Norman Allison Calkins.

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

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prepared to collect specimens of rocks, to examine them,
experiment with them, and determine whether they be-
long to either of the classes of minerals or rocks already
named quartz, mica, feldspar, sandstone, calcite, etc.*

These and similar lessons on minerals may be extended
so as to include those to be found within the regions that
may be visited by your pupils. Indeed, these and other
lessons intended to introduce children to nature, and in-
duce them to become interested in studying the charm-
ing pages illustrated with real minerals and rocks, plants,
blossoms, and fruits, and all the varieties of animal form
and life, should begin at the home of the young learner,
and with things within his easy observation.

That you may do this intelligently, make yourself ac-
quainted with the character of the rocks and minerals in
the vicinity of your school ; then teach your pupils how
to distinguish or know the different kinds, and tell them
where each may be found. By such means many boys
have been led away from idleness and bad associations,

* Teachers and older pupils who desire to learn more about minerals
and rocks will find the following books very useful : Hooker's Mineralogy
and Geology; The Geological Story Briefly Told, by Dana; Science Primers, on
Geology, and on Physical Geography.


and the foundations laid for observing and studious hab-
its, and lives of great usefulness.

Try what virtue there is in developing a love for min-
erals, plants, and animals, and in after years many will
bless you in remembrance of valued instruction, and the
numerous sources of happiness unfolded to them.



FROM the lessons under the head of "Properties of Objects"
you learned to distinguish three classes of substances Animal,
Vegetable, Mineral. The succeeding lessons on animals and on
plants furnished you additional facts concerning the first two of
these groups. I now propose to direct your attention still fur-
ther to the class called Minerals, and, while guiding your obser-
vations upon this group, to point out some new facts which will
give you a better knowledge of all kinds of substances.

You have learned that a mineral has no life, no feeling, no mo-
tion, and does not take food ; and yet the mineral supplies food
to the vegetable world, and the vegetable world furnishes the
food for the animal world. Thus, while this substance has no
life of its own, it supplies the materials for life to the other two

How can this be true, when minerals are such things as stones,
sand, clay, iron, lead, silver, etc. ? you may inquire. I will try to
explain this matter.

All the words that you know and can read or write, and all
the words in the books, are made up of letters. When you learn
to write a word, you know what letters make the word, and how
they are arranged. In our language there are only twenty-six
letters, and these enable us to make up more than one hundred
thousand words. These letters are the elements of our written

Minerals, like written words, are made up of elements. All
the matter that constitutes all the rocks, stones, iron, gold, silver,
lead, clay, ice, and water in the world is made up of elementary
substances, which are the letters of nature. There are about six-
ty-three of these mineral-letters. As the letters of our language,
by different combinations, form different words, so these mineral
elements, by different combinations, form different substances.


Some of these mineral-letters cannot be seen when alone, or
not united with one or more other letters. This group of min-
eral-letters we call gases. Some of these letters can be seen, felt,
and tasted ; these are called liquids and solids. Some of the sol-
ids we call metals, and some we call minerals.

I will write the names of a few of these mineral -letters in
groups, and thus show you what some of them are called, and to
which group they belong :

Gases. Solids. Minerals.

Oxygen, Carbon, Iron,

Nitrogen, Sulphur, Silver,

Hydrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium,

Chlorine, Silicon, Sodium,

Fluorine. Iodine. Calcium.

These mineral - letters are commonly called Elementary Sub-
stances. All the matter that constitutes the rocks, land, water,
trees, grain, and animals of the whole earth is made up of these
letters of nature. The names of only fifteen of them are given
above, yet these elementary substances constitute more than one-
half of all the matter in the world, including animals, vegetables,
and minerals. One of these elements oxygen is the most
abundant one in nature. It comprises one -fifth of the air we
breathe, eight-ninths (by weight) of the water we drink, more
than two-fifths of the land we walk on, and a large part of the
food we eat, as well as of the clothing we wear, of the houses we
live in, and of the tools we use.

