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INTO SCHOOL ROOMS
volume of “ Classical Studies” dedicated to Henry Drisler and bearing his name.
Shakespeare and the Elizabethans As we approach Shakespeare it is well to take a glance at the condition and development of the stage previous to his day. The rise of the drama through the “mysteries " and miracle plays although familiar in a general way, will bear review with reference to a closer study of the Elizabethan drama. For this purpose Mr. Symonds' “Shakespeare's Predecessors" is admirably adapted. Read, if you can, Fletcher's “Faithful Shepardess," Ben Johnson's “ Every Man in his Humor," and Marlowe's “ Dr. Faustus." Then
Frost turn to Shakespeare. A very sensible if not very celebrated authority, has
The pane is etched with wondrous tracery,advised his readers to take Shakespeare, at first, as one vast
Curve interlaced with curve, and line with line,
Like subtle measures of sweet harmony whole, reading the plays in as rapid succession as possible,
Transformed to shapes of beauty crystalline. not pausing for notes. This has the advantage of producing a brilliant, kaleidoscopic impression of Shakespeare's genius
Slim, graceful vines, and tendrils of such sort and is to be followed, of course, by a slow and studious re
As never grew save in some fairy world,
Wind up from roots of misted silver wrought reading, with notes and commentators. The plan would be
Through tulip flowers and lilies half unfurled. an admirable one for people of leisure but it has the drawback for busy people that even a hasty reading of all the
Shag furs and hemlocks blend with plumy palms, plays would take nearly all one's spare time for many
Spiked cacti spring from feathery ferns and weeds,
And sea-blooms such as rock in southern calms months. For us, who have already some familiarity with
Mingle their foamy fronds with sedge and reeds. the plays in a general way, the deliberate selection of one play and steady devotion to it until we know it through and
And there are diamond-crusted diadems, through and in and out, seems to me the best way of getting
And orbs of pearl, and sceptres of pale gold,
Stored up in crystal grottos, lit with gems, well and truly acquainted with Shakespeare.
And paved with emeralds of price untold. I have a vivid recollection of attacking Hamlet in this fashion, when a very young girl. The edition I read from
And marvellous architecture of no name,had po notes nor had I ever read a critical essay on the
Facades and shafts of loveliest form and hue,
Keen pinnacles and turrets tipped with flame, play at that time, but I know more about Hamlet now than
And fretted domes of purest sapphire blue. about almost any other of the plays, simply because I lived in it for weeks at that time. Once get the movement and
All these the genii of the Frost last night the personnel of a play so fixed in your mind, and every
Wrought in the still, cold hours by charm and rune;
And now, like dreams dispelled before the light, word you hear spoken or see written concerning it forever
They float away in vapor on the moon. after, falls into place.
- Charles Lotin Hildreth. It is not a bad plan to take Shakespeare as we considered taking the great epics read one or two of the plays every year say one comedy and one tragedy. You may demur that, even at that, it will take you twenty years to read them
About Calendars all. Well, and what then. You are in no danger of outgrowing Shakespeare and he will never go out of fashion.
OLIVE M. LONG ST. PAUL Life is long, Shakespeare is perennial ; and in any case, you
N the ideal school where the teacher has plenty of time would better know “As You Like It" by heart, than to know the whole thirty-odd by rote.
