Gateway to the Classics: North America by Nellie B. Allen
North America by  Nellie B. Allen

Front Matter


T HE socialized recitation, with its projects and problems, is doubtless the most democratic form of class work that has ever been practiced in our schools. Geography lends itself more readily, perhaps, than any other subject to this method of teaching. In these pages many problems are brought up, many subjects for class debate suggested, and many opportunities given for independent work on the part of the pupils. It is through such activities that self-reliance is developed and real strength and knowledge are gained.

In former days people were accustomed to think of the schools as a place where children were prepared for real life. We know today that life and activities in a school-room are just as real to the child as any which will come to him later. With this thought in mind the author has made many suggestions for doing real things, writing real letters, making real comparisons, building up a real reference library, using public-library facilities and reference books, and learning at first many of the lines of work of the various departments of government.

The people in the different countries of North America are our nearest world neighbors. We should know as intimately as possible their life and activities and the provisions of nature which govern them. There is a mutual dependence between people of different localities for many materials and products. If troubles and misunderstandings arise the interchange of commodities is retarded and inconvenience or suffering results. One of the best ways of preventing such troubles is by increasing our knowledge of peoples in other countries. The study of our North American neighbors may well result in a greater confidence and a more intimate relationship between them and us.

The effect of environment on the life and occupations of a people and the gifts of nature in soil, climate, minerals, power, and other resources should be emphasized as the underlying foundation of man's activities. Therefore regional geography has been made the basis of the various chapters in this book.

The value of locational geography is well known, and exercises for the location of places, sketching and filling in of maps, and other forms of handwork are included in the topics at the ends of the chapters. From the names of places mentioned in the text of each chapter the most important should be selected and their locations and the most essential facts concerning them should be thoroughly mastered.

The subject of geography affords opportunity to the teacher to stimulate the reasoning power of his pupils, to broaden their outlook, to develop their knowledge of and sympathy for other peoples of the world, to create a respect on the part of our girls and boys for our govern-ment and a love for our country, and to develop a sense.. of their responsibility for its future growth and prosperity. The author hopes that the teachers and pupils who use this book may find therein material which will help in accomplishing these ends.


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