Where We Live - A Home Geography
by Emilie Van Beil Jacobs
Home - Random Browse






Supervising Principal of the Richardson L. Wright School, Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA, 1913, 1914 CHRISTOPHER SOWER COMPANY 124 North Eighteenth Street


Page Foreword 5 Introduction 7

PART ONE I. Our School 11 II. The Streets and Roads 17 III. The Buildings 22 IV. The Town as a Whole 31 V. The People 36 VI. Industries and Occupations 42 VII. Animals and Plants 46 VIII. Transportation and Communication 50 IX. Physiography of the Neighborhood 54 X. Direction 66

PART TWO I. The Earth as a Whole 73 II. The Seasons 79 III. The Zones 82 IV. North America 93 V. Countries of North America 100 VI. Trips 105


I. The Western Hemisphere 74-75 II. The Eastern Hemisphere 74-75 III. The World 82 IV. Surface Map of North America 96 V. North America 100


Once upon a time as four blind men sat by the roadside they heard the tramp of an elephant's feet, and said one to another, "Here comes an elephant; now we shall know what he is like." The first blind man put out his hand and touched the elephant's broad side. The second took hold of a leg. The third grasped a tusk, and the fourth clutched the animal's tail.

"Now do you know what an elephant looks like?" asked a friend.

"Yes," cried the first. "The elephant is broad and flat like a barn door."

"What!" exclaimed the second. "The elephant is big and round like the trunk of a tree."

"Not so!" cried the third. "The elephant is hard and smooth like a polished stone."

"What are you all talking about?" cried the fourth. "The elephant is just like a piece of rope."

Much so-called teaching of geography leads to just such incomplete and fantastic ideas about geographical concepts. Very many children have only vague, incomplete and incorrect conceptions of the things they see. Like these physically and mentally blind men we are too often satisfied with mere wordy descriptions of subjects when we might study the subject at first hand if we would.

This little book is intended to prevent the giving of information by description, but to suggest ways of directing attention to those things which lie within reach of the child's senses, things which he might pass by, things which are needed now to stimulate an intelligent interest in his surroundings, things which are needed later for an appreciation and enjoyment of his study of the larger facts and concepts of geography. If the larger geographical concepts are to have accuracy and richness for the child he must have his attention directed to his surroundings. The trite expression "from the known to the unknown" is good pedagogy, but there must be a "known" on which to build.

The book is based upon the author's actual experience in the class-room studying the children at their geography tasks. It has been her experience that the efforts of the teachers to build broad geographical concepts were of no avail because the pupils did not have accurate intimate knowledge of the necessary home geography upon which to build. To correct this defect she set about collecting and classifying the necessary material. With the use of this material she not only found that the class teachers had much less difficulty in presenting the study of the earth as a whole, but that an interest beyond all expectation was apparent in the children.

The following pages are valuable more on account of the things they suggest than for any geographical facts which they incidentally present. The book is not a text-book on geography; it is a compendium of suggestion on the study of the subject. It makes little effort to present facts, but rather it tells how to gather, classify and study facts. It is intended to be used with children during the age when they especially delight in the making of collections, and is intended to turn to a definite use this childish instinct.

Map study is based entirely upon the child's experiences as he makes plans of his schoolroom, schoolhouse, streets and city. The suggestions regarding the study of things foreign to the child are based entirely upon his experience in the study of the types with which he has become familiar in his study of his surroundings.

Milton C. Cooper, Superintendent of District Nine, Philadelphia.


Geographical knowledge should progress from the known to the unknown, from the familiar to the unfamiliar. The world is the home of mankind. We can best understand the larger world by a preliminary consideration of our own small intimate home. We therefore begin to study geography with an account of the child's immediate environment. The school stands for the common home of the class. From the school we gradually widen out our teaching to include the immediate neighborhood with its buildings, and finally the whole town or community.

We study the various types of people whom we meet every day, and the industries in which they engage in their efforts to obtain the three main necessities of human life,—food, clothing and shelter. The animals and plants sharing the world with man and contributing to his sustenance next focus our attention.

The home neighborhood has its physiographical features distinguishing it from other places and influencing the life of its inhabitants. The land and water divisions in the immediate environment are studied as types, while those not closely related to our home are reserved for consideration as each one occurs in its local geographical place in the course of study.

We must know something of direction in order to conveniently locate the streets, buildings and physiographical features near our home. Finally, we will try to realize the great size of the earth, of which our home is but a small portion, by a consideration of the relationship of our community to the rest of the world and to some of this world's great diversities.

As geography is a study of cause and effect, the early lessons should be mainly oral. Later, in order to obtain a broad knowledge of geographical data, not one but many books should be read. This little book aims to serve as a bridge between the oral lesson and the descriptive text-book. The presentation of many questions leads the pupil to think out cause and effect, and to connect his present knowledge with the realm of the unknown. Special care has been exercised to present facts only when facts are absolutely necessary, and only after allowing the pupil the opportunity to first exercise his own reasoning faculties in obtaining the information.

The excursion is an essential part of every geography course, and every effort should be made to use this effective means of teaching.

Four types of valuable exercises may be suggested in the use of this book:

1. The pupils may read the questions orally and give the answers orally.

2. They may read the questions silently, answering them orally.

3. They may read the questions orally and write the answers.

4. Finally, they may silently read the questions and write the answers.

All definitions have been carefully avoided as tending to hamper the free acquisition of ideas.



1. Our School. 2. The Streets and Roads. 3. The Buildings. 4. The Town as a Whole. 5. The People. 6. Industries and Occupations. 7. Animals and Plants. 8. Transportation and Communication 9. Physiography of the Neighborhood 10. Direction.


1. The Earth as a Whole. 2. The Seasons. 3. The Zones. 4. North America. 5. Countries of North America. 6. Trips.






What is the name of our school?

Where have you seen this name?

Why was this name given to our school?

On what street or road does our school stand?

How long have you been attending this school?

See how much you have noticed as you came here each day. Tell what you can remember of the different parts of the building which can be seen from the street or road. Describe each of these parts:

Walls Roof Windows Chimneys Doors Fire-escape


As you look at the school from the outside what materials do you see that the builders have used? Where have they needed stone, slate, glass, tin, iron, steel, wood?

Now let us think of the garden and playground. Tell about the different parts and the materials that have been used in making them.

What great numbers of workmen were needed before a school like ours could be built! Who procured the stone and the slate? Whose work was needed to obtain the iron, the steel and the tin? Who made the glass? Which workmen shall we thank for the wood?

Can you think how the bare lot looked before the school was built? Many men with shovels and pick-axes dug out the foundation, and numbers of horses and wagons were needed to carry out the earth. Then came the builders. How were so many materials brought here?


1. We will go outdoors together and look at the school building.

2. We will stand north of the school, south, east and west of it. Notice the position of the parts, their number, shape, size and color.

3. As we stand at each side, see whether there are any parts which you never noticed before or any parts which we forgot to mention yesterday.


Look at this drawing of a school building and grounds. It is called a plan. Before any school or church or home is built a plan must be drawn. This is to show the workmen what to do. See how much of the ground is used for the building. Find the garden. What are in the garden? Which is larger, the garden or the playground? What shape is the playground? How many doors are there to the building? In how many ways can you get into the playground?

Try to draw a plan of your school building and yard, showing the gates, the flagpole, the drinking fountain or pump, and any other parts you think of. Show which door you use most.

Note to the Teacher.—The pupils should draw the plan upon paper while the teacher draws it upon the blackboard. Infinite care should be exercised to invest every line with its full meaning. Upon the proper interpretation of this first plan will depend much of the pupil's future ability to correctly read a map as the representation of a reality.



