Norman Allison Calkins.

Manual of object-teaching : with illustrative lessons in methods and the science of education online

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are made.

Used for erasing or rubbing out marks of the black-lead pencil ;
and this use gives it the name " rubber."

Properties of India-rubber. Children should be led to dis-
cover that India-rubber is soft, flexible, very elastic, tough, durable,
difficult to cut; that it is inflammable; that its elasticity is in-
creased by warmth, and diminished by cold ; that it is soluble in
naphtha, spirits of turpentine, and ether; that it is insoluble in
ivater, alcohol, and acids ; that it is non-absorbent of water, im-
pervious to water hence is water-proof; that it melts by heat,
and remains sticky and glutinous.

"What is India-rubber ? It is the juice of trees which grow
in South America and in Asia. In India these trees sometimes
grow to the height of one hundred feet, and twenty feet in di-
ameter. The best India-rubber, and that principally used in the
United States, comes from South America. This tree grows
abundantly in Brazil, along the Amazon.

How it is Obtained. During the rainy or cool season of the
year, deep incisions are made in the bark of the India-rubber (or
caoutchouc) tree (Jatropha elastica), when a thick, creamy juice,
of a yellowish white color, flows out. This may be collected in
bottles, and, if closely corked, can be kept in a fluid state for a


long time. It soon dries and hardens in the sun, by which proc-
ess it loses about one-half of its quantity. The drying is hastened
by placing the juice over a wood fire, and at the same time the
color is changed from a yellowish white to a color nearly black.
Clay moulds of various shapes, as of bottles and shoes, are made
by the natives, and the juice is spread over these in successive
layers, and dried, after which the clay mould is broken up and

In conclusion, require the pupils to state which qualities render
India-rubber most useful. To which class of substances does In-
dia-rubber belong ?


Its Uses. It is used for windows, pictures, mirrors, bottles,
tumblers, goblets, decanters, vases and other ornaments, chande-
liers, lanterns, spectacles, telescopes, watch-glasses.

What is Glass ? A transparent, hard, insoluble, brittle sub-
stance, made by melting together sand and soda.

Kinds of Glass. Crown-glass, sheet-glass (or broad-glass, or
cylinder-glass), plate-glass, flint-glass, bottle-glass, window-glass,

How Glass is Made. The materials of which glass is com-
posed silicates of potash, soda, lime, magnesia, alumina, and lead,
the proportions varying in different kinds of glass are melted
together by great heat in clay pots. The melted glass is manu-
factured into an immense variety of articles by the use of a hol-
low tube, or blowing-pipe, and a few other simple tools. The
tube is dipped into the melted glass, and a quantity collected on
the end sufficient for the desired article. The mouth of the work-
man is then applied to the other end of the tube, and the glass is
blown into a hollow form, rolled, pressed, twisted, cut, or pressed
in a mould, to make it assume the desired shape. Melted glass
is exceedingly ductile, tenacious, and plastic. After the articles
are made in the desired shape, they are placed in heated ovens to
cool slowly.

Crown-glass. The melted glass is taken from the pot on the
blowing -pipe, is blown, whirled, and pressed until it becomes


globular, with one side flattened. Then an iron rod, called pontil,
is dipped into the molten glass, and attached to the centre of the
flattened part, after which the blowing-pipe is removed, leaving
an opening. This globular glass is now exposed to heat, twirled
around with gradually increasing rapidity, which causes the open-
ing to expand, until the glass finally flattens out into a plane sur-
face four or five feet in diameter. The pontil is then removed,
and the disk is put in the annealing arch to gradually cool.

Some window-glass is made in this manner, and subsequently
cut up into panes of the desired sizes. Another mode of making
window-glass is by a process in which the -glass is first formed
into a cylinder, and then cut open length wise and flattened. Glass
made in this way is known as cylinder-glass, broad-glass, sheet-
glass, and German glass.

