UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA.
A BOOK OF
W 'AYS AND SUGGESTIONS FOR
EDWARD R: SHAW
Of the High School, Ycnkers, N. Y.
Of Washington Academy, East Machias, Me.
E. L. KELLOGG & CO.
Copyright, 1886 and 1888, by
EDWARD R. SHAW,
THIS book has been prepared with the object of
presenting in compact form a great number of devices
for bringing freshness and life into the school-room.
Unless great vigilance is exercised, monotony creeps
in, and becomes the depressing accompaniment of
school work. No worker needs more of invention
than the teacher, yet no other worker has an envi-
ronment that is so hostile to its development. The
teacher is reaching down continually to minds below
him. Day after day spent under these conditions
In recognition of this fact, the great body of progres-
sive teachers seek to take advantage of the best
experience of others, adapting to their own needs
whatever may be deemed suited thereto. In confir-
mation of this, we point to the great number who are
subscribers to school periodicals for the express pur-
pose of obtaining new suggestions which they may
apply in their own school-rooms. But a school journal
must cover the whole range of educational work, and,
therefore, the space devoted to devices must of neces-
sity be limited. This book aims to supplement the
work of the papers by placing in convenient form, for
constant use at the teacher's desk, the result of much
experience in making the work of the school-room
effective and attractive.
While the device is of undoubted advantage in school
work, it is important to consider its relative position
as a factor in education. Some teachers, in their
efforts to secure attention and make their work at-
tractive, have unfortunately lost sight of the proper
balance that should be maintained between that which
is novel and the fundamental principles which under
lie all teaching ; and have come to believe, erroneously,
that good teaching requires one to be continually seek-
ing for new and striking ways in which to present
ideas, substituting brilliancy and variety for the pains-
taking drill which the majority of teachers find essen-
tial to success in their work. A device should be used
as a condiment to add spice to the constant iteration
and reiteration of first principles.
In addition, however, to that which is to be regarded
as partaking purely of the character of a device, there
will be found in the book a great number of ways and
suggestions which will be of especial advantage to
those who are just entering upon the work of teaching.
These, having had no previous experience, must rely
to a great extent on that of others. While the idea of
teaching by any given formula is not to be advocated,
yet it is believed that in a multitude of suggestions
for accomplishing a given result, the teacher can
select that which seems best suited to his own
We have inserted a large number of devices upon
many topics, not with the idea that they should all be
used in any particular case, but to afford a wide range
While the greater part of the book is fresh and
original, having been gathered from our own experi-
ence and from the experience of many other teachers
whose work has fallen under our observation, we take
pleasure in giving credit to the numerous school peri-
"bdicals of the country from whose pages we have
drawn devices which seemed worthy of permanent
preservation. In most instances, whatever has been
selected has been recast to adapt it more fully to our
YONKEBS, N. Y., May, 1886.
The author of this volume has recently published a
helpful book for teachers, entitled "The National Question
Book." It contains 6,000 questions and answers on
twenty-two different branches of study. It is a general
review of the common and high school studies. It is
carefully GRADED into grades corresponding to those
into which teachers are usually classed. It is a useful
reference book for every teacher and private library.
Many thousands of copies have already been sold. It is
by far the most helpful and accurate book of questions
published. Beautifully bound in buckram. Price $1.50
net, postpaid. First-class agents wanted to introduce it.
Address E. L. KELLOGG & G0. 9 New York or Chicago.
Language . . 9
Geography - . . 42
Reading . . . 74
Personal Suggestions 132
Schoolroom Suggestions 144
Outside the Schoolroom 174
History . . . . 180
Physiology . . . 200
Penmanship and Apparatus 237
Bible Readings .......... 245 to 278
Mind-Pictures. Try to set the little people's im-
agination at work, even when they are very young.
It is sure to be pleasant work to the small dreamer.
Let him listen to some simple but pretty word-picture,
and then ask him to paint it over again for you in
this wise, perhaps :
"Now, little folks, shut your eyes, and in a minute
be all ready to tell me just what the eyes in your mind
are seeing." Then read something like this: " AU night
the little blossom held up its cup to catch the dew."
