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Montessori in a Minute: Sandpaper Globe

Teachers use the Sandpaper Globe as a hands-on tool to teach children about the world, helping them understand the Earth’s geography, specifically its land and water forms. 

This tactile teaching tool is a removable blue sphere displayed on a spinning stand that holds the Earth at its correct axis angle. The globe is handed to the child to feel that the blue sections representing water are smooth, and the continents (land) are rough as they are coated with sandpaper. There are no other markings on the globe. 

This Montessori material engages the senses, using touch and sight, to encourage children to wonder more about each continent and the people and animals who live there. They can see and feel that there is more water than land and that the continents look like puzzle pieces that could fit together. Globes encourage children to think on a broader scale beyond themselves, fostering their growth as responsible, global-minded citizens.

The Importance of the Sandpaper Globe

Teachers introduce the Sandpaper Globe to students in the Toddler classroom (2-year-olds) and during their first year of Primary (3, 4, and 5-year-olds). Children are encouraged to feel the globe while teachers explain the oceans and continents. Students connect where they live, and teachers help them identify other countries or continents they may already know. 

As children interact with the globe, they learn relevant geographical terms such as continents, oceans, and countries. The globe's contrasting textures stimulate the students' senses and reinforce these new lessons through the tactile experience.

As the child's understanding grows, teachers add to the lessons of the Sandpaper Globe with other geography materials. Each geography material embodies fundamental Montessori principles of sensory-based learning, self-directed exploration, and hands-on education. The Sandpaper Globe is an excellent introductory material that lets children explore and learn at their own pace, all while encouraging independent learning and problem-solving.

The Montessori in a Minute Series

The Montessori In A Minute series regularly explores the unique benefits of Montessori philosophy, its fundamental materials, and areas of the classroom. For all parents at Hudson Montessori School (Jersey City, New Jersey), the school hosts Parent Education Nights every year to teach parents about the Montessori method and how the students learn curriculum components using a Montessori framework.

Contact us to learn more about Hudson Montessori School's theme-based learning approach to education, the Montessori philosophy and methodology, or how the school fosters the love of learning for children aged 2 to eighth grade.

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