John Goldsbury.

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Author of " The Common School Grammar" and " Sequel," of " New Theortel of

Grammar," and one of the Anthers of " The American Common-School

- Reader and Speaker," and of the "Introduction" to fee wune.




















Author of " The Common School GramnJar" and " Sequel," of " New Theories of

Grammar," and one of the Authors of " The American Common-School

Reader and Speaker," and of the "Introduction" to the same.




THE various uses of the black-board are, perhaps, too well understood
and appreciated in this vicinity, to need any illustration or recommenda-
tion whatever. In many of our school-houses, we have black-boards of
ample dimensions, and generally teachers who are competent to explain
their uses. But this is not the case everywhere, nor generally throughout
New England. Even in Massachusetts, there are many school-houses
destitute of this necessary appendage ; and there are others, in which,
though there may be a black-board, yet it is so extremely small, as to be
of no use ; and there are still others, in which there is a black-board, but
no teacher competent to explain its uses.

Some think", that its use is restricted almost entirely to mathematical sub-
jects. But this is a great mistake, as will appear from a perusal of the
following pages. For the purposes of common school instruction, the
black-board is worth more than all the diagrams and other apparatus that
ever were invented ; for it can be made to supply the place of these. A
piece of chalk or a crayon, in the magic hand of a skilful teacher, can in-
stantly be made to represent any diagram which is needed for the purposes
of illustration ; and, in an instant, the drawing can be made to disappear,
and another to take its place. And these illustrations are visible to all
the pupils at once. As illustrative of this point, take the following account,
given by the Hon. Horace Mann, of the manner in which geography is
taught in the Prussian schools :

" The teacher," says he, " stood by the black-board with the chalk in his
hand. After casting his eye over the class, to see that all were ready, he
struck at the middle of the board. With a rapidity of hand which my
eye could hardly follow, he made a series of those short, divergent lines,
or shadings, employed by map-engravers to represent a chain of moun-
tains. He had scarcely turned an angle, or shot off a spur, when the
scholars began to cry out Carpathian mountains, Hungary; Black
Forest mountains, Wirtemberg; Giant's mountains (Riesen-Gebirge),
Silesia; Metallic mountains (Erz-Gebirge) ; Pine mountains (Fichtel-
Gebirge); Central mountains. (Mittel-Gebirge), Bohemia, &c., &c."


" In less than half a minute, the ridge of that grand central elevation
which separates the waters that flow north-west into the German Ocean
from those that flow north into the Baltic, and south-east into the Black
Sea, was presented to view, executed almost as beautifully as an en-
graving. A dozen crinkling strokes, made in the twinkling of an eye,
represented the head waters of the great rivers which flow in different
directions from that mountainous range ; while the children, almost as
eager and excited as though they had actually seen the torrents dash-
ing down the mountain sides, cried out, Danube, Elbe, Vistula,
Oder, &.c. The next moment I heard a succession of smal! strokes or
tops so rapid as to be almost indistinguishable ; and hardly had my eye
time to discern a. large number of dots made along the margins of the
rivers, when the shout of Lintz, Vienna, Prague, Dresden, Berlin, &c.,
struck my ear. At this point in the exercise, the spot which had been
occupied on the black-board was nearly a circle, of which the starting
point, or place where the teacher first began, was the centre ; but now a
few additional strokes around the circumference of the incipient continent,
extended the mountain ranges outward towards the plains, the children
responding the names of the countries in which they respectively lay.
With a few more flourishes, the rivers flowed onwards towaftls their sev-
eral terminations ; and, by another succession of dots, new cities sprang
up along their banks. By this time, the children had become as much
excited as though they had been present at a world-making. They rose
in their seats, they flung out both hands, their eyes kindled, and their
voices became almost vociferous, as they cried out the names of the dif-
ferent places which, under the magic of the teacher's crayon, rose into
view. Within ten minutes from the commencement of the lesson, there
stood upon the black-board a beautiful map of Germany, with its moun-
tains, principal rivers, and cities, the coast of the German Ocean, of the
Baltic and the Black Seas ; and all so accurately proportioned, that I
think only slight errors would have been found, had it been subjected to
the test of a scale of miles."

