Monday, August 8, 2011

Me On The Map

I saw this nifty idea over on Finally In First and knew we had to make our own version. James can already recite his "place" on the map, but I thought he'd enjoy making and having a visual guide, too. And he loves when things are personalized.

We had such a great time putting this together and spent the entire school day just working on this project! James had so many questions, thoughts and opinions on various aspects of this - it really was quite educational for him (and very entertaining for me, too!).

The idea here is to teach a child that the world is much bigger than what they know and it gives them a sense of where they are in the grand scheme of things.

~our planet~
I printed this coloring page off the internet, James colored it in and then added star stickers to symbolize outer space. He loves anything that has to do with numbers and letters and was giddy about the letter stickers we used to spell out 'Earth'.

~our continent~
I found a North America outline on Google Images and I printed and cut it out. James pin punched that onto orange foam paper (orange being the traditional Montessori color for NA) and I cut it out from there. The little orange dot to the right is Bermuda. James insisted we add a dolphin to the ocean. :)

~our country~
It was fun to be able to use up some of my old scrapbooking paper. The water paper was a huge hit with James. I found an old deck of cards that had an image of Bermuda on them, and we decided to add the national bird, flower and flag, too. Oh and the airplane - that was a must as far as James was concerned for "How else are we going to get home?", he said. :)

~our parish~
Bermuda is made up of parishes, which are basically small towns.

~our street~
James said he likes this one best because of the green car. Our car is green and at the moment he's very attached to it and imagines it has feelings and sees, hears, and thinks things. (This is thanks to the movie Cars 2 we recently saw in the theater). I purposely blurred out our street name in the photo for security reasons.

~our home~
All of the homes in Bermuda have quirky house names (one of my favorite things about Bermuda). Again, I blurred out ours for privacy. James LOVED the little cut out of himself and it made me think that I should create mini cut outs of our little family and paste them onto popsicle sticks - he'd get such a kick out of it.

On the back of each circle is a little factoid sheet I made. They all start with "5 Facts About My....". These are just simple facts, nothing overly textbook-ish, especially the facts about the street and home - I had to get really creative there! I wrote things like, "My street has 3 bus stops", and "My home has blue hurricane shutters".

To create all of this I used cardstock for the main circles and whatever fun papers I could find to match. I chose my color scheme ahead of time, got everything ready to be put together and then I had James do all the pasting and decorating. I didn't use a template for the circles, I just drew them freehand, and I don't know the dimensions. I paper punched a hole at the top of each circle and connected all of them with a cute little brad.

This was one of my favorite projects we've done so far and even after we move, I plan to hang on to this as a sweet keepsake. :)

~Thank you for your comments!~

39 comments:

lady said...

What a great idea! I know the first grade at my school does something similar, but this is way amazing. I may have to propose it this school year.

I know you don't want to share your house's name, but I would love to know some of the "quirky" names you have heard for the houses there.

Montessori Print Shop said...

Another fantastic idea! What a nice way to personalize this material. I've shared it on Twitter so that others can incorporate this idea in to their geography area.

You're really pumping out the materials lately...must be the nesting instinct ;) Get lots of rest - the big day will be here soon!!

kelly from teachertime123.com said...

This is just wonderful! A great keepsake for parent and child, a great social studies lesson for a teacher!

Lisa said...

I love this! I plan to do this with my daughter when we start learning about the US next week. Thank you for the idea!

The girl who painted trees said...

Brilliant. Love it. Going to do this soon. Thanks for sharing it.

rainbowmummy said...

I LOVB THIS!!!!!

And thank you for all the printables :D

Heidi said...

I just thought I would let you know that I posted your blog on my blog! My oldest son has just begun attending a Montessori preschool and I am a public school teacher. I am really enjoying learning more about Montessori from your blog. Thanks:)!

Heidi said...

Feel free to visit my blog at freshstartsandbighearts.blogspot.com !

Terri said...

Love this! It is on the list for Fall!

Cyndi-ella said...

Absolutely love this!

Niki said...

What a fun project! Too advanced for my 2 year olds, but definitely something to file away for the future. Have you read the book Me and My Place In Space or Me on the Map (both by Joan Sweeney)? Either would be a great companion to this project.

Terri said...

AMAZING!!! Another inspiration for em to try! Thank-you

Mercedes said...

This idea is absolutely fantastic. How terrific to explain all the locations to your child. I love this idea and it is going on my pintrest board to keep in mind!

Raising a Happy Child said...

What a clever project! I was wondering what continent Bermuda belongs to :)

Aimée said...

Mari-Ann,
This is wonderful. I'll def have to do this with my nephew. It sometimes can be tricky explaining that where we live is only a teeny tiny part of the world. Really excited to get going with this now!! Thank you for sharing.
Much love,
Aimée

Leptir (Nataša) said...

