Sandpaper and Colored Globes

Preparation for all geography work typically begins with two globes: The Sandpaper Globe and the Colored Globe. Let’s explore the features of each

The Guidepost Team

Geography is a fun and exciting part of the Montessori classroom.

Work includes recognition of the features of our planet, such as land vs water, and advances all the way to study of individual countries and specific topographical language!

Preparation for all geography work typically begins with two globes: The Sandpaper Globe and the Colored Globe. Let’s explore the features of each!

The Sandpaper Globe
“This is our world. Our world is made of land and water.”

These are statements you might hear a guide makes as he or she presents the Sandpaper Globe to a child for the first time. Exploring the earth as a globe may be a difficult concept for a child to grasp at first, but this globe lays the foundation for exploration later on!

You will see the land areas in tan sandpaper, and the water as a smooth, painted blue surface. It’s very easy to distinguish, both tactilely and visually, the land and water portions of the globe.

The guide will feel the land saying, “This is land.” The child may take a turn feeling the land. The child and guide may continue feeling different ‘land’ portions of the globe. They will do the same thing with water.

A three period lesson can be used to help the child easily identify and name land and water. In this way, the child will also become comfortable with the bird’s eye view of land and water distribution over the planet!

Colored Globe
After working with the Sandpaper Globe, the child will move on to the Colored Globe.

The Colored Globe is the exact same size as the Sandpaper Globe, but each continent is painted a different color and there is no use of sandpaper. The oceans are the same painted blue.

In this presentation, instead of land and water, the child will focus on the identifying continents. A three period lesson ensues to give the child a strong foundation, and the confidence to know the difference between continents and oceans.

Following the Colored Globe, the child will be ready for Puzzle Map work, beginning with the World Map. You’ll notice the continents on the Colored Globe and the World Map are the same colors, giving the child that ‘aha’ moment of recognition.

The Montessori classroom is full of layered connections, and places of discovery for the young child! We hoped you’ve enjoyed learning more about the Sandpaper and Colored Globes.

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The Guidepost Team

The Guidepost Team is a group of writers and educators dedicated to helping demystify all things Montessori.

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