environment fits in so perfectly with the Montessori concepts of global understanding and peace education.

There are a couple of resources that come to mind that make for some fascinating reading, if you find yourselves so inclined:

Cultural Intelligence: A Guide to Working with People from Other Cultures (Brooks Peterson) does an excellent job of explaining what cultural intelligence is, and how we can all benefit from becoming more insightful global citizens.

Multicultural Manners: Essential Rules of Etiquette for the 21st Century (Norine Dresser) offers some interesting examples that we can all use in our day-to-day interactions with people of other cultures...great for family discussions, too.

Anyway, that's my two cents worth. Hope it's helpful!
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Posted: July 09 2007 at 6:50pm | IP Logged Quote Mackfam

Wow! These are such great ideas ladies. I don't know why, but I hadn't even thought yet about adding saints to my continent boxes, but I have a set of Holy Traders that would be perfect! They have the country of origin of the saint on the back of the card, and it would be a fun exercise to place the saint on the appropriate continent in the map booklet. I love this idea - thanks Meredith.

Mary, I had planned on trying a few more cultural dishes. We already try to make a few that represent the culture of a saint we've been studying...Mexican Lasagna for Our Lady of Guadalupe's feast, and French Onion Soup for St. Bernadette. Thing is, I'm not good on follow through with this.    Just one of my weaknesses. I'm going to really try cause' how cool would it be to have an Indian meal with Sari's and then a presentation on Indian culture maybe cooordinated around the anniversary of Mother Theresa's death with the evening Rosary offered for the intentions of the people of India and for the beatification of Mother Theresa...Has much potential to me.

Earthmaven, I absolutely love your analogy of a culture being like an iceberg, and I plan on using that analogy as a teaching tool particularly for my 10yo to illustrate that a culture is not just coins, and flags, and animals and plants. That was an excellent perspective - thank you so much!

I do need to clarify in case there is a misunderstanding - this awesome idea of geography/continent boxes isn't mine! This was Theresa's original idea! I'm just running with it while she's out living the good life in Alaska.

If we happen to come across a neat, but out of the way site that might have something we could all use in our geograpy centers could we post it here?

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