The black-board may be used, with success, in illustrating almost any
branch of science. The design of the present work is to point out some
of its uses, and to aid teachers and pupils in using it. The method of
illustration, here adopted, is not a mere theory, which never had an exist-
ence except in the brain of its author : it is the result of practical experi-
ence. It is substantially the method which the author has used for a long
series of years ; and, he believes, it is substantially the method pursued
by many of the most distinguished and successful teachers of the day. It
is true, the work might have been somewhat varied. The author might


have pursued his subjects further, and been more particular and minute in
some of his details ; he might, with equal propriety, have taken up other
subjects, and given other and further illustrations ; but this would have
only increased the size and expense of the work, without adding materially
to its utility. The plan and execution of the work are original, though
the materials have been gleaned from various sources. It is not designed
to come in competition with, or to supersede, any other work. There is
no work, with which the author is acquainted, which now occupies its

For the want of such a work, our schools have long suffered. Scholars
have been frequently obliged to study hour after hour upon their lessons ;
and, after all, they have been able to gain only a very imperfect knowledge
of them ; when, by the use of the black-board, the whole subject might
have been explained in a very few minutes. The ideas which scholars
obtain from their text-books are frequently faint, indistinct, and transitory.
To deepen their impressions, and to render them more vivid and abiding,
they want to see the subject illustrated on the black-board. Visible illus-
trations will do more than page upon page of verbal explanation, because
illustrations are better understood than words.

To the author, it has long been a matter of surprise, that, after so much
has been said upon the utility of the black-board in school, so little has
been done to aid its introduction and use. Believing that such a book is
needed, he has made it what it is ; and he now gives it to the public with-
out further apology.


Boston, January, 1847.


A blade-board should be, at least, three and a half feet wide, and ex-
tend the whole length or breadth of the room, so that the whole class cart
work upon it at the same time. It may be made of hard finish on the
walls of the room, and then painted black and varnished over ; or it may
be made of boards, and affixed to the walls of the room, or suspended on
pulleys, so as to be raised or let down at pleasure. And it should be placed
at such a height, that a pupil of ordinary size can reach the top of it
without difficulty.

For writing on the board, chalk or crayons are used ; and it would be
well to have brass holders for these, so as to require the same position of
the fingers, as in holding a pen. The holders are so made as to be easily
enlarged or contracted at pleasure, and thus fitted to the chalk. The
chalk and holders should be carefully preserved in a box. There should
also be two or more articles for clearing the board, made of sheep-skin,
tanned with the wool on, and so made as to be conveniently used in
rubbing out operations on the board.

Teachers may direct their pupils to commence at any part of the work
which they choose. When they take up a particular subject, make them
understand the whole ground they go over ; for pupils are apt to be in
hurry, and are inclined to pass over the first or elementary principles
superficially. The boy is anxious to study arithmetic, before he under-
stands the meaning of the words in which the sums are stated. The girl
wishes to study grammar, before she can read a sentence correctly. As,
in the building of a house, the foundation should be first laid deep and
strong ; so, in the education of children, the rudiments should be first
taught, and thoroughly taught, before proceeding to higher studies.

If more examples and illustrations, or different ones, are needed under
any head, it will be easy for teachers to give them ; and they can pursue
the subject to any extent they please. Some parts of the work are very
brief. Those subjects have been dwelt upon the most, which have been
the most neglected in common schools. This is the reason why arithmetic
and some other studies have not received more attention in this work.



ANALYSIS is the dividing of a compound into its elements,
or constituent parts.

The ENGLISH ALPHABET consists of twenty-six letters or
elements, a, b, c, d, e,f, g, h, i,J, k, I, m, n, o, p, q, r, s, t, u,
v, w, x, y, z. These are divided into vowels and consonants.

The VOWELS are a, e, i, o, u, and sometimes w and y.*
These are called vowels, because they have a free and uninter-
rupted sound of their own, without the aid of a consonant.

The CONSONANTS are b, c, d,f, g, h,j, k, I, m, n,p, q, r t s,
t, v, x, z, and sometimes w and y.* These are called conso-
nants, because they have no free and uninterrupted sound of
their own, without the aid of a vowel.


What is analysis $ How many letters are there in the English
language ? How are they divided ? Which are the vowels ?
Why are they called vowels f Which are the consonants ?
Why are they called consonants ? When are w and y conso-
nants ? When are they vowels ? Let each scholar write all
the vowels, and all the consonants, separately, on the black-
board or slate. After this is done, let each be required to
pronounce, in a clear, distinct, and forcible manner, all the
vowels, and then all the consonants, and to observe what is
peculiar to each class of letters. In this way, scholars will
soon learn the difference between vowels and consonants.