In our written language the letters form words, the words are
combined into sentences, and the sentences into language as a
whole. In nature the mineral-letters, or simple substances t form
the mineral-words of nature ; and these words of nature are com-
bined into the three great sentences of nature minerals, vegeta-
bles, animals ; and these three groups, or books, of nature com-
prise the whole world of matter. A knowledge of these elements,
and of their laws of combination, is called Chemistry. By a care-


ful study of this science you may learn the composition and nat-
ure of all the materials of which the world is made up.

As in our language some words contain only one letter, or ele-
ment, while some words contain two letters, others three, four,
five, or more letters, so it is in these words of nature, some sub-
stances contain only one letter, or element, some contain two ele-
ments, some three, four, five, or more elements. As each word
in our written language is complete in itself, and has a definite
meaning, so each of these words of nature is complete of itself,
and is known as a definite substance, with its own distinct prop-

I will now give you the names of a few of the words of nature,
and tell you what letters or elements form them :

Substances with one Element. Silver, iron, sulphur,
carbon, or charcoal, are each words containing only one letter, and
the name of the letter in each case is the name of the substance,
just as the names of the letters A, I, and O are the names of the
three words which they constitute.

Substances with two Elements. Air, water, sand, and
salt are each words containing only two different letters, or ele-
ments. The name of each element in these substances is as fol-
lows : Air is composed of oxygen and nitrogen ; Water is com-
posed of oxygen and hydrogen ; Sand is made up of oxygen and
silicon ; Salt is made up of sodium and chlorine.

Substances with three Elements. The following sub-
stances contain each three elements, or letters, as follows : Sugar
contains oxygen, hydrogen, and carbon ; Starch contains oxygen,
hydrogen, and carbon / Glycerine contains oxygen, hydrogen, and
carbon ; Vinegar contains oxygen, hydrogen, and carbon.

It will be noticed that each one of these substances contains
the same elements. In some written words the same letters are
repeated, so in some substances the same elements are repeated
several times. Sugar contains more than twice as much oxygen
and carbon as starch does. Glycerine contains less of each oxy-
gen, hydrogen, and carbon than either sugar or starch, but more
of each of these elements than vinegar.


Substances with, four Elements. Each of the follow-
ing substances contains four elements, as follows: Gun-cotton is
composed of oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen, and carbon ; Cream of
Tartar is composed of oxygen, hydrogen, carbon, and potash;
Bronze is composed of copper, tin, zinc, and lead.

Substances with five Elements. Each of the follow-
ing substances contains five elements, as follows : Gunpowder is
composed of oxygen, nitrogen, sulphur, carbon, and potassium ;
Alum is composed of oxygen, hydrogen, aluminum, potassium, and

As in our written language you must know how the several
letters are combined, and how many times any or each of those
letters are repeated in the same word, so in these words of nature
you must learn how these simple substances are combined, and
how many times each is used in the same substance before you
can understand how these combinations of the same elements can
produce such different substances. All of these facts about the
combinations of elementary substances to form all things that we
can see, smell, taste, or feel, you may learn by the study of chem-

A knowledge of this science is useful in all the occupations of
life, and is indispensable to the chemist, the physician, and to suc-
cess in many kinds of manufacturing. It is valuable to the farm-
er, to the merchant, to the miner, and the house-keeper.

* Teachers and students will find the following books useful for elemen-
tary instruction on this subject: Hooker's First Book of Chemistry; also
Hooker's Second Book of Chemistry, or Science for the School and Family;
and the Science Primer of Chemistry.



ALL who are to become actors, and not mere lookers-
on in the world, should be so instructed that they may
understand the nature and purpose of the most important
things and occupations around them. Children like to
learn additional facts about things, places, and occupations
of which they have seen and know but little ; but to so
learn that their knowledge shall become of practical value,
they need to be guided by parents and teachers. Among
the most useful lessons learned are those which the real
teacher prepares the pupils to understand, and stimulates
them to learn by their own observation and experience
outside of the school-room.