As you walk from the school door to your room what do you see? Tell all that you have noticed in the corridors, on the staircases, in the cloak-rooms and the class-rooms.


We will go on a little excursion through the school today, walking along all of the corridors and upon all of the staircases. Look especially to see anything that you never saw before, and notice anything that you forgot to mention in yesterday's description.


Answer the following questions:

1. How many stories high is our school?

2. How many class-rooms are on each floor?

3. How many other rooms are on each floor?

4. How many staircases does our school have?

5. What materials have been used in building the staircases?

6. What can be seen in the corridor nearest your room?

7. By how many doorways can the children leave the building?

8. How is your school heated and ventilated?


Describe everything that you can see in your class-room.


Look at this plan of a school-room. See if you can draw a plan of your school-room.


Make a list of all the materials that have been used in building the inside of your school. Remember all of the following parts:

Floors Windows Corridor furnishings Ceilings Doors Class-room furnishings Walls Staircases

Now write a list of the kinds of workmen who gathered together these materials. Name as many of the kinds of workmen as you can think of who were engaged on the inside work of the building.


Write a letter to anyone whom you know who has never seen our school. Tell all about our building and the good workmen by whom it was planned and built.




On what street or road does your school stand?

On what street or road do you live?

What streets or roads do you pass on your way home?

What do you think is the finest street or road that you have ever seen anywhere? What makes that so good a street or road?

Name a poor street or road. What could be done to improve it?


Why do cities and towns have streets and roads? Where are there no streets?

Look at the country picture shown on page 19. How pretty it is! When would it be pleasant to walk there? When would it not be so pleasant? Why? What must be done to a road to make it into a good street? Tell what you can of the different ways of paving, lighting and draining streets and roads, and of the different kinds of name-signs you have seen.

Now what can be done to make a street or road beautiful and pleasant in warm weather?

How can boys and girls help to keep the streets and roads pleasant?

Here is a plan of some of the streets in a large city.


Draw the shape of the school lot. Now show the street or road that the school stands upon. If you live in a town, draw the streets next to the school. Then draw the next streets, and keep on until you have drawn the street on which your home stands. Place a little cross to show your home. With your pencil start from your house and make a dotted line to show how you come to school.


On your plan of the neighborhood place a circle to show the grocery store or bakery that you pass on your way to school. Make a large dot to show the nearest store to school, and with a dotted line explain how you would go there from school if your teacher sent you to buy ink. Make a circle with a cross in it to show where there is a church, a bank, a factory, or any other important building near your school. If there is a railroad near, show it upon your plan.


Many streets and lanes have names of trees. Some have been named after great and good men. There are some streets with only numbers for names. Do you know of any streets having names of these different kinds? Can you think of any street or road that received its name for some other reason?

Get as many pictures as you can of the streets of your town or any other town and paste them in your note-book. Get some pictures of country roads and paste them also in your note-book.


In some towns the streets are nearly straight and cross each other like the wires of a window-screen. In other towns the streets run off from the centre of the town like the spokes of a wheel. Some streets and roads are very crooked.

How are the streets in our town arranged? Name some of our best business streets. Which streets have the finest homes in which people live? Name some streets or roads with trolley lines upon them. Are our streets paved?


Perhaps you live in the country where there are very few streets or none at all. How different is your walk to school each day from that of the city boy or girl! In town, children walk on paved streets and pass many buildings. What kind of roads do the country children walk upon? What buildings do they pass? A country school.

Do you take a pleasant road between broad fields? Do you walk through the cool shady woods? Perhaps you run over a bridge with the clear brook sparkling and babbling beneath. What else do you see or hear in the country which city folks do not know in their built up towns?




What kinds of buildings do you pass on your way to school? Write a list of all the kinds that you have ever seen.

Look at the pictures of buildings in this book and see if you know for what each is used. How can you tell?


Of all the many kinds of buildings in town or country, the houses are the most important. It is more necessary to have good homes to live in than to have the other buildings large or beautiful. What makes a good residence? There must be enough room for the whole family. It needs plenty of light, air, sunshine and water. It must have a good roof to keep it dry in stormy weather. It should be well heated in the cold winter. Tell of other things that are needed in our homes to keep the family healthy and happy. How can you help to make your home pleasant?


Good schools, too, are very necessary. The school-house must be built to keep the boys and girls comfortable and healthy while at work. Name some of the things needed for a good school building.


The libraries and museums also teach people. A library is like a home where many friendly teachers live. These friends will talk to you and tell you many useful and wonderful things. Have you ever visited them at the library? Have you ever taken any of them home with you? Is there a library near our school?

The museums are full of many interesting objects. You may see beautiful pictures and statuary. Some have collections of pretty stones and of stuffed animals. Curious clothing, jewelry, toys and musical instruments used by people in distant lands are shown too. In a museum in Portland you may see the dear little clothing worn by the poet Longfellow when he was a tiny baby. Many books that Washington read are kept in a museum near the city of Washington. Have you ever visited a museum in a city? What did you see there?


No buildings anywhere are more beautiful than the churches. Are there any churches in your neighborhood? Describe the church which you attend.


In town and country there are many ill people who cannot be cared for at home. They go to hospitals to be nursed back to health and strength. The good doctors and nurses work day and night to cure the sick people. How can well people help sick people? Where is the nearest hospital to your home? What is it named?


Almost every town has a Town Hall. Have you ever seen such a building? What is it used for? Here the mayor has his office. Sometimes the Town Hall or Court House has a high tower, or a fine dome, or a cupola. If you have ever seen a Town Hall tell how it looked.


Think of the stores that you have seen. How many kinds can you name? What does each sell principally? Where are these things made? Have you ever seen a large factory? What does it manufacture?

It would be fine if all of the buildings in which folks work were sunny, airy and clean. People employed in comfortable stores and factories are happy and feel like working.

Alas! there are many miserable places where the workmen are crowded and uncomfortable. The impure air makes them tired and ill. If you have seen a good store or factory tell what helps to keep the workers comfortable and healthy.


Old cities have in them many very old buildings that all Americans love. The magnificent Capitol at Washington was built long ago. It is one of the finest buildings in the world. It is built of white marble. In the first picture in this book notice the beautiful dome and the great high stairs. In Philadelphia is the dear old Independence Hall with the Liberty Bell. Boston has the old Faneuil Hall. Here many great Americans of long ago have spoken to the people. Are there any old historic buildings in our neighborhood?


Suppose some friends travel on the railroad to visit us. At what railroad station would the train arrive? Are there any other stations? How are they built? Do you think they give a beautiful, clean, friendly welcome to strangers? All stations should be pleasant and comfortable to cheer the tired travelers that pass through them day and night. At Denver, just outside of the station, there is a great arch stretching across the street. It says, "Welcome," in bright letters at night and in pretty letters in the day. The visitor is glad to see the friendly word after a long trip.


When friends come from another town we like to show them the sights. Plan a nice trip around the town. Write a list of places to which you would take them. You must know where each place is. What could you tell about each place?


One day we should visit some park. Is there any near our school? Are there any interesting buildings or statuary in the park? Is there any water near by?

When we visit our town park we should remember that it belongs to us, for a public park belongs to all of the people. Do you not like to have the things that belong to you as good, as useful and as beautiful as possible? Do you want your home to look sweet and clean and comfortable, or dirty, careless and unpleasant? Do you want your clothing to be strong, neat and pretty, or torn and dirty? We should all take pride in having the things we own just as good as possible. When you are in the street, the school, any public building, or in a park, say to yourself, "This is mine." Then look around and see whether you like the way it looks. Think how you can help to keep it looking well or make it look even better.