Sheet-glass. To make sheet-glass, or cylinder-glass, the work-
man collects a mass of molten glass around the end of his blow-
ing-tube ; then, by blowing and rolling, and blowing and swinging
it in a vertical circle, and heating and repeating the blowing and
swinging, the end opposite the blowing-tube bursts open : this end
is trimmed, and the glass has the form of a cylinder. Then the
blowing-tube is removed from the other end, leaving a hole, which
is expanded to the size of the opposite end of the cylinder. The
cylinder is then split open, flattened, and placed in the annealing

Plate-glass. This glass is made by pouring melted glass upon
a heated iron table of the size required, and with raised edges to
regulate the thickness. A copper roller is passed over the melted
glass to make it smooth and even. This plate is then cooled in
the oven. After this it is ground smooth by rubbing two plates
together with sand or finely powdered flint between them, and
finally polished with emery. This glass is used for mirrors and
for large windows in stores.

Flint-glass. This glass is made of white sand, carbonate of
potash, oxide of lead, and alumina. It melts more easily than
either crown, plate, or window glass ; is softer, therefore is more
easily cut and engraved. It is used in the manufacture of table-


ware, bottles, decorative articles, lamps, globes, drops, bells, chim-
neys, etc. It is made into the various articles for which it is
used chiefly by means of the blowing-tube, moulds, etc.

Bottle-glass. This is made from coarse or common materials,
and manufactured by blowing and moulding.

In making glass bottles, where a uniform size and shape is re-
quired and especially where letters are to be made in the glass
the bottles are shaped by means of a mould which can be closed
around the unfinished, blown form.

What qualities render glass suitable for the purposes for which
it is commonly used?

To which class of substances does glass belong ?


THE following list of subjects will suggest topics for
suitable lessons from which teachers may select those that
are adapted to their pupils. The information concerning
many of these subjects will be familiar to teachers. The
facts needed for lessons on many other subjects can be ob-
tained from books to which teachers usually have access.
Lessons upon several of these subjects may be given to a
class before those of the preceding pages are presented.

In giving these lessons, the attention of the pupils
should be directed to such points as will lead them to
observe those characteristics which chiefly distinguish the
objects and render them useful. For lessons on fruits,
nuts, grains, and other vegetable productions, lead the pu-
pils to consider as many of the following points as may
be appropriate to the object under consideration :

1. Is it a fruit, nut, grain, gum, juice, root ? 2. "Where
does it grow ? 3. How is it obtained ? 4. What does it


most nearly resemble? 5. What is its principal quality ?
6. What is its chief use ?

If the lesson be on a mineral or metal, let attention be
directed to the following points :

1. In what form or condition is it found? 2. What is
done with it to make it useful ? 3. What are its princi-
pal qualities ? 4. What are its chief uses ?

If the lessons be on manufactured articles, let the at-
tention of the pupils be directed to the following points :

1. Of what substances is it made ? ' 2. Why were these
substances used ? 3. Could any other substance be used ?
4. State processes of the making. 5. For what purpose
was it made ? 6. Where was it made ?

In all of these lessons obtain facts from the pupils, as
far as possible. When the object is such that they can
easily gain the desired information about it at home or
elsewhere, postpone further consideration of it until an-
other day, and request the pupils to gain all the facts pos-
sible before the lesson is taken up again.

Dew. When seen, how formed? [Moisture of the atmos-
phere condenses on cool objects, just as the water collects from
the moisture in the air on the outside of a pitcher of ice-water.]
Frozen dew, called frost.

Vapor. Moisture in the atmosphere, too thinly diffused to be
seen ; or moisture rising and condensing into a very thin, cloud-
like condition, somewhat as steam condenses, so as to be visible.

Clouds. A collection of visible vapors in the sky. When the
clouds are condensed by cooler currents of air, so as to form drops,
these descend as rain.

Hail and snow are produced by these drops freezing, under dif-
ferent conditions.

Rainbows are formed by the reflection of the sunlight in drops


of falling water. To see the rainbow, you must look in a direc-
tion opposite to the sun.

Fog. Cloud-like vapor filling the atmosphere near the ground.
Sometimes this vapor becomes so dense that a person can see but
a few feet from himself.