* PFand y are consonants when they begin a syllable or word, and vowels
when they end one.



The different sounds of the vowels depend, not only on the
length of time occupied in uttering them, but also on the
manner of opening the mouth, and exerting the organs em-
ployed in giving them utterance. Hence, the sounds may be
long or short, broad, open, middle, or close. In uttering the
broad sounds, the mouth is opened very wide, somewhat less
in uttering the open, still less in uttering the middle, and nearly
shut in uttering the close.


1234 5 6

A has six sounds, as in ale, all, arm, add, (rare, wad.)

12 34

E has four sounds, as in me, met, (there, her.)

/has four sounds, as in pine, pin, (marine, sir.)

has six sounds, as in no, move, nor, not, (wolf, done.)

123 466

17 has six sounds, as in tune, tub, bull, (rule, bury, busy.)

12 3

Y, when a vowel, has three sounds, as in (chyle, hymn, myrrh.)
W, when a vowel, has the sound of long u, as in (new.)


On what do the different sounds of the vowels depend?
How is a broad sound produced ? an open sound ? a mid'
die sound ? a close sound ? Give examples of each. How
many sounds has a ? Give examples of each, and write them
on the black-board or slate. Now, pronounce them distinctly
and forcibly, and notice what is peculiar to each. Pursue the
same course with each of the other vowels, e, i, o, u, y and w ;
and take particular notice of the examples included in paren-
thetical marks, as they are not generally regarded as distinct



A diphthong is the union of two vowels, uttered by a simple
impulse of the voice, as ea in beat.

A triphthong is the union of three vowels, uttered in like
manner, as eau in beau.

A proper diphthong has both of the vowels sounded. There
are but four proper diphthongs, oi, oy, ou, and ow, as in voice,
joy, thou, now.

An improper diphthong has but one of the vowels sounded.
There are twenty-six of these, aa, ae, ai, au, aw, ay, ea, ee, ei,
eo, eu, ew, ey, ia, ie, io, oa, oe, oo, ou, ow, ua, ue, ui, uo, uy.
There are seventeen triphthongs, awe, aye, eau, eou, ewe, eye,
ieu, iew, iou, oeu, owe, uea, uee, uai, uay, uoi, uoy.


What is a diphthong ? What is a triphthong ? What is
a proper diphthong ? What is an improper diphthong ? How
many proper, and how many improper diphthongs ? Let each
scholar write, on the black-board or slate, as many words as
he can recollect, containing examples of each kind, and point
out the difference.


There are seventeen tonic* elements, which may be classified
in the following manner :

1. A, as in ale ; ae, as in Gaelic ; ai, as in aim ; au, as in
gauge ; ay, as in pay ; aye, as in aye ; ea, as in break ; ei, as
in vein ; ey, as in they ; ua, as in persuade.


2. A, as in all ; awe, as in awe ; aw, as in law ; au, as in
fraud; eo, as in George ; oa, as in broad; ou, as in bought ;


o, as in nor.

* Producing tone.



3. A, as in arm ; au, as in aunt ; ea, as in heart ; ua, as in


4. A, as in add; ai, as in plaid.


5. A, as in rare ; aa, as in Aaron ; ai, as in/atV / ay, as in

z, 3

prayer ; ea, as in joear ; ee, as in heir ; ey, as in eyry ; e, as in


6. JE, as in me ; ae, as in ae^'s ; ay, as in g^ay ; ea, as in
; ee, as in feel; ei, as in seize ; eo, as in people ; ey, as in

key; ie, as injield; oe, as in oesophagus ; i, as in marine.


7. J7, as in we* ; a, as in many ; ai, as in said ; ay, as in
says ; ea, as in death; ei, as in heifer ; ie, as in friend; eo, as

5 3

in leopard; oe, as in oedipus ; ue, as in guess; u, as in bury ; y,
as in myrrh.

8. 75 as in ^e ; ai, as in azVe ; ei, as in height ; ey, as in
ey^n$r ; eye, as in eye ; ie, as in flYe ; ui, as in grm'fe / uy, as in

iwy ; ye, as in aye ; y, as in cAy/e.


