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Teachers' Meetings III
The work of January was upon the Esquimau. Find an
interesting article in Cosmopolitur, in July number, 1896, to Bring me tissue light and airy;
add to our list of references. It is entitled “ A curious
Race of Arctic Highlanders.”
Hiawatha's Childhood forms the literary basis of this
month's work. We all want to remember how much good Faint red in Aurora beaming, And the white in pure pearl gleaming.
pictures and Indian relics add to the vividness of this study.
We want to make much of sand, paper and sticks, bits of Bring me diamonds from the spaces
evergreen, glass lakes — whatever is available for making Where the air the earth embraces ;
Indian life a reality to the child. A portion of the regular
drawing time may be devoted to the making of wigwams, Bring me sweets as rich as may be
canoes, and sleds. The wigwam is made by drawing a From the kisses of a baby;
circle with circle-markers, cutting the circle in half, folding With an art no fay discloses
and pasting the half, and pasting sticks in the smaller I am going to make some roses.- .- Sel.
opening to represent the poles of the wigwam. The paper for sleds is first folded, or drawn in squares to cover surface. The first row of squares on either side are folded down for the runners of the sled. Two squares at the back are cut
parallel with the runners and folded upward for the upright First Grade
piece of the sled. (Miss Brooks now called on one of the
teachers to show how to fold and cut a canoe before the (Having the good fortune to be present at the meetings of the
other teachers present.) In this connection I want to say teachers of the first, second and third primary grades of the St. Paul schools, conducted by Miss Brooks, primary supervisor, I jotted down
that I appreciate the pains and taste exercised by teachers hasty notes for the benefit of all other primary teachers who could not
of the first grade in making collections of pictures to be present. For suggestiveness, breadth, and yet careful detail, these illustrate important topics in the course of study. meetings were among the best ever attended by the EDITOR.)
Number Work 'ILL you please tell the second grade teachers
In the preparation for number work with pupils entering VV hero work upon Lincoln to give these three (said Miss Brooks), who are preparing for the
the first grade at the beginning of this semester, teachers leaflets to the children : The Boys of Sparta; kindergartners respecting the gift work, occupations and
will find it very helpful and very important to consult with Nahum Prince, and Cedric. These reading lessons are, of course, to be preceded by language lessons upon the same
games with which the children are familiar. A very delighttopics. Two years ago much time was devoted to flag and
ful review of the sense-games is afforded in the first work hero topics in the first and second grade meetings. Out
done in the Speer number. These games with the music, lines upon these subjects may be found in all buildings, and may be found in the kindergarten song books of Eleanor new teachers are requested to go to their principals for Smith, Kate Douglas Wiggin, and Walker and Jenks, but the these outlines.
spirit of the games must be caught in participation in them, In taking up our own grade work, let us consider
and by frequent conversations with the kindergartners, who
are all familiar with these games. Tests of sight, touch, Primary Exercises in Writing
hearing, taste, smell, and judgment in muscular activity, may We must not forget the natural development of the all be made with these games, and at the same time they muscles of the child's arm and hand. The muscles of the
means of connection in the child's mind with arm develop much earlier than those of the hands and what has been done and what is at present undertaken. fingers; to begin writing exercises with finger movements
The Play Spirit in cramped space with pen or pencil is doing violence to the natural order of development. The blackboard fur- This is the month (February) for the play of the Knights nishes the best slate, the crayon the best pencil. Give the in the kindergarten, with its accompanying stories, games, children the free arm movement, and plenty of it, before and occupations. The play spirit is of such great educathe finer work is attempted. By the painful cleanness of tional importance that primary teachers can no longer afford the board in some of your rooms I fear board writing is not to give it a thought. Its application to this particular more of a myth than it should be, still. It is a physiological topic is valuable because it furnishes the best and most fact that the child's natural movement in making circles or effective supplement to the hero studies begun in this grade. ovals is outward, or towards the right. Penmanship requires Do not neglect to consult with the kindergartners. of your the opposite movement. The Germans have a good plan building. Before the meeting is over I want you to see the for obviating this difficulty. The teacher stands before the play of the Knights in its completeness, to be studied at pupils with pen or pencil in the left hand. She makes the your leisure. The child interprets through play, and is by proper motions before the school; pupils facing her, with this means and others, led to an understanding of the pencils in the right hand, imitate the motion. After this natural, social and civil institutions. exercise the pupils pass to the board and make ovals or circles in imitation of the correct motion. This is a prac The play of the Knights was thon taken up, to give the tice well worthy of adoption.
