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recitation, their reading books open at a description of the river Nile. One of them reads as follows:
“For many an hour have I stood upon the city-crowning citadel of Cairo, and gazed unwearedly upon the scene of matchless beauty and wonder that lay stretched beneath my view — cities and ruins of cities, palm forests and green savannas, gardens, and palaces, and groves of olive. On one side, the boundless desert with its pyramids; on the other, the land of Goshen, with its luxuriant plains, stretching far away to the horizon. Yet this is an exotic country. That river winding through its paradise, has brought it from far regions unknown to man. That strange and richly varied panorama has had a long voyage of it! Those quiet plains have tumbled down the cataracts; those demure gardens have flirted with the Isle of Florers, five hundred miles away; and those very pyramids have floated down the waves of the Nile. In short, to speak chemically, that river is a solution of Ethiopia's richest regions, and that vast country is merely a precipitate."
After analyzing the sentences and defining the more important words, various questions are asked. For example: Give some account of Cairo ? What is a pyramid ? Describe the Egyptian pyramids? What do you know of the land of Goshen? What is an exotic, and what is meant by an exotic land ? In what form did those plains come down the cataracts ? Give us some account of the cataracts of the Nile. How were those vast pyramids floated down the river. "In short, to speak chemically, that river is a solution of Ethiopia's richest regions, and that vast country is merely a precipitate." Explain this sentence? What is it to speak chemically? What is a solution and a precipitate? Why is it correct to use such terms here?
Another paragraph describes the annual inundation of the Nile:
“The stream is economized within its channel until it reaches Egypt, when it spreads abroad over the vast valley. Then it is that the country presents the most striking of its Protean aspects: it becomes an archipelago, studded with green islands, and bounded only by the Libyan Hills and the purple range of the Mokattan Mountains. Every island is crowned with a village or an antique temple, and shadowy with palm-trees or acacia groves. Every city becomes a Venice, and the bazaars display their richest and gayest cloths and tapestries to the illuminations that are reflected from the streaming streets."
Many interesting questions are here suggested. What are Protean aspects, and why so called? Where are the Libyan Hills and the Mokattan Mountains ? Describe an Arab village — an ancient Egyptian temple -- 2 palm tree — an acacia. Gire some account of Venice. How does every city become a Venice? What is a bazaar?
We followed the study of “ The Nile" with that of the poetical “ Address to the Mummy in Belzoni's Exhibition.” The manner of treating the first stanza will show the way in which the whole was studied.
“And thou hast walked about -- how strange a story!
In Thebes's streets, three thousand years ago ;
When the Memnonium was in all its glory,
And time had not begun to overthrow
The class are asked if they know anything of the author of these lines, and of the traveller Belzoni; and having stated such facts as they have been able to procure respecting them, one is called upon to explain the first words
of the poem.
“And thou hast walked about.'' The writer speaks as if the mummy were actually before him, while writing. Do you think that this was the case? Lucy may answer.
“I suppose that he wrote the poem after returning from a visit to the exhibition, but remembered so perfectly how it looked, that he seemed still to be where he could see it.”
Has any one a different opinion ? Maria, you may give yours.
"I think that he might have composed a part, at least, of the poem while at the exhibition, and then have written it after returning home.”
“How strange a story !” Harriet may tell why it was strange.
“Bodies usually decay in a short time, but this body had lasted thousands of years, owing to its having been embalmed. It seemed very strange to look at it, and remember that so many years had passed away since it was alive, and yet it looked as it did when it used to walk through the streets of Thebes." Alice, you may give some account of Thebes.
"Thebes was anciently the capital of Egypt. It is not known when it was founded, but the time of its greatest prosperity was, probably, when David and Solomon reigned in Judea. Its ruins are wonderful. They extend seven or eight miles on both sides of the Nile, from each bank to the enclosing mountains. The most remarkable are the temple of Karnac, the palace of Luxor, and the Memnonium. The mountains are pierced with tombs, many of which are richly adorned with paintings and sculptures."
The Memnonium is mentioned in the next line. Helen may tell us what she knows about it.
"The Memnonium was the temple-palace of Rhamses the Great. Its ruins show that it must have been a most beautiful specimen of architecture. There is in its grand hall a double row of pillars, crowned with capitals resembling the bell-shaped lotus flowers. These are very large and of solid stone, but the light and graceful shape of the flower is perfectly imitated. In the outer Court, the fragments of an immense statue lie around its pedestal. Once it must have weighed nearly nine hundred tons; and the head was so large that although several millstones have been cut out of it, its size does not appear to have been lessened."
Emma may explain the next three lines.
"Time is here compared to a giant of such immense strength that he could throw down the magnificent palaces and temples that had been built with so
much labor. But when the mummy was a living man, they were in all their splendor — Time had not even begun to destroy them.”
It is proper for me to say, as I conclude, that I have no desire that such a study of reading lessons should take the place of practice in elocution. I am aware that some time must be given to this alone; but the frequent or occasional study of reading lessons in this manner, will, I think, be attended with two advantages. Our pupils will read them far better, for they will have a more genial sympathy with the writer, and a more intelligent perception of his meaning. At the same time, they will form a habit which will be of indescribable benefit to them in after life -- the habit of comparing different views and statements, of trying an author by the great eternal standard of Truth, and of earnestly questioning the Past, the Present, and the Future.
