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(14) What has enabled St. Louis to take its place as one of the important cities in the United States?

(15) Why did Armour and Company build such a large packing plant in Brazil?

(16) Why the Amazon region has so few railroads?

Map work in the early grades usually is considered rather difficult but when taught according to the project method much of the difficulty disappears. Recently a teacher took her pupils to a small park near the school house. On the way to and from the park things of interest were pointed out. At the park the position of the tennis courts, the ball diamonds, the play grounds, the small building which contained the library and the dancing hall, and the bathing hole were observed. The pupils noticed the names of the streets over which they walked and the cross streets. After the pupils got back to their room they traced the route which they took in going to and from the park on a large piece of paper on the floor. The names of the streets which they noticed were put on the map. A map of the park was drawn on the same paper and the things mentioned above were put in. Several of the pupils lived on the streets which were put on the map and they wanted to show where they lived. The teacher permitted them to do this. Then the paper was hung on the wall and the pupils noticed that up on the map is north, that down is south, etc. It was hung on all four walls. By this time the rest of the pupils wanted to draw maps showing where they lived and this paved the way of making a small map of the neighborhood. Each pupil was given the street on which he lived to put on the map and he was supposed to locate his home. Sometimes several pupils had the same street because they lived on it. As the map idea grew, places of interest near the school were located. Many of the pupils, not contented with only one map which belonged to the whole school, made maps of their own. Thus the pupils learned how to read maps in rather a short time and they had a reason for doing so.


The project is adapted remarkably well to socialized work in geography. The pupils live in a world where men co-operate and work together, and since geography treats of the activities of man in relation to his physical environment, the socialized lesson may be used.

Sometime ago, a class was visited in which a socialized lesson was being conducted on China. The teacher had obtained all the material which she could on the subject, she consulted people who had formerly lived in China or who did business in China, and she learned what products were found in China. The lesson was begun by asking the pupils what they knew about China. The pupils immediately became interested because they knew about rice and silk, and they had seen Chinese people in Chicago and missionaries who had been in China. The pupils entered into the work with much enthusiasm. They consulted all available material. Clippings from newspapers and periodicals, pictures, and products common to China were brought to school and neatly arranged. Mention should be made of the raising of silkworms and the interest with which the pupils watched the larvae increase in size until the cocoons were formed. Even a little silk was unwound from the cocoons. A few Chinese articles were made and put in the room. The textbook was used merely as a guide and reference was made to it throughout the course. when the work was about completed the children invited other rooms to come in and see their exhibits: On the completion of the work the pupils gave a Chinese tea and the room was decorated with Chinese lanterns and other things common to China which the pupils made. The pupils acted as if they were Chinese and many were dressed in Chinese costumes.

In a socialized lesson, (1) the pupils do not necessarily do the same work, (2) each pupil does his share of the work according to his ability, (3) the pupils may propose problems and questions, and (4) the pupils enter into the discussion and solving of the project in a democratic way. In a socialized lesson the teacher

is needed. She should always be ready to guide the pupils and to see that the work is conducted along the right lines.


Many authorities believe that an ideal course of study in geography consists of home geography, journey geography, regional geography and world geography. The pupils are led by easy steps from a study of their local environment to the study of the environments of other peoples. Then a rather intensive study is made of the regions of the world, after which the pupils finish the study of geography by noting the world-wide relations of the different sections of the world as they affect man.

A natural region may be defined as an area of land in which the physical features, climate and natural resources are somewhat similar. With the aid of maps, pictures and other material, the pupils will obtain pictures of each continent showing how the activities, distribution and character of people are affected by physical environment. The pupils learn to understand why people have different activities in various sections of the world and they learn to reason logically. In the past, geography has been taught chiefly by political units and usually every state or country was gone over in about the same way. In a regional classification several states and countries may be grouped together and it is possible to select a few problems which will bring out most of the geography of the region. However, there are certain advantages in using the political unit. In general, such statistical data on population, manufactures, agriculture, etc., are available for the state or country and not for the natural region.

Practically all the textbooks have the United States divided into regions of some order for convenience in treating the subject matter. Let us turn in our imagination to a physical map of the United States. We may divide the United States into the following simple regions:-(1) The Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plains, (2) The Appalachian Highlands, (3) The North Central Plains, (4) The Western Plains, (5) The Rocky Mountain Highlands,

(6) The Western Plateaus, (7) The Pacific Highlands, and (8) The Pacific Lowlands.

Suppose you are to teach the geography of the United States. How are you going to teach it? Will you assign so many pages in the book each day and teach chiefly memory work? Will you write questions on the board day by day for the pupils to answer when studying the number of pages which you have assigned? Or are you going to teach the pupils to reason and to solve live problems? The pupils should be taught to use a textbook correctly and the teacher may occasionally assign so many pages in the textbook and she may occasionally write questions on the board for the pupils to answer. However, the teacher who is teaching geography and is preparing the pupils for life outside the schoolroom is not teaching memory work she is teaching the pupils to solve real vital problems and she is organizing her work around big units.

Suppose you are going to use the project method in teaching the United States and that you have the eight regions in mind. Take the North Central Plains as an example. Some of the large units or projects which may be considered are:-(1) "Why is the Northern Central Plains called the granary of the United States?" (2) "Account for the fine transportation facilities." (3) Why is Chicago such an important city?" (4) Compare the North Central Plains with the Northern Appalachian Highlands." Would not one or two of these projects or similar projects cover much territory and would they not give the pupils a rather complete picture of the North Central Plains? Likewise, suitable projects may be found for the other regions.


The project brings out the relation of geography to other subjects. The work in geography from time to time furnishes material or a motive for the study of history, literature, spelling, reading, writing, English, arithmetic, nature study, manual training, domestic science, etc. Likewise, the other subjects may incidentally contribute to geography. The business of the teacher is to develop the geographic point of view through the appropriate use of geographic material.

Some of the advantages of the project method are as follows:(1) It teaches the pupils how to think.

(2) The interest of the pupils is aroused, their attention is held to the problem and better work results.

(3) Initiative, leadership, and independence in solving problems are developed.

(4) Every pupil is given the opportunity of doing his best work, the slow being given opportunity to excel as well as the bright.

(5) It teaches the pupils the art of co-operation.

(6) It affords an opportunity for the teacher and pupils to work on a more sympathetic level.

(7) The teacher learns to understand her pupils better. (8) Mechanical skill may be developed in projects.

(9) It teaches perseverance and thrift.

(10) It brings the home into closer relation to the school. (11) It furnishes a good means of using current events and of studying present day geography.

(12) It enables the pupils to develop geographic principles which they may use throughout life.

If the project is used, will our courses of study have to be made over? Undoubtedly many courses of study should be made over and more large units of subject matter should be included. Many minor facts and much useless material must be omitted. Until our courses of study are adapted to the needs of the pupils, the teacher must do the best she can. Good teaching is nothing more or less than ordinary common sense applied in the right way and the teacher should make progress by organizing her work around large units. The field of geography is so large that the pupils cannot cover everything in their school life. Hence what we teach, we should teach well and when the pupils leave school they should go out with the ability of conquering the problems of life. Thus the project method of teaching geography is one of the means by which the life in the schoolroom is made to resemble the life outside the schoolroom.

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