Sunday, January 10, 2010

Planet EarthI am excited to start a new track with Smarty – learning more about Planet Earth, its nature, its resources and its people. As you might recall, she has a special present from our friends waiting for her – Learning Globe, but after some consideration I decided not to rely on talking toys to teach my daughter basic geography facts. She will get it at some point to review, learn something new and enjoy it simply as a neat toy. For now it’s still nicely hidden in our garage. Instead I went to Target and bought her a $1 globe that generated a lot of excitement. Then I asked Smarty,
  • What do you know about maps?
  • Smarty: Maps help us find our way back home from far away places. Dora has a talking map, and papa has a talking map too in his car!
  • Me: And what do you know about globes?
  • Smarty: Globes are maps too. They show where Santa Claus lives.
  • Me: Huh?
  • Smarty: Yes! In Barney movie Hannah had a snow globe, and it had a Santa Claus house inside!
Me on the Map
We proceeded to reread Me On the Map. We read it for the first time during our summer vacation and Smarty was lukewarm about it. She was still lukewarm about it now – I can sense that she can connect to a map of the room and of the house, but not to bigger maps, since her young mind just cannot abstract things very well yet. Heck, I have seen enough adults who have no idea as to how to read a map, and it might just happen that with GPS devices it will become another antiquated skill. Here is a link that much older kids might find interesting – How Maps Are Used.
I have no intention to spend forever on maps, but we will be referring to them often as we “travel” around our Planet Earth. I have a rough plan for my geography track, but I don’t want to publish it, because I don’t want to put a pressure on myself to deliver on it. I will share our journey with you as we travel around, and I will be linking to Geography Exchange at Children Grow Children Explore Children Learn.


Valerie @ Frugal Family Fun Blog said...

Awwww... I love how she thinks globes show where Santa Claus lives! So cute!!

Christy said...

We look at maps and a globe, but we definitely don't spend too much time on this because it is difficult to comprehend at a young age. I just want my kids to have some knowledge of the world around them and where we are in relation to other parts of the world. I think it will help them when they study geography in school. It's more of an introduction than any expectation that they will understand it completely.

Infant Bibliophile said...

I'll be very interested to read how this goes. My son loves to play with our stuffed globe and have me point out where all of his relatives live, so I have been toying with ways I might like to start on very basic geography activities.

Kim said...

This sounds great! Where did you find a globe for $1 at Target? In that $1 section at the front? Why doesn't my Target have any of the cool stuff? I've been looking at a $30 mini one from Amazon. I figure it will fit in our smaller school room in Hawaii, and I'd like to start some geography with Crumpet after our move. Can't wait to hear more about your 'travels'.

Sheena said...

M&M loves maps as well, thanks to Dora, and Grandma living far away. I also got that $1 globe at Target and M&M loves it. She keeps it on her bedside table. I need to check out that book too.

Ticia said...

I'm such a map addict. I love them, really I do.
And I'm with Kim, where the heck in Target did you find a globe for $1?

vanessa said...

I have two map placemats that I have been using for Juliet for awhile now--one of the world and one of the United States. We sometimes talk about places and countries while she is eating a meal and she can name quite a few on her own now--I got a few map books for Christmas that I will review soon--we'll see how they turn out. I"m excited to hear what else you do.

Susana said...

I am looking forward to seeing how this progresses with you and Anna. We ended up reading the book Me on the Map and still do from time to time, but I put a hold for now on the unit study on it because Joe just honestly lost interest.

I look forward to getting ideas from you though:-)!

Susana said...

Meant to say, cute commentary!

Debbie said...

Thank you for linking up!

That conversation is too cute! Love her analagy of the Globe and Santa!

Anonymous said...

We've been spending a lot of time on maps and globes lately, too. I went the static globe route for now as well. One tool that Tornado Boy really loves is the "Google Earth" free software. We use it whenever we travel to be able to show him where we're going. You can use the software to start at your house and "fly" to your destination. Some of the terrain pictures are not totally current, but it gives them a great perspective of where they are and where they are going to. They have Google Moon, Sky and Mars so that you can look at them, too.