and blackboard room, the children come to school
some morning to find drawn upon the board a large Shakespeare's Women
calendar, with a pretty border of golden-rod around it. Teeming as the Shakespearian dramas are with all kinds They do not know what it is for, but the teacher tells them and varieties of human life, to you and me his women that the long word at the top is “ September,” is the name of present themselves with the most overwhelming fascination the month, and that each little square stands for one day in
a coterie that can never grow wearisome. From “sweet the month, as they can see by looking closely, for in the Mistress Anne, who has brown hair and speaks small like a corner of each is a little number. women,” to the audacious Beatrice and the untamed Kath- Then they are asked to notice at recess the way the erine,– from Juliet, young love incarnate, to Cleopatra, wind is blowing, and to look for the moon that night so passion at its zenith, — they are all wonderful and of infinite that they can make a picture of it to-morrow, for this calvariety. How they stoop before us as we summon them endar is to become a faithful weather record of the month, Portia, Hermione, Desdemona, Viola, Imogene, Ophelia, and each day several things are to be marked upon it, - the and the peerless Rosalind. Beautiful, noble, witty, stimu- kind of day, the direction of the wind, and the phase of lating, they are the most thoroughly alive of any women in the moon. In doing this, it is not necessary to use techall literature.
nical subjects, but rather those that the children can Libraries have been written about Shakespeare and many understand. A sunny day may have a little yellow sun volumes about his women. To hint at a choice among with long rays, shining in the corner of that square, in them is all but impossible. The greatest critics all have another corner is the white crescent moon, as seen on the paid their homage at that shrine, and you may safely choose night before, and there is room in the middle for the arrow those among them who seem to appeal most closely to your which tells us that the wind is blowing north. Or if the own sympathies and judgment. But first of all, know the day is gray and cloudy, the space may be filled with a soft men and women about whom Shakespeare wrote. It will gray tone, over which the arrow and moon are drawn, while be time enough afterward to know those who wrote about snowy and rainy days may be represented by covering the him.
space with little white dots for snow-flakes, or long, light,
slanting lines for rain. Some Day
Such a calendar may be started at any time, but it is And only the Master shall praise us and only the Master shall
better to begin it sometime in September, when the children blame,
have been at school long enough to feel acquainted with And no one shall work for money, and no one shall work for
their surroundings, and have begun to notice, through the fame, But each for the joy of working, and each in his separate star,
prompting of their teacher, the happenings in the world of Shall draw the Thing as he sees It, for the God of Things as
nature around them. They Are.
– Rudyard Kipling. At first it is the teacher who does the marking,— always,
however, according to the report of the children, but later,
O Lady Moon, thy horns point toward the west; when they have seen how it is done, they themselves may
Wane! Be at rest! ” be allowed the delight of helping to “mark the calendar.” and if the teacher is clever with her pencil, she can sketch For the first month or two, at least, it is perhaps better
upon the board (and, by the way, it should be the south to have spaces for the five week-days only, as the childish board this time, because for us in North America, the moon memories are apt to give out over Saturday and Sunday. never gets into the northern part of the sky) the pretty
There are throughout the year many special days,- illustrations which accompany these words in St. Nicholas Thanksgiving, Christmas, Washington's birthday, and the for December, 1884. like,— whose dates and meaning are to be explained some Then later, in the upper grades, when the time comes for weeks before they occur. It is a good plan, at the begin- the lesson upon the scientific explanation of the phases of ning of each month, to talk over all such days occurring in the moon, they will understand the subject more readily that month, and when the date is given, to let the children from having already observed its apparent changes in the find it on the calendar and mark the space with a cross.
sky,— as all upper grade pupils have by no means done. This fixes the date more firmly in their minds, and the chil- The marking of the calendar fits in naturally and delightdren delight in “counting up” the days to each joyful fully with the morning song and the morning talk, or with occasion, especially if instead of the cross, the teacher what in some schools is still called the language lesson. sketches in simple outline some little reminder, a turkey, Through the fall, when we are studying, or should be, perhaps, for the last Thursday in November, for Christmas, such things as the fall fruits, leaves, seeds, insects and a star, or little green Christmas tree, New Year's bells for squirrels, we should never forget, especially with the little the first of January, Aags for Washington's and Lincoln's children, to approach such subjects from the living side, and birthdays, a white envelope with a red seal for St. Valentine's let the first thought be of these objects in their natural day, and similar ones for the others. These are for the surroundings. future, so that the children may watch their approach The calendar offers a natural and easy way of bringing (“three weeks to Christmas,- one week,- to-morrow "), this to pass. After marking the rain, for example, what but there are also other special days, whose dates are not more natural than to ask, “What do you think the squirrels fixed on any calendar,—the day when the first spring flower
are doing this rainy day?" and so on to the talk about their was seen, the first home-coming bird, the day of the rain
ways of living, — or it may be the crickets, or the other bow,—and these too should be noted in some simple way little friends who hide under the stones and weeds, while upon this convenient record.