teachers an idea of its purpose and spirit. Miss Brooks had
copied the three songs of the knights, and these were placed Reading and Language
in the hands of the teachers. One kindergartner was at All interested in the acquisition of language and in read- the piano and another led the play. A few primary teachers ing should make a study of the chapter entitled “ The Little were prevailed upon to follow the kindergarten leader upon Linguist," in Sully's Studies of Childhood; also Phonics and the platform and enter into the play, even though they were Reading, by Van Liew and Lucas (Public School Publish- unfamiliar with it. Then followed a scene to be rememing Company, Bloomington, Ill.). The last two chapters bered. The shadows gathered in the large assembly hall, are especially helpful.
wrapping us all in the half-darkness of the short winter Before leaving the first grade, the pupils should not only twilight. But every teacher stayed on to watch the gallant know the letters, but know them in their order. It takes knights as they circled gaily upon the platform, floating little time and is a great satisfaction to the parents to have white handkerchiefs to the breeze, and singing the delightful them know these, and it also helps in dictionary and refer- music of the play. ence work later. Special attention should be given in this And all this effort at representation was to inspire primary beginning work to the correct position of the organs of teachers with the play spirit to carry back to the little ones speech in giving difficult sounds.
whose vivid imagination would make of every knight a
valiant hero seeking for the good and the true. As the - the May sunshine, the scent of flowers, the bird-song! charm of the pretty scene, with its underlying moral purpose, Tell the children something of the habits of this tiny stole into the heart of the one visitor present, she asked musician, please them with a story or two. I have read, herself, as she now asks the readers of PRIMARY EDUCATION, somewhere, that the male bluebird, on a spring morning, “How many first year primary teachers are honestly seeking will perch on a withered mullein stalk, or an old post, and, for the spirit and the help to be found in the games of the lifting his head to the blue sky, will call “ Sweet !” There kindergarten?"
he waits, faithful and silent, until, far-off and faint, perhaps, but true and loving, among the gay chorus of bird-voices, he hears the tender “Sweet !” of his loyal little mate.
In this way, he calls and she answers through the glad days Birds and the Children of springtide.
Again, it is one of those still, gray days,—the air oppresALICE E. ALLEN
sive, every scent and sound intensely penetrating. The “So remote from ours their mode of existence, they seem accidental
birds are calling incessantly for rain,- over and over that exiles from an unknown globe, banished where none can understand their language.”
mournful, insistent chirp. The rain begins to fall slowly,
the drops roll down the leaves and splash on the grass. THIS seems no less true of a little child. And perhaps Listen ! Do the birds cease their shrill crying? Ask the
this being in a strange world, and among strangers, children if it is true, as Higginson says, that the rain, "does gives to babies and to birds some sweet, secret not silence the robin
indeed, he sings louder than understanding. For birds are often quite fearless in ever during rain though the song-sparrow and bluebird are the presence of very young, innocent children, and is there,
silent!" in all the world a child who does not love a bird ?
On some bright day in early June, don't forget to preach Remembering this innate love of our sensitive children's a little sermon on the general favorite, the bobolink. hearts, as they grow older, can we not, as teachers, make Use, for your text, this, from Florence A. Merriam's
use of it to instill into their Birds of Village and Field.
substantial enjoyment of Nature in the community when we It is a bright, clear May feed children on grammars and dictionaries only, and take morning. The windows of
no pains to train them to see that which is before their the school-room are wide
eyes.” open. The sunshine smiles
Let us help them to see, this spring. Ask them, some in at the children's bright, day, what they think of this, eager faces, and the wind
“I think that if required on pain of death to name brings in the scent of violets instantly the most perfect thing in the universe, I should and apple-blossoms. Out risk my fate on a bird's egg." there, amid those white You will not lack for interest in the little lesson which blooms, sits a tiny bird.
will follow. The children do not see Bring in, some morning, the fallen nest of a little bird, him, but, suddenly, his little put it on the branch of an apple tree, and fasten the whole head uplifted, his soft breast where the children can see it. Let the tiny, empty nest almost bursting with the speak for itself. wonderful melody, there By and by let the children talk. You will be surprised at comes from his tiny throat the amount they will tell you about the bird's nests. Finish such music,- music which with a “ bit” for their memories. Here is the very best, thrills and vibrates and seems filled with the very sweet
“Not a sparrow falleth to the ground without your Father!” ness of spring itself.