Children who have had their attention thus directed to
different occupations will thereby gain knowledge that
will prove useful to them in many ways in later years.
When the boy comes to decide upon the business for his
life, he will have something to aid him in determining
what he would like to do.

The boy whose attention has been specially directed to
the work performed, and to the articles produced by the
different occupations, will learn readily the duties of .his
position. He will be able to perform them with such in-
telligence as to command better wages than one whose
education has not been thus practical.

It is hoped that the following lessons, facts, and sugges-
tions to teachers will aid in accomplishing a work of great
value to their pupils. The successful teacher aims to con-
nect the lessons of the school-room with the children's ex-


periences of out-of -school life, thus making the instruction
interesting, practical, and most effective. The lessons
about what people do furnish excellent opportunities for
accomplishing this purpose.

Play Exercises. Simple exercises might be commenced
with quite young pupils, and made the means of training them
in the use of language. They could be introduced under some
such titles as the following : " Plays at House-keeping," " Plays
at Store-keeping," " Plays at House-building ;" and thus, in aid
of instruction, advantage may be taken of that characteristic of
childhood which leads the young to want to play in imitation of
what they see older people do.

Suppose the girls play " Set a Supper-table." One might say,
"I will put on the table-cloth;" another, "I will put on the
plates ;" others, " I will put on the knives and forks ;" " I will
get the cups and saucers;" "I will make the tea;" "I will get
the bread, and cut it;" "I will bring the butter;" "I will bring
the cake, and cut it ;" " I will put on the cheese ;" " I will get the
teaspoons ;" " I will put on the preserves ;" " I will put the nap-
kins by the plates;" "I will place the chairs around the table;"
" Let me bring the cream and sugar for the tea ;" " I will bring
the water and the tumblers."

Each pupil, in another exercise, might say what she would like
for supper, or breakfast, or dinner, according to the meal that
was being represented. The exercise might be varied by each
telling what to put on the table (appropriate to the given meal),
as if directing a servant to do it.

When the setting of the table has been completed, the teacher
might preside, and request each pupil at the play-dinner to tell
what kind of meat, vegetables, etc., she would like. By this
means many useful lessons in table-manners may be taught. The
exercise of good judgment and tact by the teacher will render
such exercises exceedingly interesting and profitable to children.

The boys might play " Keeping Grocery." Let one pupil rep-
resent a customer, the next one the grocer, the next a customer,
the next the grocer, etc., somewhat as follows: "Have you nice


eating-apples ?" " Yes ; would you like some ?" " I will take
two quarts."

" Please give me two pounds of your best tea." " Here is
your tea ; the price is one dollar and a half for the two pounds."

"What is the price of your best butter?" "Twenty -five
cents." " I will take two pounds."

"How much do you ask for good potatoes?" "Twenty cents
a peck." " You may send me one peck."

" Please give me three and a half pounds of powdered sugar."

" I would like a pound of crackers."

" I wish half a pound of cheese," etc., etc.

During these exercises the pupils are supposed to speak in
turn, or by permission of the teacher, after expressing their read-
iness by holding up a hand.

The range of appropriate topics may be increased as the pupils
become familiar with the plan of proceeding. These exercises
may be made a means both of recreation and useful instruction
at the same time, and may be introduced from time to time, say
once a week, in some form, until the pupils are able to take up
lessons of a more advanced character, in which a wider range of
observation will be developed.

Older pupils should have more advanced lessons, which might
be conducted somewhat in the following manner :

"What People Do. To-day we will talk about what people
do to earn a living. You know that some people keep stores,
and sell things ; some have shops, and make things ; some print
books ; some bind books ; some sell books ; some make clothes ;
some make furniture ; some make wagons ; some make bread and
cake ; some teach school ; some preach ; some go to see people
when they are sick ; some make and sell medicines ; some supply
us with meat ; some build houses ; some raise wheat, corn, and
other things for our food ; and many people do other kinds of
work for a living. We call that which people do for a living
their business, or occupation.

