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Projects in Primary Grades
A Noah's Ark Project

These colors were listed on the board, and for writing that

day each child copied the list. Then the teacher chose the (Second Grade)

list most neatly written to carry with her that evening, HE motive for making an ark came when Teacher in order that she might bring the right colors.

made a visit to an orphan's home and overheard One little girl expressed a fear that she might spoil her the matron express a wish for a Noah's Ark toy dress if she painted, so all those who cared to made simple which the home could not afford to buy.

aprons to protect their clothing. Each child made his own When the teacher went back to school she told the pattern from paper first, and then cut his apron from children about the little folks in the home and showed cheesecloth.

CD pictures of them. Then she made known the matron's The next step, that of painting the animals and ark,

was wish for a Noah's Ark and one and all were ready to make the most joyful part of the whole process for the juvenile one.

workers. True, the pair of giraffes had rather too many This brought forth many questions as to what an ark black spots on them, and the tigers' stripes were a bit was. In all this free conversation there were many chances peculiar, but it was all satisfactory to the makers. When to improve the pupils' language.

the paint had dried thoroughly each and every piece was The next step came in the nature of literature. For the carefully varnished with a hard varnish that would not sake of those who had never heard the story, the teacher come off should a giraffe or a lion find his way to a little told the Bible story of Noah's Ark. This led to an inter- mouth. esting discussion as to how the children could make the Then a new problem arose: the animals would not stand animals and the ark. Some one remembered that there alone. Several boys experimented for a way to remedy were pictures of animals in their “Circus Readers,” and this defect, and finally one of them devised a stand similar others who had just seen the circus contributed facts about to those that made his toy soldiers at home stand erect. the real animals. A list was made of all the things needed, I must not fail to mention that not only the boys but the ark, two lions, two tigers, two snakes, etc., and Noah many of the girls worked on this wood work. Other girls with all his family.

and a few boys brought in pictures from Sunday-school Large pasteboard patterns of the animals were cut first, of the way people dressed in olden days, and then proceeded then the children traced these on thin wood and carefully to make garments for the small celluloid dolls (purchased cut them out with coping saws.

at the ten cent store) that represented Noah and his A group of about five youngsters took it upon them.selves family of sons and their wives. to make the Ark. A good picture of an ark was brought When completely finished the toy ark and its inhabitants in, then the teacher helped with measurements and a heavy were securely packed in a wooden box. This made a very paper pattern ark was constructed first. This gave oppor- simple study of parcel post and express rates legitimate. tunity for a good deal of measuring and for many number In order to address the box all the children eagerly combinations. More number came incidentally in the learned the correct form for writing addresses (incidentally construction of the animals by pairs. In fact nea all their own addresses, too) and then they chose one of the the combinations through twelve were brought out in this best writers to address the package to the Orphans' Home. way.

One little girl suggested that they might send a letter As soon as the paper pattern of the ark was satisfactory, telling the orphans who made the ark for them, and hoping the real ark was measured on wood and sawed out. they would enjoy it. This gave an added opportunity for It was then nailed together with wire brads. Next both language, for the letter was in the form of a co-operative ark and animals had to be well sand-papered. Then the composition. There was also a vital motive for good children chose the colors for both the ark and the animals. writing. It so happened that it was impossible to choose

the best letter to send, so the children themselves counted simple toy than the givers did. Perhaps, though of little out to see who should be the fortunate person. Then consequence to the children themselves, the teacher too every child in the room signed his letter.

experienced joy that so much had been gained, and would The envelope, too, was addressed by a child, and I am stay with the children since it was learned with such intense very sure that the receivers got no more joy out of the interest.

Language Problems Solved in Grades III to VI


Ruby M. Potts

(Book rights reserved) TE shall all agree that the oral work in Language Any teacher can make up games to fit each error, and

is of the most importance to the children in their apply to her particular class. Our game for, “Grace adult life. How to train pupils to think upon and I” is as follows:

a given or selected subject, and state their I choose, Earl perhaps, to come to the front of the room. thoughts in fairly good English is the "bug-bear” of the The pupils sit together occupying just so many seats. majority of teachers.