And, teachers, years after this spring, one at least of Now is the accepted those dear children, grown older, through the scent of time. You pause, smiling, violets or the whisper of the May wind, or the drip of rain with uplifted hand to insure on the leaves, or the song of some little bird, will pause silence. You listen, — you
to remember one of these lessons, and the seeds of tenderand the little ones, together,
ness dropped into good ground, will spring up and bear while he sings his old, fruit, some thirty, some sixty, and some a hundred-fold. sweet song. Their faces are bright and when at last the bluebird flies
June away in the
Valleys all alive with happy sound; sunshine,
The song of birds; swift brook's delicious flow;
The mystic hum of a million things that grow; you will hear
The stir of men; and, gladdening every way,
Voices of little children at their play;
- H. H. It has been
Rhodora ! if the sages ask thee why
- Emerson : The Rhodora.
0 green and gold old Earth of ours, with azure
overhung, And looped with rainbows! grant us yet this
grassy lap of thineWe would be still thy children, through the shower and the shine!
- James Whitcomb Riley
Ireland they are used in the bleaching of linen. So you see the horse-chestnut may be a very useful tree, although it is more often planted in America simply as an ornament.
How the Horse-Chestnut Spends the Winter. The horse-chestnut like all the trees we have so far studied drops its leaves in the fall and spends the winter in its trunk. When the cold wind howls outside, and says, “ Ho! Ho! Are you there? Let me in,” the tree says, “No! No! Don't you dare! You can't come in," and he can't for how could he make his way through the rough dark bark? The gateways are through the winter buds, but the tree thought of that when he made the buds. He said to himself, “ I'll get all my leaves ready to come out at once in the springtime. But how shall I keep them from taking cold during the winter?” So he thought and thought, and then he wrapped them all together in a thick coat of
“ Under the greenwood tree,
Who loves to lie with me, And tune his merry note Unto the sweet bird's throat."
Fig. 4, Leaf of the horse-chestnut
cotton and over the outside put, oh, so many scales ! The inner ones were green, and the outer ones brown and shiny. Said the tree to himself, “ I'll coat them with resin so neither the snow nor the rain can get in.” And he coated them over with shiny brown, and laughed to think how cosy they'd be.
Then he dropped the leaflets, one by one, and last of all the stem to which they had clung. On the brown branch where they fell were scars, deep scars, shaped like a horse
everywhere over hill and vale. The beaver built in many brooks, and the wild grass perfumed the air. But when the Englishmen and the Frenchmen came over, they brought with them grains and fruits and domestic animals. So the Indian pink and the wild flower were
ploughed under that the white man might have a wheat field ; the “murmuring pines and the hemlocks” made way for apple and vine ; and the tame duck swam in the wild ducks' pools.
Now, only those trees are native which were growing here before the white men came. All the others are iniroduced. The horse-chestnut was one of these. It is thought it had even come to Europe itself from Asia. There its nuts had been used as food for horses, as they still are in Turkey. On this account, and because they look like the sweet brown chestnuts they are called “horse-chestnuts." In Southern Europe they are fed to sheep, cattle, and poultry; while in * Copyrighted, by EDUCATIONAL PUBLISHING Co., 1898.
Fig. 5, Flowers of the horse-chestnut
shoe and with a row of dots around the edge like the nails of the shoe. (Fig. 1) Then he went to sleep as snugly as a“ bug in a rug," and he only waked when the wind shook his head and threatened to tear him to pieces.
When Spring drew near, the warm south wind came there was first a little green cup, “ Just a little spring softly and whispered in his ear, “Wake up, wake up, the jacket, you know, to be worn in the springtime.” Inside of
this was a dainty white dress, dotted with yellow and purple and with five deep scallops on the edge. Even “ Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these."
The Horse-Chestnut Gives a Party
Of course everything that went by saw the beautiful white dresses and wondered what they were for, but the tree, he knew, and he had his invitations all ready for a great party. He just sent out a sweet odor on the breeze and every bee and bumble bee that passed knew that the tree was saying, “ Come see me. Come see me. I have something for you. Come see me. Here I am, over here,
the tree with the white flowers." And every one of them EHF
that received an invitation went at once. Each flew to a flower and put his tongue straight in a honey pot. (Fig. 6)
How did he find it? On each one of those white petals, Figs. 6-7-8-9. 6, Flower and bee. 7, Flower without pistil. 8, Pistillate tiny lines and dots pointed to it and so the bee found it. Kower with stamens hanging down. 9, Flower with petals
They are called insect guides.
