Do you follow a curriculum for your children? I know in the US it’s much more common to ‘buy in’ a curriculum and follow that for your chosen subjects for the year. I have looked at a few, and we do dip in and out of various ones, but I don’t follow any particularly rigidly. One thing I do however find useful to the Common Core Knowledge book. I think I saw these first on Shelly’s blog and thought they sounded quite interesting. I found the Year 1 book cheap on a second-hand book site and decided to take a look.
Geography in Year 1
The book explains the sorts of things children will cover in Year 1, and whilst I don’t follow it rigidly, it is useful and helpful for us, I find, to have some ideas of things we could be covering. It also generally means it’s pretty easy to find age-appropriate resources to suit the topic! Geography in year 1 covers the ideas of locality but also the continents and their features. I thought this might be worth exploring in a bit of detail with the children so, with that in mind I created a brief lesson plan. This wasn’t particularly in detail or specifically timetabled, more it listed the things I’d like to cover.
I’ve shared our lesson plan here – this is an outline of what I wanted to cover with the children.
Resources we used
We use lapbooks as a way of collating the work we are doing on any given topic, so I made sure we had plenty of things to hand to add to our lapbook. I find it is helpful to have these prepped in advance for the children to use. This means they can be getting on completing these whilst I find any other bits they identify that they want. The main things we used for our continents lapbook was:
- Fold outs to list the continents and to note how many continents there are.
- Continents matching cards (twinkl subscription required)
- My Continents Book (twinkl subscription required)
- World Map (we used this particular one and folded in half for the lapbook)
- For older children, a Comprehension task – Daniel used this one (age 6)
- Atlases – we liked this Knowledge masters one for this particular task and the Collins Primary atlas.
- My FREE continents lesson plan.
We had conversations about where we live and how our town fits into the bigger city and the country, and in turn the continent of Europe. We looked at where Europe was on the globe and in our atlases and chose which was Europe from the continents matching cards and placed that on the table.
We talked about the other continents, and how countries differ from continents as well as identifying some of the countries we knew in each continent. The children had a set of the matching cards each and they placed them out where they thought the continents went. We then placed them all in the right place and coloured in the world map – a different colour for each continent and added to the lapbook. We put a small envelope in the lapbook to hold the matching cards.
The children worked through the ‘my continents book’ – Daniel enjoying adding the facts he had learnt from some of the conversation we had, as well as bits he had picked up from the comprehension task he had worked through.
We are now going to work our way through the different continents and produced a small project on each. We have completed our study of Europe and plan to move onto Africa next. I will share the respective plans for those as and when they’re ready.