I love the Montessori 3-6 Geography & Culture curriculum! The globes & puzzle maps are so intricate and interesting, the landforms are so tactile, the culture/continent boxes are so interesting! Honestly it is so in depth that before starting first grade, most Montessori students have covered an entire elementary geography curriculum. It is no wonder that a former Montessori student from our church has made it to the state Geography Bee for several years running!

We are Montessori purists when it comes to the 3-6 Geography sequence. The only material we don't have yet is a full set of puzzle maps. They are very expensive and take up a bit of space. For now we have a world puzzle and a North America puzzle. I'm working up to the full purchase.

Some of our favorite materials right now are the culture drawers. The boys like to take out a set of picture cards (all from the same continent) and other objects, sort them by country, and then get out our flags book and look up the flags for each country. Right now they are working on the Usborne Flags Sticker Book together. They have finished North America and Africa and are working on Asia. A side note on the Flags stickers- I have heard that some Montessori families purchase 2 sticker books and use the stickers to create 3 part cards. When the book is put together, however, it makes a great reference book with a numbered/labeled map of each continent as well. My sister is coming home from a month in Ghana this weekend and we are really looking forward to seeing what she has to share with us. We are also blessed that my dad has spent a substantial amount of time in Asia and Australia for work and we have some fun pictures and other artifacts from those places.

Beyond the 3-6 curriculum (which does not cease to be interesting as Aidan is fast approaching 7 and has moved out of this level in the other curriculum areas), we did a first grade unit on culture and culture research. You can see examples of Aidan's work from the fall here and here. We plan to continue discussing both culture and geography simultaneously when we begin working with The Story of the World this fall. I chose to wait until fall, because Geography has generally been a subject the boys work together and I thought it would be good for Caleb to be a bit older.

Other areas of culture include time (clock and calendar) and money. I intended to give Aidan lessons on these areas (since they are basically first grade standards). I gave a few lessons on time, but both time and money were better learned through practical application. I use both as in his weekly story problems and we've been giving him opportunities to earn and spend money. I'm not sure my lessons did much other than some basic terminology which he would have eventually picked up anyways!

Of all the curriculum areas, I think Geography might be my favorite! I know it is quickly becoming a favorite of the boys.


Kylie said...

I agree about the Geography Curriculum....I just need a Culture Album but am struggling to find something online (for free) it seems everything else is available but not culture. If you happen to know of anything you can pont me to I would be very grateful. Thanks Heidi. :)

Heidi said...

Culture is contained within history. It may also be called Time. I don't know of any specific online resources, but that might help you search better!

I have Tim's 6-9 & 9-12 albums and his is called Time and the culture components are inside of it. The 3-6 album I borrowed from a friend was called Time as well.

Kylie said...

Thanks Heidi. :)

Kylie said...

Thanks Heidi. :)