“ Do you see those stamens of mine?” said the tree, robins are here!” So the horse-chestnut loosened his
They have pockets full of gold in their heads. When the buds, (Fig. 3) and spread them out more and more till bees stood upon them, it jarred them a little and when they only the last green cotton coverlid was left, then he cracked
flew away they were just loaded with pollen dust." But the that, and what do you think he pushed through the crack? bee didn't mind, he flew straight to another flower for more A cluster of tiny woolly hands, just
honey. As he lighted there was a as woolly as they could be," softer'n
little green bud standing out from a baby's be at three days old."
a circle of stamens which held their Did he call them hands? Oh,
heads low. (Fig. 8) It was the no ! He said, “These are my
head of a pistil, and of course the leaves. I made them last summer
bee bumped right into it. On he after my flowers fell.” But they
went after the honey, but the pistil had five or seven fingers. They
was left crowned with the gold dust were flat and were folded over and
he carried. Then I looked closer plaited together like a fan. When
and I found that wherever the pistil they spread out you found that they
held its head high, the stamens were broader near the tip than at
drooped theirs, and when the pistil the base (Fig. 4) and were very
had been crowned for several days woolly underneath. They came out
then the stamens lifted up their so very quickly, all at once and
heads, opened their pockets and turned the tree quite green in a
scattered the dust for some other single day. When these grew larger
flower. he didn't make even another one,
“What's this,” said I, “ some of but began at once to make ready
your flowers have no pistils ?" for the next winter, making a new
(Fig. 7) “Oh, dear, no," said the winter bud. It must be that is the
tree, “ if I had as many pistils as I reason it's so large, growing all
have flowers I should be loaded summer long.
with burrs in the fall.”
I waited to see what this could Horse-Chestnut Flowers
mean, and then the petals faded and
fell (Fig. 9) and the tree was full There was something else in the
and green, a very dark green, with bud, just in the center, a great num
the broad leaf faces spread out to ber of tiny green balls. They grew
(Fig. 10) When I looked and grew and at last we knew they must be flower buds, but they
Fig. 10, Horse-chestnut tree were so long coming out. He said they would be out in “ June, dear June,” so we waited until the time when
Fig. 11, Burr and nut of horse
By and by they did come out. Each separate branch was crowned with a great spire of buds, a giant nosegay.” Some people even called it a “hyacinth tree” because its blossoms were so close and so fragrant. (Fig. 5) This great cone of flowers is called a thyrsus. “The end flowers bloom first," said the tree, "and then the side buds push their way out beyond them, and take their turn in the sunlight. Of course, both my flowers and leaves must get the sunshine. Have you seen how my leaves peep out between each other, so that none are in the shade?"
But oh, the flowers! They were gorgeous. Each flower had a bright white party dress of its own. On the outside
I found that the woolly pistil
“ That's what the prickles are for,” said the tree, and he Stories of the Trees. Mrs. Dyson.
familiar Trees and their Leaves. Mathews. really thought the ugly hooks were a pretty fine coat to
Outlines of Lessons in Botany. Newell. make for his seed. As it lay on the ground the hard shell
Fertilization of Flowers. Müller. grew dry and then it popped open in three places, three Silva of North America. Sargent. doors to let out the shiny brown seed with its great eye.
Trees of the Northern United States. Apgar.
Little Cave Dwellers
ANNIE HAMILTON DONNELL has some native cousins, which are called buckeyes. The
Truly, Keithie, in holes made right into rocks?— lived Ohio Buckeye is well known. It has a very disagreeable
in 'em? odor. The opposite palmate leaves have five or seven leaf
Keith put down his history with an air of wisdom. lets and are broadest near the middle. The burr is prickly
“Yes,” he said; “right into the rocks they bored and the greenish flowers are not so handsome as those of
'normous great holes to live in. They bored 'em in high the European horse-chestnut.
cliffs, mostly, an' there'd be whole rows of 'em, like a city of hole-houses, you know. Kent Potter's teacher told him an' he told me. I'm looking to see if I can't find out about 'em in this history."