"The robin and the bluebird, piping loud,
Filled all the blossoming orchard with their glee."
" I see the lights of the village
Gleam through the rain and the mist. "
" Silent came the gathering darkness,
Bringing with it sleep and rest;
Save a little bird was singing
Near her leafy nest."
"By ten o'clock the sun shone brightly against the
window-glass, and the warm fire within helped make
the window-sill comfortable ; and here all five of the
birds perched, thus getting the full force of the sun's
Any such bits of pictures may be used, and very soon
the little pupil will be able to describe them. Help
him to do this in simple words, as if he were looking
at the picture in very truth. The exercise may be
varied by introducing some nursery rhyme, as
10 SCHOOL DEVICES.
" There was a little, very little,
Quiet little man,
He wore a little overcoat
The color of the tan."
A Way to Prepare Pictures for Young Pu-
pils. If you use pictures for language work in the
lowest grades, an excellent plan is to paste the pictures
upon stiff paper or pasteboard, leaving an edge or bor-
der around the engraving. On this border write such
words as you think the pupil will probably wish to
use, but which are beyond his knowledge to spell. In
this manner a difficulty to the pupil's composition is
removed ; for if unaided in this way, he works under
a restriction that discourages, because the work is
simply too hard.
Supplying the Proper Word. In the following
phrases let the pupil supply the proper words; as,
" A of gloves," a pair of gloves:
A of ducks.
A of mice.
A of bees.
A of cattle.
A of birds.
A of horses.
A of partridges.
A of oxen.
A of needles.
A of milk.
A of books.
A of paper.
A Language Lesson. Put these sentences upon
the board and have the pupils fill in the blanks. If
there is not time during school hours to write the sen-
tences on the board, transcribe them upon blank cards
and let the pupils copy these upon their slates. While
it may take longer to write the cards, they can be used
again and again, and taken to another school, should
the teacher change his field of labor.
In these sentences supply the missing pronoun:
(1) Father drove Martha and to school.
(2) Let James and carry it.
(3) May John and get a pail of water ?
(4) They have all gone but .
(5) boys are studying Latin.
(6) The teacher said girls must come early to-
(7) The difference between you and is that you
have two study periods a day, while I have none.
(8) To did you give it?
(9) Who borrowed my slate? .
(10) Kalph is older than .
(11) do you wish to see?
In the following supply the omitted verb :
(1) I am more tired than you ; will you let me
down on the lounge?
(2) Yesterday I on the sofa all the morning.
(3) Is the table yet?
(4) Fetch a chair for Mr. Smith, Jane. down,
(5) the magazine on the table and let it there.
(6) The dog came in and down before the table.
(7) He has away.
(8) He was ing on the bed when I came home.
(9) The carpenter has the posts on the ground,
where he is to build the fence.
Let the work be brought to the recitation, and the
12 SCHOOL DEVICES.
sentences read, the class deciding when the correct
form is used.
Weekly Plan of Language Work for Lower
Grammar Grades. Monday Letter-writing; drill
in naming parts of speech.
Tuesday Written reproduction of some selection;
drill in writing plurals and possessives.
Wednesday Reading of short poems; practice in
talking ; children telling the story of the poem.
Thursday Memory exercise; recitation of quota-
tions from authors ; principal element of a sentence.
Friday Re views.
Writing Ordinals. The proper form for writing
first, second, third, fourth, etc., is 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th,
and not 1^, 2*?. d , 3^, 4^; because 4th is as really fourth
as the full word. To show that this is true, let
the teacher write on the board 5, and ask the pupils
to read it. They will say "Five." In another place
write "th," and ask them to pronounce it also. In
still another place write u 5th," and ask them to read
it. They must say " Fifth." If it be true to write
fifth, " 5th;" fifteenth, 15th, we must also write as one
word 1st, 2nd, 3rd.
Correcting Bad English. A valuable lesson in
grammar can be made by showing to the class the
errors which are most commonly made in speaking.