9. ^ as in pin ; ai, as in mountain ; e, as in pretty ; ee, as
in been ; ei, as in forfeit ; eo, as in pigeon ; ia, as in marriage ;
ie, as in sieve ; o, as in women ; oi, as in tortoise ; ui, as in

6 2

yzw'ft ; M, as in busy ; y, as in hymn.

10. 0, as in no ; au, as in hautboy ; eau, as in beau; eo, aa
in yeoman ; ew, as in strew ; oa, as in boat ; oe, as in foe ; oo,
as in door ; ou, as in though ; ow, as in snow ; owe, as in owe.


11. 0, as in move ; ew, as in screw ; oe, as in shoe ; oeu, as
in manoeuvre; oo, as in moon; ou, as in sowp/ m', as in bruit;
u, as in rule.

4 6

12. 0, as in wo#; CM, as in cough; a, as in wad.


13. U, as in tune ; eau, as in beauty ; eu, as in feud; ew, as
in new ; ewe, as in ewe ; ieu, as in adieu ; iew, as in view ; ue,
as in hue ; ui, as in juice.


14. 17, as in tub ; eo, as in dungeon ; oe, as in does ; io, as
in region ; ia, as in Britain ; oo, as in blood ; ou, as in enough ;


y, as in satyr; e, as in her ; ^, as in sir ; o, as in done.

3 5

15. U, as in butt ; oo, as in wool ; ou, as in could; o, as ia

32 31

16. 01, as in oil; oy, as in toy (y like e). * Proper

17. Ou, as in bound; ow, as in town (w like w). -> diphthongs.


Let the pupils write on the black-board, or on their slates,
all the words representing ihe first class of elements, namely,
ale, Gaelic, aim, guage, pay, aye, break, vein, they, persuade.
Let each pupil then be required to pronounce each word
distinctly and forcibly, and be made to understand, that they
all belong to the same class, and contain the same compound
element, the name sound of a, that is, the sound of a and e

Then, let them write, as above directed, all the words rep-
resenting the second class of elements, namely, all, awe, law,
fraud, George, broad, bought, nor. Let each pupil then be
required to pronounce each word distinctly and forcibly, and
be made to understand, that they all belong to the same class,
and contain the same simple element; which element they
should be required to utter distinctly, apart from the other
letters in each word.

Pursue the same course with the other classes of elements.
The words containing compound elements should be pro-
nounced six times, loud, louder, loudest, so/I, softer, softest.
The words containing simple elements should be pronounced
three times only, after which the elements should be distinctly
and forcibly uttered, apart from the other elements in each




The consonants are usually divided into mutes and semi-
vowels. The mutes are b, d, p, t, k, c and g hard. They are
called mutes, because they obstruct the organs of speech, and
are uttered with difficulty. The semi-vowels are f, I, m, n, r,
s, v, z, x, c and g soft. They are called semi-vowels, because
they have an imperfect sound of their own, without the aid
of a vowel. L, m, n, and r, are called liquids, because they
readily unite with other consonants, and flow, as it were, into
their sounds.


How are consonants divided ? Which are the mutes ?
Why are they called mutes ? Which are the semi-vowels?
Why are they called semi-vowels ? Which are the liquids f
Why are they called liquids ? Let the pupils write on the
black-board, or on their slates, all the mutes in regular order ;
and then let them write words in which all the mutes are
represented. Let them pronounce each of the words in the
ordinary way, and then give their elemental sounds. Then,
let them write, in like manner, all the semi-vowels, and also
words in which all the semi-vowels are represented. Let them
pronounce each of the words in the ordinary way, and then
give their elemental sounds. Let the scholars notice particu-
larly what organs are employed in giving utterance to these
different elements, the teeth, the lips, the tongue, the palate,
the nose.


B has but one sound, as in babe, barb, babble. It is some-
times silent, as in lamb.

G has two sounds. Before a, o, u, r, I, t, and at the end
of syllables, it sounds hard like k, as in cart, cottage, cube, craft,
cloth, fact, flaccid. Before e, i, and y, it sounds soft like s, as
in centre, cinder, mercy. It sometimes has the sound of z, as
in discern ; and it is sometimes silent, as in czar.


D has but one sound, as in did. It sometimes takes the
sound of dj andy, as in soldier, grandeur, and sometimes
of , as infixed. It is silent before g, as in judgment.

F has but one sound, as in fife ; except in of, in which it
has the sound of v.

