National Geographic : 1900 May
APPERCEPTION IN GEOGRAPHY Climate.-Lessons upon climate, with experiments and map study, follow. The rain gauge is observed and a record of the rainfall is made to show how the annual amount of moisture is determined. Such observations are accompanied by others on wind, temperature, and the appearance of the sky. After the pupils have become familiar with such facts as these observations furnish, they extend the bounds of their knowledge by the study of climatic maps. Rainfall.--On the rainfall map, number 15, the pupils find the an nual precipitation about New York City and select other regions having the same amount. By the aid of map 11 a list of cities in these regions is made; also the density of population in each region is compared with that about New York City. Regions having less rain than New York and those having more are compared with New York as to density of population. Temperature.-The use of the thermometer is taught before the map of isotherms is presented. The symbols on the United States weather map are used to record the observations, and this map is understood before the work on the atlas map is given. After gaining these facts, a further comparison is made of places differing in density of popu lation, and reasons for the varying density are deduced from the climate and surface of each region. Vegetation.-A visit to Washington Park furnishes the first common ideas of vegetation. Satisfactory types of forest, prairie, desert, and marsh are all to be found there, and here also the conifer of the cold climate, the palms of the tropics, and deciduous trees of the temperate regions have each a representative. In the subsequent lessons on vegetation the pupils use map num ber 7, and make lists of the kinds of vegetation found in North Amer ica. They color an outline map of North America to represent the vegetation regions. From other maps of the atlas the pupils discover and record temperature, winds, rainfall, physical features, and density of population in each region of vegetation. The first work, then, in map reading is associated with the pre vious field lesson or experiment. Since the maps and plates of the atlas are the medium through which the geographical facts of conti nents and political divisions are to be gained by pupils, our first work in geography, as outlined above, is an introduction to these symbols. In this connection I wish to acknowledge the valuable suggestions I have received from the teachers' edition of Leete's Exercises in Geography, a little book containing exhaustive material for such map studies.