Earl addresses a couple, “What do you and Janet like We must compete with the street," and the illiterate best to do, Mary?” Mary answers, "Janet and I like home, and to do this with any degree of success, we must best to sew. Earl answers, “All right,” and asks another enlist as our ally, the most fascinating factor of child couple. When several couples have been asked, teacher life, "interest."

taps on desk. Everybody changes seats, Earl taking a There are three methods by which this may be secured; seat with the others. The one left without a seat is “it.” by competition, by games, and by actiun, and we will Myra King has published a delightful book on "Lanconsider each in its place.

guage Games,” which I purchased from the Educational Since the oral work comes first, let us devote one day Publishing Company, some years ago, and have found a week to it, say Monday, or Friday. Call it our “good of inestimable value. time” class. Allow pupils to sit together, well toward We have now planned for Monday and Tuesday. Let the front. Choose an interesting topic, and let those us devote the remaining three days to oral and written who wish, do the talking. This work must be spon- composition, with occasionally a theft of one or two days taneous. We must be patient with the shy, and wait every two weeks for technical or book work. until they want to come forward and talk. Very few Take the presentation of the story first, on Wednesday, pupils can resist the lure of such topics as these: perhape. Select a story such as children like, full of

action and with a moral. The best book I know for this 1 The funniest thing I ever saw.

purpose is Baldwin's "Fifty Famous Stories" and his 2 The most interesting thing I ever did.

*Thirty Famous Stories” for upper grades. Any one 3 The best time I ever had.

of these stories is delightful, and children love them all. 4 The nicest party I ever attended.

We will select the story of the "Blind Men and the 5 The best present I ever received.

Elephant,” page 130, for our type lesson. 6 The person I love the best.

Pupils close eyes, teacher reads the first sentence and 7 The best picnic I ever attended.

says, “What do you see, Mabel?” Mabel stands and 8 How I would build a model city.

says, “I see six blind men standing by the roadside, begging 9 What I would do with a million dollars.

from the people who pass by.' And so on until each 10 The best book I ever read, and why.

picture has been given and regiven. 11 What I would do if lost in a great city.

Now, the teacher steps to the board and says, “Give 12 The work I like best, and why.

me the word that suggests the first picture of our story, 13 The play I like best, and why.

the next, the next, until the story is complete. The list 14 The happiest Christmas I ever had.

for this particular story would read: 15 My favorite pet.

blind men And so on. Any teacher can think of many others that


quarreled perhaps will appeal more to her particular pupils. Chil


foolish dren are egoists, and the normal child is ever eager to


leg talk about any experience that concerns himself. The shy will come forward in time, voluntarily, if not pressed. Combining the study and recitation period will give

Have each child, as he recites, come to the front of the ample time for this lesson, and a period for reproduction. room, and stand in front of your desk, so that he cannot So we print the title of our story on cardboard and call see you. As he makes grammatical errors, you note on volunteers to tell the story, each one who recites holdsame on scratch tablet, and when he finishes, you asking the cardboard high before the class. Correct errors him to correct each one, as he does so, placing correct as on “Conversation” day, and make note of same for form on the board. If the pupil sees you write these

"Game" day. errors he will become self-conscious, and this we must

Thursday's lesson will be dramatization of the story. avoid.

Unless there is much talent of extraordinary ability, teacher The follow-up lesson occurs the next day, and here we must write the parts out, and give to those who need make use of the "game” or “play” instinct. We place this exercise, and the play is on. How they love this on the board all the correct forms of the errors made in

part of the language work, and how they will repay you our “Conversation” lesson the day before. Our list might for the extra time it has taken to write the parts! A read:

little costuming, of course, adds to the interest. I saw

In the story given, a yard of gray outing flannel thrown You were

over two tall boys, makes a very good elephant, and perThey were

haps you can persuade the "bad boy" to whittle two He came

tusks, which with a rope for a tail, and a folded strip of It was I

cloth for a trunk, will make a most satisfactory elephant


indeed. It will be well to select two sets of actors for Dealt with in this manner the technical work becomes each play, to provide substitutes in case of absence. a pleasure, and any teacher can thiuk of a number of

All parts may be memorized in the Reading study period, races to fit each subject. having the entire class learn same, if you choose, and The last day of our second week we devote to letter this will provide study material for “ sight” reading days. writing, proceeding as in the written composition of the

Friday we write our story. Combine study and re- first week. This, only after the form of letter writing citation periods. Place suggestive outline on the board. has been taught, and understood. Ask for different ways of saying the same action, as:

As a summary, then, our outline for two weeks follows: a happened to put his hand. b felt only of.

Monday -- Conversation took hold.

Tuesday - Games to correct common errors. d reached out his arms.

Wednesday — Presentation of story to the class. chanced to touch.

Thursday - Reproduction and dramatization f seized.

