Culture and Science

A Montessori Classroom offers many opportunities for young children to expand their knowledge during the years when they are motivated by spontaneous interest.  The large wooden puzzle maps are among the most popular activities in the classroom.  The child can put each puzzle piece into place by means of a little knob on its flat, shiny surface.  The introductory map of the world has a separate puzzle piece for each continent.  After working with the world map, the child can do one of six puzzle maps of continents in which each country is represented by a separate puzzle piece.  Finally, there is a map of the United States with a separate piece for each state.  At first the children use the maps simply as puzzles.  Gradually they learn the names of many of the countries as well as information about climate and products.  The maps illustrate many geographical facts concretely.  The children can see the great size of Russia and positions of Great Britain, Japan and Iceland as islands.