Friday, July 12, 2013

It's a Small Small World... With Globe 小小世界...地球仪

My little captain is getting curious about everything, on and off he pops questions that show he is analyzing and tries to make sense out of the things that are happening around him.

Since I told him we have made plan for a trip to the land of Maori, he has been having so much questions..

"How far is it?"
"How are we going there?"
"Does it snows there?"
"What is Maori? How do they look like?"
"What are we going to do there?"

To help him understand better, I decided to introduce some visualization aid. Hence, we thought its time to get him a globe.

It's a miniature globe that is built to actual scale, we got it from Times book store for RM89.90, pricier compare to others we saw but the quality is good, and it shows all the continent and country's names.

I started by teaching him what each of the colors represent..

blue for water & ocean..
brown for the land... 
white for the cold cold snow... 

Simple basic that is easy to understand for the little mind.

Then we tried to locate Malaysia on the globe, since he had learnt about where we stay earlier when I introduced him to the map. You may read up on the earlier post here where I first introduced him to map reading.

He found it difficult to identify Malaysia on the globe at first, so I told him..

"Look at Malaysia, doesn't it looks like a sweet potato?"

With that he never failed to locate Malaysia on the globe or map, just look for the sweet potato! ;) Linking something to an image is always easier to memorize, that's the concept of mnemonic learning and I find it works best for me so am applying it into my kiddo now.

Then we look for the land of Maori... So now he understand what an island is (all surrounded by water), and to make him understand the country better, I compiled some photos to show him. The easiest way without using any money? Use google image search!

See, this is akin to a quick summary of NZ. Lets see what does can we teach our little ones from here?

The flag that represents the country... 
NZ is an island surrounded by water... 
The lush forests and snowy mountains... 
The mirror lakes and water sports...  
The sheeps which make up of the largest population in NZ...
The sleeping volcanoes that may wakes anytime...

Then search for "NZ Culture", and more info to teach...

The kiwi bird and kiwi fruit are not the same...
The Maori natives...
The national sports rugby...

I saved the selected photos into my iPad, then I just browse through one by one as we learnt about the map. Cheap, captivating and interactive learning :)

Of course you could have make used for video search feature on Google too, but I prefer to have 2-way interactive time with my little boy before letting him watch the video. This way, he learns more through asking questions.

Next I introduced him to Antartica. Why Antarctica? 

Well, somehow i found most little ones love snow, they seem to relate snow to fun, probably due to the influence of snowman and snowball fights they watch on TV. :) besides, one of my little boy's favorite programme is Pingu, the little Pingu who lives in Antartica with his lovely sister Pinga and the family (it's an award winning children education series). 

So, he was so curious to know more about the cold cold land where Pingu and Pinga live, and here we go...

So he had learnt that..

The part of globe that is on top-most and bottom-most is the coldest place on Earth, because they had the least sunlight..
Animals that lives in Antarctica such as  penguins, seals, polar bears..
The nature wonders like ice land, iceberg, glaciers, avalanche... 
The Eskimos and the Igloos...

I wish I could teach more but I realize I have to read more in the first place. The good thing about teaching the little ones is I'm forced into learning more so I can supply them the right facts and able to make learning fun yet informative.

Without A Globe? Not A Problem!

You may also download this 3D globe application on Apple iStore called Barefoot World Atlas, which allows you to spins the virtual globe around using a finger, each country or object comes with narrative introduction.

Navigating is easy.. Just search by text or spin the globe till you find the country..

The English narrative is clear and easy to understand, comes with optional text too.

That's all, these are just some of the useful sharing I have on how I teach my kiddo to learn about the world that he lives in through a more fun and interactive way.

This journey (on learning about the world) is an ongoing one as there are still so many things to learn about (continents, oceans, mountains, deserts, 7 wonders of the world etc), I will try to practice with him at least once a day, or sometimes I just give him a pop quiz in the morning before leaving for work - "can you find me where China is?", and I love his happy smile when he managed to find it correctly. :)

That's all folks, hope you enjoy reading this and pardon me for the long post... ciao!

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