before, or after, wherever it seems to belong, comes the little Then at the end of the month, a few moments may be rain-song. In the same way we can talk about what a good given to a backward look, for the children see pictured time this south wind must be having, playing with the leaves before them the month as a whole, and can grasp the idea and seeds, and on the bright days, when we can sing “Good of the proportionate number of sunny, cloudy, or rainy days, morning, merry sunshine," wonder “what the 'merry sunthe direction of the prevailing wind (as shown by trees, shine' is doing to the apples." weather-vanes, clouds, and most plainly of all, by the smoke
One of the principal benefits of a daily calendar is the from chimneys) will be described as “this way,” with a regularity with which this attitude is maintained, and with waving of little arms, but as the points of the compass are which the children are led to observe the varying phenotaught, the teacher should insist upon the use of the names, mena of nature. It takes but a few minutes every day, but “north," “ south," etc., instead. It is better to have the
it comes every day, and at the end of the year, the children calendar placed upon the north wall, as the actual east and
have acquired not only a habit of observation, and of deducwest are then represented on the sides where they are con- ing a few natural laws from the observed facts, but they also ventionally given in maps, which will make it easier for the have a great deal of actual information which later will be children to connect the pictorial symbol with the facts. applied to geography and natural philosophy,-- which has,
At first the picture of the moon should be drawn only in fact, been both of these all along, without their knowing it. when the preceding night has been clear enough for the And besides, when the children have been educated into children to see it, but as they gradually come to see that its looking at the world with eyes which observe as well as look, changes take place under regular laws, they can judge they also gradually come to perceive the beauty of it all; whether, behind the clouds, it is just a “ little smaller," or a
and this is one of the most precious gifts which any fairy little larger" than the night before. And later, when they godmother can bestow upon a child,—the awakening of the have also been led to notice which direction its horns are
artist side of his soul, and the giving him the power to see always pointing while waning or growing, they can be taught and enjoy the beauty of nature's picture gallery. the pretty couplets : —
“ It seems as if the day was not wholly profane in which we have given “O Lady Moon, thy horns point toward the east :
heed to some natural object. The fall of snowflakes in a still air, preShine! Be increased !
serving to each crystal its perfect form; the blowing of sleet over a wide
sheet of water, and over plains; the waving rye-field; the mimic waving winds and just how many weeks came between each full of acres of houstonia, whose innumerable flowers whiten and ripple before the eye; the reflections of trees and flowers in glassy lakes; the musical, steaming, odorous south wind, wbich converts all trees to wind-harps;
These cardboard calendars should be as large as the the crackling and spurting of hemlock in the flames,— these are the blackboard ones (at least twenty inches square, including music and pictures of the most ancient religion.”
decorations), and if the paper is rough enough, may be On the whole, we feel that the results of the calendar are marked with the colored crayon, otherwise a paint-box with valuable enough for every teacher to try to make room for a few colors would be necessary. For the landscape calenthe “just one thing more," and give the very, very few dar, a larger sheet of some rough paper (cartridge or ingrain moments a day to this part of the program,- not only in wall paper, mounted on cardboard to stiffen it), may he the ideal school where there is plenty of time, but above all
, used for the landscape part, and drawn upon with chalk in the crowded school-room, the country school especially, quite as successfully as the blackboard, and the calendar in where there is so little time that it can be given only to the the middle may be on smaller sheets, which are fastened important things;- among them the daily calendar.
down together and one detached each month.
