Land form pans

One of the homeschooling items I bought years ago, which I still love and use are these little land form pans. I found them in a Montessori catalogue and also purchased geography cards to go with them. The idea is the child looks at a card, which has a picture of a geographical feature, and isthmus, for example, and then recreates the feature with clay. When it is completed, water is then poured in to give a three-dimensional example of what's on the card. (The older, wiser, and cheaper me now realizes that any small dish would have sufficed. But at least this way, I don't get clay in dishes I need for cooking.) Today, we didn't use the cards because we were building dikes.

We have been studying the Netherlands because of our lunch time read aloud, The Wheel on the School. It's fascinating stuff; personally, I'm learning so much I didn't know about that country. Did you know that in some places in the Netherlands, the sea level is as much as 22 feet higher than the drained land on the other side of the dike? You can't learn about the area and not learn about dikes. In order for the children to really see how the arable land (the polders) is lower than the sea, we built clay dikes and filled them with water:

Some children chose to add clay for the farmland next to their dikes.
It's been a while since I have read The Wheel on the School, and had forgotten how much I love it. It's got it all: lessons about life in another country, an exciting story, and good life lessons. I does make me wish we could have storks nest on our roof. I'm sure it would be far more agreeable than the raccoons that currently make attempts to live there.
And can I just say how much I love summer because of all the exposed baby skin we get to see?

L. and G.


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