Give a sentence containing the word in question,
pointing out the error, and write the correct form of
the word on the board.
Many people say " I done it," for " I did it;" " I have
got it," for "I have it;" "He ain't there," for "He
isn't there;" " I hain't got none," for "I haven't any."
The verbs lay and lie are commonly interchanged.
After teaching the inflection of these verbs, it will
assist the pupil in using them correctly if he be made
to see that lay must have an object, expressed or
understood, and that lie has not. Now, if he be taught
to consider in using the words whether an object is
expressed or understood, he will soon come to use
these verbs properly, and will readily see that such a
sentence as "The boat lays at her moorings" is wrong,
for the reason that the boat cannot lay anything.
Other improper usages of words will occur to the
teacher to be used in this connection.
For Beginners in Composition. For composi-
tion work with small pupils select simple topics, and
such as are sure to be familiar to them. The follow-
ing questions are suggested which they may answer
in the form of a narrative :
At what time did you start for school ?
What did you bring with you ?
Who came with you ?
In what did you carry your books ?
Tell what you can about the books.
What did you see on your way ?
Whom did you meet ?
What did you say to them, and what replies did
they make ?
Whom did you find in the school-house ?
What did you do after you came into the school-
14 SCHOOL DEVICES.
To such questions as the following, as extended
answers as possible should be required :
What is found inside an apple when it is cut open ?
What is the material of a little girl's apron ?
Of what are shoes made ?
Who makes the leather, and from what is it made ?
What covers the outside of a tree, and what is its
usual color ?
Of what are baskets made ?
Describe the different parts of an apple.
Tell all you can about the colors of flowers.
How many holidays are there in a year ? Name
Mention the different things that grow in your
What animals like to eat apples ?
What do animals eat besides apples ?
Word-developing. Say to the class, "There is a
man standing on a small island in the middle of a
lake. How will he get to the shore ?" Some will
answer, "He will swim;" others, "He will row over
in a boat." Ask them to describe the manner of row-
ing, and let a figure of an oar be drawn on the board.
Write ' ' oars, " i ' rowed, " ' ( swim, " upon the board. i l If
the man stops rowing, what will happen to the boat ?"
"It will float," "It will drift." Ask for the full
meaning of "float" and "drift," and write them on
the board. "What will happen if the boat gets into
the rapids?" "Upset," will be answered. This may
be continued until a sufficient number of words have
been developed. Let each word be correctly spelled
and pronounced, and accurately defined. Let each
pupil in turn form a sentence with one or more of
these words in it, and write it on the board. Finally,
tell the class to write out the whole story which has
been outlined, and bring it to be read at the next
An Easy Exercise in Composition. Having
spoken to a class about the senses and what they tell
us, direct the class to write out what their senses tell
them about the following things : an apple, a knife, a
lead-pencil, a bottle of ink, a flower, a clock, a piece of
chalk, a box, a piece of charcoal, etc.
Compositions from Pictures. If pupils are
asked to bring to school all the pictures they can get
from books and papers, the teacher will thus obtain
much good material for composition work. Take the
pictures, trim them close to the edge of the engrav-
ing so as to cut off all reading, then paste them upon
pieces of pasteboard, and they are in condition for
long wear. Distribute them to pupils and ask them to
write what they can about the picture. When a pupil
has written about a picture, let him write his name
upon the back of it, so that it may not be given him a
Plan for Oral Composition. Cany to the class
some entertaining book either a story or a description
of travel and have a page or two read by one of the
class. The book is to be closed at this point and
another asked to tell what has been read. The rest
may correct any errors either in language or in the
statement of what has been read. When a sufficient
16 SCHOOL DEVICES.
amount has been produced, ask all the members of the
class to write out what they have heard and bring it
in the next day. After some practice in this kind of
work, they may be allowed to take the main points of
the story or description and add any thoughts of their
own which are appropriate to the subject.
