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or angel;-Christ, and He alone, is | the Way.
3. And Christ is the Christian's guide and protection,-He has walked the same path of trial and sorrow Himself; He goes before, not directing only, but leading. And He suits himself to all the Christian's circumstances;-He is with him in the day of prosperity, and thoughts of Him temper the deceitful rays of riches, honors, and worldly pleasures;- He is with him in the night of temptation and sorrow; His presence a burning, and shining light,
Notes of a Secular Lesson on the Adaptation between the force of the Earth's Gravity and the Stalks of Plants.
Gain the interest of the children by noting the beauty of flowers. When those of this season die, where do others similar to them come from? From what produce?
Draw, if you can, a picture of a flower-daffodil, say on the blackboard, and show what are Pistils and Stamens.* Bring a big boy, and a few less ones standing round him, on the floor, as illustrations. Explain the Pollen, and show that this dust when matured on the stamens must be shed on the pistils, or the plant will produce no seed. The Pollen when ripe drops off from the Stamens. Which way will they fall? Why? This plant has the pistils longer; that shorter, than the stamens. What provision must be made to meet these two conditions? What causes it to droop? Train out -gravitation. But what might resist this gravitation? Train again-an increased thickness of stalk. Then if a plant is required to droop its head, what provision must be made? It must have a suitably slender stem.
* Stamens and Pistils are in the centre of the flower, and are the organs on which the fructification and reproduction of the plant more particularly depend. The stamens surround the pistil, and consist each of a fiiament or thread, and an anther or summit, which last, when ripe, contains a fine powder, called pollen.
Train the gallery to see the connection that exists between the force of gravity and the thickness of the plant's stalk, by supposing the intensity of gravitation to change. Now illustrate and apply. Some flowers turn the hollow of their cup upwards; others "hang the pensive head," and turn the opening downwards. Now, must these nodding flowers" as Linnæus calls them, have their pistils longer or shorter than the stamens ?-and why? Instance the bell-flower, snow-drop, &c. Those flowers then with the pistils longer than the stamens must droop : -those with the pistils shorter, must
stand erect. But there is one plant at least (spurge) with the pistils longer, and yet growing upright upon a slender stalk. What must be done? Show that just before ripening, the weight of pollen bends the stalk, depressing the germen below the stamens; and after this the plant again becomes erect.
Now, the position in all these cases depends upon the length and strength
of the stalk and it is evident that a very slight alteration of the force of gravity, or in the strength of the stalk, would entirely alter the position of the cup, and thus make the continuation of the species impossible.
Close the lesson by leading the gallery
to observe, that a globe larger or smaller, denser or rarer than ours, would require a change in the structure and strength of the stalks of all the little flowers that peep forth from under our hedges that this mighty mass of earth with all its mountains, oceans,
rivers and plains, is employed in keeping a snow-drop in the position best suited to its health: and then lead the boys, with a proper tone of voice and change of manner, to think of the kindness of Him whose "tender mercies are over all his works." J. S.
LESSON ON EVAPORATION.
I take this cup of cold water and place in it some grains of sugar, what becomes of it as I stir it round-it is melted or dissolved?* I now put in it more and more until the water refuses to take up any more, however much I stir it. I now warm the water, and the sugar which rested at the bottom suddenly disappears. What then has caused this difference in the water-the heat. Yes, heat admitted into a liquid increases its power to dissolve. Now, see how this principle acts on a much larger scale. In hotter weather the air takes up watery vapour from the sea more largely than in-cold weather. Yes, let me see that all understand. In cold weather the air-takes up less vapour than in warm weather. Now, does any child know the great wisdom in this arrangement? Please Sir, the plants suck in the moisture of the air. Yes, and in hot weather this greatly refreshes them, because plants can drink by means of openings under their leaves, which are like their mouths. Well, but this is not all the benefit that this beautiful arrangement causes. The vapour which is held invisibly while the air is warmer, on account of its being so much spread out like dust, becomes visible and floating as the air becomes colder and contracts it. Look, now, at one another's breath. As it comes from your mouth, it is of course warm; and being warm, receives, as we said, more vapour; which, as it first comes from the mouth, is invisible, but coming into contact with the colder air it soon becomes contracted, and * The words in italics are supposed to be supplied by the children.