How can boys and girls help keep the grass, the paths, the flower-beds, the trees and the buildings beautiful? Where does the money come from to pay the caretakers of the park?

Some people visit the park only in spring, summer or autumn. We all love the park in those seasons. Many do not know how beautiful the bare trees look in winter with their gray or brown branches. There is no more exquisite sight in the world than to see these trees coated with glistening ice out to the tiniest twig, or to see them ridged with pearly white snow. It is a merry sight to see the jolly coasters and skaters.


Copy the list of buildings given below and mark each kind that you have seen. Tell where you saw it, of what it was built, or for what it was used.

Residence School Museum Store Church Car-barn Bank Hospital Library Factory Railroad station Office Stable Government building Garage Dairy Barn Ice House

What building is shown on the cover of this book?




Think of the times when you have walked or ridden about our town.

What rivers did you see?

Which buildings did you think were very beautiful?

What was each used for?

What buildings have we that are very helpful to the people?

What interesting places have you visited in your neighborhood?

What other places would you like to visit?



What place shall we visit? Why? Draw a plan to include the school and the place to be visited.

How far must we go? Shall we ride or walk? In what direction shall we go?

When we are up high we can look over the whole neighborhood. First, try to find our school. In what direction shall we need to face? Then let us notice what lies between us and our school. See if you can find any park or large building which you know. Try to find the street or road upon which your home stands. Then look beyond our school for any other familiar building or park, and look for your home if you did not see it before. Notice how far the town stretches and try to see what cuts it off or bounds it.

Next we shall turn and look in the opposite direction. What direction will that be? Find any familiar places. How can you know which are homes, schools, churches or factories? See how far the town extends and what cuts off or bounds it on this side.

In what other directions shall we look? Again we shall notice the familiar and unfamiliar places and the town boundaries.




Was the neighborhood view like you expected? What surprised you? What did we see most of? Make a list of all the places you remember seeing. Think of each view separately; north, south, east and west. Tell of anything you saw as you looked in each direction. Why could we see so much? How could we see even farther?


Do we live in a large city, a small town or in the country? What is the name of our town or the nearest town? Who first settled in the place which has grown to be a town? It is hard for us to believe that two hundred and fifty years ago there were no houses, churches, schools, streets or roads where we now live. All this land was wild country, mostly woods. The early settlers were strong and brave men. They had to cut down the forests and build their first homes of rough logs. Then they planted fields with corn, wheat and vegetables. They killed the wild animals for food, using the skins for clothing. As soon as possible the settlers tried to build a small plain church and a school-house.

Now we have our fine towns which have grown from the early work of these first sturdy settlers. All of the people should love our dear home town and try to make it beautiful, healthful and comfortable. We should love our neighbors and treat them all like brothers and sisters. If we are true to our village or our dear town we will be kind and fair to all, rich and poor, Americans and foreigners, white and colored people. That is one way of showing our thankfulness for our comfortable homes.




Think of the many buildings which you see as you look over the landscape. There are people living in nearly all of those houses. Just think of the many, many people who live here. How many are there? How many schools have we in the town? How many people go to your school?

Most of these people look much alike, but some are very different in appearance. Name some of the different kinds of people whom you have seen. How do you distinguish a negro and Chinaman or Mongolian from a white person or Caucasian? Tell about their hair, skin or any other peculiar features.

Each kind of people is called a race. The pictures show some of the races we often see—Caucasian, Mongolian and negro. The Chinese and Japanese are called Mongolians.



The Indians lived at this place which is now our home long before there were any white people here or any towns at all. Where these many buildings now stand there was wild country, fields and woods. Under the trees stood the Indian wigwams made of skins and branches. The early settlers came to this country from far across the ocean. After William Penn landed with his companions he began at once to make friends with the Indians. As the red men were living upon the land, Penn thought that it was only fair and honest to buy from them the land that the English people wanted for their homes. The Indians could not use money, so he gave them blankets and other presents which pleased them very much. The Indians promised William Penn to live in peace with the white men and they kept their promise for many years.

Most of the white people who came in those early days to other parts of our land did not act in this noble way. When they wanted land on which to build their homes they drove the Indians away, killing many of them. Thus these unjustly treated Indians became the enemies of the white men, and often treated them very cruelly in return. Let us remember that the Indians were the first owners of this land of ours and that they should be treated as William Penn showed us, with kindness and justice.

Those wild Indians of long ago had many noble traits. They were strong and brave and fearless.

Read in some of your school books about Indians and their homes.



There were no negroes in this country till many years after Columbus and the other white men began to settle here. Some white men went far across the sea to Africa. They stole the negroes away from their homes, carried them to their ships and sailed back to this country. Then these white men sold the negroes to other men for money. The poor colored men had to work terribly hard as slaves and received no pay for their work. At last they were freed by Abraham Lincoln and others who helped him.

The negroes have much that is fine in their character. Even when they were slaves they often grew to love their masters so dearly that they would do anything in the world, even give up their lives, for their masters. We should always remember that God made the negro as well as the white man. Fair-minded people will try to be honest, kind and just to everyone.



Many Chinamen have come to our country from their distant homes in China. Their country is so crowded, and it is so hard to earn a living there, that most of the people are very poor.

The Chinese living in our country are peaceful and quiet. They work very hard in their laundries and other places of business; yet there are many white people so cruel and thoughtless as to ridicule a Chinaman whenever they see one. These white people should remember that God made the Chinaman and that he is a stranger here in our country. Is it not even worse to ill-treat a stranger than one who is at home? The color of our skin and hair is not very important. It matters far more whether we are honest, loving, industrious and fair-minded.

Not all of the white people living around us were born in this country. Where did your parents and grandparents live when they were children? Do you know any people who came from distant lands? Where were their first homes? Find out how many of the parents of your schoolmates came a long journey over the water to reach our land.

Yes, we have people from many foreign countries. Some are English, Irish, Scotch or French. Then there are the Germans, Italians, Russians and others. From what country did each of these people come?

Here they are all living together, people from all over the great wide world. Our homes stand side by side. We work and play together. Truly we are brothers and sisters, for we are all children in the great human family. It matters not from what distant land our people may have come, we should all be bound together like one family by human love and kindness.




Which members of your family work? Why do they work? For what is the money they earn spent? Think which of these things are absolutely necessary to keep us alive.

We all need food.

We all need clothing.

We all need homes or shelter.

Without these provisions we should die.

How do we get our food, our clothing and our homes? How did people get them when there were no stores and no money? Do you know of any people who were compelled to get things in this way?

In a school reader, read about how primitive people lived.



We have two kinds of food, vegetable food, which grows from the ground, and animal food. Name some foods of each kind. All plants grow out of the earth or soil. The soil is necessary to produce our animal food also. The meat we eat comes from sheep, cows, chickens and other animals. These animals all live on vegetable food. Without good soil there would be no grass nor hay. No grass would mean no food for cows and sheep. So we see that all of our food really comes from the soil.

Our clothing, too, is dependent upon the soil. The cotton plant grows up out of the ground. The wool comes from the sheep, which eats grass which grows from the ground.

Even our homes could not be built without products from the earth or soil. Think how much wood is used in the construction of a house. The trees which grow in the soil give us all the wood. Much iron, steel, copper, brass and nickel are used in our homes. Stones and bricks form part of many houses. All of these things come out of the earth. What a wonderful thing is the soil! Out of it come our food, our clothing and our shelter!