Awesome idea! I'm linking up on my Facebook page!

amym said...

we are going to have to do this...

as for the family cutouts...I did it and put them on magnetic paper...my little guy plays with the family on the fridge. The origional idea was to do extended family that we don't see often so he can remember them. He has great fun playing with all the members of his family on the fridge.

Mama Bee said...

Oh. My. GOODNESS!!! I realize you have been reading my mind for some time now (or maybe I'm reading yours, since you actually finish these projects and I just think about them...) but this is amazing. We just moved to a new house, new state, new end of the country, and I've been toying with how to create this exact concept, down to the concentric circles (!!!). I was thinking more of a wall mural, since I want to introduce the different "layers" as we go through our school year. We'll start with our home, then town, state, etc etc... but I LOVE having it be a handheld item. Well, thanks for the template to work from, I'll have to share when we develop our version. Thanks so much for sharing, and best of luck with your new one in the next few weeks.

Desdemicordilleradelosandes said...

wuauuuu !!
gracias!

karlamcurry said...

What a great idea! I'll have to do this with my daughter. She's just started memorizing our street, and can sometimes remember the town, but she goes blank when we talk about our state, the country, etc.

I keep finding all these fabulous ideas, but of course it means more projects for me!

Kayla said...

Hi Mari-Ann! We loved this project and featured it at our blog, Kindergarten Lesson Plans! We were sure to give photo/idea credit and a link to your blog, but we'd love for you to take a look a the feature and let us know what you think! If there are any problems, we'll be sure to fix them/take the post down immediately.

Thanks so much!
Kayla Johnson

www.theevolvinghomemaker.com said...

that looks like great fun! we will do this as maybe our intro to the school year. there are still so many things i want to do in the summer! lol

;)
jen

Yelena said...

This is exactly the idea I need! We've started learning about geography and maps last week. So this is going to be perfect for us. Thank you so much, Mari-Ann!

Czyżyk said...

I found your blog very inspiring therefore I decided to leave you an award on my blog: http://ponadsiebie.blogspot.com/2011/08/blogowej-zabawy-cd.html

Thank you for sharing your great ideas with us
Hugs
czyzyk

Jen said...

great idea! Wish I had thought of it back when we did the me on the map book, but I Have 2 more coming up behind him :D I have a question about your trays that you set out...How many trays do you set out, and how often do you change the activities? I've been doing 10 a day, different every day and it's burning me out! lol Thanks! :D

Katrina said...

I think this is a wonderful (and very creative) idea. I am curious what size is the Earth (bottom) section? Can you share your approximate measurements?

Thanks again for your huge efforts to share yours and James' time together with us. xx

Kevin, Sonya, Claire, Max or Kai said...

This is a super cool idea! Thanks... from CANADA

Michelle said...

Oh my goodness I love this! I can't wait to make it with Emily she is going to love it and what a great way to teach them about where they live :0)

about a girl said...

Brilliant! We have the book and we are so going to do this! Thanks for sharing Mari-Ann.

Ruthie said...

LOVE this idea - can't wait to try it!

Eva said...

wow very creative, I will have to try this out sometime!

Emily said...

This is such a wonderful idea - I have been looking for ways to make the abstract concepts of state/country/world etc more concrete for my kiddos and this is perfect.
Thankyou for sharing it!

Jo said...

You always seem to post just what I need to get the gears moving! We have just started preschool at home and started with an "about me" theme. This fits right in and I'm amazed at how much he remembered when he updated Dad after work! Thanks for sharing!!!

Jenn Bates said...

Your version of my project looks great. Thanks for the link back to my site.
Jenn
Finally in First

Debz said...

Ahhh! Love this idea! It would be fun to do the solar system too!!

Deb Chitwood said...

This is awesome, Mari-Ann! What a great learning tool and keepsake! I featured your post and photo in my DIY cosmic nesting boxes post at http://livingmontessorinow.com/2012/09/17/montessori-monday-diy-cosmic-nesting-boxes-map-towers-and-me-on-the-map/

Senae said...

I absolutely LOVE this idea!!! My 6 year old daughter is totally stumped with continent/ country/ state/ city! She gets them all mixed up. I'm going to see if my husband will cut the pieces out of wood for us so they'll last & can be stacked & used over and over.

Aimee Christian said...

This is a wonderful creation. Love it. I would love to do this in our house. What do you mean by "pin punching" for the outline of the NA?? I've never heard the term, but I'd like to find a way to create outlines easily for the kids to do.

Ms. Barbara said...

I ABSOLUTELY LOVE this idea!! I'm planning a week themed: My Home/Maps. I'm planning on showing maps, the globe, looking up all the kids home addresses on Google Earth, and this way to show their world from the largest context to the smallest is PERFECT for this!! Can't wait Ms. Barbara from For the Children

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