When we first began brainstorming ideas for a geography app of the United States, we were struck by the scope of this project. Not only will we be able to share the exciting Montessori Map Work material with the world, we’ll also be inspiring future adventurers, travelers, and global citizens!
As air travel has become the norm, we’ve literally lost touch with the earth. What does it feel like to travel from one end of the country to the other? To experience both the northern and southern borders? The vastness of the United States is immense, and now we’ve found a way to bring it to you on your iPad or iPhone.
Locate every state with the drag and drop exercise. Feel every state with the tracing activity. Explore every state when learning its native animal, featuring illustrations by Alyssa Nassner.
We can’t wait for you to get started, and hope you enjoy Intro to United States, by Montessorium.
All the best,
Bobby and June George
Intro to United States, by Montessorium
Learn the States. Discover your Independence. This geography app helps your child or student learn the state names, shapes, locations, and the representative state animal, through puzzles, challenges, and drawing exercises.
We’d love to take a closer look at each activity, how it relates to materials and work in the Montessori classroom, as well as provide a few ideas for activities beyond the app. Let’s get started!
After entering the app, we land on a roadmap that guides our progression through the first 6 activities. The developers default is to work with 6 states, however, you have the option in the Parent Portal to choose sets of 3, 6, 9, or 12 states at a time. To access the parent portal, click the compass rose on the front screen of the app, then choose settings. Just a note, when changing the pace, the app does reset, so all progress will be lost. It’s a great way to start the app from the beginning, if you’ve played through it already!
Drag and Drop
The first stop on the roadmap is a simple drag and drop activity. The names of the states aren’t introduced quite yet, but rather, 3 at a time, a child is able to drop the states into place based on shape alone. We’re just getting started…
Presentation of names
Progressing to the second stop on the roadmap, we are presented with state names. One by one, we are able to associate the names of the states with their shapes.
Following the presentation of names, this new vocabulary is reinforced. Out of a set of three, we are asked to tap on a specific state. This way, we’ve learned the state names one at a time, and are also able to distinguish them from each other.
Names and Locations
Repetition is an important component in the Montessori classroom. It fulfills a child’s natural desire to repeat activities he or she finds compelling, in the same way you might throw a ball back and forth for what seems like hours.
We’ve added a component of repetition in Intro to United States that incorporates the Three Period Lesson from the Montessori classroom. This third activity along the roadmap reiterates state names, shapes, and locations, combining the previous activities in a more challenging exercise.
Draw lines to match
The next activity reinforces our new vocabulary by giving us the opportunity to match the state name and shape. By this time, we’ve interacted with the states in three different ways, really allowing us to explore and digest the new information!
Learn a state animal
The flora of each state is varied, and so too is the fauna! We’ve chosen an animal from each state, and Alyssa Nassner has created some wonderful illustrations. Meet the coyote, from South Dakota, or the Chinook, from New Hampshire.
After meeting each animal, we get to match them to their home state.
Trace the state
The last stop on the roadmap, the 6th activity, is tracing the state outline. How did the states get their shapes? Why do some have straight, squared off borders, while others are a bit more varied? These are just a few of the questions this activity might inspire!
First the guide takes a turn. Click on the state at any time to start tracing yourself. When you’re all finished, tap the checkmark in the bottom right hand corner.
Wow! You did it! Collect a stamp after finishing all six activities, and tap on the next stamp to begin the next set of states. Would you like to continue and collect all the stamps?
Beyond the app
The United States contains amazing geographical landmarks! Investigate major landmarks such as the Grand Canyon, the Appalachian Mountains, or the Great Lakes. Where are they located? How far away is the landmark from you?
Play a simple sound game! Which states begin with the sound “m”? Can you name an animal that begins with the sound “p”?
Have you ever wondered why the states are all different shapes? Do a research project about your state’s shape. How did it get that way? Has it every changed? Next, can you find any other states that have the same shape as your state?