In one of your books read the wonderful story of how we obtain a loaf of bread.


Write a list of all the kinds of work you can think of which people do.

Copy this list of industries and place a cross beside the ones at which any persons you know work:

Mining Printing and bookmaking Weaving Iron and steel work Shipbuilding Glass-blowing Lumbering Pottery making Brickmaking Meat packing Farming Dairying Manufacturing foods Manufacturing clothing Ice cutting Manufacturing furniture

Which are town industries? Which are country industries?


Would you like to go to-morrow to visit a factory in which some food or clothing is manufactured? Look at the map of the town. Find your school. Find the factory. How far must we go and in what direction? What is the name of the place we will visit? Notice all of the things made there. Try to remember all of the materials needed at the factory, and find out where these materials come from. Try to remember just how the articles are made. Find out what will be done with the things that are manufactured. Notice the number and kinds of machines used. See how many workmen are employed.



Write a letter to a friend in another class telling all about your visit. Mention these points:

1. Where you went.

2. What was made.

3. How it was made.

4. The materials used.

5. The machinery.

6. The workmen.

7. The usefulness of the factory.

8. The care and skill of the workmen.

9. Anything else interesting about the trip.


Every town and every village is a workshop. There are many workmen here that do good, careful work. Some of the goods of our town may be sent thousands of miles away to other people who need them. The country people, too, do much useful work. Name some of the things which our workmen do for other people living at a distance from us.

Read about the manufacture of the articles which you saw being made at the factory.


There are many workers in the world who do not make things with their hands. Most of their work is done with their minds, though, of course, their hands help too. Name some of these. What kind of work does each of the following do?

Teacher Lawyer Minister Doctor Author Banker




There are many other living creatures in the world besides people. Write a list of all the kinds of animals that you have ever seen.

Some of these animals live near the homes of men. They are tame. Men take care of them and see that they get food. Many of these animals are very useful to us. Write a list of these tame animals. At the top of the list write Domestic Animals. Of what use is each of the following animals when alive? Which are useful after they are killed? Of what use to man is each one?

Horse Pig Chicken Cow Dog Duck Sheep Cat Pigeon.

Read about how our meat is supplied to us.


Write a list of all the wild animals you remember ever having seen. Where did you see them? How were they prevented from harming people? Where was the natural home of these animals? How did they get their food? How do they now get their food?

Some of these animals so closely resemble the domestic animals that they are said to belong to the same family. Read the names of the animals belonging to the same family and tell in what way they resemble each other. Tell which are domestic and which are wild.


Cat Lion Tiger Leopard


Dog Fox Wolf


Horse Zebra


Cow Buffalo

Describe some of these wild animals:

Elephant Fox Squirrel Wolf Bear Deer

There are also many fish, birds and insects.

Paste in your notebook any pictures of animals.


Take a trip to the Zoological Gardens and see these animals.


Which domestic or wild animals are useful to us in obtaining food, clothing and shelter?



We cannot live without food, clothing and shelter. Let us see how plants help us to obtain these three great necessities.

Write a list of all the plants that you can name.

Draw a line under each that is useful for food.

Draw two lines under each that is useful for clothing.

Draw three lines under each that is useful in making or furnishing our homes or shelter.

Of what use are the plants that are not underlined? Are they beautiful? How dull the world would be without flowers!

We have:

1. Food plants.

2. Clothing plants.

3. Shelter plants.

4. Ornamental plants.




Think of the foods that you had on your dinner table yesterday. Where did each come from? How did it get here? Was there anything which came from our own neighborhood, and which did not have to take a long journey either to the factory where it was manufactured or to the store where it was sold?

Examine the clothing you are wearing. Of what material is each article made? Where did the materials come from? Where were they manufactured? Which had to come a long journey before it reached your home?

Look around the school-room and name the materials which had to travel a long distance before we could have them for our use.

Imagine trying to get our food, our clothing and our shelter materials right near our school. How much could we be sure of having?


Perhaps you have seen products being brought into the city. You may have seen the milk trains unloading their many shining cans. Surely you have seen the freight cars with their signs painted on the outside telling that they are refrigerator cars, or coal cars, or other kinds of cars. What do they carry?

Most of the things we need are brought here on trains. Where is there in our neighborhood a freight railroad station? Is it near our school?

Some products are taken from the country to the town in wagons. You have seen the big hay wagons which go a long way from some farm to take food for the city horses.

How else are products carried? Coffee, rubber, pepper, chocolate and much silk are brought here from distant lands in ships. If you go to the harbor of a large city you can see hundreds of busy men unloading the big steamers.


Ships and railroads carry not only foods but people too. There are many ways of carrying people and products. These are some of the ways:

1. On the backs of animals, as horses, camels, elephants.

2. In wheelbarrows.

3. In wagons.

4. In automobiles.

5. In trolley cars.

6. In railroad trains.

7. On boats, or ships.

8. In sleighs.

9. On bicycles.

10. In airships.

In which of these ways have you traveled? Can you tell what power is used in each case?

In order to travel safely and quickly we need more than something in which to carry the people and products. We must have good wagon roads, well built railroads, tunnels through the mountains, and bridges over the rivers. Lighthouses are necessary to warn the vessels of the rocks at night or in the storms.


When people need things from a distance they cannot always go all the way to the place and bring back the products or articles. It is quicker and easier to send messages asking for what is needed. How would your mother send an order to the butcher for meat if she did not wish to go for it? How could a farmer send a message to the city ordering new milk cans and strawberry boxes? How do messages come to your house?

In olden days the persons had to carry all of their messages for themselves or send them by other persons. The messenger would often run for miles without resting so as to deliver the letters as soon as possible. At last the people decided to give all of their letters to a postman who would ride on horseback from place to place with the mail. Stagecoaches were next used. It took a week for a coach to go as far as a train can go now in a few hours. Our mail is now carried from one place to another by trains or vessels, and then the letter carriers deliver it at our city houses or to our town post office or rural mail-box.

The quickest way to send a message is by cable, telegraph, telephone or wireless message. Over the electric wires or through the air the words are flashed for miles in a few minutes.



1. Hill and plain. 3. River 2. Mountain and valley. 4. Ocean 5. Island and peninsula.

Note to the Teacher.—Consider at this time only such familiar features as belong to the children's immediate environment in or very near their neighborhood. Defer the study of the other land and water forms until later, as suggested in the Introduction. For further details of these features, see Chapters I and IV in Part II.



Some streets and roads are flat and level. Others slope like hills. Can you name a street which is level, and one that slants or slopes? Which road is easier to walk on? Why? Do you prefer the level or the sloping street when roller-skating? Why? Which is the best when you are coasting?

You may have noticed that some of the fields in the park or in the country are nearly flat. Other fields lie on slopes or hills. We call the flat part of the land a plain, whether it is in the city or in the country. The sloping part of the land forms a hill. Have we mostly hills or plains in the streets of our city?


Some plains and some hills are covered with trees. If you were in the woods, surrounded by trees, how would you know whether you were on a plain or on a hill?

Some hills look very different from others. Some slope very gradually, while some are very steep. Some hills have city streets on them. Others have great fields of grass for cows to graze upon. Still others are planted with corn, wheat, rye or vegetables. There are wooded hills covered with trees. How do we know that all of these very different forms are hills?

In the same way plains vary greatly. While some have been made into city streets, others are large, flat, grassy fields, with streams sometimes flowing through them. Some plains are covered with forests. Others are planted with grain and vegetables. How can you know when you see a plain if there are so many different kinds?