To keep before the children the thought of the continuity of the year, a fanciful border representing the different months may be sketched along the top of some blackboard. A pretty conceit of this sort is a row of candles in white chalk on the blackboard. As each month comes around, the candle representing that month is "lit" (that is, a yellow flame added to the wick with colored chalk), and when the month is past, it is “blown out," and the next one lit, and so on through the year.
Each candle-stick may have some device suggestive of the SEPTEMBER
month, and if the children help in choosing appropriate ones, they will like it all the better, — a snowflake for January perhaps, simple flowers and fruits for the months where they belong, a pumpkin for November, and for December a tin Christmas candle-holder on a branch of evergreen may take the place of the regular candle-stick, and lo! the candle becomes a Christmas candle, to set astir the pulses of every Christmas child.
Below this border my be written each month a little couplet or stanza, to be explained to the children and perhaps learned by them. The following are suggested for those who may not find it convenient to look through the poets for their own selections.
TUES. WED THUR
How to Make the Calendar As a decoration the calendar is a bright and cheerful addition to the room, and there are different ways of making it both attractive and appropriate to the season. For most of these a box of colored crayons is necessary, but this is something which no school-room should ever be without, for in half a dozen ways it proves a magic wand to a fairy world of enjoyment for the color-loving children. With these and a simple copy, it does not require much artistic skill to make a bunch of yellow golden-rod or purple thistles nod from behind September's calendar; a cluster of crimson leaves brighten October ; a pumpkin vine encircle Novem ber; holly, evergreens, or snowflakes surround December, January, and February; while the pussy-willow and the early flowers decorate the spring months.
One year the children enjoyed very much a calendar set in the midst of a simple landscape which changed with the outside season, through the agency of the same colored crayons. In the autumn the trees had foliage of brown and red, with many falling leaves, but as the season advanced the trees were left bare, the grass turned brown, and the first snowfall cutside gave occasion for powdering our mimic ground with white, as well. it remained so during the winter, till the spring sent a Aush of green over it, and melted the snow in the crotches of the trees These gradually took on the green no acw icaves (it is not difficult to senlach vo "gréćni chalk), and by May we had dandelions and vioiets growing in the grass.
Some teachers prefer to have their calendars on large sheets of cardboard, and sometimes this is necessary through lack of blackboard space. There is a certain advantage in this plan, because the calendar is not erased at the end of the month, but the sheets preserved during the entire year, and at any time a general comparison may be made, to see which months had many sunny days or many snowy ones, which season had the most north
– Lucy Larcom
Tucked in, and more sweet eyes shut tight;
Her ferns knoel down, full in my sight;
- H. H.
Different Ways of Putting It
time with the exception of occasional interruptions from the
ever effervescent Bobbie. A TEACHER
These little side plays in child-life if carefully studied and
profited by, would be of the best advantage to us. OW many teachers have ever watched children play- could only see ourselves as others see us. Try it, and see ing school?
if it would not amuse as well as surprise you to see yourself If each of us could find an opportunity of watch- so unconsciously impersonated.
ing some of our own pupils in play with those of another teacher's pupils, we might learn considerable that would be of advantage to us, in regard to the manners and methods of teaching. For it is known that children almost invariably copy the ways of the teacher with whom they are
Without haste, without rest, most of the session.
Lifting better up to best; At one time, I was the unobserved witness of five little
Planting seeds of knowledge pure, girls and two boys playing school. It was quite evident
On earth to ripen, in heaven endure.
