Subject: Physical Geography • Group: Science • Class II • Time: 30 minutes
By Vera Bishop
The Parents’ Review, 1909, pp. 794-795
I. To give the children some idea of the way in which rivers affect the surface of the land.
II. To further their interest in the physical features of the neighbourhood of Ambleside, and to give them something to look for during their walks.
III. To give them the meaning of one geographical term, by actual experiment.
Step I.—Ask the children what they remember of last lesson, to see if they know the general rule, i.e., “that all great cities of the world are situated on the banks, or near the mouths of great rivers.” Examples.
Step II.—Find out from the children meaning of “Alluvium.” Illustrate by handful of gravel and sand dropped into glass of water. Example of river bringing down deposit of mud—the Brathay running into Lake Windermere and filling it up.
Step III.—Find river Avon on maps. Find out from children peculiarities of its course—winding.
Step IV.—Find out from children what they have noticed at curves of a river—small cliff formed by the action of the water at the outside curve, and bank of mud on inside. Show illustration.
Step V.—Draw diagram on blackboard of curve in the course of Scandale Beck, exhibiting the same features, and ask them to study the spot next walk, and make plans of its curves.
Step VI.—Find out, from children if possible how the courses of streams are altered; slips of earth from banks, trees, large rocks, fall into the river bed and change the direction of the current. Read extract from Physical Geography, Giekie, pages 247-248.
Step VII.—Causes of floods,—rains, melting of snow, etc.
Step VIII.—Formation of banks of river. In time of flood the river rises above its usual level, and deposits mud on either side. This process, in course of time, raises the height of the banks.
Step IX.—River bed. Stream always bringing down mud, and depositing it in the bed of the river, so that it, in time, gets filled up, and the river will become broad and shallow, instead of narrow and deep, or it will choose some other path to the sea.
Step X.—Find out from children what kind of soil would be left by the deposit of the river; large quantities of vegetable matter, broken up by the water are in the deposit, and this makes the soil very rich. Example. River Nile which overflows its banks once every year.
Step XI.—Read from This World of Ours, page 223-225. Children reading in turn.