what was like dust of water becomes solid water, and therefore-visible. Now apply that to the vapour from the sea, In warm weather it rises abundantly, like the breath from our mouth; and when it ascends up to the higher regions, which are colder, it becomes visible, and we see it in the shape of-clouds. And what is the use to us of clouds? Please Sir, they give rain. Do they always give rain? No, Sir. And are they of no use, if they do not give rain? Now let us see. On a hot summer's day, a delicate lady, who cannot bear the heat, puts up-her parasol. Now just as she spreads out her parasol to keep off the heat, so there has been spread out above us—the sky. But will the sky keep off the heat like an umbrella? No, Sir, the clouds,-for the clouds keep off the heat from-the lady; and not only the lady, but all of us; and also the beasts. And vegetable nature, as trees, and plants and flowers, which, in very sultry weather, would be withered up, if it were not for the clouds. But this is not all the benefit that heat produces. A little boy said that some clouds cause rain; and we know that plants and corn would not grow, and we should have no bread to eat, if there were no rain. Now what causes the rain? The clouds. But who do some clouds cause rain, and not others? Now, think; heat spreads out the vapour, which vapour is to water what dust is to any solid body. Dust may float in the air, but if it were collected together and become paste, it would be Suppose I collected together, or condensed into a smaller space what was
before spread out, what would be the consequence? It would become heavier. Well, then, powder thus condensed, or collected together, would become heavier, and would-sink. Now, so it is with the vapour. It first is so like dust, that it is invisible. Then if it becomes condensed, it will be visible. Yes, as in the clouds. Now what made this change? The cold. Yes; because as heat spreads out the vapour, so cold contracts or condenses it, and turns it into clouds. Now, suppose the clouds were to become still more condensed, what would cause this? More cold. Just so; as the clouds meet with colder currents of wind, or if the wind changes into a colder quarter, the
clouds, which are nothing but vapour, condense their own particles, which would then become-water. Yes; and as water is heavier than the air, itwill fall. Now see how great a cause for wonder and gratitude there is in all this. The very heat, which is necessary to ripen, would burn all things up, if it did not provide against its own consequences. Can any of you remember how? Hands up: What do you say? It draws up the vapour which refreshes the plants. Another says: It forms an umbrella of clouds to keep off the heat. This is right; but there is one more which we speak of-the clouds when they are contracted by cold-drop down the rain.
ON TEACHING GEOGRAPHY.
There are few subjects in teaching which a greater diversity of manner exists than Geography. In many schools it is regarded as one of the most uninteresting lessons, both for the teacher and the taught. The former looks upon it as a necessary evil, and commences it daily with something like the stern resolution with which he would commence to drink a more than ordinarily nauseous draught of medicine. The children participate in the feeling, and but for the threatening cane perhaps which frowns upon them from the desk, would break out into open rebellion on each occasion of its occurrence. On the other hand, in a well-taught school, under a welltaught trainer, we can conceive of no single lesson more likely to interest both pupils and teachers than that on Geography. It is an interesting thing to enquire into the causes of this contrast; and to the practical Educator it must be a matter of no ordinary interest to discover, if possible, how a regularly recurring dull portion of his existence may be enlivened and rendered a happy one. Some, indeed, there are who think the Schoolmaster's life to be necessarily a wretched one,-an opinion unhappily sanctioned by Dr. Johnson, and in consequence of his belief in it, widely and extensively spread throughout the community. If we can succeed in showing that one portion of that life, too generally considered an irksome and uninteresting portion, may be enlivened and rendered not only endurable but absolutely desirable, we shall have done something towards establishing the fact that the Schoolmaster's life is not, by any means, necessarily unhappy, and that it admits of very con
siderable interest, variety aud excitement,-an excitement of the best and purest description, but only to be realized by those who set themselves to the enjoyment of it with vigour and energy.
