An enticing box full of tiny stamps and several ink pads of different shades are a staple on the geography shelf of any Montessori elementary classroom.
The stamps depict cotton, corn, oil, and more. Children use this appealing material to explore economic geography — the production, consumption, and distribution of resources as well as the flow of goods and money.
The puzzle maps of Children’s House and the pin maps of elementary are excellent preparation for the sequence of lessons in economic geography.
From this jumping off point, children will eventually learn to research and diagram the complexity of world trade!
What do children gain from this area of inquiry?
familiarity with local production where they live;
exposure to resource distribution on a national and international scale;
an impression of the vastness of human production and consumption;
reinforcement of math applications of rounding, estimation, and graphing;
comparison and trends in production and consumption;
an understanding of the interdependence of countries;
an appreciation for how countries rely on one another to meet needs;
the concepts of import, export, deficit, surplus, and trading partner;
experience interpreting data, identifying relationships, and drawing conclusions;
the ability to analyze and synthesize information and represent it graphically.
This work offers rich, advanced learning of economics for the elementary child using hands-on materials and real data!