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made this plant? Only one. How many plants could come from this one? Four thousand. Don't you think we shall have to destroy every weed, if we wish to get rid of them entirely? If we destroy all of them this year, do you think it will help us next year? How?"
The teacher told the children that weeds and grass are sometimes friends after all. They make lazy farmers work their crop to get rid of them when they would not work it to keep a dust mulch.
The following reasons for cultivating corn were developed: (1) To form a dust mulch (a) in order that corn may get moisture and (i) that the soil will not lose the moisture; (2) to make soil loose and fine, that roots may get food and water; (3) to kill weeds and grass.
When the corn was about a foot high we fertilized with nitrate of soda. Care was taken not to get any on the plant.
We made a note of the time when the corn tasseled and examined the tassel carefully. In the same way we noted the time of silking and examined the silk closely. Having studied other flowers, the children knew that the two essential parts of the flower are the stamens and pistil. They had noticed pollen on the stamen of other flowers. "Where is the pollen on the corn? Can you guess what this part is? What are the two parts of a flower? Which part have you found? Now, who can find the other part? On what does pollen fall?'' It took the children some time to discover that the silk is the pistil. "Now, can you give me a good reason for being careful to have a good stand of corn? Why should it all be of the same age?" We then cut silk from one ear of corn; on another we made the silk into a ball and then waited for results.
One dry day the children noticed that the leaves of the corn were curled up and, of course, thought the corn was dying. They were much relieved to find the leaves straight the next morning, but they curled again in the heat of the day. In answer to the children's questioning the teacher wet two cloths and hung one out smooth. The other she made into a roll. The children then watched to see which dried out first. They thus learned that the corn leaves lose their moisture too rapidly when spread out smoothly. The leaves protect themselves by curling up in the same way that the cloth did.
When the silks were dead on our corn, we pulled the husk down and found the corn ready to eat. "How long has it been since the corn tasseled? Since it silked? Since it was planted?" The children learned that at this stage corn is called "roasting ears." We gathered roasting ears to cook. We learned to tell when the corn was ready by noticing the silk and feeling it through the husk instead of pulling the husk down, because if corn is left unprotected the ants come and destroy it.
We pulled the two ears on which we had experimented with the silk. Neither was filled out. "What did we do to the first? Cut the silk from it. What did we do to the second? Made the silk into a ball. Do you think, then, that the silk is an essential part of the corn V
We now husked the corn that we had gathered. We followed the silk on one of the ears until we found the end attached to a grain of corn which was plump and round. The children knew that the pollen falling on the silk had something to do with it. They were told that a pollen grain must fall on each silk; that each silk is attached to one grain of corn, and that the pollen causes the grain of corn to develop.
We husked the corn and discussed the value of the husks or "shucks," as the children called them. They saw that the husks cover and protect the ear of corn. They learned that husks are used as food for animals; that they can be made into doormats, etc.
A stalk of corn was taken up carefully, roots and all. The soil was washed out at the pump. We noticed the large root system, with tiny roots reaching far into the ground. After discussing the kind of soil and the reason for shallow cultivation, we examined the parts closely, as follows:
PAKTS OF PLANT.
1. Roots: (a) Kinds—fibrous, brace.
2. Stalk: Jointed; joints closer together near the roots. Why?
3. Leaves: Grow from joint, attached to lower joint, encircles stalk until it reaches next joint where it spreads out. Arranged for conducting water to the root of the plant. Shape is grasslike. Parallel veined. Margin of leaf fuller than rest of blade. Why? Do you think the parallel velning helps? Bough, covered with small hairs.
4. Tassel: Part of flower.
5. Silk: Other part of flower.
6. Fruit: Ear of corn. Covering, husk. Grains of corn borne on cob.
Later the process of cooking the corn was carefully gone through with by the teacher and children. After the corn had been cleaned of its husk and silk, the pupils pinched a grain of corn here and there with the finger nail until the milk came. Then they used iodine to test the corn for starch.
The corn was put in boiling water, and the children were told that the cooking time for corn was 20 minutes. The teacher had one of the children bring a clock, while another was instructed to watch the time and report when the time was up.