Look through the pictures in this book and decide which show hills and which show plains. Which is easier for a farmer to plow, a hill or a plain? Why?

If you were sent upon an errand, would you choose to go by way of a hilly road or by a level one? Which is the pleasantest place for a summer home, upon a hill or upon a plain?

How must a driver help his horses when they are pulling a heavy load up or down a hill?



Some hills are so very, very high that they have been called mountains. What are our neighboring mountains named? Have you ever been to the top of one of these mountains? Describe the beautiful view from the summit. Did you see any wild creatures along the way? Tell about any trees and other plants that you noticed.

When people build homes in mountain regions they generally place them in the low land between the high mountains. Why? This lower land is called a valley. The people in the valley town can often look beyond the fields and see the mountains rising high and steep beyond. Some mountains are covered with trees. At places you may see great bare, rough rocks on the mountain side. The scenery is very beautiful. There are often streams and broad rivers down in the valley.

Many lumbermen work on the mountains. Why do they cut down the trees? The mountains give the miners work too. The men go far into the mines to bring out the useful minerals. Are there any mines in the mountains near our home? What do the miners take from these mines?



What river flows near our home? Have you ever seen it? Where were you when you saw it? How did it look? What did you notice along its banks? What was on the river? Was there any way of crossing over to the opposite bank?

Did you see where the boats land? Men have built many wharves on the banks of the rivers. If you stand on the wharf, you may see great ferry-boats crowded with people. Back and forth these boats go, carrying the people from one side of the river to the other.

Sometimes great steamers come up the river. They have carried people, food and clothing on a long journey. Some boats are loaded with coal or lumber. There are many pretty sailboats and rowboats too. In some you will see fishermen. They bring the fish back for the city people to eat.

Before the city was built there was beautiful country all along the banks. If you travel up the river, leaving the city far behind, you will see some fine scenery. Perhaps you will pass beautiful woods. Some of the trees bend over the river as if they were looking at their reflections in the clear water. At places there are broad fields where the cows come down to drink the cool water. Farther up there are hills or mountains rising far above the banks. You will notice that the river is growing narrower and narrower until it is but a small stream. If you go down the river again, you will see that it gradually widens as it flows on to the mouth.


Most cities get their water supply from a nearby river. Do you know where the water in your bath-room comes from? When you take a drink in our school-yard what water are you swallowing? How does this water get to our home and school? Pipes run under the streets from the river to all the buildings of the town. There are big pumping stations on the river bank to pump the water out of the river through pipes to the houses. Millions of gallons of water are pumped each day into the homes, schools, mills and factories. For what is this water used?


Plants need more than good soil to make them grow. They will wither and die unless they have plenty of rain to keep the earth soft and moist. There are many places in the world where no trees, nor grass, nor plants of any kind can grow. This is because there is no water to wet the earth.

We all know that clouds bring the rain; but how do the clouds get the water? Whenever there is water on the earth, as in the rivers, the air is continually drawing up the moisture in tiny invisible drops. This moisture rises in the air and forms clouds. When the clouds get very heavy, down comes the water which we call rain. In cold weather it is changed into snow.

Where there is no moisture there can be no rain, for the air cannot draw up moisture to form clouds. Where there are many rivers there has been much rain, and the soil is kept fertile. Plants will grow in it. Do you see how our food, our clothing and our shelter are dependent upon rainfall? Do you see how we are kept alive by rivers?


Think of the many, many uses of rivers. There are thousands of useful rivers in the world.

What are the three great necessities of human life? How do rivers help us to get food and clothing and to build our homes and make them comfortable?


1. Water supply; washing and drinking.

2. Water power; flour, textile and planing mills.

3. Commerce; transportation.

4. Life; fish, plants.

5. Fertility of soil, rainfall.

6. Beauty of scenery.


Look at the map of our neighborhood. See the lines that represent the river. Notice how it bends. Does it show where bridges cross it?



Have you ever stood on the beach and watched the big waves roll in? The great ocean stretches away as far as you can see. It seems to meet the sky. The weaves roll and break, and roll and break from morning till night forever. Where there are rocks along the shore the ocean dashes against them. The sparkling snowy spray then leaps high into the air with a boom and a swish!

Note to the Teacher.—See the details for studying about the oceans in Part II, Chapter I.



As you sail up the river you may see large portions of land lying right out in the water. There are pieces of land lying out in the ocean too. The water lies around them on all sides. We call such portions of land islands. If you were standing on the shore how could you go to an island which you saw out in the water? How could you get there if you had no boat? Some islands are joined to the shores by bridges.

Many islands are no larger than this room. Others are so large that it would take days to travel around them. Whether they are large or small they have water entirely around them.

Some of us have been to a large island that has been built up into a city. When the New York boys and girls want to leave their city they must either go in a boat, or over a bridge, or through a tunnel far under a river. Why? When you visit Atlantic City your train goes over a bridge into the city. Why?


Look at some pictures of islands and notice how many kinds there are. Some are all wooded. Others are covered with fields. Notice one that is rocky and steep, and another that is level and built into a city.

Some islands are so large as to have many cities built upon them, and there are many farms and dense woods besides upon the same islands. Some have many rivers flowing through them.

If you were on a large island, how could you prove that it was an island? If you wanted to leave it, how could you do so? Notice on the map of our neighborhood whether a river with islands in it is shown.


Sometimes a piece of land has water flowing only part way around it. If you take a boat and try to go all around it, you will come to a place where the boat cannot go because there is land there. This land that is nearly an island, but does not have the water completely around it, is called a peninsula. Where have you seen a peninsula?




Face the sun. We are facing the south. Does the sun always lie south of us? Where was it early this morning when it arose? That was east. Where will it be at sunset? That is west. Move your hand to show the sun's daily journey from east to south to west. The sun is south of us only at noon time.

Face your shadow. Now the sun is behind you. What direction is back of you? You are facing north. Look at the shadows of the school, of the fence, of the pole, and of all the other children. They are all falling to the north. Can you make your shadow fall east or west or south? Why not? When only will shadows fall north? Can you think of any time when the shadows would fall east or west? Could they ever fall south? Why not?


Draw this diagram on the yard pavement, and mark the parts that are north, south, east and west. Stand at the middle of the cross. Face north. What is behind you? What direction is at your right side and which is at your left side? Learn these words:

"When I face the north the south is behind me; the east is at my right hand and the west is at my left hand."

If you pass a weather vane on your way home, see if you can read the letters on it and find out what they mean.


With soft chalk draw a line on your desk with one end toward the north and one end toward the south. Mark N for north and S for south. Draw a line across the middle of it, and mark E for east and W for west.

What is north of you, south of you, east of you and west of you?

In what direction from you is your teacher's desk?

On what side of you are the blackboards? On which side are the windows?

Walk toward the north, toward the east, toward the south, toward the west.

Which boy or girl is north of you? Which pupil is west of you?

What is south of your room? What is east of it?

On what side of your room is the corridor? On which side is the street? On which side is the school yard?

What is north of your teacher's desk? What is south of your teacher's chair? What is west of the table? What is east of the windows?


Draw a plan of your desk. Mark north, south, east and west upon it. Hang it up with north at the top. Draw a plan of your schoolroom. Mark the north, south, east and west. Hang up the plan with north at the top.

Look at the plan of the town. We call it a map. North is at the top. Find the rivers. At which side of the city are they?

Look at a plan of the entire school floor with all of the rooms and the corridor. How shall we hang it?


Men have made plans of the city, the country, and the whole world. These plans which show the land and water are called maps. On all maps north is usually at the top.