Interesting lessons may be given on the seeds of plants used
for food. Samples of each might be collected, and kept in small
bottles, with the name of the seed on each. In giving these les-
sons, the following facts will be found useful, to be told the pu-
pils after they have stated all they know concerning that which
is the subject of the lesson :

Cereals. The common grain-bearing plants wheat, rye, bar-
ley, Indian-corn, rice, oats, also broom-corn and millet are called
cereals, from Ceres, who was the fabled goddess of corn and ag-
riculture, and who is generally represented as crowned with ears
of wheat. All of these grain-bearing plants belong to the grass

Barley. The seed of a grass-like plant. It is said to have
been the first grain used for human food. It is cultivated in a
northern climate, and used for food as bread, soups, and malt

Oats. The seed of a grass-like plant. Each grain grows on a
separate branch of the stalk. Oats are used in various forms as
food for both man and beast. Oats and barley will grow in colder
and less fertile regions than other grain-bearing grasses. When
ground, it is called oat-meal.

Rye. The seed of a grass-like plant which resembles wheat in
its growth. This grain may be cultivated where the climate is
too cold for wheat to nourish. Eye is made into flour, and used
for bread, etc.

Buckwheat. The triangular-shaped seed of a plant cultivated
chiefly in a northern climate. The grain is ground into flour,
and used for food in the form of griddle-cakes. The name buck-


wheat was probably given to this grain from the fact that its
shape is like that of the nut of the beech-tree.

Wheat. The seed of a common grass-like plant cultivated in
the temperate zones. It is the most valuable of the grains used
for food. It is used in a great variety of forms. How many of
these can you mention ?

Rice. The seed of a grass-like plant cultivated for food. It
is chiefly raised in the torrid zone, and in the warmest portions
of the temperate zones. Although rice is much less nutritious
than wheat, rye, or barley, yet it forms the food of a greater
number of the human race than any other grain. What food
have you eaten made of rice ?

Indian-corn, or Maize. The seed of a large plant of the grass-
family. It was originally found in North America, but is now
cultivated in many parts of the world. The seeds grow around
a central stem called a cob. It is used for food for man and beast
When ground, it is called Indian-meal.

Broom-corn. The top of this well-known plant is extensively
used for making brooms. The seed forms a portion of the food
of the people in Arabia and India. In the West Indies the seed
is called negro-corn, as it is much used for food by the negroes.

Millet. The seeds -of this grass-like plant are the smallest of
the grains used for food. The Italians make a coarse, dark-col-
ored bread from the flour of this grain. In this country it is
chiefly raised for feeding poultry.

Quinoa. The seed of a weed-like plant which grows in ele-
vated regions in Chili and Peru, South America, 10,000 or
12,000 feet above the level of the sea. It is ground into flour,
and resembles oatmeal in many of its qualities. The seeds are
small and roundish.


Beans. The seeds of well-known pod-bearing plants. They
are very nutritious. In what form are beans used for food ?


Pease. The seeds of well-known pod-bearing vines. Like
beans, they are nutritious, and wholesome as food. How are
pease prepared for food ?

Lentils. The seeds of a pod-bearing plant well-known in Eu-
rope. It is used for food.


The following classes and names of substances will suggest
topics for several lessons similar to preceding ones :

Fruits. Orange, lemon, fig, date, prnne, pineapple, raisin, bread-
fruit, banana, peach, plum, apricot, apple, pear, cherry, currant,
grape, berries, etc.

Nuts. Almond, Brazil-nut, chestnut, beechnut, hickory -nut,
walnut, filbert, cocoa-nut, peanut, vegetable-ivory, pecan-nut, hazel-
nut, butternut.

Grains. Wheat, rye, corn, oats, barley, rice, buckwheat, bean,

Roots, Bulbs, etc. Potato, sweet-potato, turnip, beet, carrot,
radish, yam, horseradish, onion, lily, tuberose, tulip, crocus, ginger,
sweet-flag, etc.

Juices. Cider, vinegar, turpentine, tar, .rosin, liquorice, gum-

Drinks. Tea, coffee, chocolate, cocoa, broma, alkathrepta, milk.

Metals. Iron, steel, copper, silver, gold, lead, tin, pewter, brass,
zinc, nickel, shot.

Minerals. Coal (hard and soft), charcoal, coke, lime, marble,
graphite or black-lead, mortar, chalk, alum, borax, pumice-stone.

