England Unit Study: Montessori-Inspired Foam Map

I love to include a foam map of all our country units – it’s a great visual to see the land mass shape these countries include as well as see where the different towns/cities are in relationship to each other.

For our England unit, it was only right we use a sparkly foam because England is a royal country, right?

First we cut out our map and then added our map tags. You can download both HERE.

I used map pins to secure them to our little foam outline.

My daughter can’t read yet, but she had a blast pointing out the different tags and sounding out funny sounding words (with a lot of help from me).

Newcastle – The full name of this city is Newcastle upon Tyne, and it’s a university city on the River Tyne in northeast England. It was a major shipbuilding and manufacturing hub during the Industrial Revolution and is now a center of business, arts and sciences. Population: >260,000.

York – This walled city is located in northeast England that was founded by the ancient Romans. Its huge 13th-century Gothic cathedral, York Minster, has medieval stained glass and two functioning bell towers. The City Walls form a walkway on both sides of the River Ouse. The Monk Bar gate houses an exhibition tracing the life of 15th-century Plantagenet King Richard III. Population: >200,000.

Leeds – Located on the south bank of the River Aire, the Royal Armouries houses the national collection of arms and artillery. Across the river, the redeveloped industrial area around Call Lane is famed for pubs under converted railway arches. Leeds Kirkgate Market features hundreds of indoor and outdoor stalls. Population >470,000.

Liverpool – A maritime city located in northwest England where the River Mersey meets the Irish Sea. It was a major trade and migration port from the 18th to the early 20th centuries, and famously known as the hometown of The Beatles. Ferries cruise the waterfront, where the iconic mercantile buildings known as the “Three Graces” – Royal Liver Building, Cunard Building and Port of Liverpool Building – stand on the Pier Head. Population >490,000.

Manchester – Located in the northwest of England, this city has a rich industrial heritage. The Castlefield conservation area’s 18th-century canal system recalls the city’s days as a textile powerhouse, and visitors can trace this history at the interactive Museum of Science & Industry. The revitalized Salford Quays dockyards now house the Daniel Libeskind-designed Imperial War Museum North and the Lowry cultural center. Population: >540,000.

Nottingham – Located in central England, it’s known for its role in the Robin Hood legend and for the hilltop Nottingham Castle Museum and Art Gallery. In the Lace Market area, once the center of the world’s lace industry, the Galleries of Justice Museum has crime-related exhibits. Wollaton Hall is an ornate Elizabethan mansion with gardens and a deer park. Population: >320,000.

Birmingham – A major midland city that features multiple Industrial Revolution-era landmarks that speak to its 18th-century history as a manufacturing powerhouse. It’s also home to a network of canals, many of which radiate from Sherborne Wharf and are now lined with trendy cafes and bars. In the city center, the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery is known for pre-Raphaelite masterpieces. Population: >1 Million.

Oxford – Known for its prestigious university, this central city boasts the architecture of its 38 colleges in the city’s medieval center, which led poet Matthew Arnold to nickname it the “City of Dreaming Spires”. University College and Magdalen College are off the High Street, which runs from Carfax Tower (with city views) to the Botanic Garden on the River Cherwell. Population: >150,000.

Cambridge – Located on the River Cam in eastern England, this city home to the prestigious University of Cambridge, dating to 1209. University colleges include King’s, famed for its choir and towering Gothic chapel, as well as Trinity, founded by Henry VIII, and St John’s, with its 16th-century Great Gate. University museums have exhibits on archaeology and anthropology, polar exploration, the history of science and zoology. Population: >120,000.

Bristol – This city straddles the River Avon in the southwest of England with a prosperous maritime history. Its former city-center port is now a cultural hub, the Harborside, where the M Shed museum explores local social and industrial heritage. The harbor’s 19th-century warehouses now contain restaurants, shops and cultural institutions such as contemporary art gallery The Arnolfini. Population: >450,000.

Bath – This is the largest city in the ceremonial county of Somerset, England, known for its Roman-built baths. Located in the valley of the River Avon, the city became a World Heritage site in 1987. Population >90,000.

LONDON – The capital of England and the United Kingdom, is a 21st-century city with history stretching back to Roman times. At its center stand the imposing Houses of Parliament, the iconic “Big Ben” clock tower and Westminster Abbey, site of British monarch coronations. Across the Thames River, the London Eye observation wheel provides panoramic views of the South Bank cultural complex, and the entire city. Population: >8.8 Million.

Dover – A coastal town in England’s southeastern county of Kent. It’s a major port for ferries to Calais, in France. Built to repel invasions from across the English Channel, medieval Dover Castle overlooks the town and houses the extensive Secret Wartime Tunnels. The iconic White Cliffs of Dover are symbolic safeguards at Britain’s closest point to continental Europe. Population: >30,000.

How fun to learn the geography of another country!

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