Thursday, October 27, 2011

Amazing Geography & Art Project to Discuss Landforms! Perfect for Families or Classrooms!

Do you and your children like learning about world geography and art? 

Are you looking for a neat long term project related to landforms for either your home or classroom?

Well, today's post has some great ideas for you if you are doing just that!

Our family has been exploring landforms in the scope of homeschooling.
We are always adding to our learning by integrating additional projects into our geography studies.
Since the boys love art projects, we have been adding more art into our day-to-day, based on the boys' interests as well as current topics we are studying.

For any of you discussing landforms with your children, here is an awesome art & geography project courtesy of Crayola that highlights landforms:

What is fun is that Crayola has a lesson plan that is all mapped out so if you are a parent and want to do this as a family weekend project, or if you are a homeschool family who would like to do this as part of the homeschool week, or if you are in the classroom as a teacher or guide, you can take the lesson plan that they give and tweak it for your needs while your children make a fabulous display that could work well as a wall hanging or bulletin board. The lesson lays out all of the supplies you would need to make this project happen, although you could easily switch up the art supplies depending on what you have in your home or classroom...

Disney FamilyFun also has a great felt landscape banner project that would work very well with little ones. What is nice about the Disney FamilyFun project is that it has printable pages of the felt pieces that you would need to make, so that a child can use these as templates to cut out their felt pieces.
 Also neat is that in addition to just having the landscape, the banner also features some of the animals and plants from that biome:

The shapes and the concept of the Disney FamilyFun banner look a little more simplistic than the one from Crayola. Might even be neat to integrate the two projects from both Crayola and Disney FamilyFun into one big project!

Our family plan is to make this and tweak the materials a bit, instead of paper, we intend to use felt.
We are big fans of felt here! Think that most of the paper pieces for this project could easily be made with felt instead of paper.

As far as background materials to cover the concepts of landforms, we have some wonderful materials from Laughing Star Montessori that have helped to lay a solid foundation for the boys.
From handwriting materials to three and four part card sets, we have been so happy with their materials. We are very blessed to have a wonderful relationship with Laughing Star Montessori.
Every Laughing Star Montessori material we have either been given to review or we have purchased has been an instant favorite with the boys!
Susan, owner of Laughing Star Montessori,  has made such wonderful materials for children in early elementary, ages 3-6, as well as children in elementary, ages 6-9.

If you are a new Montessori guide, you should consider building all of your card materials around what Susan has to offer and purchasing the lovely materials from her for your classroom needs.
The laminated cards Susan has are simply amazing! They are unmatched in the Montessori materials industry! They would last you and your students a lifetime, as they are so durable.

What makes Susan's materials stand out from the rest is that she gets it that non-Montessori trained folks also might want to incorporate Montessori-inspired learning into their day-to-day, whether they are homeschool parents, parents of a child attending a traditional school, or a classroom teachers in a traditional school.
Laughing Star Montessori card materials come with a wonderful sheet that explains how to present these cards, as well as the actual idea for the lesson and for lesson extensions.
If you are thinking that you would like to explore how to integrate a Montessori approach into your home or traditional classroom but are not sure of where to start, using her lovely materials will be an excellent introduction to what can be possible with Montessori-inspired learning.
Her cards give such wonderful background information, along with fabulous photos of the images for each card.

My sons simply love using materials made by Laughing Star Montessori!

For those of you, who like our family, might be studying landforms, here are some terrific sets from Laughing Star Montessori to get you started:

World Land & Water Set - Elementary*
(*There is also an Early Elementary version of this work for little ones):

Here is a super set for Cave Formations for Elementary:

We have the Cave Formations Set and just love it!
It is one of Big Bro's favorite works!

Here is Big Bro enjoying exploring Cave Formations!  So cool to learn about caves and caverns!!!

Laughing Star Montessori also has a great handwriting series. The Beautiful Handwriting Series: World Geography Masters is perfect for the study of landforms! We have this book and it is great!
You can get it in cursive, print, or d'Nealian. Here is a photo of our cover of this book:

The Laughing Star Montessori Beautiful Handwriting Geography Masters helps to give a young child a solid grasp of geography vocabulary. We have this book and use it pretty regularly.

Having excellent card materials and handwriting materials will be a solid way to get your children the background information that they need to get landforms, although it could work to do the art project and then, drive home what has been created with Montessori-inspired shelf work based on the card and handwriting materials.

You could either make the landforms art project first and then, explore the Montessori-inspired cards or you could do what our family is doing: use the Montessori card sets first and then, make the landforms banner...

Either way would work...just have to do what works best for you and your children...

Well, hope that this will inspire you and your children to want to do a cool long term project to drive home the concept of landforms.

We will probably do bits and pieces of our felt landforms project over the course of the year, but from time to time, will upload some photos of our work in progress.Will probably add the photos to my Pinterest Felt Projects Pinboard.

If you have not joined Pinterest yet, you should! It is awesome!!!

Do your children enjoy integrating art into their daily learning?

How has it worked for you to integrate geography and art? 

If you have done any neat projects related to landforms or geography in general and you would like to share, please leave a link in the comments section of this post!

Speaking of hands-on learning and family fun, have you checked out our family's entry in the DIY Crash Me Please contest???

Hope that you will take a few minutes to see our entry and to please leave a comment. We are hoping that DIY will select us to make over our back yard and lanai into an amazing outdoor classroom and play area...we want to go from Snake Pit to Sanctuary!!! Please pop by and tell us what you think of the boys' ideas for an outdoor classroom and play area!

Full Disclosure: 
As a family, we review materials for Laughing Star Montessori, in addition to being a paying customer of the business. Opinions expressed in this post are my own honest opinion of the materials and the projects mentioned in the post. Was not expressly asked to highlight Laughing Star Montessori, Crayola, Disney FamilyFun, Pinterest, or DIY but am happy to do so!

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