G has two sounds. Before a, o, u, I, r, and at the end of a
word, it sounds hard, as in gave, go, gun, glory, grow, brag.
Before e, i, and y, it sometimes has a soft sound, like^', as in
genius, ginger, gypsy, and sometimes a. hard sound, as in
get, gimlet. Before m and n it is silent, as in phlegm, consign,

H has an aspirate sound, as in lie, hall, harm, hat. It is
sometimes silent, as in heir, hour, honest, rhyme.

J has the sound of soft g, as in joy, judge, just ; except in
hallelujah, in which it sounds like y.

K has invariably a hard sound, as in king, keep, book, bulk.
It is silent before n, as in knave.

L has but one sound, as in lull, low, law. It is sometimes
silent, as in walk.

M has but one sound, as in maim, man, murmur ; except
in comptroller, in which it sounds like n. Before n, at the
beginning of a word, it is silent, as in mnemonic.

N has two sounds ; the one pure, as in no, nine, nay ; the
other a ringing sound, as in bank, think, singing. It is some-
times silent, as in hymn.

P has but one sound, as in pipe ; except in cupboard and
clapboard, in which it sounds like b. It is sometimes silent,
as in empty.

Q has the sound of k, and*is always followed by u, as in

R has a rough sound, as in rage, run, roar ; and a smooth
sound, as in her, sir, sister.

S has a soft, buzzing sound, like z, as in rose, odds, dismal;
a sharp, hissing sound, as in say, so, sister. Sometimes it has
the sound of sh, as in censure, and of zh, as in measure. It is
sometimes silent, as in isle.

T has one sound, as in tent, tide, time. Sometimes it has
the sound of sh, as in nation, and of tsh, as in nature. It is
sometimes silent, as in listen.

V has but one sound, as in value, vain, view.
W, when a consonant, has but one sound, as in way, wise,
world. It is sometimes silent, as in write.


X has a sharp sound, like ks, as in wax ; a Hat sound, like
gz, as in exact ; and sometimes the sound of z, as in Xenophon.

Y, when a consonant, has but one sound, as in you, year,

Z has the sound of flat s, as in freeze, zeal, prize ; and some-
tunes of zh, as in glazier, seizure.


How many sounds has b ? Is it ever silent ? Give the ex-
amples, and write them on the black-board. Let one scholar
pronounce and spell the first example in the ordinary way,
and then analyze it, by giving each elemental sound, apart
from the other letters or elements in the word. Then let
another scholar pronounce, spell, and analyze the second ex-
ample, in the same way ; and then another scholar, the third
example ; and so on, till they are all finished. Should there
not be a sufficient number of examples, under each head, for
the purposes of drilling, they may be increased to any extent,
by selecting words, at random, in which the letter occurs.
Again, how many sounds has c ? When does it sound like k ?
When like s ? Has it any other sound, or exception ? Give
all the examples, and write them on the black-board. Let
each scholar take his turn in pronouncing, spelling, and ana-
lyzing them, as above directed. Pursue the same course with
all the other consonants, d,f, g, h,j, k, I, m, n, p, q, r, s, t,
v, w, x, y, z.


Ch sounds like tsh, as in church, like k, as in chorus,
like sh, as in chaise.

Sh has but one sound, as in ship.

Gh sounds like/*, as in laugh, like k, as in hough, like
g, as in ghost ; and it is sometimes silent, as in plough.

Gn serves to lengthen the preceding vowel, as in impugn.

Ph sounds like f, as in phiz, like v, as in Stephen ;
and it is sometimes silent, as in phthisic.

Ng has a nasal, ringing sound, as in hanging.

So, before a, o, u, I, and r, sounds like sk, as in scan, score,


scud, sclerotic, scrag ; but before e, i, and y, it sounds like s, as
in scene, science, Scythian.

Th has two sounds ; the one vocal, as in this, thee ; the other
aspirate, as in thing, thought. It has sometimes the sound of
t, as in *Thomas.

Note. All the double consonants are not here given. The
others generally sound like their original elements.


How many sounds has ch ? and what are they ? "Write the
examples on the black-board ; and then analyze them, by
spelling them first as they are written, then by substituting the
diameters which represent their elementary sounds; after
which let their elementary sounds be given. Pursue a similar
course with sh, gh, ph, ng, sc, and th, especially with those
that have more elementary sounds than one.


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