One characteristic of a Montessori setting is the mixed age group,  which gives the opportunity for students to remain in the classroom for up to three years.  This allows for increased continuity throughout the years both for the child and the teacher.  It has been two years since we first started our continent studies with North America.  That same year, we also learned about Europe and Asia.  This school year, we continued these units with Africa, Antarctica, South America, and Australia.  Many of the lessons from these units of study can be found under the  label Geography in the sidebar on the left of the page.  Recently, I decided to purchase the following book for our classroom as I knew it would be a fitting culmination to our continent themes (and when I discovered the book promotes the use of cursive writing I just couldn’t resist!):

Around the World from A to Z by Christina Cheung and Han Tran; Illustrated by Tong Wu

The illustrations are dynamic, engaging, and appealing to adults and children alike.  Of course, the cursive component is outstanding and I very much appreciate the explanation in the front cover:

“The book approaches language learning as a holistic process that combines letter formation and pronunciation with cultural awareness and mindful thought.  Careful penmanship and cursive writing not only refine motor skill from shoulder to fingertips, they also help to sharpen thought formation and brain development.  More specifically, cursive writing has been shown to stimulate brain synchronicity: the physical act of fluidly connecting letters coordinates the visual right wide of the brain and the verbal left side.”

To read more of this explanation, see close-ups of the illustrations, and get a sense of the meaningful text in the book, please look HERE.

Needless to say, this is the perfect book to end our year together (and to have in our classroom for years to come)!  For a culminating lesson, I put together the following booklet making activity:

The materials at a table:  The labels are to make cover for the booklet – My Book of Continents and a place to write a name.

Each page has an outline of a continent…

…to color and label.

The last page with a map of the whole world.

(I can’t seem to remember the source for the booklet – if anyone knows please let me know so I can include it in the post.  Thanks!)

UPDATE:  Please find a link to the source of the booklet pages HERE.