Look at the map of the whole world. How can you tell which part means land and which means water? What direction is at the top of the map, at the bottom, at the right side, and at the left side?


See where we find the north-east, south-east, south-west and north-west.





Long ago wise men found out that the great earth on which we live is not flat, but round like a ball. It is so very large, and we see so small a part of it at one time, that it looks flat to us. Take a piece of paper and tear out a small hole. Hold the hole over your globe so that a small part of the surface shows through. Does the small piece of the globe look very curved?

These men noticed ships sailing away across the water. When the ships were far away the lower part of the boat could not be seen. More and more disappeared till only the tops of the masts could be seen; and at last they were gone too. If you make a little paper boat and let it sail flat across your desk and then try it over the globe, you can see how this proves that the earth is not flat.

Did you ever see an eclipse of the moon? The big curved shadow was the earth's shadow. Why was the shadow round?

A globe shows the shape of the earth.


Look at all of the globes and maps in the room. Find how the land and the water are shown. Can you see any islands, any peninsulas? A tiny dot may mean the whole city with hundreds of homes, factories and other buildings. Do you remember how we looked down on our town from a great height and saw the many houses? Just think of a tiny dot meaning all of our town.


How are the rivers drawn? Think of the great wide flowing river with its wharves and its boats. It flows on for miles and miles. Some day all of its water will reach the ocean. This little black line means all of that great broad river.

Why do we have such tiny things to represent such great things?

See this land called North America. It would take five days and nights in a fast express train to travel straight across it.


We can cut the globe in half and make a flat picture of the two parts as they look when placed side by side.

Another name for the globe is sphere. "Hemi" means "half," so each half of the globe is called a "hemisphere."

One half is called the Eastern Hemisphere and the other half the Western Hemisphere.

In the Western Hemisphere we have the Western Continent, which is America. This Western Continent is made of two grand divisions, North America and South America. Why are they so named? We live in North America. Find our city and the river nearest to it. North America was joined to South America by a narrow strip of land called the Isthmus of Panama. Look at the map and think why millions of dollars have been spent through many years to cut through this isthmus. Now vessels can pass through this Panama Canal.

Look at the map of the Western Hemisphere and notice what it contains besides the Western Continent of America. There is more water than land. This water forms the great oceans.

Perhaps you have been to Atlantic City or some other seashore place and have seen the Atlantic Ocean. Do you remember the big waves which rolled in on the sandy beach and the pretty white-caps far out? Did you see the big nets drawn in full of hundreds of fish? Perhaps you bathed in the ocean and got your mouth full of water. It did not taste like the water we drink, for it was salty. All of the water of the ocean is salt water, but the water of rivers is fresh.

The oceans are very large. It would take us five or six days and nights on a great steamer to cross to the other side of the Atlantic Ocean. In what direction should we go?


On the western side of America there is another great ocean, the Pacific Ocean. It has salt water like the Atlantic Ocean, and it also is constantly in motion with great waves.

North of North America, in the intensely cold region, is the Arctic Ocean. Great masses of ice called icebergs and ice floes are floating through this ocean.

Far south of South America is the Antarctic Ocean. It does not touch South America. It too is in a cold part of the world.


Do you know of any people who came here from England, Ireland, France, Germany, Italy or Russia? Their homes were in the Eastern Hemisphere. The Eastern Hemisphere has a great mass of land called the Eastern Continent. The Eastern Continent is composed of three grand divisions, Europe, Asia and Africa.

Find the great island named Australia. That is sometimes called the Australian Continent because it is so large.


The same oceans which are in the Western Hemisphere extend into the Eastern Hemisphere. Can you name them? The Eastern Hemisphere also contains the Indian Ocean, which is not in the Western Hemisphere.


1. How can people go from North America to Europe?

2. How do the Chinese, whose home is in Asia, come to America?

3. Nearly all of the rubber which we use for automobile tires, overshoes, erasers, and hundreds of other articles comes from South America. Over what ocean does it come?

4. On what ocean did Peary sail on his journey to the North Pole?

5. When Amundsen searched for the South Pole, he started from an island near Australia. On what oceans did he sail?

6. When the first negroes were brought here from Africa over what ocean did they come?

7. What ocean trip is shortest from Africa to Asia?

8. Of what use is the ocean?

9. Which ocean can we reach most quickly from our home? How long would it take us to get to this ocean?

10. How long would it take us to reach the Pacific Ocean?

"Behold the sea, ... splendid and strong, yet beautiful as the rose or the rainbow; full of food, nourisher of man, purger of the world, creating a sweet climate."—Emerson.




What kind of weather are we having now? What kind will we have in July, in December, in April, in October?

What do we call the warm season? What is the cold season? What are the mild seasons? How many seasons have we?


What kind of clothing do we need in winter?

What work in your home is different in winter from what is done in summer? What season gives the school janitor most work? Why?

If you live in the country you have seen how different it looks in winter time and in summer time. Tell how. In what ways do the town streets and country roads differ in winter and in summer?

Name some winter and some summer sports and games.

There are certain kinds of industries which can be engaged in only in summer and some only in winter. Decide which of the following are summer and which are winter industries, and which require work in more than one season:

Ice cutting Building Farming Preserving Lumbering Fishing


What season do we have when the warm summer is over, and before the cold winter has set in? How do the city streets look then? How do you think the farm looks then?

Autumn or fall is a busy time on the farm. The last of the vegetables must be taken in and stored away for the winter. The ripe apples and nuts must be gathered too. The corn is brought in from the fields and stored in the barns for the winter food of the farm animals.


After the long cold winter is over the days grow gradually milder and warmer until spring has come. Are you glad when spring comes? Why?

In your schoolroom you can tell when spring is here. How pleasant the air feels as it blows in through the window! It seems to kiss us with its warm breath. You can hear the birds chirping as if they were happy. Perhaps a bee will buzz into the room. Many of the children will bring to school the dainty little spring flowers, anemones, blood root, hepatica, violets and buttercups.

Out in the country all nature is busy. The tree buds are swelling and bursting. The grass and flowers are springing up. The birds are building their nests. The farmer is ploughing and planting his fields.




All parts of the earth do not have seasons such as we have. If we should travel north we should find the climate growing colder and colder. After a long time we should come to a region of intense cold. The ground would be covered with ice and snow all the year through, both winter and summer. This most northern part of the earth is called the North Pole. The region around it is the North Frigid Zone. There is a South Pole and a South Frigid Zone as cold as the northern one. You can see where they are on the diagram.

If we start from here and take a trip south we find it constantly growing warmer. At last we come to a place where it is extremely warm in both summer and winter. That region is called the Torrid Zone because "torrid" means "hot." This hot zone extends right around the middle part of the earth. The very hottest part through the middle is the Equator. Notice on the drawing that we live in a zone between the very cold region, or Frigid Zone, and the very warm region, or Torrid Zone. Our zone is called the North Temperate Zone. We have here spring, summer, autumn and winter. Our weather is seldom so cold as in the Frigid Zones, nor so warm as in the Torrid Zone. Our spring and autumn are mild or temperate.

Find the South Temperate Zone. Its climate is just like ours. What seasons do they have there? What zone lies north of it and which south of it?

Copy the diagram of the zones in your note-book.



Most of the people of the world live in one of the Temperate Zones, and most of the great cities are in these zones. People can work better here where we do not have either intensely hot or intensely cold weather all of the time. There are two Temperate Zones, the North Temperate Zone and the South Temperate Zone. In which do we live?

