Montessori-inspired Study of Europe w/ Free Printables

One of the aspects of Montessori I found so appealing, when first introduced, was the concept of presenting the big picture first, and then slowly progressing to the present.  In geography the Earth is presented with it's continents and oceans.  Land forms and water forms are studied.  Eventually the children progress to studying countries, starting with their own first, then states, etc.  Some continent studies are easier to put together than others.  Europe and Asia prove to be the most difficult for me.  The continents are so big.  The cultures vary so much from country to country.  There is so much information.

Montessori materials for continent studies usually include continent boxes and map puzzles.  Many children are given the experience of labeling each country within a continent with flags attached to toothpicks.  When we started our continent studies, I did not have materials to use for continent boxes.  I definitely couldn't afford the wooden map puzzles.  My son, who suffers from a life threatening adhesive allergy could not work with toothpick flags, because of the adhesive used to put them together.  Needless to say, we've learned to be creative, while still following along with Montessori principles.

My kiddos love flags.  They are fascinated by them.  As we study continents like Europe, I try very hard to incorporate them into activities as much as possible.  Have a look at the activities we'll be using next week.  They are organized by subject.  My apologies for pictures not being better.  The flu has been in our home for the last two weeks, Mommy becoming sick last.  I was a bit behind in working on this post.  By the time I was ready to take pictures, it was dark outside.

Language:
European Country Nomenclature Cards
 The more work we do with flags, the more my kiddos seem to remember their countries.  When choosing this activity, my kiddos will match the 3 part cards together.  I did not include all of the European countries in this activity, however all are available in the printable.  M husband and I chose to use the neatest looking flags.

Source:  I created this printable as part of my Europe Unit Language Printable Pack 1.  For your free copy, click on the link located at the bottom of this post.

European Country First Letter Sound Cards
 The kiddos will use the control cards provided to help them mark the first letter sound cards correctly.  This is a great activity that helps kiddos start to learn the names of all of the different countries, while at the same time improving their language skills.  I did not include all countries in my activity, however all European countries are included in the set of free cards.

Source:  I created this printable as part of my Europe Unit Language Printable Pack 1.  For your free copy, click on the link located at the bottom of this post.

European Country Name Syllable Counting
 There are many countries in Europe that are extremely difficult for a little one to pronounce.  To help this process along, I've created syllable counting cards for each of the countries.  Not all are included in our activity, just the ones that prove to be most difficult to pronounce.  However almost all countries are included in the printable.  Before the kiddos complete this activity on their own, we will review the names of each country several times.

Source:  I created this printable as part of my Europe Unit Language Printable Pack 1.  For your free copy, click on the link located at the bottom of this post.

European Country Name Phonogram Sorting
Another way to help the kiddos learn to pronounce their country names is to link them to a phonogram they already know.  The kiddos will sort selected country cards by phonograms "ar," "er," and "or."  Cards from the nomenclature activity above are used for this activity.

Source:  I created this printable as part of my Europe Unit Language Printable Pack 1.  For your free copy, click on the link located at the bottom of this post.

Math:
European Desserts Money Match Up
It can be tricky finding ways to incorporate Geography and Culture into math activities, but it can be done.  I am extremely disappointed, because two of the math activities I wanted to include in this unit fell through.  However, counting money while looking at pictures of delicious desserts is always a winner with the kiddos.  The cards introduce the kiddos to different dessert dishes around Europe. They are asked to count the money it costs to purchase the desserts and match them up to the correct dollar value cards.  The prices of the treats in no way resembles their true cost.  I have chosen to use currency from the USA, because that's what the kiddos are working on learning at this time.

Source:  I created this printable as part of my Europe Unit Math Printable Pack 1.  For your free copy, click on the link located at the bottom of this post.

Science:
50+ Animals from Europe

My oldest son is obsessed with animals. Any time we study a particular place, he requests animal cards.  He chooses how he sorts them.  The cards could be used in a variety of ways.  He's become quite an expect when identifying species, where they live etc.

Source:  I created this printable as part of my Europe Unit Geography & Culture Printable Pack 1.  For your free copy, click on the link located at the bottom of this post.

Geography & Culture:
Coloring Map of Europe
When it comes to continent studies I like to include at least two map activities.  However, when studying Europe this is a challenge because it's so large with so many countries.  The kiddos thoroughly enjoy coloring their maps.

Source:  The free coloring map for this activity can be found at d-maps.com.

Finding European Landmarks using a Globe
About two weeks ago we received a beautiful globe in the mail.  The kiddos have been so anxious to use it. I thought it might be fun to use it to find countries where specific landmarks are found.  When they find the country on the globe, they can place the landmark replicas next to their matching cards.

Music:
A unit about Europe is the perfect time to introduce the kiddos to some fabulous composers.  We'll be listening to some fabulous music as we're working on activities.  Once the kiddos are familiar with the music and composers, it will be fun to play games using the music.

Art:
European Art & Artist Match Up
A study of Europe just wouldn't be the same without studying art.  The kiddos will match up artwork with the corresponding artist.  In our home, this usually occurs in the form of a memory game.

Source:  I created this printable as part of my Europe Unit Geography & Culture Printable Pack 1.  For your free copy, click on the link located at the bottom of this post.

Practical Life & Sensorial:
While studying Europe, our practical life and sensorial shelves will be filled with delicious European breads, cheeses, and treats.  The kiddos will practice cutting, spreading, and pouring.  They will sample different types of cheeses, breads, chocolates, and more.  I can't wait!  I do not have pictures of these activities yet, as we won't be starting the unit until next week.  Keep your eyes open for a Europe Unit Part 2!

For those interested in the free printable packs click on the links below.  (Printables for Europe Part 1 & Part 2 posts are included in the printable packs below.)




Materials used in this post:


For those looking for more ideas when studying Europe, check out my Europe Pinterest Board and my post Europe Unit Part 2!

You can also visit our Arctic and Valentine's Day in Paris Units.

If you're interested in my other continent units, click on the links below.




We will be studying Asia and Africa later this year!

For more fabulous geography activities and ideas take a look at other posts included in the 12 Months of Montessori Learning.

7 comments:

  1. Love this! I'll be back to grab the printables! Thank you!

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  2. I love coming to your blog! Always so many great printables and fantastic pictures and idea!

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  3. I am so impressed Renae! I didn't know you can finish all of these in one night. Happy that you were able to pull it off! Brilliant ideas as usual!

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  4. The dessert cards were BY FAR my favourite idea! ;)
    I think the pictures are great, no one is going to notice that they may be a little less brighter, we're always our own worse critics :)

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  5. There are so many good ideas here that I don't know where to begin. Your variations on flag work is wonderful. And thank you for the free printables!

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  6. I love your trays and your fabulous ideas. Thanks for sharing

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  7. Wow! You put so much into this awesome unit study on Europe! I can tell you spent a lot of time researching and looking everything up for this study. I love it! I enjoy all your unit studies and free printables. You are an amazing mom! :)

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