Learning about maps and globes of the Earth’s surface should start
early in a child's education. Students may hear about different countries,
but many of them do not know where they are located. A child's first
encounter with geography should not be one full of memorization of different
countries, but a look at the entire Earth. Maps actually are very intriguing
to a students, especially if they slowly learn how to use them. In the
upcoming activities on geography, the major emphasize is on looking at
models of the Earth in the form of globes and maps and then using these
models to learn about our world.
As a starting place, children need to recognize that there are
differences and similarities between land and water. Land is solid with a
fixed shape. Land is composed of minerals, rocks, and soil (minerals and
rocks plus organic material). Water is a fluid; it easily changes shape to
fit whatever space contains it. Although we think of land as being
"dry", land, or solid material is actually continuous underneath
all bodies of water. Lakes, rivers, and oceans actually cover land. This is
like water filling a bathtub or a swimming pool with solid material
underneath the fluid.
- If you have any maps or globes, show them to your students. Explain to
them that the study of maps and globes is called geography. Geography is
very important to locate where we are.
- Explain the differences between land and water to the students. These
may be difficult for them to grasp at first, especially the idea that
"land goes beneath the water". Using analogies may help them
grasp this concept. Show them pictures of oceans, rivers, mountains, and
flat lands, to help them understand.
- Have the students color the four pictures on the worksheet. Each of
these scenes shows a different combination of water and land. Instruct
them to make the water blue and the land either brown, tan or green.
- Discuss with the class that water can be in the form of an ocean, pond
or river. Land is everything that is not covered with water.