A. A, A.
From the Indiana School Journal.
No complaint is more common from teachers, than that "parents will not visit the school.” Every teacher knows the great influence of parental visits upon the general interest of the school : hence he feels an anxiety to have what he rarely gets. “How shall I get parents to visit the school ?" is frequently asked ; “not one has called during the quarter." And one principal of a Seminary stated publicly, on examination day, that not more than three parents had visited it during the year.
The indifference of parents and citizens is a great fault, and much to be regretted, and teachers should set themselves to work to change the habit. The question is asked, how can it be done ? Like everything else of importance, by hard work and well directed skill.
Experience of some ten years in Public Graded Schools proves to me that the thing is not only possible, but comparatively easy to be attained.
When anything is to be brought about, a teacher should lay his plans carefully, and when formed, steadily execute them.
First, a teacher must waken up his scholars, excite them in their studies, and get up a pride for the school. If he cannot do this, he can never reach the community, and had better give up all hopes of success.
If he can succeed in arousing the ambition and energy of his pupils, he may feel confident of succeeding in getting out the parents. After the teacher has created interest among his pupils, let him see the directors and some other prominent men in his district or town. Get their promise to be present at school on an appointed day, invite every parent that he sees to visit the school at that time, give general notice to the scholars that directors, clergy, and parents are coming. Let them be prepared with extra exercise of interest, brisk and varied, such as declamations, concert recita
tions, and readings, mental arithmetic or geography, and whatever else the age of the pupils will admit of. When the time comes, go through with all the exercises that were prepared. Some will be present, perhaps but few, but a beginning has been made; you have set the people to talking about the school, favorably. Appoint another day for similar exercises, and urge all to be present. You have but to tax the ingenuity to vary the exercises, and the skill to interest pupils, to secure the attention of every parent.
The teacher who never or rarely sees parents in school, may charge himself with 95 per cent of the blame for it, and has only to try the experiment suggested, to be convinced of the fact. But few parents will attend merely from a sense of duty. They must be interested when they visit, and when pleased, they will not fail to attend, and induce others to accompany them. To teach an efficient school, requires energy, skill, and learning. These, properly directed, will enable any one of ordinary perseverance to succeed; without them, he ought not to engage in a work so important, involving the present and future interest of immortal beings.
SCHOOLS IN SWEDEN.
Taxre are two respects in which the Swedish school system is far superior to ours.
One is in the universal teaching of gymnastic exercises. Every schoolbuilding has its large, high room, with earthen or matted floor, and all sorts of implements for developing the muscles-ladders, poles, wooden horses, cross-bars up to the roof, jumping-places, ropes for swinging, knotted ropes for climbing, &c. The scholars are not allowed to exercise on what they wish, but there is a regular, scientifically-arranged system. They are trained in squads, and move and march, sometimes to music, at the word of command.
At a large public school in Stockholm, I saw the lads in their noon lessons at gymnastics. The teacher gave the word, and a dozen sprang out toward a tall pole with cross-bars, and clambering up it, each hung with his legs, then, at the word all together dropped their heads backward and hung by the feet and ankle, then again recovered and let themselves down. Another party, one after the other, squirmed up a naked mast; another pulled themselves up hand over hand on a knotted rope ; others, in succession, played leap-frog over a wooden horse; then they marched to the beat of the drum. The smaller or weaker boys begin with the lowest grade of exercise, and follow up, according to a scientific system, arranged for health. They all seemed to go into it with the greatest relish, and showed well-trained muscular power. I could not but conclude that the superior physique of the Swedish men is not entirely due to climate. When will America learn that health and strength have their unescapeable laws? — N. Y. Tribune.
RULES FOR TEACHERS.
1. From your earliest connection with your pupils, inculcate the necessity of prompt and exact obedience.
2. Unite firmness with gentleness,--and let your pupils understand that you mean exactly what you say.
3. Never promise anything, unless you are quite sure you can give all you promise.
4. Always punish a pupil for willful disobedience, but never punish with undue severity, nor in anger.
5. Never let your pupils sce that they can vex you, or make you lose your self-command.
6. If pupils are under the influence of an angry or petulant spirit, wait till they are calm, and then reason with them on the impropriety of their conduct.
7. Never yield anything to a pupil because he looks angry, or attempts to move you by threats and tears. Deal mercifully but justly, too.
8. A little present punishment, when the occasion arises, is more effectual than the threatening of greater punishment, should the fault be repeated.
9. Never allow your pupils to do at one time, what you have forbidden, under like circumstances, at another.
10. Teach the young to feel that the only sure and easy way to appear good is to be good.
11. Never allow tale-bearing.
12. If a pupil abuses your confidence, make him feel, for a time, the want of it.
13. Never allude to former errors when real sorrow has been evinced for having committed them. Treat the truly repentant with special kindness.
14. Encourage in every suitable way a spirit of diligence, obedience, perseverance, kindness, forbearance, honesty, truthfulness, purity and courteousness.
15. Never speak in a scolding and fretful manner, but use tones of gentle
16. Strive to convince your pupils that you are their true friend and will do them good.-Northend's Teacher and Parent.
FEELING HIS RESPONSIBILITY. The Prussian School Counsellor Dinton nobly said, “I promised God that I would look upon every Prussian peasant child as a being who could complain of me before God, if I did not provide him the best education as a man and a Christian, which it was possible to provide."