A lesson on Land, Air & Water can be used for teaching several different concepts. For example, use it to discuss Earth and what makes it unique from other planets. Explain how approximately 70% of the Earth’s surface is covered in water and that the presence of water and oxygen in the air allows living organisms to survive on Earth. We also used a map of the world to show which portions of the earth are land and water. To help visualize land & water features, Montessori Print Shop has a great set of Aquatic & Land Feature Photos on sale right now. Check out those cards and many more items on sale here.
This lesson is also a great time to discuss various types of transportation and where they take place. For example, a boat drives in water, an airplane flies in the air and a car drives on land. We purchased Montessori Print Shop’s Air, Land & Water Sorting Cards for $2.79 and sorted them under our jars of land (dirt), air & water. The boys were both VERY enthusiastic about the sorting.
If you add fire to the mix, you can discuss the classical 4 elements studied by ancient philosophers. It was believed that the 4 elements were the most simple and essential parts of everything that existed.
Here are some other great ideas from Montessori sites around the web:
If your children learn best through a visual aid or through imaginary play, create a Land, Air & Water mat with felt or construction paper. Montessori Mama has a beautifully made Land, Air & Water Mat you can use as an example. If your not crafty, check out this exquisite Land, Air & Water Quilt that Kylie, from How We Montessori, bought on etsy. Read more about their purchased quilt here.
A Bohemian Education has a great idea to utilize toys you probably already have in your own home. Place them in a basket and have your child sort them under hand-written “Land”, “Air” & “Water” labels.
To the Lesson has a wonderful post sharing trays that are great supplements to the Land, Air & Water theme.
The book Montessori at Home! has a fun hands-on activity on page 172 called “Where land and water meet.”