Little Elsie's eyes grew wide with wonder. What a lot her Keith did know ! They didn't bore holes in cliffs at her school. Nobody ever said a word about doing such a thing.
“ But how'd they ever get in the front doors way up there in the tall rocks?" she asked eagerly.
“O, they climbed up ladders an' then hauled the ladders in, too. That's how. Then there couldn't any enemies or bears 'n' things get 'em.”
Elsie drew a long breath. “Do you s'pose there were little girls an' boys an' babies, up in those holey homes,
Keithie ? — with dollies, you know, an' spin-tops, an' jam EHE .
'tween their bread 'n' butter?"
" Poh, Elsie! You're a funny girl! Why, those cave folks lived hundreds o' years ago — hundreds ! There's just the holes left of 'em, now."
I passed a little city full of cliff dwellers' to-day - real,
live, nineteenth century ones," Auntie Pam said quietly. Figs. 12-13-14-15, Leaf, flower, burr, and nut of yellow or sweet buckeye
She was mending Keith's stockings, over by the window.
“O, Auntie Pam!” The Yellow or Sweet Buckeye
“Why, Auntie Pam-e-lia !” is so called because it does not have the disagreeable odor “Yes — real little cave dwellers and a real little city of common to the others. It grows from thirty to ninety feet houses for them to live in. They wore grayish brown coats high. The leaflets are broadest near the middle, the flowers and white shirt bosoms these cave dwellers did. I went long and narrow with a deeper green cup at the base. right by their city — Grandpa and I, together, when we They are yellow in color, the burr is rough but not prickly. went to mill." (Figs. 12, 13, 14, 15.)
“ Did you see their ladders, Auntie Pam? Elsie asked.
"O, no, they don't need any ladders, though the front (Suggestions to teachers)
doors are way up ever so high. Guess how they get in! You will have no difficulty in obtaining from the children
There are little round doors and long - ever so long, somea complete description of the large winter buds or fingered times three feet — front halls that lead right into the sitting
room and bedroom and kitchen, for they're all one room. I leaves. But the flower cluster is complex and you will need to understand the limits of a single flower. It is to produce peeped into one house. The little house-mother, in a graystamens and pistils, that a tree flowers. The color and
brown dress and white apron, was in there with her babies, odos are “extfas." Secure a cone of horse-chestnut
and the father bird”— flowers, and look for the groups of stamens and pistils. You
“ Birds, auntie, birds !" shouted Keith. will find them wrapped in clusters by bright colored
“ An' wings for ladders that's how !” Elsie cried, clapcorollas.
These spread out attracting the bees, but the ping her hands. white or pink part contracts to a narrow throat and forms a
Aunt Pam laughed, too. “Yes, birds," she said. “Little tube. About the base of the tube is a small green cup, the
bank swallows. They are hardy, bonnie little fellows calyx, which encloses the flower in the bud. This completes about the first of all to get here in the spring. They make the flower, it is borne upon a small green stem, the pedicel.
a whole colony of nest-holes in some big bank, and there
the baby cave dwellers are born and grow up. You shall go The following diagram may be of use.
with Grandpa next time and see them for yourselves."
Elsie went out into the yard. On the way she was thinkTree — its native home, use, general outline, bark. Winter buds leaves and scars, – make careful outline drawings of ing: “I b'lieve Auntie Pam knows more'n Keith does these.
truly.” Flower cluster,- a thyrsus, observe that the terminal buds are pushed
aside by later lateral buds. Flowers.- make a careful outline drawing, showing face and tube;
label parts as follows: calyx, a protection of the bud; corolla, Little Dot. O, I just love cake. It's awful nice. bright colored, attracts bees; stamens, a necessary part, produce Mamma (reprovingly). You should not say that you love pollen; pistil, also necessary, becomes the burr later. Also make cake; say • like.' Do not say “awful,' say “very.' Do not say a drawing of burr and seed.
nice,' say good.' And, by the way, the word just’ should be Relatives of the Horse-chestnut,- Ohio buckeye. Yellow or Sweet omitted, also the • 0.' Now, my dear, repeat the sentence corbuckeye.
Little Dot. I like cake ; it's very good. References :
Mamma. That's better. Sunthin' in a Pastoral Line. Lowell.
Little Dot. (with an air of disgust). Sounds as if I was talkThe Horse Chestnut. Harper's Magazine, Vol. 74.
in' 'bout bread.