ABOUT THIS UNIT
Lately for our preschool units I tend to plan things on the fly, paying attention to the interests of my kids. This unit was 100% driven by them. They had the idea and I quickly did a library grab of some books, and we watched the Mountains episode from Planet Earth II, then went from there on to other learning and play and crafts (thank you, Pinterest). This unit is not meant to be a comprehensive preschool unit where I cover every category of learning. Rather, I treated this more like a nature study and kept it play-based as much as possible.
- Mountains of the World
- The Golden Glow
- Geography A to Z
- Wild World
- The Wondrous Workings of Planet Earth
- Planet Earth II (Mountains episode)
- Habitat Schoolhouse (Letter M and Letter Y had relevant activities)
- Animal Crafts from Learn Create Love
- Mount Everest page from Atlas of Adventures: Wonders of the World
- Play Mat from My Big World Playscapes
- Schleich Animals (we mostly have North American animals)
I’ve detailed in the ACTIVITIES section below how we have used these books and resources.
Learn Mountain Terms
Build Mountains to Learn about Mountain Zones
The Golden Glow is a recent book that quickly became a family favorite. The story and illustrations are wonderful! On one page of the book the different zones of a mountain are depicted as Fox hikes to the top (pictured on top above), so we used that book and Mountains of the World to talk about what kind of plants and animals might live in the different zones. I did not expect my children to name all the zones in order or anything, but just to explore the fact that thing that live at low altitude might not be living at the top of the mountain.
Mapwork: Find Mountains Around the World
My son in particular LOVES our MAPS book so I thought it would be fun to go through and find different famous mountains illustrated in various countries throughout the book. We used the map in Mountains of the World as well as a printout from Habitat Schoolhouse (Letter M Unit) do explore the locations of various mountains.
Specific Mountain Focus: Everest
Of course we needed to look at the highest mountain peak in the world, right? Habitat Schoolhouse (Letter Y Unit) has a nice brief info sheet about the Himalayas, as does the book The Wondrous Workings of Planet Earth. Mount Everest is features in Atlas of Adventures: Wonders of the World so we also read about it there. We located the Himalayas in our MAPS book and explored the book Everest (this is a longer reference-style book with some stories so we did not read through the whole thing).
Learn about Mountain Wildlife
We watched the Mountains episode of Planet Earth II, read the Mountains poem from Wild World, explored animals in Mountains of the World, and then I found the following animals from Learn Create Love for the kids to create:
Specific Animal Focus: The Yak
PLAY: Small Worlds & Pretend/Role-Play
We did a lot of pretend play with this Mountains unit, pretending to be different animals, especially the ones featured on the Mountains episode of Planet Earth II.
We also built small Mountain worlds with Schleich Animals and the following:
I really feel that play is the most meaningful learning avenue for my kids—they both love exploring books, but we often expand the information and stories through play!