Children learn the Earth is round. It is a surprisingly relevant and important illustration for children today. Reality can be different than it seems at first glance. A fact poorly conveyed with a regular flat map. Globes are a beautiful and a tactile tool to convey the wonder of our planet.

Globes as Decoration

Globes have advantages as decoration. They come in wide varieties. There are classic desk globes, gemstone globes, extra-large floor globes, and even magnetic globes that seem to float in the air. The advantage in all these is the simple wonder of displaying our round Earth as it actually is.

The President Globe
••• [Military globe] by United States Office of Strategic Services and Weber Costello Co., c1942. Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress.

Tactile Learning

The globe is a physical object. It can be touched and felt. Flat maps do not afford the tactile feel of a globe.

Experiments show certain people learn best when they experience facts physically. A visual aid, such as a flat map, is not enough for those who relate to ideas through their feel and touch.

Much more than a flat map, a globe is a physical object that can be manipulated and handled in order to understand the Earth. Children and adults who learn kinesthetically, by doing things, will find globes easier to understand.

Franklin D. Roosevelt being presented a globe by the United States Army at the White House in Washington, D.C.
••• Photo, December 1942. Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library.

Accurate Shape

Contrary to myth, the Western world did not discover that the Earth was round after Columbus travelled to America. This was a well known fact of educated people since the ancient Greeks.

Globes, maps, and the study of geography has always been an advantage to different peoples in different times to be reminded that the reality we live in is different than it immediately seems.

And, if you are visiting Washington D.C., find the Roosevelt Globe on display in the Madison Building, Geography and Map Division: 101 Independence Ave. SE Madison Bldg, Room LM B01 Washington, D.C. 20540-4650. Hours: Weekdays 8:30 am to 5:00 pm. Closed Weekends and Federal Holidays.

Related Articles