Miscellaneous Articlea Brick, glue, matches, gunpowder,
gun-cotton, paper, calico, oil-cloth, butter, cheese, rattan, vanilla,
earthen-ware, mustard, olive-oil, honey, molasses, arrowroot, Ice-
land moss.



" Nature is man's best teacher. She unfolds
Her treasures to his search, unseals his eye,
Illumes his mind, and purities his heart,
An influence breathes from all the sights and sounds
Of her existence; she is Wisdom's self."


LIVING, moving forms possess the greatest attractions
for children. The life and motions exhibited in the ani-
mal world, corresponding to the activity of childhood,
place animals among the earliest and most interesting ob-
jects that awaken the curiosity of the young ; hence they
furnish materials admirably adapted to cultivating their
perceptive faculties, and forming habits of attentive ob-

" Those who have watched the faint dawnings of intellect and
the gradual brightening that heralds the day will have observed
that children very early become acquainted with certain objects,
and indicate, when only eight or ten months old, their instantane-
ous detection of changes in those things to which they are accus-
tomed. Such observers will testify that, next to the familiar faces
of the members of their own family, there are no objects which
attract their attention sooner or more powerfully than our do-
mestic quadrupeds. The dog, the cat, the horse, the cow, and the
sheep are to them wonders. Not only do they become acquainted
with the figure, color, and movements of these animals, but with
their various cries ; so that long before the infant lips are capable
of articulating the name of the dog or of the cow, the bark of the
one and the lowing of the other will be attempted, and will be so
associated with the animal as to serve instead of a name. Thus


the imitative or natural language of the child precedes the arti-
ficial. And ideas relating to a class of natural history objects are
among the earliest mental acquirements of children.

"As it is a beneficent law of our nature that the legitimate ex-
ercise of every organ and faculty is in itself a source of pleasure,
we may feel assured that the use of the observant powers is a
source of gratification to the child, and a stimulus which leads to
a desire to see more. The object whether animal or plant that
the child thus sees may be described in a hundred books, and
have been familiar for ages to men of science, yet these facts do
not detract from the delight of the child. It is new to him ; and
his pleasure is akin to that of the naturalist, who detects an un-
recorded species, and gives it a name, and places it for the first
time on the rolls of science."*

Children always find delight in watching the move-
ments and noticing the intelligence of animals, and in lis-
tening to stories about them. No department of nature
is more attractive to them, or supplies so great an abun-
dance of suitable objects for developing their habits of
gaining knowledge from the world around them ; yet
when left entirely to themselves in this matter of obser-
vation, they neglect to see many of the things that are
most important to correct knowledge ; and they also fail
to associate in proper groups the facts which they thus
learn. The guiding influence of the competent instructor
becomes, therefore, especially beneficial to the young ob-
server, even with such an abundance of attractive mate-
rials, by leading him to notice those significant features
and characteristics that belong to the different kinds of

Young children need to be guided to that which is best
for them to see much of, as well as to what is best for
them to eat much of. With all their fondness for watch-
ing the movements of animals, they need to be led to see

* Robert Patterson, in Natural History in Home Education.


for a special purpose, and to see things that relate to that
purpose. But they may also be allowed to see as much
more as they please, if their attention be properly given
to those objects which are under investigation.

One of the great mistakes in the plans of education lies
in the neglect to provide for a proper use of the valuable
materials which nature furnishes so abundantly in the an-
imal world as a means for the early development of the
powers of gaining knowledge. The domestic animals,
and such others, including insects, as come within the
range of frequent observation, engage the attention of
children long before they are old enough to commence
their first lessons in books. Nature does not weary the
young learner, as books do. These facts should be remem-
bered in the arrangement of courses of primary instruc-
tion. That which is familiar and interesting to children
should be among the subjects of the earliest lessons. Nat-
ure should be studied first ; then books and nature togeth-
er, each helping the student to understand the other.

Give children correct ideas of the leading groups of
animals, teach them to distinguish their characteristics by
personal observation, and to arrange them in classes by
such means, and not only will the real interest of children
in this subject be secured, but the usefulness of text-books
will be largely increased. Children thus taught become
real and practical students. By becoming accustomed to
observe carefully, to arrange in classes by common resem-
blances, habits of order are formed which prove valuable
at a later period in life, in whatever situation the person
so trained may be placed whether in the office of the
lawyer, in the counting-room of the merchant, in the lab-
oratory of the chemist, in the workshop of the mechanic,
or in the fields of the farmer.

