Lockdown Day 64 – Air, Land and Water
Knowledge and Understanding of the World
This week we are going to venture into a bit of Geography. Children are fascinated by the world around them. Montessori acknowledged that in order for a child to truly develop as a human being, s/he needs to know her/his place in the world and her/his relationship to all aspects of the world. One way to support this, is an activity that explores the three elements that make up our planet Earth – land, water and air.
* LAND, WATER AND AIR *
Start the activity by explaining to the child that you are going to look at three very important things that make up the Earth we live on, These three things are not living and yet they are very important for all life on Earth.
* LAND *
Ask the child to tell you what land is. Go into the garden and look for land. The ground under our feet can be described as land. Talk about other non-living parts of the land – rocks and soil. Ask the child what s/he thinks land is good for – guide the child to the understanding that the land is where we plant many of the foods we eat. Fruit, vegetables and grains all form the land.
Land is an ELEMENT of our Earth.
* WATER *
The next element we will look at is water. Pour a glass of water and ask the child to describe it. Ask the child if s/he thinks that water is important for us as human beings? Why? Water has no colour and no taste, and yet it is essential for our lives! You can extend this conversation to animals and plants and their need for water. Ask the child if s/he can think of where we would find water in nature. Streams, lakes and the ocean are some examples.
Water is also an ELEMENT of our Earth.
* AIR *
Lastly, introduce the child to the idea of air. This is the least concrete of the elements that make up our Earth. Where is air? How do we know it is there? Why is air important for living things? Ask the child to breathe deeply and feel the air in their noses and throats. You can encourage the child to think about where s/he may notice evidence of air. A billowing sail, washing on the line flapping in the wind, a windmill turning or even blowing bubbles!
Air is also an ELEMENT of our Earth.
You can extend these discussions by looking at the following:
- What animals are found on the land, in water and in the air
- What kind of transport is used on the land, in the water and in the air
- What kind of jobs can people do on the land, in the water and in the air
We have mentioned before in previous posts how Montessori spoke about young children developing an awareness of their cosmic task by connecting with the world around them and understanding their relationship to the world.
Through the discussions in the activity above, the child may become conscious of her/his bond with these elements. We need land for our food, we need water for our survival, and we need air to breathe. Once the child has this basic understanding, it translates later into a sense of responsibility in preserving these elements for the generations to come.
It is no wonder that Montessori was nominated three time for the Nobel Peace Prize. If all children could experience a simple activity like this, and have the opportunity to follow through with their interest on how we can look after our land, water and air – would we not have a more peaceful world?
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