About Elementary I & II Curriculum Geography

Physical Geography

Early tasks:

The Primary Globes: These are specially prepared globes for the very young child that isolate single concepts of globe study—how land and water are shown, and the corresponding shapes of the continents that they learned from the puzzle maps.

The Puzzle Maps: These are specially made maps in the forms of intricate, color-coded, wooden jigsaw puzzles representing the continents, the countries of each continent, and the states of the U.S. They first enjoyed simply as challenging puzzles. Soon, however, the children begin to learn the names of given countries, and begin to become familiar with them.

Land & Water Formations: These materials are designed to help the very young child understand basic land and water formations such as island, isthmus, peninsula, strait, lake, cape, bay, archipelago, and so on. At first, these concepts are represented by three-dimensional models of each, complete with water. Then the children learn to recognize the shapes on maps, and learn about famous examples of each.

The solar system is introduced with nomenclature cards and books on each planet.

Elementary tasks:

Transference to maps: Introduction to written names and various forms of maps, along with early study of the flora, fauna, landscapes, and people of the continents.

An introduction to humankind's search to understand how Earth was formed, from creation stories to the evidence of contemporary scientific research: origins, geologic forces, formations of the oceans and atmosphere, continental drift and tectonic plates, volcanoes, earth quakes, the ice ages and the formation of mountain ranges.

The study of the hydrosphere: ocean, rivers, lakes, the water cycle.

A more advanced study of the solar system: characteristics of each planet, the sun, and the moon, phases of the moon, distance between planets, etc.

Cultural Geography

Countries are studied in many ways at all levels, beginning at the primary level. A number of festivals are held every year to focus on specific cultures and to celebrate life together: an example being Chinese New Year, when the entire school might study China, prepare Chinese food, learn Chinese dances, and participate in a special dragon dance parade. Anything that the children find interesting is used to help them become familiar with the countries of the world: flags, boundaries, food, climate, traditional dress, houses, major cities, children’s toys and games, stamps, coins, traditional foods, art, music, and history. This interweaves through the entire curriculum.

Economic Geography

  • Natural Resources of the Earth.
  • Production: How natural resources are used by humankind.
  • Imports and Exports: The interdependence of nations.

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