Notes of Lessons: Geography, Class III

Notes of Lessons: Geography, Class III

[We have thought that it might be of use to our readers (in their own families) to publish from month to month during the current year, Notes of Lessons prepared by students of the House of Education for the pupils of the Practising School. We should like to say, however, that such a Lesson is never given as a tour de force, but is always an illustration or an expansion of some part of the children’s regular studies (in the Parents’ Review School), some passage in one or other of their school books.—Ed.]

Subject: Geography Group: Science Class III Time: 20 minutes

By Dorothy Brownell
The Parents’ Review, 1904, pp. 791-792

The Three Great Rivers of S. America: The Amazon, Orinoco, and La Plata.


I. To interest the children in the finest watershed in the world.

II. To make the children find out cause from effect in the case of the great rivers.

III. To establish relations with a tropical country.

IV. To bring the children into familiarity with the Amazon, Orinoco, and La Plata.

V. To supplement the lessons given in the school.


Step I.—Ask map questions upon the rivers of South America, the countries and plains that they drain, letting the children put the rivers into a blank map on the black-board.

Step II.—Draw from the children the reason for there being such great rivers on the eastern side of the Andes.

Step III.—Tell of the discovery of the Amazon by Pedro Alvarez Cabal in 1500.

Step IV.—Describe the Amazon, making as much of a picture as possible, and introducing the tropical forest of the Selvas.

Step V.—Tell of the adventurous voyage of Francisco de Orellana, and why he called the river the “Rio de las Amazonas,” reading the description from Wallace’s Travels on the Amazon of the tribes he found dwelling in the forest.

Step VI.—Describe the river Plate, pointing out that it is really only the estuary of the three rivers, Paraná, Paraguay, and Uruguay.

Step VII.—Tell the story of why Diaz de Solis gave the river the name of “El Rio de la Plata.”

Step VIII.—Describe the remarkable feature of the waters of the Paraguay not mingling with those of the Paranàfor some miles after they meet.

Step IX.—Tell of the recent discovery of the falls on the Paranà.

Step X.—Describe the Orinoco, and show how it is joined by a natural canal, the Casiquare, to the Amazon.

Step XI.—Recapitulation with blank maps.