Some plants grow best in the Temperate Zones, while others live best in the Torrid Zone. Scarcely any grow in the Frigid Zones. Name all the plants you can think of that live in our zone. These plants grow during the summer and rest or die when winter comes.


Poplar Fruit trees Maple Wheat Chestnut Corn Oak Cotton Walnut Farm vegetables Pine Familiar garden plants

None of these plants can grow well in either the intense cold of the Frigid Zones or the great heat of the Torrid Zone.


Many animals live better in our zone than in any other zone. They need temperate climate.


Horse Squirrel Cow Bear Sheep Wolf Pig Rabbit Cat Fox Dog Deer Zebra Buffalo Giraffe Goat

Which are domestic and which are wild animals? Describe each and tell how it is useful to man.



If we take a long trip to the south we find it growing warmer and warmer until at last we have reached a land where it is warm all the year through. This is the Torrid Zone.

The plants do not rest nor die in winter there, for there is no cold weather. These plants keep right on growing through the year. Many of the trees grow very, very high and have tremendous leaves.

In some cities there are large greenhouses where the Torrid Zone plants are raised. The temperature must be kept as warm there as in the Torrid Zone. These are some of the Torrid or Hot Zone plants:

Palm Rubber Giant ferns Coffee Bamboo Banana

In the forests of the Hot Zone the trees grow very close together. The sunlight cannot shine through. It is impossible to walk through these forests without first chopping out a pathway with a hatchet.


In these forests live many of the fierce animals which you have seen in cages in the Zoological Gardens or at the circus.


Monkey Elephant Camel Snake Lion Parrot Tiger Rhinoceros Leopard Wild Cat

Describe these and tell of what use they are.

Why are some of the buildings in the Zoological Gardens so warm?


The Torrid Zone was the first home of the negroes before they were brought to America. There are many negroes and Indians living in the Hot Zone now. Many are but half-civilized. Some are savage. As they do not need large warm homes like ours, some live in small huts made of the branches of trees, earth and straw. A few of these homes together make a village. These people get their food by hunting in the forest and fishing in the rivers and ocean. They also eat the fruits that grow wild in the forests. There are some cities in the Torrid Zone, but none of them are very large. These towns have been built mostly by the civilized white people. The streets are often shaded with beautiful palm trees. The buildings are generally small, as the people live and work out of doors as much as possible.



The people living in the Torrid Zone send to us Temperate Zone people many useful things that do not grow here. These are some of them:

Cocoanuts Chocolate Bananas Pepper Coffee Palm leaves Rubber Mahogany

In return the Temperate Zone people send to the Torrid Zone inhabitants things that they do not have. In the Hot Zone there are no large factories in which to manufacture goods, so we send there:

Farm tools Guns Woven goods Knives Books Clothing



At the most northern part of the earth and at the most southern part are regions of intense cold. The earth is entirely covered with ice and snow all of the year. The water is filled with masses of floating ice and snow. Our coldest winter days are not nearly so cold as the climate of the North and South Frigid Zones. It is even hard to tell which is land and which is water.

Of course no trees, nor grass, nor plants, nor animals, nor people of any kind can live in that intense cold. At the parts near the Temperate Zones, where it is slightly warmer, there are some very small dwarfed trees not more than a foot or two high, and perhaps a little moss. It is here that the Eskimos live; but most of the North Frigid Zone and the South Frigid Zone is a stretch of frozen whiteness on all sides, with no living thing of any kind. During the summer the sun never sets, so that there is twilight all night. In winter the sun never rises above the horizon, so there are months of darkness.

These frozen lands are the regions through which so many brave explorers have traveled trying to find the most northern part called the North Pole, and the most southern part, the South Pole. Many of these fearless men have never returned from the Frigid Zones. They have starved or been frozen to death.

At last, after trying for twenty-seven years, Robert E. Peary, an American, reached the North Pole on April 6, 1909. All Americans are very proud of this brave, determined, fearless man, who would not stop until he had done what he set out to do.

Roald Amundsen, a brave Norwegian, reached the South Pole on December 14, 1911, after suffering many hardships.


Peary has written a book in which he tells about his travels. Up in the north he met the Eskimos, who belong to the Indian family. They live in snow houses in the winter. In summer, which is also very cold, they live in skin tents. These Eskimos dress in warm furs. They have no schools nor churches, but they are a kind and peaceful people. They are very good to the white explorers in the north.

The Eskimo travels mostly on foot, but carries loads on sledges drawn by dogs. The Eskimo's dogs are his best friends. Without them he could not manage to carry home the animals he kills for food and clothing. He also uses boats which he makes of skins.

Many of the Frigid Zone animals are covered with heavy fur. Why?


Dog Polar Bear Seal Reindeer Whale Penguin



Men go to the Frigid Zones and catch seals and other animals and bring back the skins for the Temperate Zone people.

The whale, which lives in the ocean of the Frigid Zone, is also very useful. From it we get the whalebone, oil and also a fertilizer to help our farm crops to grow. Great quantities of whale meat are eaten by some people of the Temperate Zones.

The Eskimos of the Frigid Zone are glad to have from the Temperate Zones manufactured articles like pans, knives and guns.


1. What different kinds of people have you ever seen?

2. Why are the Temperate Zone people more civilized than the Frigid Zone people?

3. Name some animals of each zone.

4. In which zones is it best to live? Why?

5. As you sit at your desk point toward the North Pole, toward the South Frigid Zone, the North Frigid Zone, the South Temperate Zone, the Equator, the South Pole, the Torrid Zone.




Find where we live on the map of North America. Locate our home on all of our maps and globes.

North America is a very large portion of land. You could sail along its shores for thousands of miles. At its widest part you could not cross it in a fast express train in less than five days and nights. There are thousands of cities in this great grand division, for there are millions of people here. Most of them are white or Caucasian. There are also many Indians, negroes, Eskimos and Mongolians.

Much of the land is dense forest, and much is fertile farm land. A small part has so few rivers and such a scarcity of rainfall that the land is dry and arid. Little grows upon it but coarse grass and cactus. This region is called a desert.


North America stretches far up north into the North Frigid Zone and far south into the Torrid Zone, but most of it lies in the North Temperate Zone. What plants and animals live in North America? It is separated from Asia by a narrow strip of water called Behring Strait. How did North America used to be connected with South America? Why is the separation called a canal and not an isthmus?


Three great oceans wash the shores of North America. Name them. The coast line is very irregular. Notice on the map that at places part of the ocean extends far into the land, forming gulfs and bays. Hudson Bay, Gulf of Mexico and Gulf of St. Lawrence are all parts of which ocean? The waves are not so high in the bays and gulfs as in the open ocean. The land keeps off some of the wind. Vessels that are waiting to be laden with cargo lie in these sheltered gulfs and bays. Why?

At many places along the shore the land juts out into the ocean in capes. Many of these points of land have special names. Look on the map for them. There are light houses built on most of these capes to warn the ships in the dark and in the storms to keep away from the dangerous rocks and shore. A cape is often a pleasant place for a summer home. There is so much water around it that the sea breezes sweep across it and make it delightfully cool.


Do you remember how we spoke of the river with its many boats and steamers? There are hundreds of rivers in North America flowing for miles until at last they reach the ocean.


There are many high hills, some so very high as to be called mountains. There is a chain of these mountains called the Eastern Highlands along the eastern part of North America. They extend for many miles north and south. The scenery in this region is very beautiful. The mountains are covered mostly with forests of pine, spruce, oak, maple, chestnut and other trees. These are cut down for lumber. In the wilder parts of these forests live squirrels, rabbits, bears and snakes. At places the trees have been cut down to make room for fields of grain.