While the corn was cooking, the children discussed interesting points about corn—various uses of corn apart from eating; fodder; histor\r of corn from Indian and Pilgrim times; Indian legend as to how the Indians first got corn (" Hiawatha's Fasting," by Longfellow) ; methods of grinding the corn, old and new, etc.
At Halloween we had the corn popped as part of the celebration, and we sang the Popcorn Song. From the corn shucks we made mats and baskets.
DIARY OF THE FIRST TWO WEEKS OF SCHOOL.
Tuesday. September 19.
Children present representing the first three grades of school.
Visit the garden. Find i>eas sown in July for a cover crop rank and completely covering the ground. Find peanuts still green. Popcorn is mature and ready to harvest. Jessie and Carrie have had charge of the garden during the summer. They return the key to the teacher. Children who were In school last year take pride In showing the new children through the house and telling about the different rooms. After this all gather around the teacher on the veranda, and the children from last spring tell the new ones of the work they have done at school, of what was raised in the garden, of what was made In the carpenter shop, and of the good times In cooking and sewing. The new pupils are told that each of them is to have a garden. They are to work In the carpenter shop and are to cook and sew.
The children have been attracted by a crayon sketch of "The Three Bears" on the blackboard. The teacher tells them the story. Scissors are brought out, and the younger children set to work cutting the chairs, table, bowls, and beds for the bears. The older ones try to read to the teacher in the book brought from home. The teacher soon finds that this Is impossible. A new beginning must be made. She decides to let the third grade pupils read In second reader. The older children and the teacher return to the children who are cutting the story of "The Three Bears." All notice the shape of the piece nsed to cut the chair, bed. table, etc. Teach them square and oblong. Find other squares and oblongs In the room. Get some idea of their ability to estimate length in inches. Mount cutting that children have done. They are very proud of their work.
Recess. Play "Hide and Seek" and "Drop the Handkerchief." Children eat their lunches. Return to veranda. Older children make a list of vegetables in the garden. Teacher gives reading lesson to beginners and those who must begin all over again. Teacher shows picture of baby. The children are all glad to tell of the baby at home and also of the mother there with the baby. They tell of tending the baby and how they love the baby. Develop sentences: Who loves baby most? Whom does baby love most? Mama loves baby. Baby loves mama.
Write these sentences on the blackboard many times. Beginners read easily. Children who have been attempting to use the book hesitate and try to read the sentences word by word. Teacher lets them look at sentence, then look at her and tell her what they saw. Look at sentence: erase quickly. What did you see? Chalk given to children. Children hold chalk and write in the air with teacher as she writes the sentence: "Mama loves baby." Repeat several times, then erase, and let children write sentence on blackboard.
The beginners follow directions more carefully than those who have been trying to write and succeed better. All are encouraged to try again, and the sentence is again written on blackboard just as before, children writing in the air as the teacher writes on the blackboard. The sentence is erased and the children again attempt to write it. Finally, the two sentences preseuted are written carefully on the board by the teacher and allowed to remain. Correct work that advanced pupils have been doing and spell it as an oral spelling lesson.
Second day- September 20.
Teacher explains that there are household duties to be performed daily. These will be found written on blackboard In kitchen. Just now older ones may read for younger. Writes on blackboard:
Cut flowers Jessie.
Arrange flowers Mamie.
Dust Annie May.
Arrange books Johnny and Carrie.
Bring water Lawrence and Charlie.
Wash and hang out cups Mclver and Nell.
Teacher shows pupils the drinking cups and explains that they are to be scalded, dried, and hung on numbered nails near the pump every morning. Duties done, all gather on the veranda. Teacher reads twenty-third Psalm, and the children begin to memorize it.
What shall we plant in our garden? Various things suggested. All who remember the beautiful sweet peas at the college are unanimous in their choice of them. Some suggest turnips. It is too late for turnips now. How about onions? Teacher shows onion sets. What are these? All the children know. What did we plant to get our tomatoes, turnips, etc., last spring? Seed. To get onions we plant sets. Jessie says her mother plants onion seed. Yes; teacher has some seed. Shows it to the children. When did Jessie's mother plant seed? In the spring. If we want our onions now we must plant sets. How do you suppose we got these sets? Bought them. Yes; but how did the seed man get them? What do they look like? Tiny onions. They really are. Seed planted close together in poor soil made these tiny onions which we call sets. Each child Is allowed to examine a set. From which end will leaves come? From which end roots, etc.? Given clay and allowed to model onion. Feel your onion. Now feel your model. See that your model is just like your onion. Develop these words as children model: Onion, round, set, smooth, come, leaves, flat, roots, pointed, grew, sprout, skin, white, rings, green, germ, thin, thick. Let older children learn these as a spelling lesson. Younger continue modeling while older ones spell.
