Geography: Land and Water Forms
Updated: Apr 13
In the Montessori classroom children learn not only about the political world (continents, countries, flags, etc.) but also the physical world. Our planet is divided into areas of water and areas of land, and children enjoy learning about the various forms land and water can take. You can explore land and water forms at home in various ways.
Here are the forms we teach:
lake: a body of water bounded on all sides by land.
island: a body of land bounded on all sides by water.
gulf: a body of water bounded on all sides but one by land.
peninsula: a body of land bounded on all sides but one by water.
bay: a body of water bounded on all sides but one by land. It is usually smaller than a gulf.
cape: a body of land bounded on all sides but one by water. It is usually smaller than a peninsula.
strait: a body of water bounded on two sides by land. It connects two larger bodies of water.
isthmus: a body of land bounded on two sides by water. It connects two larger bodies of land.
system of lakes: a group of lakes that are relatively close together.
archipelago: a group of islands that are relatively close together.
I. Create a land and water form book. Review and create a land and water form book with your child using one of the templates provided here: https://sites.google.com/site/thehelpfulgardendownloads/geography-downloads-1/land-water-forms
Alternative: You can also create your own pages by cutting or punching the forms out of blue and brown construction paper. If you take this approach, your child will quickly realize that pairs of forms are opposites (e.g.: lake and island: a lake is a body of water bounded on all sides by land while an island is a body of land bounded on all sides by water). Hence, when your child cuts out these pairs of opposites, they will be able to use one set of cut-outs to create both forms (e.g.: when you cut the circle from a brown piece of paper to create the lake at the center, you can use that brown circle to create the island). After creating the forms, you can help the child write labels identifying them by name (and definition).
II. Use playdough and paper to create land and water forms. You can use either blue dough and brown paper, or brown dough and blue paper. After creating the forms, you can help the child write labels identifying them by name. (If you don’t have playdough, you can make your own: https://domesticsuperhero.com/best-homemade-playdough-recipe/)
III. You can make your own land and water forms out of graham crackers (or other cracker/ cookie) and blue frosting (or blueberry jam, or any other delicious spread that is blue)! You can make a simple frosting from powdered sugar, milk, vanilla, and blue food coloring: https://www.thekitchn.com/simple-solutions-how-to-make-a-94001.
Resource: You can look-up examples and pictures of each type of land and water form in the National Geographic Encyclopedia: https://www.nationalgeographic.org/encyclopedia/list/?q=agriculture&per_page=25&page=4