Imágenes de páginas

DIRECTIONS TO PARENTS AND TEACHERS. The pupil should be provided with a geography and map of Massachusetts, and a small black board 18 inches long by 15 broad. If this cannot be easily procured a slate and pencil will very well answer the purpose. Let his attention first be directed to the map and inform him that the top is north, the bottom south, the right hand east, and the left hand west. Let him find on the map the town where he resides, and observe carefully its shape,its ponds, its rivers, and its mountains. All these he is to draw from the map upon his small black board with chalk, and to draw them over and over again, till he can do it accurately from his memory alone. Next the boundaries of the town are to be learned. The pupil may then leave the map and see what is said of the town in the geography. In order to find it, let him turn to the county to which it belongs, which is in alphabetical order among the counties of the State, and he will meet with the town in its alphabetical place among the towns of that county. To show the pupil that he can understand the whole matter, and that it is one of his own concern, he may be encouraged to consider what things there may be worthy of notice in the town besides, those mentioned in the book, as mills, or factories, ponds, streams, hills, or mountains.

For recitations a large black board should be used at least three feet wide and three and a half feet long. This should be so placed that the pupil standing before it, may have his face to the north ; when, of course, his right hand will be to the east, his back to the south, and his lelt hand to the west. If the class consist of several, let one be directed to draw the northern line of the town boundary. Another may be invited to criticise the execution, and then another may give his opinion. It may then with advantage be submitted to the judgment of the whole class, that any one who can detect an inaccuracy, may expose it. Let the eastern boundary now be drawn and subjected to the same critical examination and amendment; and so of the other lines. A member of the class may then name the towns on the borders, marking the place of each, mentioning its direction from the town drawn, and pointing to its actual position with reference to the place he stands in. The streams, ponds, and roads being laid down, one of the pupils should be required to leave the drawing and point towards the ponds, and signify also by pointing the actual di

rection of the streams and roads as they pass through the town. Questions may now be asked to elicit all other information that has been obtained respecting the town. The facts as they are elicited should be as much as possible connected with the drawing. If there be churches, a bank, an academy, or factories in the town, let their position be marked ; and when the number of inhabitants is mentioned, let the most thickly settled part or parts of the town be marked.

The second lesson may be one of the adjoining towns, or two, if their lines can be easily drawn, and the matter to be learned from the geography be small in amount. And in this lesson also the personal knowledge of the pupil or any other sources of information may be advantageously applied to. At reciting this lesson, the shape of the town or towns may be drawn on a variety of scales. This exercise will be exceedingly useful, as a severe discipline of the mind is involved in producing accurate proportions. And the class should be kept constantly on the alert in judging of the truth of the proportions between the several lines drawn by their companion. When greater ease has been acquired in drawing, and several towns can be despatched at a lesson, there will be a wider field for this exercise in adjusting the relative size and shape of different towns. Let the class thus pass through their county, taking for their lessons groups of contiguous towns. Their lessons may be lengthened with their increasing ability, and there should be a review for every four or five exercises. On the completion of the county let the drawing of the whole of it be assigned as a separate lesson with all its towns and so much of the generalization of the county as relates to Inhabitants. The next lesson may be a repetition of the la including towns, mountains, and rivers, it may also embrace the remainder of the generalization, the manufacturing establishments, academies, and other institutions enumerated under the several towns; and, lastly, whatever questions are contained in the geography as a general review of the county.

Having thoroughly acquainted himself with his own county, the pupil may next proceed to the important towns on the great rivers, and on the seacoast of Massachusetts. These finished, he may pass from towns to counties. Let him draw the outline of a county, learn its boundaries, the position of its principal towns and the facts in the geography relative to them, and also those in the generalization. This course should be pursued with each of the counties in the State. After completing them, the pupil should review them, till he can promptly draw them all, and form an entire map of Massachusetts. He inay in the mean time be put upon the generalization of the State in the geography and compare the relative importance of the counties as in. dicated by their respective population. He may afterwards go through the generalization of the State, always connecting his lesson in the book with one in drawing for the benefit of direct reference. Thus, when engaged upon that part relating to Inhabitants, he may point out the portions of the State most thickly settled, or those where the people are employed in any particular business, as commerce, fishing, or manufactures; when upon Education, Religion, or Government, he may mark the site of the chief literary and religious institutions, the places for holding courts, and the seat of government; when upon the Rivers, Mountains, and Internal Improvements of the State, he may draw them; when learning the History, he may mark whatever places in the State may be there mentioned.

The pupil should be taught to turn to the list of definitions at the end of the book for all difficult terms, and to apply to his instructer if he do not find them there. Regular and close examinations by the teacher into his knowledge of the meaning of these terms will accomplish, in this respect, all that is desirable.

Parents and teachers need not hesitate to undertake to teach this system of geography to their children and pupils, merely because they have never been so taught themselves. If they possess only a moderate interest in the subject of education, or the progress of the children under their care, they may begin according to the above directions, with perfect confidence that they will find themselves competent to every essential duty, which will be required of them. And their experience will be widely different from the authors', if they can follow a class through the State and witness their drawings from day to day without finding much clearness and precision given to their own conceptions of the situation of places, not to say their own knowledge of the geography and resources of the State much enlarged.

« AnteriorContinuar »