- Emerson that the facilities for teaching in the way of seats and desks was a secondary consideration — in fact, no consideration at all; for matters progressed as earnestly and realistically as though carried on in a thoroughly equipped school-room. Naturally there was some discussion as to who should be lucky enough to hold those enviable positions of superintendent, principal, and teacher ; but the difficulty was settled by drawing lots and as there was a scarcity of children it was
ALICE ORMES decided to have the Right Honorable Superintendent an
All figures of speech appeal to children. They respond imaginary evil, to be called on only in case of “expension.”
to them with unerring recognition of their under-meaning. The principal — ah! That dignitary can not well be
When I tell my little folks to bottle their feelings a pictured. She had perched on her nose, an old pair of
moment and put the cork in tight, till they get out of doors, spectacles, minus one glass, and with all the air of supreme
do you not suppose the instant quiet in the cloak room is authority and superiority which that person of high estate
the quick translation of the figure of speech? could command, she strutted around the room critically
Again, I need but to say “I hear a fly buzzing in my examining the work, and giving special directions here and
room; let us drive it out," to see a comprehending smile on there.
little faces, and lo! the buzzing has ceased. The teacher ! Well, you may judge her for yourself, and
Does not every one understand about those wooden put her in whichever class you think she belongs. Of
shoes that will thump so and the velvet slippers that never course, the first fifteen minutes must be devoted to singing make a noise ! - and such singing! It suffices to say that! teacher was
Speak of pines — the beautiful straight pine-trees that not destined to be a prima donna, but being teacher, she
grow so tall, or of soldiers who march so erect, and roundmust lead the class. They sang that firsl-carned-ever
ing shoulder and crooked backs straighten in the twinkling ready-tune, “ America," and fondly came the words without reproach to-day;
No letter c's in our room, we say, and smile, because “ Land where my father died,
we know how much like that letter small backs can get to Land of thy pilgrim pride,”
be. This little girl was a “pointer teacher," that is, a teacher
We don't always remember the dots to our i's. How with the pointer always in hand, ready for any emergency
queer we would look without eyebrows! Next time the You know her. We've all heard of them.
eyebrow is pretty sure to be in evidence. Well, the pointer must be used in marking the time, so,
When Willie is so slow about rising from his seat, so that majestically it was waved back and forth, but the matter of
all the others are standing before he is, I wonder if a certain lagging time was of small significance with the manner of
little boy is getting old and has the rheumatism, so that he executing the song.
cannot move quickly. The singing lesson is over. Now for spelling. With
And then those queer storks, that will stand on one foot !
This has troubled you, I am sure, as many another teacher. pointer still in evidence, our teacher, not very gently, raps several knuckles for letters not according to her model, and
We cannot always be saying, “Stand on two feet.” Let us with high pitched voice, the words are pronounced.
avoid all appearances of “nagging." It is harmful to all
concerned. Teacher: All take gogerfies and learn questions about New York State. You don't never knows 'em, and can't
Can you stand as I do? Has your plant one, or two tell if the city you're livin' in is on 'Lantic Ocean or Red
roots ? There are many ways to put it. Once in a while Sea. Most likely as not, you'll say it's the largest city in
an effectual method is to go and look very closely for 'Merica — course coz you're livin' here. Don't seem's if
that retiring member, with an air of astonishment at its nonI could never get anything knocked into your brains, if
Are these details unimportant? you've got any, and I half doubt it. B class, order, for
Is there a right and a language."
wrong way to even such trifles ? Boy number one, is in all classes, answers at all times,
Let us try the metaphor once in a while and see what
wonders it can work in a sunshiny way. and is a general mischief maker.
Teacher:—Who can give synnim for “ Farewell ?"
Bobbie knows, O yes, Bobbie always knows; and promptly comes the answer, “So Long." A commotion follows and as a punishment, Bobbie must write a composition on “Squirrels." Here is a copy of the original manuscript.
The Squirrels I was in the country and I went in the wood to get some Squirrels, And I seen one on the top of a tree he had A nut up there And he was eaten Away and I got the gun and when I came back the squirrel was gone. Did you thinks that I would come And I was going back I saw one in a chestnuts tree And I was going to shoot him but You see he had a hole in the tree an I can't think of no more to-day, so good-bye. End of the Squirrels.
Matters continued rather smoothly the rest of the school
of an eye.