The mountains are full of useful minerals. Great quantities of coal and iron are mined in the Eastern Highlands.


The highest mountains in North America are the Western Highlands in the western part. One great chain or range extends the entire length of North America from the Arctic Ocean down into South America. Great forests grow on these mountains. In many places are huge masses of rock on which nothing grows, so this range has been called the Rocky Mountains. It is always bitter cold at the top of some of these mountains because they reach so high. Even in summer they are capped with snow. Nowhere in the world can more magnificent scenery be found.

West of the Rocky Mountains is the Pacific Mountain System.

Gold and silver are mined in the Western Highlands. In the wild parts of the forests, where no people live, deer, wolves and bears may be found.


The low land between the mountains we call plains or valleys. There is a Great Central Plain which reaches from the Eastern Highlands to the Western Highlands. There are many rivers in this valley. The Mississippi and the Missouri Rivers are the largest.


You remember how rivers make rainfall and fertile soil. The Great Central Plain has some of the best farm land in the world. In the northern cold part hardly anything grows, but in the central part great quantities of corn, grain, fruits and vegetables are raised. In the south the plantations or farms raise sugar cane, cotton, tobacco, rice and coffee.

On the western plains great herds of thousands of sheep and cattle are raised.

In the Great Central Plain are hundreds of cities where the farm products are sold. Here, too, the farmers buy the farm tools and machinery which they need. In the city mills the wheat is ground into flour and the logs from the forests are sawed into planks or made into furniture. The cattle and sheep are killed and the meat prepared for our use.


East of the central part of the Great Central Plain are five of the largest lakes in the world. When you are in a boat in the middle of any one of them you cannot see the land on any side. They are called the Great Lakes. Their names are Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie and Ontario. They are all joined together, and from the last a large river runs into the Gulf of St. Lawrence. It has the same name as the gulf.

There are many other smaller lakes in North America where the land is low and the water from the rivers and streams fills up the hollows. Nearly all have fresh water like the rivers. A very few, like Great Salt Lake, contain salt water.




North America contains several different countries. Each is under a separate government. These countries are United States, British America, Danish America, Mexico and Central America. Each country has its own ruler and its own laws. Each has a special flag and its own kind of money and postage stamps.



We live in the best one of these countries, for we have the best ways of obtaining our food, our clothing and our shelter. Our climate is good, for we are in the North Temperate Zone. Our soil is very fertile. The Great Central Plain of North America passes through the central part of the United States. We raise fruits, vegetables, corn, wheat, rice and sugar for food. We have immense ranches for raising cows and sheep too. Our clothing is supplied by the thousands of sheep we raise and from the cotton we grow here. The Western and Eastern Highlands pass through our country.

We have a great quantity of lumber, stone, coal and iron for making our comfortable homes. In what part of the country is each of these products obtained? Why? Right in our own United States is found nearly everything that is necessary to make us comfortable and happy.

We have hundreds of towns with homes, factories, schools, hospitals and churches. Over every public building floats our beautiful flag, the Stars and Stripes.

Our laws are made in the capital, which is named Washington, after George Washington, our first president. Find Washington on the map. How long would it take to go to Washington from our home? It is a beautiful city. The Capitol building is one of the finest in the world. The President of the United States lives in the White House.

Alaska, in the north-west, and the island of Porto Rico, in the south-east, belong to the United States. We own other islands in other parts of the world.


British America is our next neighbor on the north. It includes all of the Dominion of Canada and the Island of Newfoundland. It belongs to England or Great Britain in Europe.

The Great Central Plain and the Western Highlands pass through it, and yet it is not a rich country with many people like the United States. Can you tell why?

There are large crops of fruit and grain in the southern part only of British America. In this part only are there any large cities. The few people in the northern part go there to hunt the animals for furs and to find gold. Many whales live in the cold waters of the Atlantic Ocean and Hudson Bay. Are they of use to man?


Danish America is the name given to the two islands Greenland and Iceland, because they belong to Denmark, a country of Europe.

Greenland lies in which zones? What kind of climate has it? A few white people and some Eskimos live in the southern part. The northern part has no life at all.

What do you know of the people, the plants and the animals of this region?

In what zone is Iceland? Why is the climate very cold? Many fish are caught in the ocean around Iceland. The people on the island are able to raise little but grass to feed their sheep and cattle.

There are many mountains in Iceland. Some of them send out steam and melted rock and are called volcanoes.


Mexico is our southern neighbor. This country has a president and a government somewhat like ours.

Both Indians and white people live in Mexico. The climate is so warm in the valleys that the people living there cannot work so hard as they do in the United States. So they do not have large factories and many fine schools, hospitals and libraries as we have. Why do they not build these on the mountains where the climate is pleasant?

They have large plantations where they raise rubber, sugar, cotton, coffee, tobacco and fruit and many cattle.

The great Western Highlands extend down through Mexico, and silver, copper and coal are mined in them. Some of these mountains are volcanoes. What does this mean?


Central America is still warmer than Mexico. It is entirely in what zone? The plants and animals are much like those of Mexico.


The West Indies consist of many islands. The largest are Cuba, Haiti, Jamaica and Porto Rico. Which belongs to the United States? These islands have a warm climate. What do you think is raised on the plantations by the white people and negroes?

The West Indies separate a part of the ocean from the main Atlantic Ocean. This smaller part is called the Caribbean Sea. Notice what countries it touches.




Suppose you were to sail from New York City to Iceland.

1. What would you take with you that the people would be glad to get?

2. What kind of clothing would you need for the trip?

3. Over what water would you sail?

4. In what direction would you go?

5. What countries would you pass?

6. How could you tell when you were getting near Iceland?

7. What would you see in Iceland?

8. Could you bring back to the people at home anything useful?


Let us go to visit the Panama Canal, keeping our vessel close to the shore all the way.

1. What clothing shall we need? Why?

2. What countries shall we pass? What islands, peninsulas and capes?

3. On what water shall we sail?

4. What would the people be glad to have from our country?

5. Where could we stop to get some coffee, rubber and bananas to bring back?


Plan a trip along the Pacific Ocean.

1. Where will you start?

2. Where will you go?

3. What will you see at the place from which you start and at the end of the trip?

4. What interesting places will you pass?


Let us cross our country by train from the Atlantic Coast to the Pacific Coast.

1. How long shall we be on the train?

2. Describe the scenery as we go west.

3. What rivers shall we cross?

4. What kinds of industries could we visit on the way across?


How far can a boat sail if it starts in the Gulf of St. Lawrence to go as far west as possible?


A trip up the Mississippi River.

1. How would the climate change?

2. What name is given to this part of the land through which the river flows?

3. What scenes could we expect to see on the shores of the river?

4. What products would the boats we pass be carrying?

Transcriber's notes Obvious spelling/typographical and punctuation errors have been corrected after careful comparison with other occurrences within the text and consultation of external sources. Inconsistent hyphenations have been retained: school-room/schoolroom, school-house/schoolhouse, note-book/notebook. On page 19 in Chapter II an apparent printing error interchanging the section heading "5" and the first line of the following text has been corrected. Re the question at the end of Chapter III: the cover of the 1913 edition shows a statue of a man, possibly William Penn, surrounded by silhouettes of the six continents. The cover of the 1914 general edition shows the dome of the Capitol at Washington (cf the frontispiece) in place of the statue. The original book was published at Philadelphia by the Christopher Sower Company, 124 North Eighteenth Street. The copyright date was 1913 and 1914.

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