National Geographic : 1900 May
I04 APPERCEPTION IN GEOGRAPHY mal life to these conditions. In one year's changes the climate of the different zones is fairly represented. The preparation of plant and animal life for the seasons, the rela tion of animal to plant, and of man to each is further treated in the nature lesson, such observations being made as will form the basis of the reading lesson that shall follow. The study of drainage follows the observation of rain. The knowl edge of the work of the streams is based upon the observations made during the rain-storm. These ideas may be gained from a field les son on a railroad cut or excavation in the neighboring hill country. These field lessons are supplemented by careful study of types of rivers and mountains from maps and pictures. The life in each section visited on the excursions is compared with the conditions of home. In these lessons the land forms are taught, and man's need of clothing, food, and shelter suggests occupations of people. From this study of the organization of human endeavor arises the understanding of the growth of town and city and of the need of government. At this point the story of " Robinson Crusoe " is a valuable and interesting aid as a reading lesson. During the two years in which nature-work is the basis for the read ing lesson ideas are developed which are to be utilized by the true geography teaching that belongs to the course of study in the third year. The main difficulty is to arrange the study to meet the capa bility of the pupil. Our own adult notions in geography are largely gained from maps, which we enlarge by means of acquired concepts. Why not teach geography by this method ? Experience has taught that the study of a lesson from the text is mechanical and void of the desired effect to the majority of the pupils. Now, the search for facts from the map creates interest, and the recording of such facts stimu lates thought and furnishes material for the recitation that follows. The reading of the text book in a later recitation illuminates the ideas that have been gained by the individual efforts of pupils. In the end the written lesson will be the compilation of such facts as have been gained through individual investigation. The answers to carefully prepared questions will appear in the note books of the class as an original geography text book that has grown out of the actual observation and reasoning of the pupils. The Excursion.-As the neighborhood furnishes the fundamental concepts upon which we build, it follows that the first lessons must establish the common body of facts by simultaneous observation.