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be employed and at more uniform wages and with greater permanency; the school terms in the several sub-districts would be more nearly equal; a truer economy in the expenditure of school funds would be exercised; school-houses would be better constructed and more suitably furnished; the schools would be better classified and graded ; and the instruction would be more systematic and thorough—in a sentence, the efficiency of the system in every direction would be enhanced.
Our present system is greatly superior to the old sub-district organization which it superseded and which still encumbers it. One more step is needed. The entire management of the schools should be entrusted to the township board. This will complete the good work begun in 1853, and prepare the way for an efficient system of township and county school supervision, now so greatly needed.
FRIEND WHITE: It may not be timely, but I wish to call your attention to our plan of conducting the annual examination of our schools. The Board of Education appoint a committee of at least three competent persons for each school who are authorized to ask any questions to test the thoroughness of the instruction or the attainment of the pupils. For example, the teacher calls out a class in arithmetic. After stating that the class has gone over say from fractions to square root, the examining committee is requested to assign to any or to each pupil a topic to discuss, a problem to solve, a demonstration to give, or a principle to explain—the same to be embraced in the ground gone over by the pupils.
These committees include from forty to fifty of our best citizens. At the close of the examination, they meet and discuss the result of their labors. They then appoint a sub-committee to draw up a report for the Board. This report which is usually brief, is published in our papers for the information of teachers, patrons, and pupils.
We have used this plan for five years, and it works well. It brings the schools prominently before the people once a year, and creates a lively interest in their progress and success. I would like very much, for my own benefit, to see an article in the Monthly from your pen on the best and most satisfactory mode of conducting the annual examinations in city and town schools. Will you not favor us?
R. W. S.
SCHOOL Aids.—A township clerk, whose school district has made a trial of the “School Aids” lately advertised in the MONTHLY, informs us that they have given the highest satisfaction. The pupils have been incited to increased diligence in study; the teachers greatly assisted in securing good order; and a new interest has been awakened among the school patrons. When the pupils return home at night inquiries are made respecting their tickets, and thus they are greatly encouraged to keep up their grade. So well pleased is our informant with the " Aids" that he wishes us to commend them to teachers and school officers. They are published by J. W. Schermerhorn & Co., New York.
Our contributors this month include several writers who are enrolled among the contributors to the leading literary journals of the country. Their thoughts will be read with interest and profit. How impressively Mr. Mansfield's sketch of his early instructors reminds the teacher that his spirit and example are not only reproductive, but immortal! Mr. Venable's excellent article on Pestalozzi is timely and suggestive. We hope the old fogies will profit by the well-merited thrust he gives them. Prof. Day's valuable contribution should be carefully studied by every teacher of reading. The phonic analysis of words, an important means of vocal culture, requires the accurate utterance of unaccented as well as accented vowels—a requirement which few teachers of reading can meet. While we abominate a set “Mathematical Department” in an educational journal, we are always glad to publish articles on the teaching of math. ematics. Dr. Herrmann's able article is in this direction. Mr. Cook always writes from the stand-point of a practical teacher, and his articles are instructive and valuable. Prof. Sterling's brief letter admirably presents the advantages of school supervision.
Having made the pupil familiar with the essential elements of a sentence, he may next be lead to expand these elements by the use of modifiers. Begin with the subject, and show that it may be modified
1. By an Adjective.* Review the previous lesson on quality. Write on the blackboard as models one or more sentences in which the subject is modified by a word denoting quality; as, “ Tall trees bend”; “Dead leaves fall." Require the class to write similar sentences. Sentences in which quality, class, or condition are predicated, as “ Shallow brooks are noisy", "A truthful boy is a hero,” etc., may sụccessively be given as models, and the writing of additional exercises secured. The sentences written by the pupils may be analyzed as above, with the modifier of the subject added.
Sentences may be written on the board in which the subject is modified by a word which limits it without denoting quality; as, “ This boy fell; soldiers were killed.” These sentences will serve as models for sentences to be written by the class.
* This term is used for the sake of brevity.
Sentences in which the subject is modified both by limiting and qualifying adjectives may next be required; as, “ A few wild flowers are in the vase."
The pupils may be required not only to analyze their sentences, but also to state what the modifying words denote.
2. By a Noun denoting Possession. Develop the idea of possession or ownership. Show how a word denoting possession may modify the subject. Give as a model the sentence," Children's voices are musical," and require the class to write sentences modifying the subject in the same manner. The noun denoting possession may be modified by one or more adjectives, as, crazy man's eyes were restless"; and both the subject and the possessive word may be modified, as, “The sun's warm rays are pleasant.” These sentences will serve as models for a large number of sentences. The written exercises should be continued until the possessive sign is used with accuracy.
3. By a Noun in Apposition. Show how the subject of a sentence may be modified by a word denoting the class to which the object it represents belongs, as, “Milton, the poet, was blind.” “Willie, the drummer, is dead.” Develop the idea of identification. Give sentences, and require the class to add after each subject a noun in apposition.
4. By an Adjunct. Another method of modifying the subject of a sentence is by the use of a prepositional phrase, as, “The rays of the sun warm the earth,"
," "The hand of diligence is seldom empty.” It will be found a valuable exercise to require the pupils to change the prepositional phrases used by them to adjectives, or to nouns in the possessive case.
In a similar manner the use of participles and infinitives, as modifiers of a noun, may be illustrated and familiarized. We prefer, however, to omit these modifiers until the verb is better understood.
The class should now be taught that these different modifiers of the subject are equally applicable to a noun in the predicate. The following sentences may be given as models for several new exercises: “A flatterer is a dangerous enemy; " "An idle brain is the devil's workshop;
" Idleness is the parent of vice.”
