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Geography - Junior Grade

( Originally Published 1915 )



IN DEALING with the geography of a continent (or other large unit), impress upon the class that they are, at the same time, dealing with the larger features pertaining to the individual countries (or smaller units) comprising the continent (or large unit). For example: In dealing with the geography of North America, the pupils should consciously know that they are becoming familiar with many of the general features of Canada; and, vice versa, that, when the more detailed study of Canada is taken, they should consciously know that they are enlarging their knowledge of North America. The treatment of the larger and smaller units, therefore, should be so inter-related that their continuity and unity will become impressed upon the pupils. This principle should be care-fully followed throughout this and the succeeding Grades. By so doing the very common error of considering such topics as isolated units of study will be avoided.


The Story of the Earth and Its Peoples:

Since this book has been specially recommended by the Minister of Education as a Reader in Geography for Form III and as a supplementary Reader in Form IV, trustees should see that a sufficient number of copies are placed in the school library for the use of the pupils of these Grades. (See sec. 3 and 3 (1) of Authorized Text-books, page 88, Regulations and Courses of Study, 1915.)

It is recommended :

1. That the Junior Grade of Form III read the subject-matter pertaining to North America.

2. That the Senior Grade of Form III read the remainder of the book.

3. That the Form IV Grades re-read the book.

How to use the Reader :

1. In the Junior Grade of Form III and in both Grades of Form IV, the recitation in class should be followed by the reading of the corresponding chapter in the Reader.

2. In the Senior Grade of Form III, the subject-matter assigned for supplementary reading is outside that prescribed by the Course of Study for this Grade. The teacher, in this case, should prepare his pupils by means of a preliminary class "talk "—just sufficient to whet their interest, so that they may read with more appreciation and profit.

In addition to The Story of the Earth and Its Peoples, the school library should be well stacked with books of travel, etc., and these should be freely drawn upon for supplementary reading. Better educational results are likely to be obtained by striving to inculcate a taste for good reading while the pupils are still at school—a taste that can be further gratified after school days are over—than by requiring an undue amount of memorization of text-book matter.

Encourage pupils to bring in books and magazine articles. Encourage the making of scrap-books for pre-serving cuttings, pictures, statistics, etc., that may be useful in the geography class. Let pupils read much from all available sources, without holding them responsible in recitation for all that they read. Encourage the reading habit but direct it. Do not make the work too formal. Occasionally assign articles or chapters to be read at home by a pupil, to be afterward presented to the class.


The earth as a whole (general notions only) : Its form, apparent and real; axis; poles, relation to North Star; rotation on axis, day and night; equator, relation to the poles, recognition on globe and map ; a general knowledge of the warm equatorial regions, the cold polar wastes, and the intermediate regions of moderate temperatures—with their low and high suns, and their main differences of climate and products.

See Geography Reader: The Story of the Earth and Its Peoples—" As Others See Us ", page 7.

For hints on the teaching of the following topics, see Chapter IX: The axis of the earth; the poles; the equator; the earth's rotation; hot, temperate, and cold regions.


The location of the continents, with their chief countries and islands ; and of the oceans, with their chief seas, gulfs, and bays.

Fix names, locations, and relative sizes of the continents and oceans.

Connect them with stories and pictures of human life already more or less familiar. A few characteristic facts should be connected with each, for example, Asia as the home of the Chinese and Japanese; the largest continent; the home of the Jews in Bible times ; people less developed than here ; etc.

Deal with the chief countries, islands, seas, gulfs, and bays in a similar way, for example, China as noted for its great population, tea, etc. ; Argentina, for cattle, hides, wheat; Hawaiian Islands, for their location in mid-Pacific, for their sugar and rice ; Egypt for the flooded Nile, pyramids, caravans, etc.

Take imaginary journeys to add variety and interest.

As a result of this study, the children are expected to have a general, but well organized, knowledge and clearer pictures of life and its typical customs, and of the products, physical phenomena, climate, etc., of the world at large.

See Geography Reader : "Land and Water ", page 15; " The Sea-shore ", page 17; " The Atlantic Ferry ", page 25; " The Harvest of the Sea ", page 31.


1. Location :

(a) With reference to other continents

(b) With reference to the oceans

(c) With reference to hot and cold regions. .

2. Shape and size in comparison with other continents.

3. Countries : Canada, United States and Alaska, Mexico, Central American Republics.

4. Surface Features:

(a) Highlands and lowlands

(b) Coasts

(c) Drainage systems.

5. Climate :

Temperature, moisture, winds. How influenced by location, shape, and size of the continent, and by surface features.

6. Natural Resources :

(a) Vegetable

(b) Animal

(c) Mineral.

How dependent upon conditions outlined above.

7. Industries :

(a) Hunting and fishing

(b) Grazing and stock-raising

(c) Lumbering

(d) Agriculture

(e) Mining

(f) Manufacturing.

8. Transportation and Commerce :

(a) Internal trade, with routes

(b) External trade, with routes

(c) Commercial centres with reasons for location and growth.

