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Geography - Reccomendations To Teachers

( Originally Published 1915 )



To COMPLETE the Course in Geography for Form II will require from one year to one and one-half years, depending upon the ability of the class.

It is not required that the topics should be taught in the order outlined below. Any logical order of topics may be taken, provided that the class has had the necessary preliminary preparation for the understanding of the subject-matter.

A record should be kept of all lessons taught, to prevent unnecessary repetitions or omissions.

In rural schools it will be found advantageous to combine classes whenever possible. For example, the Senior Grade of Form I may be combined with Form II for much of the subject-matter included in the sections numbered 4, 6,, 9, and 10. If pupils of the Junior Grade of Form III are found defective in the subject-matter of Form II, they may find it profitable to join the latter for reviews.

That the " Suggestions for Lessons " in this Grade are well within the comprehension of ordinary Form II pupils has been demonstrated by careful tests made in the school-room by competent teachers. The observation method makes the work very interesting and practical, and the pupils find little difficulty in understanding facts and relationships which, if taught by the old non-observation methods, would be for the most part hazy and theoretical.

1. LAND AND WATER FORMS

(1) The ideas obtained from observations of local hills, valleys, and plains extended to include ideas of mountain, range, volcano, watershed or divide, plateau, pass, promontory.

(2) The further study of a local stream as to origin, direction, size, work (drainage, erosion, transportation), to develop such terms as river, tributary, source, channel, current, mouth, estuary, delta. Emphasize the erosive power of rivers in cutting down the valleys through which they flow, and their carrying power in transporting soils to lower levels.

The river basin, its watershed, its source of water-supply (rain and snow), its springs, drains, and swamps, and its system of river and branches.

(3) General notions of continent, ocean, sea, strait, gulf, bay, lake, canal, island, cape, peninsula, isthmus. A physical geography chart of these type forms will be found very helpful. Pictures are also very effective in this connection.

(4) Representation by the pupils of the above types of land and water forms by modelling in sand or clay and by drawing. Sand-tables should be used very sparingly by the teacher during the teaching process, but the pupils may afterwards use them freely, as a means of expressing notions that have been taught to them.

For hints on teaching the following topics, see " Suggestions for Lessons ", Chapter VII : Mountains; a river; river basin; the ocean; shore forms.

2. THE WEATHER AND THE SEASONS

(1) Winds : general notions of their cause, direction, force, and uses.

(2) Nature and origin of clouds, fogs, dew, frost, rain, snow, hail, etc.

(3) The seasons : changes, characteristics, general causes.

(4) Simple weather records.

For hints on teaching the following, see " Suggestions for Lessons ", Chapter VII : Winds; rain; the seasons ; variation in the length of day and night.

3. OUTLINE STUDY OF THE EARTH AS A WHOLE

(1) The earth : form, size, surface.

(2) The continents and oceans and their relative positions. Use the globe at first, the map of the world after-wards. Do not use the Mercator map at this stage, as it may give wrong impressions of distance and areas.

For hints on teaching " The Earth as a Globe ", see Chapter VII.

4. LOCAL GEOGRAPHY

Much local geography has already been taken in pre-ceding portions of the Course. In addition the following may be taken :

(1) Names and locations of particular local streams, lakes, hills, roads, capes, islands, etc.

(2) Township and county geography, with the principal towns, villages, highways, etc.

For hints on teaching "The Township", see Chapter VII.

5. MAP DRAWING

The following order is suggested for the development of plans and maps :

(1) Simple objects in the school-room, for example, the teacher's desk or table.

(2) The school-room, showing location of stove, teacher's desk, door, etc.

(3) The school grounds.

(4) Some neighbouring farm.

For variety, models in sand or clay may be made of some particular farm, the school section, or the township, and then plans or maps may be made of these models.

For hints on teaching maps; see Chapter VII.

6. COMMERCIAL GEOGRAPHY

(1) Local marketing : grain, live stock, fruit, butter, cheese, milk, eggs, and other farm products; wood, pulp-wood, fish, etc.

(2) Local industries and their products: lumber, cheese, pulp, paper, furniture, woollen goods, clothing, flour and meal, leather, boots and shoes, cured meats, implements, machinery, brick, cement, lime, etc.

(3) Raw material obtained in the locality: building stone, limestone, marl, marble, timber, pulpwood, tan bark, hides, iron ore, etc.

(4) Distribution : local means of transportation : roads, railways, water-ways; local collecting and distributing centres, such as implement agencies, elevators, etc.

7. PLACES OF GEOGRAPHICAL INTEREST IN THE NEIGHBOURHOOD

Sand dunes, shores worn by waves, ravines cut by running water, gravel-pits showing layers of gravel and sand, deposits of boulder stones, quarries, crumpled or tilted rock layers, glacial-marked rocks, "pot-holes ", streams flowing from springs, meandering streams in plains, etc.

8. PLACES OF HISTORICAL INTEREST IN THE NEIGHBOURHOOD

Location of places of historical interest. Many of these are on or near the United States boundary, particularly along the St. Lawrence River, the north shores of Lake Ontario, the Niagara River, and the Detroit River. In addition to these, there are Indian reserves, old Indian camping and burial grounds, old buildings or places associated with early pioneer days, birthplaces of famous men, etc.

9. THE PEOPLE OF THE LOCALITY AND THEIR NATIONALITIES

Canadians, English, Irish, Scotch, Welsh, Americans, French, Germans, Italians, Chinese, etc., as the case may be. General notions of the location of the countries from which these people came.

10. CHILD LIFE IN OTHER LANDS

Stories, illustrated by pictures, of child life in other countries, -particularly in those countries whose conditions and customs are widely different from ours. Examples : Eskimo, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Hindu, Turk, Negro, etc.

Children of public school age are likely to be much more interested in the lives and activities of other children than in those of adults. Hence such topics as the following should make appropriate material for class stories :

The appearance of the children, their games, toys, pets, clothing, what they eat, what they study at school, what their homes are like, occupations of the people, how they travel, climate and products of the country, the animal and bird life, strange sights to be seen, etc.



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