The Names of Occupations shall be our lesson for to-day. I
will write the word occupations on the blackboard, and as each



pupil in turn names some occupation, I will write the word under
this on the blackboard. The pupils may copy these words on
their slates.

[The teacher writes the words as given by the pupils, arranging
them in columns. At the close of the exercise many of the words
in the following list will have been written :]









































When the pupils have mentioned all the occupations they can
think of, instead of telling them the names of others, the teacher
may request them to notice what they see people working at,
after they go home from school.

For the second lesson on occupations, let the pupils take their
slates, and each one write the names of all the occupations that
he can remember. To ascertain what names have been written,
and which pupil has the greatest number, one pupil may read
his list, and each other pupil check on his own slate the names
read, with a cross thus x for each name read, that he has writ-
ten. When the pupil has finished reading his list, let those who
have other names read them, and finally have a complete list
written on the blackboard.

As this exercise affords excellent practice in spelling, it may be
repeated two or three times with profit. During the repetition
of the exercise, each pupil should write his list without copying
from other pupils. As a conclusion, ascertain which pupil has



written the most names of occupations, and which one has spelled
the greatest number correctly.

For a subsequent lesson, let the pupils choose one of the occu-
pations named as a subject for a lesson that shall require a more
careful observation concerning it. Suppose the pupils choose
that of the tailor. The teacher may write the word Tailor on
the blackboard, and the following heads :

"What he uses.
Garments made.

"What he does.
Names of their parts.

Request each pupil to write these heads on his slate, leaving
spaces for several words under each, and then to write names of
things used, work done, garments made, and of their parts under
the proper head. Let the lists formed by the pupils be com-
pared as before, and a complete list placed on the blackboard,
which might be nearly like the following :

What he uses.











Garments made.







What he does.

Finds the size,



Makes clothes,

Fastens the seams,

Makes the thread smooth,

Pushes the needle,

Presses the seams,

Holds the cloth for pressing,

Moistens the seams.

Parts of garments.












Exercises with these lists might be repeated two or three times,
until the pupils become familiar with the spelling of each word.

The lesson might be extended by requesting* the pupils to
give the names of the kinds of cloth used by the tailor, as beaver,
cassimere, doeskin, broadcloth, satinet, melton, tweed, flannel, velvet,
corduroy, duck, satin, serge, silk, silesia, hair-cloth.

Subsequently the pupils might answer the following questions,
orally or in writing : What do tailors measure ? Why do they
measure ? What do they cut ? When do they baste ? What do
they press? Why do they press? etc. Where do tailors obtain
their cloth ? What do they produce ? How do they procure
their food ?

At another time the trade of a shoemaker may be chosen as
the subject of the lesson, and then the blackboard might contain
something like the following :

What he uses. What he does.

Cowhide, calf-skin, Measures, cuts, pastes, lasts,

Morocco, sole-leather, Pegs, tacks, sews, stitches,

Knife, awl, Fits, trims, foots, taps,

Float, tacks, Mends, caps, half-soles,

Wax, shoe-thread, Pounds leather,

Pincers, pegs, nails, Soaks leather,

Last, strap, hammer. Blacks, trims, polishes.

Parts of a shoe. Parts of a boot.

Toe, heel, sole, Leg, front, or vamp,

Shank, quarters, Heel, toe, instep, shank,

Tongue, lining, insole. Counter, seam, straps.

Kinds of Boots, Shoes, etc. Heavy boots, riding-boots,
fine, calf, patent-leather, Congress gaiters, Oxford ties, shoes, slip-

What do shoemakers measure ? cut ? paste ? peg ? sew ?

Why do they measure ? paste ? peg ? sew ?


Why do they sew instead of peg ?

Why do they hammer leather ?

Why do they use wax ?

Where do they obtain leather ?