Friday — Written story



Ask for rules of composition, titles, margins, paragraph- Monday - Conversation ing, sentences, etc. With this preparation the pupils

Tuesday Games to correct common errors should, in the remaining period, do justice to the

Wednesday - Poems work.

Thursady — Technical work As they write, step softly around, in and out aisles, Friday — Letter writing. drawing a colored mark through any mistakes you can see, and have them corrected "on the spot.' No amount Description and picture study might be taken up the of correcting after school can equal this work, because

third week, and take the place of the "Conversation and the average child can correct his own mistake quickly, Game” lesson. and by himself.

And remember, the only lasting benefit of the lan

guage work, to the pupil, is the result of his own correcI have a rubber star and ink pad, which I use to reward tion of his mistakes, and his desire to improve. Any all the neatly written work. It is an incentive, at least, method we may use to this end is so much pure gold, and we can't furnish too many incentives for children, for we are all looking forward to the time when these for they live entirely in the present, and dearly love re- boys and girls of ours will be out in the world, using the ward. Thus the written Language period becomes a weapons we have furnished them with to fight the baltles quiet, happy one to the pupils and teachers, and best

of life. of all, the children are "prepared.'

The papers may be finished before the period is up, giving time to read several. After all have been corrected, place, or pin, rather

, on a frame covered with burlap. Creative Return from Literature E's first, G's next, F's last and the others, not worthy to be put up, must be rewritten, until neat, if it takes

A Monthly Contest Conducted by several periods. There are usually four or five of these

Laura F. Kready untidy, poor spelling pupils in each room, and special attention and time must be given them in the begin

CONTEST LETTERS ning, until they learn that no slip-shod work will be

PRIMARY EDUCATION offers a prize of $2 each month for accepted. We have now outlined the week's work, and omitted

the best illustration sent in upon a specified fairy tale drama. poetry and technical work. So the second week, follow

SUBJECT FOR MAY — "The Happy Hunter and the ing game day, we will combine study and recitation periods Lucky Fisherman,” a fairy tale drama published in PRI

MARY EDUCATION, December, 1918. Letter due by for “Poems," which we have learned in the reading study period. We will have a race between the boys and girls,

February 15. keeping score to see which side recites the most verses.

SUBJECT FOR JUNE -- "Surya Bai," a fairy tale drama Of course, we must take a few minutes to talk of mean

published in PRIMARY EDUCATION, January, 1919. Letter ings, and bring out the beauty of certain passages. Above

due by March 15. all, we must select poems that children like. We might and must be an example of one of the forms of creative

All letters competing must be in the form of illustration give a prize to the boy and girl giving the most verses in the best manner. This will stimulate home study as

reaction to a tale described in "A Study of Fairy Tales," well as make use of idle moments in school.

by Laura F. Kready, pp. 119-154. The illustration must Thursday of this second week, we will devote to the

be the work of a grade child using the drama and bear the technical work. Outline the term 's work, and determine name, age, and school address of the child It must be what must be taught in this period. We will take the

sent by the teacher. subject of "contractions" for illustration. Write on

Teachers of training schools and model schools especially the board every contraction. Line pupils up, as for spell- of class work.

are urged to direct grade pupils to participate as the result down. Explain formation of contraction and its meaning. Call it a battle, if you like, and give each pupil a

Illustrations may be any of the four forms of creative

reaction described in p. 125 of "A Study of Fairy Tales," shot. The recitation must proceed as follows: “Isn't is a contraction for is not. The o has been omitted, and

but illustrations of work in construction, drawing, painting, the apostrophe takes its place.” The side throwing paper-cutting, or sketching might be the best to attempt, the most correct shots wins. If pupils cannot remember

done the order of recitation place these questions on the board black ink or wash on white paper, and the same color scheme to guide.

must be observed in the cuttings.

Address contest letters to 1 What is the contraction of?

LAURA F KREADY 2 What letter has been omitted?

Care of PRIMARY EDUCATION 3 What takes its place?

50 Bromfield Street, Boston

Ideas to Try Helps for Rainy Recesses and it that one?”


And the child answers, "Yes, it is that one." (Because it is both the third point and the third book.)

This is especially good for the larger boys and girls.

Annebelle R. Bucknam

A Time-telling Device

These helps are useful during rainy day noonings, especially in rural schools.

Bess Dixon The children sit in a circle.