Debating Exercises. Select some subject within
the capacity of the pupils, and appoint a number to
debate it. If the number be six, assign three to the
affirmative and three to the negative side. Let a jury
of scholars be chosen, who, when all the arguments
are presented, shall decide for the one side or the
other. It will be well to have the arguments pre-
sented in alternate order; first, one upon the affirma-
tive side, followed by one upon the negative.
Select subjects that are of practical importance and
of general interest, and in regard to which the pupils
can readily gain information either by inquiry or read-
Language-drill in Every Lesson. Make every
lesson a drill in language. Whatever be the topic,
correct all errors in grammar and pronunciation. En-
courage your pupils to choose carefully and wisely the
form in which they state either questions or answers.
Wise guidance in this direction will bear rich fruit in
Letter-writing. In connection with the work in
grammar and rhetoric, see that your pupils have
plenty of practice in writing letters. Probably in no
branch are pupils found so deficient, on leaving school,
as in this. Have frequent exercises in writing busi-
ness letters, and in these see that the following points
are observed: (a) They should be brief and to the
point. (6) They should contain nothing but matter
relating to the business in question, (c) Nothing
should be written in such a manner as to allow a
chance of misunderstanding, (d) The date, name, and
address of the writer should be plainly written.
In ordinary letters of friendship, while it is absurd
to give rules, it is of advantage to bring out the points
given below. Pupils frequently have the erroneous
idea that an unusual and formal style must be used in
letter-writing, thus destroying the simplicity and nat-
uralness of their productions.
1. Letters should be written in a conversational
style, and this can be obtained by writing just as one
would speak to another, face to face.
2. Unless the letter is to a very intimate friend, the
writer should say but little of himself.
3. Let it be remembered that in writing a letter one
is placing in black and white that which may stand
for years. Care should therefore be exercised that
nothing be written which one might afterwards regret.
Matter for Letters. 1. Write a letter to a class-
mate who left school a week ago, relating whatever of
interest has occurred in school for a few days past.
2. Write a letter to a friend describing how you won
in one of your games.
3. Write a letter to a friend inviting her to a game
of tennis or croquet to-morrow afternoon.
4. Write a letter in the third person inviting Mrs.
Kate Wildey to dinner.
18 SCHOOL DEVICES.
5. Write a letter to your mother, supposing her to
be away from home for a week.
6. Write a letter to a friend regretting that you
were unable to drive over to see him last Saturday.
Forms of Business Letters. Give your pupils
such forms of letters as one would use in many differ-
ent kinds of business. Such, for instance, as the fol-
lowing to a publishing house :
Providence, R I., Dec. 5, 1885.
Houghton, Mifflin & Co.
Enclosed find four dollars ($4), for which
please send the Atlantic Monthly for one year to my
J. L. PARSONS.
Papers Written from Recitation Notes. -
Not only should the pupil be required to reproduce
from material placed before him or related by the
teacher, but he should be required to take notes in the
recitation and elaborate them, reading them the next
day in class as called upon. If the pupil is studying
science, let him write out a full report of experiments
made by himself or by the teacher. These may be il-
lustrated by drawings of the apparatus used. It will
be well to allow illustrations in any of the composi-
tions if the writer is capable of producing them. For
such work unruled paper should be used.
Equivalent Forms of Expression. As a drill in
language, ask your class to change a given expression
into one containing the same idea, but set forth in dif-
ferent language. Ask them to express dry, matter-of
fact prose in a lively, poetic form ; and, in general, let
them take any sentence and express it in a different
way. Give them newspaper-cuttings to express in a
clearer, more incisive manner. They will thus get in
the habit of choosing the form of speech which will
most accurately express the meaning desired.
Device for Use of Capitals. Let the pupils
of the grammar grades copy in their note-books this
condensed plan of the rules for the use of capitals :
20 SCHOOL DEVICES.
Excerpts to Write Out from Memory. In the
newspapers will be found many short stories or de-
scriptions, well written and entertaining, which it will
pay to cut out and paste upon cards for use in repro-
duction. Let a card he handed to each student, allow
three or four minutes in which to read the printed
sketch, and then collect them. After which require
each one to write out from memory what he has read.