Among the attractive materials of the animal world ap-
propriate for the early exercises of the perceptive powers


are those animals with whose appearance children are to
some extent familiar as the cat, dog, cow, horse, hen,
goose, duck, sheep, pig, mouse ; and birds of all kinds.
The toad and the snail supply interesting materials for
these lessons in nature, because children do not usually
expect to find anything instructive in things so common
and unattractive.

The peculiar structure and uses of the cat's eye, her
cushion -like feet, and retractile nails; instances of the
fidelity and sagacity of the dog ; the docility of the horse ;
the gentleness of the cow ; the playfulness of the lamb
and the kitten ; the different movements of birds as walk-
ing, hopping, swimming, flying, their nest -building and
migratory habits ; the form, movement, and habits of fish-
es, reptiles, and insects, with the wonderful adaptation of
structure to their several modes of life. Also the differ-
ent voices of animals : as the bark, the whine, and growl
of the dog ; the mew and purr of the cat ; the neigh and
whinny of the horse ; the bleats of the sheep, goat, lamb,
and kid ; the cluck and cackle of the hen ; the gabble and
hiss of the goose ; the quack of the duck ; the caw of the
crow ; the whistle of the quail ; the songs of the thrush,
robin, bluebird, and canary, all furnish materials and sub-
jects adapted to interest and instruct children.

Attention may be also directed to those animals which
serve us by their strength, swiftness, and sagacity ; and to
those that supply so many of our wants by their milk,
flesh, honey, wool, hair, fur, skins, horns, bones, tusks,
feathers, etc.

The lessons during the early stages of instruction should
be short. Give an idea of some one thing, or of the ac-
tion of some one animal ; then stop, let the young learn-
ers go away and think and talk about it, and look to see
if the thing be really so. Then they will return to the
next lesson desirous of knowing more.


The natural fondness of children for animals renders
these objects especially appropriate for lessons to develop
their humane feelings, sympathy, kindness, and benevo-

Plants, as well as animals, supply useful materials for
the child's development by their beautiful flowers of many
shapes and colors; their variety of delicious fruits; their
fragrance and flavor ; the many forms of their leaves and
stems; by the wonders of their growth, and their uses for
food, medicine, clothing, building, furniture, fuel, etc. Al-
though these lack the attractive feature of motion which
renders the animal world so full of interest to the young,
very interesting and profitable lessons may be given on
these subjects, which will gladden the footsteps of many
weary pilgrims along the road to the temple of knowl-
edge, and enrich them with lasting treasures.

Minerals form an important part of the common ob-
jects and implements which the child sees and handles
daily. Although not endowed with the power of motion
like animals, or of growth like plants, yet they are also
calculated to awaken the curiosity of children, and there-
by furnish appropriate means for their mental develop-

The transparency of glass ; the elasticity of steel springs ;
the flexibility of copper wire ; the fusibility of lead ; the
attraction of the magnet ; the usefulness of iron, and its
softening by heat ; the astringency of alum ; and the ap-
pearances, qualities, and uses of other metals, minerals,
rocks, and soils, add to the great variety of materials
which nature abundantly supplies for the development
and instruction of the child.

These three grand divisions of nature animals, vege-
tables^ and minerals comprise the materials which God


employs in exercising the senses, stimulating the percep-
tive powers, awakening intelligence, and cultivating the
human mind throughout its stages of intellectual devel-
opment. And these things are especially adapted to the
purposes of elementary education, since the aim at this
time is not so much the giving of a certain amount of
knowledge as it is the awakening of the faculties, and
training the pupil to use his own mind.

The introductory lessons on natural history should be
graded, and presented in successive steps, corresponding
to the different stages of the child's development. The
age and capacity of the child should determine as to the
extent and minuteness of the observations required, and
the amount of information to be gained.



[Intended for children at home, and during the first year in school.]

Online LibraryNorman Allison CalkinsManual of object-teaching : with illustrative lessons in methods and the science of education → online text (page 13 of 35)