FTER the telling of time has been developed, Teacher starts by saying this:

we shall be glad to have you try our device. It "Father is going to take a trip to New York, and we

is a review of time-telling through language work. will help him pack his trunk. I will put in an umbrella." The child next to teacher says: “I will put in an um

We shall give you the ideas embodied in our

method of procedure. brella and a collar." Then the second child says: “I will put in an umbrella,

As we possessed no clock dial, a big clock face was drawn

on the front board. The teacher introduced, the work a collar, and a neck-tie.' And so on 'around the circle. The point of the game how to tell time now and we like to hear stories. So

the first day in this manner. “Boys and girls, we know is for each one to name in the correct order

, all the objects I shall tell you a story and I want some little boy or girl which each preceding child has put in, and add one more. This is a good memory test. If any child fails to name

to make the hands of our make-believe clock point just each object, or to name each one in its own position, or

as my story says they should. A new game! Interest was

keen. Volunteers were in the majority. One of these place, he must step out of the game.

volunteers was chosen and the story began. The name The one remaining at the last wins the game. Another diversion which the children enjoy is a book game

of one of our little girls who wanted a wrist watch was

chosen to make the hands of the clock point as the story or trick. Place three books on the table, in a pile, each one pro

indicated they should.

The Story jecting just a little beyond the others.

Teacher must have one older child in the secret with Mary wanted a wrist watch. Papa said he did not her. This child goes out, and then any child points to believe she was old enough to tell time. Mary said, any one of the three books. The child is called back, "Oh, papa! We have learned to tell time at school.” and points to the correct book.

Papa said, “Let me see if you can make these clocks tell There are two ways of doing this.

me what I want them to tell.” So papa made five clock One is by means of the words used in calling the child faces. Then he gave Mary the pencil. back.

“Make this clock say six o'clock,” he said. How surThe signal for the top book is the word "Ready!” for prised he was when Mary drew both hands on the clock the second book the word “Come" and for the third or face and made them point just where they should ! lowest book the words, "Come on," the teacher always He wanted the next clock to say half past nine and calling the child back.

Mary's busy fingers made the hands point just as they Another way is for the child to be called back by any should when the clock strikes half past nine. words, or by any other child. But the child should know “Now, make this clock say ten minutes after five,” the correct book by watching the teacher's movements said papa. Mary did so. Papa was proud of her. with her hands. If the top book is the correct one, the “And this clock must say twenty minutes until one,” teacher apparently, in a casual way, places her hand to

papa said. And it did when Mary's pencil had finished its her forehead.

work. Mary had not been caught once. If the second book is the correct one, she places her "Now, I'll catch you,” thought papa to himself. “This finger on or beside her nose, and for the third or lowest clock must say three minutes after eight,” he said. But book, she places her hand against her chin,

the joke was on papa, for Mary's clock face told him As soon as a child thinks that he has discovered the what he wished to know. secret, let him try to do it.

The next day, when papa came home, he brought Mary If the children are quick about this, arrange with the the tiniest little wrist watch. It was not a make-believe child helper to mix the calling and the motions signals; wrist watch, for it ticked like papa's watch. How glad that is, use first one and then the other.

Mary was that she learned to tell time! Still another book number game is to first place five books in a row, and to number them one, two, etc. Volunteer story tellers were called for and volunteer

One child must know the secret, as in the preceding clock makers were chosen to move the hands of the clock game. This child passes out, while any one child points as the stories progressed. Some of the stories were to any one of the five books. He is called back, but does very clever and showed much talent. not determine the right book by calls or movements. Another day found the hands of the clock as poetry

The secret here is this. The number of the book must suggested. We had read "A Tick-Tock Story” in our be the same. An illustration will be the clearest explana- Baldwin and Bender Readers. One child volunteered tion.

to read this poem at our Number Work hour. Mother Suppose the third book has been pointed at.

Goose Rhymes were recited by the children. They had The teacher points to the fourth book and asks:

searched diligently for poems and rhymes for our clock “Is it that one?

game. How delighted they were to find Mother Goose The child answers "no.”

Rhymes which helped them carry on a number work (Because it is the first point, and the fourth book.) game in the second grade! How much more the rhymes Teacher, while she points to the fifth book, asks: "Is

“Hickory, dickory, dock,” “Bell horses, bell horses, it that one. The child answers “no.” (“It is the second

what time of day?" and "A diller, a dollar, A ten o'clock point and fifth book.)

scholar” meant to them after that recitation! Now teacher points to the third book and asks: "Is

Poetry, which had been set to music, was given a place

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