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Qualities of Glass.
Children. “It is bright.” Teacher. (The teacher having written the word “qualities,” writes under it, “It is bright.”). “Take it in your hand and feel it.”” Children. “It is cold.” (Written on the board under the former quality.) Teacher. “Feel it again, and compare it with the piece of sponge that is tied to your slate, and then tell me what you perceive in the glass.” f Children. “It is smooth, – it is hard.” Teacher. “What other glass is there in the room 7 ° Children. “ The windows.” »s Teacher. “Look out at the window, and tell me what you see : ” Children. “We see the garden.” Teacher. (Closes the shutters.) “Look out again, and tell me what you now observe 7” Children. “We cannot see anything.” Teacher. “Why cannot you see anything 7 ° Children. .” We cannot see through the shutters.”
A ties 4 * because the children would not, at first, in all probability, understand the meaning of the term ; its frequent application, however, to the answer of this question, will shortly familiarize them with it, and teach them its meaning.
* The art of the teacher is to put such questions as may lead successfully to the exercise of the different senses.
f The object of the teacher here is to lead the pupil to the observation of the quality smooth, and he does so by making him contrast it with the opposite quality in another substance; a mode of suggestion of which frequent use may be made.
Teacher. “What difference do you observe between the shutters and the glass 2'' Children. “We cannot see through the shutters, but we can through the glass.’ Teacher. “Can you tell me any word that will express this quality which you observe in the glass : ” Children. “ No.” Teacher. “I will tell you then ; pay attention, that you may recollect it. It is transparent.” What shall you now understand when I tell you that a substance is transparent : ” Children. “That you can see through it.” Teacher. “You are right.f Try and recollect something that is transparent.” Children. “Water.” Teacher. “If I were to let this glass fall, or you were to throw a ball at the window, what would be the consequence : ” Children. “The glass would be broken. It is brittle.” .
* The fact of the glass being transparent is so familiar to the children, they will probably not observe it till its great use in consequence of that quality brings it forcibly before their minds. They then feel the want of a term to express the idea thus formed, and the teacher gives them the name, as a sign for it, and in order to impress it upon their minds. To ascertain whether they have rightly comprehended the meaning of the word, they are called upon to give examples of its application.
f It is but too common a practice to call a child good because he gives a right answer; thus confounding intellectual truth and moral
Teacher. “If I used the shutter in the same manner, what would be the consequence 3’” Children. “It would not break.” Teacher. “If I gave it a sharp blow with a very hard substance, what would happen?” Children. “It would then break.” Teacher. “Would you, therefore, call the wood brittle f ** Children. “ No.” Teacher. “What substances, then, do you call brittle 2 * Children. “Those which are easily broken.” These are probably as many qualities as would occur to children at their first attempt: they should be arranged on the slate, and thus form an exercise in spelling. They should then be effaced: and if the pupils are able to write, they may endeavor to remember the lesson, and put it down on their slates.
Teacher. (Holding up a piece of iron.) “Can you tell me what this is : * Pupils. “It is iron, Sir.” Teacher. “And what is iron, — mineral, animal, or vegetable 7” - . Pupils. “It belongs to the mineral kingdom.”
Articles made of Iron.
Teacher. “Can you tell me some of its uses, – or name some articles” that are made of iron 7 °
Pupils. “Nails, screws, bolts, bars, locks, keys, stoves, ploughs, hammers, wheels, axletrees, shovels, tongs, pincers, hinges, latches, horse-shoes, chains, knives, forks, axes, planes, saws, chisels, doors, chairs, bedsteads, buildings, boats, steam-engines,
locomotives, boilers, pumps, etc.”
Teacher. “You see that you have named a great many articles which are made of iron, and many others might be named. You say that knives, and other edge-tools, or cutlery, are made of iron. Are they made wholly of common iron 7 ° Pupils. “No, Sir, they are composed partly of steel, which is iron refined and hardened.” Teacher. “Yes, – we will talk more about steel at another time. You say that nails are made of iron. Are all nails alike 2 If not, name some different kinds 7 ° Pupils. “Tack-nails, shingle-nails, clapboardnails, board-nails, spike-nails, horse-shoe nails, wrought nails, cut nails.” f Teacher. “What are the principal forms in which iron is used ?” Pupils. “Cast-iron, wrought-iron, sheet-iron, and steel.” (Here the teacher may ask questions in relation to each kind, and its uses.)
%. It will be well for the teacher to write these on the blackboard,
as they are given, and let the list be taken for a spelling lesson.
f Ask the purpose for which each is used; the difference between a cut-nail and a wrought-mail, etc.
Iron and Wood. — Iron and Gold.
Teacher. “Can you name some particulars in which iron and wood are alike ''' . Pupils. “Both have solidity, strength, firmness, durability, - though wood has less than iron.” Teacher. “Name some points of difference.” Pupils. “Iron is mineral, wood is vegetable; iron is not inflammable, wood is ; iron is ductile and malleable, wood is neither.” (Call for a definition of the words used in the answers to the last two questions.) Teacher. “In what respects are iron and glass alike 2 ” Pupils. “They are both solid, both have weight, neither of them will burn, both may be melted,” etc. Teacher. “Can you name some particulars in which they are unlike 7 ° Pupils. “ Glass is smooth, iron is rough ; glass is brittle, iron is not ; glass is transparent, iron is not.” Teacher. “Which do you think more useful and important, iron or gold 7” Pupils. (Variously.) “Gold,—iron.” Teacher. “I see you have different views on this point, and I will leave the subject for your reflection until another day. I shall also wish you to inform me where iron is found, the form or condition in which it is found, how it is obtained, how it is prepared for use, etc. To obtain information on these points you can consult books, or ask your parents and friends. Let us see who will be able to tell us the most about iron at our next lesson.”