National Geographic : 1900 May
APPERCEPTION IN GEOGRAPHY In a Brooklyn school the excursion and field lesson precede the work on the map. The city is the unit upon which we begin our course of reasoning. By means of concepts obtained from observations of home surroundings we are to gain the ideas of conditions that have devel oped other great centers of population. In New York we have before us a great commercial as well as a great manufacturing center. Upon these two conditions depends the dense population of Manhattan Island and the surrounding country. Density of Population.-An afternoon excursion across the bay on a boat of the Brooklyn annex furnishes the facts to be considered in connection with the map of density of population. The island of Manhattan, with its miles of water front, and the several cities grouped about the waters of bay, river, and strait are noted. The signs on the piers and the flags on the ships show the extent of the commerce. Beside the commercial advantages of New York, the conditions of manufacturing are also considered to obtain a proper understanding of the density of population in manufacturing towns. For this pur pose we select a shoe factory, where the different parts of the article are being worked upon by many people. The manager tells us how many hands he employs. These facts are afterward considered in a conversational lesson, where attention is directed to the many fam ilies dependent upon this factory and to the needs of each individual thereof. Physical Features.-Another excursion up the Hudson to the Pal isades helps to explain the dependence of density upon the physio graphical features. The only text book used is Longman's School Atlas. The home lessons following the excursions are based upon map 16 of that atlas, entitled " Density of Population in United States." The pupils find the density in southeastern New York and note other localities having similar density. They compare the situation of such places with that of New York City, using map 11 for a better understanding of the physical features. Then they find on map 16 regions having a low density of population and note their physical conditions. Composition.-A composition on population based upon the facts gathered on the excursion and from the map is next prepared with much careful attention and is preserved in the pupil's note book. This may be illustrated by pictures collected by the children to show conditions of life accompanying the different degrees of density. A map colored to show region of greatest and least density further emphasizes the lessons and completes the subject.