Below are given excerpts to show what is meant:
HOW THE JINGLET GETS INSIDE.
The making of sleigh-bells is quite an art. The little iron
ball is too big to be put in through the holes in the bell, and
yet it is inside. How did it get there? The little iron ball is
called the " jinglet." When you shake the sleigh-bell it jingles.
In making the bell this jinglet is put inside a little ball of mud,
just the shape of the inside of the bell. This mud ball with
the jinglet inside is placed in the mould of the outside, and the
metal is poured in, which fills up the space between the ball
and the mould. When the mould is taken off, you see a sleigh-
bell, but it will not ring, as it is full of dirt. The hot metal
dries this, so that it can be shaken out. When this has been
done the little iron jinglet will be found inside the bell, and
the bell will ring. It took a great many years to think out the
way to make a sleigh-bell. The Christian Union.
SAVING A LIFE.
One day last winter, '83-'84, when the mercury was down
somewhere in the forties below, an open sleigh -stage was mak-
ing its way along a mountain road between two Montana
towns. The only passengers were a woman and her young
child. They were scantily clad for the rigorous weather, and
the woman removed one of her wraps to protect the child. The
driver discerned that she was growing drowsy, and warned her
of the deadly peril of falling asleep. It was of no use, nor did
the vigorous shaking he gave her serve to keep her awake.
Finally the driver seized her, threw her out into the road, and
drove off with the child at a rapid pace. This last expedient
was successful. Awakened by the shock of the fall, the
woman saw the stage disappearing with her child. Her mater-
nal instincts w r ere aroused. She ran after the stage as fast as
she could; the driver slackened up a little, but did not stop till
he saw that the poor mother was thoroughly warmed by the
exercise. Her life was saved. An hour later the stage reached
a station, where buffalo robes were obtained to protect her
against the deadly cold for the remainder of the journey. The
Require Plan in Composition-writing. In
composition work the pupil should be taught to plan
his work in a logical way. He should first make an
outline of the subject, arranging the topics in divi-
sions and subdivisions. After some practice of this
sort, upon selecting a subject he will instinctively be-
gin to analyze it, picking out the chief points, and the
different ways in which these chief points may be
To Exercise the Imagination. The following
are designed for written exercises. The title, direc-
tions, and hints may be written upon the board. Each
pupil should write the title properly upon his paper
and then, with the aid of the suggestions given, relate
the imaginary details.
1. The adventures of a five-cent piece.
Tell where and when it was coined. Who first ob-
22 SCHOOL DEVICES.
tained it from the taint. How many times it was spent,
and for what purposes. Where it is now.
2. The life of a canary-bird.
Imagine a canary telling all that has happened to
him from the first day of his life. Where he has lived.
What he has done. What he thinks of some of the
people he has seen. What he likes to do. What he
would do if he could.
3. A family of five people at tea.
Imagine five people at tea. Describe and name
them. Tell what they are talking about. Tell some
of the things they say. Tell where they go as they
leave the room.
4. A brook.
Imagine a pretty little brook, winding about among
the meadows and through the woods. Tell where
it starts, and where it expects to go to. What it
finds in its way, and why it is so crooked. What
flowers grow upon its banks. What it does for the
flowers that grow on its banks. Tell about a big
shady pool in one place and what lives there. Tell
about a shallow place where the sun shines, and the
stones at the bottom of this place. How people cross
the brook; what animals do when they come to it.
What happened once at a certain place. What makes
it grow larger ; where it goes.
5. What I should like to do.
Imagine that you are now able to do just as you
please; state what you would. do. Give particulars
and reasons for your choice.
Suggestions about Local Subjects for Com-
positions. There is, in almost every locality, some
folk-lore, legend, or tradition. Let the pupils hunt up
these and embody them in a paper. "Historical
Hereabouts" is a good subject for such a paper. For
an instance of tradition, say to the class, l * I have heard
a story of a hermit who used to live about here years