Personal pronouns may next be introduced, and gender and person made familiar. This will be found an easy task.
Having taught the pupils to recognize readily the verb, take up next the modifiers of the verb, familiarizing each by written exercises. The verb may be modified,
1. By an Adverb. Write upon the blackboard a simple sentence in which the verb is modified by an adverb of manner, as, “The soldier fought bravely.”' Show that the word “bravely” modifies “fought” by indicating the manner of the action. The soldier fought how? Bravely. Repeat this question, and have the class give other answers. Write the sentences thus formed on the blackboard, thus :
The soldier fought bravely. The soldier fought gallantly. The soldier fought badly. The soldier fought fiercely. The soldier fought well. The soldier fought ill.
Require the class to write say twenty different sentences, modifying each verb by an adverb of manner.
Next show how the verb may be modified by an adverb denoting time, as, “A good name will shine forever”; “The news came to-day.” Require similar sentences to be written as above.
In like manner the class should write sentences containing adverbs denoting place, cause, etc.; then sentences modifying each verb by two or more adverbs, as,
“She sang very sweetly." Sentences in which an adverb modifies an adjective may here be introduced, as: “A very tall tree was blown down." "Washington was a truly great man.” “The stranger is quite rich." Each of these sentences will serve as a model for one or more exercises.
2. By an Adjunct. The second method of modifying a verb is by an adjunct (prepositional phrase) denoting manner, time, place, cause, etc., as “ Bad workmen are known by their chips”; “In the morning, sow thy seed”; “The heroic Baker fell at Ball's Bluff"; "He died for his country,” etc. Show that these adjuncts perform the same office in the sentence as adverbs, since, like them, they answer the questions, “How?” “When?" "Where?” “Why?” etc.; and fix in the pupil's mind the fact that the adjunct as a whole modifies the verb. This will enable the pupil, when parsing is reached, to decide with certainty between what words the preposition shows the relation, since the preposition always shows the relation between its object and the word which the adjunct as a whole modifies. If the adjunct modifies a noun, the preposition will connect its object to that noun; if it limits a verb, the preposition will connect its object to the verb, etc. It will be seen that an adjunct performs the office of either an adjective or an adverb.
The different classes of adjuncts, as those denoting time, place, manner, cause, etc., may each be familiarized by one or more written exercises. Sentences may also be written in which the verb is modified both by an adverb and an adjunct, as, “The building was shaken violently by the wind.”
3. By an Object. The third method of modifying a verb is by means of a noun or pronoun in the objective case.* What does the wind shake? The wind shakes the house. What does the fire burn? The fire burns coal. Write one or both of these sentences on the board as a model, also twenty transitive verbs, and require the class to form sentences containing them, modifying each verb by an object.
For the next lesson, give the class twenty verbs, part transitive and part intransitive, and instruct the class to form sentences containing them, and to modify as many of the verbs by objects as may be possible. The pupils will thus be led to the fact that all verbs do not admit of an object, i. e., that verbs are divided into two classes—those which take an object after them (transitive), and those which do not (intransitive). Other lists of verbs may be given, and the class be required to find out which are transitive and which intransitive by forming sentences containing them.
* Some grammarians do not regard the object as a modifier of the verb, but as an essential element of the sentence. It seems to us to be clearly a modifier.
Next require the class to form twenty sentences, selecting their own verbs, and modifying each by an object.
Show that the object in each of the above sentences may be made the subject, by changing the form of the verb. “ The wind shakes the house," may be written, “The house is shaken by the wind.” Require the class to change in a similar manner each sentence in the last exercise as above. The pupils will now discover that transitive verbs have two forms, which may be called active and passive. Let this fact be made familiar by the pupils' changing sentences from the active to the passive form, and vice versa. We would here guard teachers against the error of parsing verbs in the passive voice as intransitive. Verbs in the passive voice, with very few exceptions, are transitive.
4. By an Infinitive Phrase. Without attempting to convey an idea of mode, teach the pupils to recognize infinitives by naming verbs for them to change to infinitives by prefixing “to.” Let infinitive phrases also be formed. Show that the verb may be modified by an infinitive or an infinitive phrase, as, “The boy strives to excel”: “He was requested to speak”; “A noble boy will scorn to do a mean act.” A few sentences of this kind may then be written by the class and analyzed.
The teacher may also introduce sentences in which the infinitive limits a noun or an adjective. We do not think it best, however, to spend much time on this element at this stage of the pupil's progress. The young learner will find great difficulty in understanding its office in many familiar sentences. Indeed, grammarians disagree very much in their disposition of the infinitive, even in such sentences as the following: “It is sweet to die for one's country”; “The boy was too lazy to learn”; “My father is about to leave home.” Some of our best scholars regard the infinitive as a verbal noun. We are inclined to this opinion.
The use of the simple sentence, both as an adjective and adverbial modifier, may next be made familiar, but inasmuch as the sentence thus formed is complex and not simple, we should here devote but little time to this class of modifiers. Sentences may also be written in which a simple sentence forms the subject, the object, or the attribute.
In all of the above lessons the main reliance should be placed on the written exercises. These will give the pupil a better idea of the nature of modifiers than any amount of explanation by the teacher. We repeat the suggestion made last month, that all of these exercises should be carefully corrected by the teacher, and then neatly copied by the pupils with pen and ink in their exercise books.
V. ANALYSIS AND PARSING,
The teacher should now review thoroughly the entire course of instruction gone over, beginning with the first lesson.
In this review analysis and parsing should receive the principal attention, the pupils being required to give orally any additional sentence that may be needed for purposes of illustration. The sentences to be analyzed and parsed should be selected chiefly from the written exercises of the pupils. Each sentence should first be analyzed and then the different words parsed, thus making analysis (as it should be) the key to pars