What is leather made from ?

Who makes the leather ?

What do shoemakers produce ?

How do they procure food and clothing ?

It is important that the teacher shall so conduct these lessons
as to make them profitable exercises in spelling and in the use
of language.


FOR the purpose of aiding teachers in preparing other
lessons on trades and occupations, the following lists of
materials and implements used, kinds of work done, and
articles produced, are given under appropriate heads, with
suggestions as to methods of giving the lessons. It is ex-
pected that these lists, etc., will be arranged by each teach-
er so as to adapt the work to each special class of. pupils.
Let the teacher take the materials, profit by the sugges-
tions, but make each lesson for his own class.

Allow me to add in this connection that these lessons
will become much more interesting to the pupils, as well
as more profitable, if the trade or occupation is illustrated
by suitable pictures. Excellent illustrations have been
prepared for purposes of teaching, which represent tools
used, persons at work with them, and articles produced by
each of the following trades and occupations :*

* Praiiffs Aids for Object-teaching Trades and Occupations, illustrated in
colors ; each picture 22 by 14 incbes ; with a Manual of Directions, by N. A.




The Kitchen,

The Farm-yard,

What he uses.



















What he does.

Chops, splits,

Turns up soil,

Makes soil fine,


Digs holes,

Moves earth and grain,

Lifts stones, etc.,

Draw, cart, and plough,

Cuts grass,

Cuts grain,

Collects grass and grain,

Lifts hay and grain,

Cleans grain,

Holds grain,

Carries fruit,


Ride, plough, draw wagon,

Carries loads,


What he raises.






Pease, Beans,










Hens, geese,




What does the farmer produce? How does he obtain his
clothing and implements for work? Why does the farmer
plough, sow, plant, mow, thresh ?

The teacher should ask the several questions attached to each
occupation, and talk with the pupils concerning them, that they
may obtain correct ideas as to the importance of each kind of




Tools used for Cutting. Axe, adze, chisels, gouges, shaving-
knife, spoke-shave, hatchet, saw, broad-axe.

Tools used for Boring. Augers, gimlets, bits-and-brace, brad-

Tools used for Pounding. Hammer, mallet, beetle, sledge-

Tools used for Measuring and Marking. Rule, square, bevel,
gauge, compasses, level, plumb-line, scratch-awl, chalk-line.

Tools used for Smoothing. Planes, scraper, rasp, file, sand-

Materials used. Timber for sills, posts, beams, plates, rafters,
girders, joists, braces, studs, scaffold. Lumber: plank, boards,
siding, or clapboards, lath, shingles.

Parts of a Building. Sides, ends, walls, partitions, roof, eaves,
windows, doors, shutters, window-sill, door -sill, base, balcony,
floors, ceiling, cornice, frieze, panel, moulding, stairs, etc. .

Tools. Their Uses.

Rule For measuring.

Square To form right angles.

Gauge To make parallel lines.

Level To find horizontal position.

Screw-driver For driving screws.

Brad-awl For making small holes.

Kinds of Work done. Hewing, sawing, mortising, bevelling,
mitering, scarfing, sheathing, siding, scribing, furring, framing,
shingling, pinning.

What is meant by hewing? sawing? mortising? bevelling?
mitering? scarfing? sheathing? scribing ? furring ? etc.

What do carpenters produce?

How do they procure food and clothing?


What he uses. Why he uses it.

Forge Place to work with iron.

Coal To heat the iron.

Bellows To make the fire very hot.

Tongs For holding hot iron.

Anvil To lay the hot iron on.

Hammer For pounding the hot iron.

Punch For making holes in hot iron.

Vise For holding iron firmly while shaping or filing it.

Rasp Coarse file.

Drill For boring holes in cold iron.

Chisel For cutting iron.

n ft j A chisel-like instrument, with a bent shank and

Online LibraryNorman Allison CalkinsManual of object-teaching : with illustrative lessons in methods and the science of education → online text (page 22 of 35)