How many onions do you think there are in this bag? What do we use to measure onions? Find dry measures. Measure and find that we have two quarts of onions. Sometimes onions are sold by weight. Estimate weight; then weigh, and write weight on blackboard. Write number of quarts on blackboard. How shall we plant onr onions? In rows. How far apart must the rows be, and how far apart must the onions be in the row? What will tell ns how far apart? Size of plant. Think of size of different plants; compare with onion. Can put them closer together than any of these. How close? Finally decide that rows may be 1 foot apart and that sets may be 6 inches apart in the row. How wide is your garden? How long will your row be? Seven feet long. Find number of sets needed for one row in your garden. First find number of sets needed for 3 foot, then for 7 feet. After children have discovered this, teacher places these problems on the board for advanced children: If sets are put 4 inches apart, find number of sets in 1 foot; in 2 feet; in 3 feet; in 4 ^feet; in 5 feet; in 6 feet; in 7 feet.
If sets are put 3 inches apart, find number of sets in 1 foot; in 2 feet; in 3 feet; in 4 feet; In 5 feet; in C feet; in 7 feet.
Beginners read somewhat as they did the flirt day. They read the two sentences learned the day before and add to them:
Nell loves Baby
Nell loves Mamma /
Mamma loves Nell
Baby loves Nell
fse in this way the names of several members of the class. Write without copy. Just as was done yesterday, "Mamma loves Baby." Correct number work of advanced children.
Recess. Try to play ball. Not enough large children. Flay farmer. Eat lunches. Return to veranda.
Have children attempt to tell story of "Three Bears.-' Younger children want to cut story again. Teacher shows them how to cut " Big Bear," "Middlesized Bear," and "Little Tiny Wee Bear," to put with furniture cut the day before. Advanced pupils read in third reader "The Hill Pasture."
Mount work done in cutting. Teacher tolls story of Chick Tuppen.
Third day, September 2t.
Children came to school laden with great bunches of goldenrod. They are put in our big brown jars. Duties found written on blackboard are done and school opened. All on the veranda. Teacher gives one verse of Helen Hunt Jackson's September:
The goldenrod is yellow;
The com is turning brown;
With fruit are bending down.
Writes it on blackboard that older children may read it and copy it at their leisure.
We want to cook to-morrow. All of our utensils in the kitchen are soiled. They must be clean. Must know, too. what we have. All go to kitchen. Everything in cupboard and on shelves is washed, shelves are wiped off. table scoured, and everything made tidy. The work assigned to each is again written on blackboard. After this is done, fresh paper must be put on the shelves. Paper must lit. What must be done first? We must measure the shelves and then cut paper to fit. Advanced children, with sheets of paper, rnlers, and pencils, set to work to get paper to fit shelves. Beginners read. Teach idiom, "I see." Give them many sentences containing the Idiom:
I see Mamma. I see Baby. 1 see Nell. I see Jessie, etc., using names of children in the class. Then, by making simple drawings of a leaf, cup, ball, apple, etc.. let them read:
I see a (leaf). I see a (cup). I see an (apple), etc.
Let each child whisper to teacher something lie sees. Teacher writes " I see" on blackboard and draws the object. Child calls on another one to read what teacher has written.
For writing lesson write: "I see Mamma." Children tracing in air as teacher writes; then, after sentence is erased, writing on blackboard.
Older children have fitted the paper to the shelves and are ready for the teacher to look at it. She praises the neatest, most accurate ones. Then asks: How long is this shelf? How wide? How long is this shelf? How wide? If they have forgotten they measure again. Advanced children make Inventory of cooking utensils and dishes used in serving. Ix>ok at inventories made by advanced children and correct the spelling. Tack correct ones on inside of cupboard door for reference.