9. People :

(a) Native inhabitants

(b) History of settlement. How influenced by physical environment.

Some such outline as the above should always be in the mind of the teacher, but it need not always be followed with exactness, since there may be danger of the form of the lessons becoming stereotyped. As an example of such variation it may seem the natural thing to consider the effect of each land form upon the climate, instead of waiting until all the surface features have been discussed before taking up the climate.

See Geography Reader : "A River in the Ocean ", page 29; "The Kuro Shiwo ", page 35; "The North West Passage ", page 43; "In the Antarctic ", page 47; "America—Surface and Climate ", page 52.

For hints on teaching North America, see Chapter IX.


1. Location :

Surrounding land and water conditions—cold and temperate regions.

2. Extent :

Its extent as conceived in terms of miles and of days' journeys. Comparisons with the United States and Europe. Provinces : Names, relative positions, capitals.

3. Relief :

(1) In general: Highlands, watersheds, slopes (Pacific, Arctic and Hudson Bay, Atlantic).

(2) In more detail: (a) Acadian Region, (b) Low-lands of the St. Lawrence Valley, (c) Laurentian Highland, (cl) The Great Central Plain, and (e) The Great Mountain Area.

See Ontario School Geography, pages 86-92. For convenience, this Geography is referred to in this Manual as the " Text-book".

4. Drainage :

The chief rivers, particularly the St. Lawrence, Saskatchewan-Nelson, and the Mackenzie Rivers, including their largest branches—their size, direction, and importance as highways for navigation; their rapids and falls, advantages and disadvantages ; fertility of their basins, cause and extent; their lake expansions (Ontario, Erie, Huron, Superior, Winnipeg, Athabaska, Great Slave, Great Bear). Canals (" Soo ", Welland, and St. Lawrence).

6. Climate :

Apply the chief factors affecting climate (latitude, elevation, nature of soil, proximity to oceans or mountains, rainfall, local circumstances) to conditions in Canada. Characteristic climatic conditions in each Province.

6. Soil :

Fertile, barren or rock, cold or desert regions.

7. Occupations :

Natural conditions that determine the occupations of the people. Keep in mind the physical divisions of Canada and their characteristics. Consider particularly the extensive lumbering, hunting, fishing, agri cultural, mining, and manufacturing operations, carried on in different sections of the country. Deter-mine what is done with the products of these industries. Study the important trade channels (water-ways, trunk railways, ports, ocean routes), and discuss the importance of Canada's trade with (a) Great Britain, (b) the United States, (c) other countries.

8. People :

The people of Canada, the races represented, the languages spoken, immigration, (whence, why, how employed, training for citizenship).

9. Government :

Federal, provincial; relation to Great Britain.

See Geography Reader, pages 58-172

"The Surface of Canada ", "The Oldest British Colony ", " New Scotland ", " New Brunswick ", " Prince Edward Island ", " Quebec", "Manitoba ", " Saskatchewan", "Alberta ", "British Columbia ", " North-West Territories ".


1. Position

2. Area :

407,262 square miles ; how many times larger is its area than that of the British Isles, France, or Germany?

3. Surface Features:

(1) Southern (Old) Ontario

(2) Northern (New) Ontario.

4. Drainage:

(1) Into St. Lawrence Basin

(2) Into Winnipeg Basin

(3) Into Hudson Bay Basin.

Trace the " heights of land ".

5. Climate :

Temperatures, moisture, winds.

6. Resources :

(1) Soil

(2) Forests

(3) Mines

(4) Water-ways and water-powers.

7. Industries :

(1) Agriculture :

(a) Grain-growing

(b) Dairying

(c) Stock-raising

(d) Fruit-growing.

(2) Mining:

Iron, copper, nickel, silver, gold, salt, oil, gas.

(3) Lumbering

(4) Fisheries

(5) Hunting and trapping

(6) Manufacturing :

Iron and steel, machinery, electrical apparatus, heating apparatus, agricultural implements, carriages and automobiles, paper, furniture, pianos and organs, flour and meal, woollens and cottons, meat-packing, canning, etc.

8. Transportation :

Railways, lakes and rivers, canals.

9. People :

Nationalities represented, where settled.

10. Cities and chief towns :

Location and principal industries.

11. Government :

Legislative, municipal, educational.

As the newspapers frequently refer to the counties of Ontario in connection with parliamentary representation, the administration of justice, and in other ways, it is desirable that pupils should familiarize themselves with the counties, county towns, and districts of the Province.

NOTE.—For a suggestive method of teaching Ontario, see Lesson on Nova Scotia, page 125. A recent map, showing the Province as a whole, is essential to good teaching. Maps showing New Ontario in a corner, and drawn to a smaller scale, are misleading.

See Geography Reader : " Ontario "—Sections I to IV, page 96; "The United States ", page 183; "Mexico ", page 211; " Central America ", page 215; "The West Indies ", page. 218.

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