In my classroom, we have a few of the usual suspects including a puzzle map of the world with a control chart. We also have copies of a small blank world map which a child may color to match, once she has completed her work on the puzzle.
We also have a medium sized poster which I painted to match the puzzle map. We use this map at Circle time, usually after we finish with the calendar. The last item on our calendar agenda is usually to figure out the day of the week, and to do this we sing "Days of the Week." The sing finishes with "There are seven days, there are seven days, there are seven days in the week." So then I say, "Hmmm. We have seven of something else up here on our calendar board. I spy them! What are those called?" Yup, this is the amazing introduction to our seven continents! I borrowed the image below from maps.com to show generally what our classroom version looks like, but it not nearly as nifty as this one.
The children then take turns standing in front of the class, pointing to each continent and singing, "North America, South America, Africa, Europe, and Asia. Don't forget Australia. Don't forget Antarctica." (And of course, we sometimes add, "where penguins live" as a little extra flourish.)
Something else that the children just looooove is a board game called Cathedral World. Honestly, I don't remember any of the official rules, but the children have invented their own little way of using it which seems to work out perfectly. Below is a picture of the board and game pieces.
Hopefully you can tell from this picture that each piece is a famous landmark. I am embarrassed to confess that when my family and I first played this game many years ago, there were more than a couple of pieces that I didn't recognize. Luckily, I found a web site that has photographs of the pieces and identifies them by name as well. Phewf! Click here to see this handy dandy list. It is on my "to do" list to make a complete set of matching cards (pieces to landmarks), but since I haven't gotten to that quite yet, my students have been using a set of world landmark cards that I bought at Target a few years ago. They dig around through the cards and try to match the game pieces to the photos. Not every landmark piece is represented by the cards, but they have a good time digging around and looking at everything anyway.
We also have some continents punching work available, but honestly no one has attempted this yet. Maybe it will hold more interest later in the year. And we have some lovely books including Whoever You Are by Mem Fox, People by Peter Spier, and Hats by Ann Morris.
So now on to the blog hop portion of this post. Be sure to grab the code to join in the fun! If we all share what we have in our continent bins, we will not only be able to share ideas, but we will also be able to inspire each other! So add your thumbnail below and we can all hop around together.
Well, that's all for now. Farewell until tomorrow, when we'll visit Africa boxes!