This prejudice against Geography as a study, has doubtless arisen from its being regarded as a science wholly composed of names,nor is it wonderful that those who look upon it in this light should consider it dull, uninteresting, and tedious. The fact of its being so regarded by some teachers proves their own ignorance of it, and their consequent incapability of teaching it with success. Nor can Geography so taught ever be rendered a useful study. Of what possible utility, for instance, can it be for a number of boys to learn the words Egina, Nauplia, Arta, Lepanto, Patras, Ariadia, Kolon, and Kolokythi, and then to be told that these are Gulfs in Greece, when there cannot be a doubt that they will forget perhaps every one of them before three or four days have elapsed. The Dominie who, seated in his magisterial desk, holds the book in his hand and follows the repetitions of these discordant sounds with his eyes, whilst the trembling urchins beneath him stammer through them,— now tripping up at a more than ordinarily 'hard" name, now cutting swimmingly through some half-dozen easy ones, and now brought to a full stop by a sesquipedalian obstacle, cannot but find it an irksome and unpleasant task, cannot but wish that people would be content to go through the world with a little less trouble to themselves and others, and cannot but wonder how any sane individual can call Geography an interesting and attractive study. It is not then by the book and the ferula that Geography is to be taught it remains for us to discover how the task is to be accomplished.
The mouth and the map are the two agents by means of which the class is to be indoctrinated into the mysteries of Geography,— but, unfortunately, thousands possess both who do not know how to use them with effect. The aim should be to commence with the inculcation of ideas, not of words. We have got the map before us, and it surely cannot be uninteresting either to the teacher or to the taught for the former to commence by giving the latter some idea of the physical features and aspect of the country,-drawing from the pupils as much as possible of the required information, in order to add thereto the facts which they cannot easily deduce for themselves. In this survey the directions of the mountains will indicate the sources of the rivers, and the courses of the latter the inclination of the land, these are matters that the youngest can comprehend. Nor will it be either difficult or irksome to direct the attention of the class to the streams flowing in different, perhaps opposite, directions, from the same chain, thus giving them the idea, for which
they want the name watershed. But here we must guard against an erroneous impression likely to take possession of their minds, if not forestalled the impression that all watersheds are mountains, which would be very far from the truth. This can easily be illustrated by a reference to the map, in some portion of which we can scarcely fail to discover some rivers running in different directions from the same source, without any intervening chain of mountains. The extent of the low plains, or table lands, their probable fertility, or barrenness, the articles which they are most likely to produce for man's wants; the extent of coast-line if there be one, the capacity of the harbours, the exposure of the shore to any particular winds likely to be favourable or detrimental to the commerce of the country; the internal water-communication, whether by rivers or canals, its extent and probable effect upon the habits of the people, —and then these people themselves, their habits and manners, their characters and peculiarities, their language and religion, their excellencies or defects-in all these we have a mass of information equally interesting and important, which the pupil cannot fail to receive with pleasure, if pleasantly communicated, and which can scarcely fail to dwell upon their minds and be of use to them in all their subsequent reading.
"All this is very fine and doubtless very interesting," says the Dominie whose laborious inculcations of the Gulfs of Greece we formerly noticed, "but this is not what we call Geography, and we have, in fact, no time for it at all." Our Dominie by no means likes to have the settled convictions of twenty years perhaps overturned by the new fangled ideas of trained Schoolmasters, and wishes therefore to argue the point. He is right,-no man should speedily give up settled ideas to embrace new ones, and certainly not without mature deliberation. As to what our teaching is called, is our reply, that is a matter of little consequence,-if we give the facts and information given by you in your lesson on Geography in an interesting and pleasing manner, and a great deal more information besides, which they are not, in our opinion, so likely to forget as the names with which you cram them, we have acquitted ourselves to our own satisfaction. "Why that is the very pith of the matter," answers Dominie, "where are the names? The parents look for names, and who ever heard of Geography without names? I should lose all my scholars in a very short time if I gave them Geography without names-in fact," he perhaps concludes with, "the idea to me appears absurd." It is evident Dominie does not understand us, but he is of an inquiring turn, and we have hopes of him. We begin by assuring him he has quite mistaken us if he supposes we gave no names we would not, for instance, call the