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The Parents' Review

A Monthly Magazine of Home-Training and Culture

Edited by Charlotte Mason.

"Education is an atmosphere, a discipline, a life."
Notes of Lessons

Volume 14, 1903, pgs. 544-548

[We have thought that it might be of use to our readers (in their own families) to publish from month to month during the current year, Notes of Lessons prepared by students of the House of Education for the pupils of the Practising School. We should like to say, however, that such a Lesson is never given as a tour de force, but is always an illustration or an expansion of some part of the children's regular studies (in the Parents' Review School), of some passage in one or other of their school books.—Ed.]

I. Subject: French Narration.

Group: Languages. Class III. Time: 30 minutes

By L. Eleanor Clendinnen


I. To give the children more facility in understanding French, when they hear it spoken and also in expressing themselves in it.
II. To teach them some new words and expressions.
III. To improve their pronunciation.
IV. To strengthen the habit of attention.
V. To introduce a new branch of the study of French and thus increase their interest in it.
VI. To have the following passage narrated by the children.


Passage Chosen: Le Corbeau.

"Auguste étant de retour à Rome, après la bataille d'Actium, un artisan lui présenta un corbeau auquel il avait appris à dire ces mots: Je te salue, César vainquer! Auguste charmé, acheta cet oiseau pour six mille écus. Un perroquet fit à Auguste le méme compliment et fut achetéfort cher. Une pie vint ensuite; Auguste l'acheta encore. Enfin un pauvre cordonnier voulut aussi apprendre à un corbeau cette salutation; il eut bien de la peine à y parvenir, il se désespérait souvent et disait en enrageant: Je perds mon temps et ma peine. Enfin il y réussit. Il alla aussítót attendre Auguste sur son passage, et lui présenta le corbeau, qui répéta fort bien sa leçon; mais Auguste se contenta de dire: J'ai assez de ces complimenteurs là dans mon palais. Alors le corbeau, se ressouvenant de ce qu'il avait souvent entendu dire à son maitre, répéta: J'ai perdu mon temps et ma peine. Auguste se mit à rire et acheta cet oiseau plus cher que tous les autres."

Step I.—Read the passage slowly and distinctly, stopping frequently to make sure that the children understand. Write the new words and expressions on the board and give their meanings.

Step II.—Let the children repeat the story in English.

Step III.—Read the passage straight through.

Step IV.—Let the children read the passage, paying special attention to the pronunciation.

Step V.—Have the passage narrated in French, helping the children when necessary with questions.

Speak as much French as possible throughout, but always make sure that the pupils understand.

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II. Subject: Geometry

Group: Mathematics. Class II Average age, 10. Time: 30 minutes

by W. T. Wilkinson.


I. To teach the pupils to reason inductively.
II. To cultivate the inventive powers and encourage self-reliance.
III. To train the hand in neatness and the eye in precision.
IV. To train the pupils in a habit of forming correct judgments.
V. To introduce the pupils to a new subject, viz., geometry.

Step I.—Find out if the pupils know that the word "geometry" means the measurement of the earth, and is derived from two Greek words—ge = the earth, and metron = a measure.

Give a brief sketch of the history of geometry as far as it is known. It is supposed to have been invented by the Egyptians when they wanted to restore their landmarks effaced by the inundations of the Nile. Later they used it for measuring such things as areas, solids, etc.; we know that this was in 1700 BC., because of a papyrus preserved in the British Museum. The ancient Greeks used geometry a great deal, but for them it meant the measurement of surfaces, corners, etc.

In the time of Roman power it was not used, but was revived again in the 17th century, and adopted in England and France, and has been used ever since.

Step II.—Find out if the pupils know some of the uses to which geometry is put, e.g., to find out the distances of the heavenly bodies from the earth, to measure from place to place when both places are inaccessible, to measure the surface of the earth, fields, etc., etc. Tell the pupils that there are many different branches of geometry, and the one about which they are going to learn is called "plane" or "flat" geometry, because the things treated of can be drawn on paper.

Step III.—Give the pupils a cube and let them find out for themselves, by observation and measurement, the definitions of a surface, a straight line, and a point. Let the measurements be put down neatly in a book and the corresponding definitions written in beside them.

Step IV.—Put two dots on the board to represent points, and let the pupils find out the three kinds of lines that can be drawn between them, viz., straight, curved and zigzag, and that the straight line is the shortest distance between the two points. Let the pupils illustrate these three lines by reference to roads, etc.

Step V.—As the pupils know that a straight line has no breadth or thickness, give them each two matches, and let them put these in as many different positions with relation to each other as they can: (1) meeting with four, two, and one corners or angles respectively; and (2) not meeting; (a) where the two lines would meet if lengthened or produced, and (b) where they would never meet. Let diagrams of these be put neatly into the book.

Step VI.—Let the pupils give the definitions of an angle and parallel lines from their drawings, and illustrate them from the cube and numerous other objects, such as the corners of the room, of the table, railway lines, the sides of a room, a picture, etc.

Step VI.—Recapitulate by asking for definitions and illustrations of a surface, a line, a point, a straight line, an angle and parallel lines.

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III. Subject: Fertilization.

Group: Science Class IV. Time: 30 minutes

by E. M. Brookes.


I. To continue the lesson on pollination O— had last Monday.
II. To help her to understand better the method of growth of a plant by taking in detail the growth of one portion of its structure.
III. To show her that botany is the study of the life of a plant, not merely an examination of its structure.


Step I.—Ask O— what kind of organs a stem bears. A pistil of carpels is made up of carpellary leaves. Give a well-developed pistil to be dissected and show model of a pistil.

Step II.—An ovary bears ovules; ovules become seeds. How? By fertilization, i.e., pollen is passed down through the style and enters the ovule.

Step III.—A plant increases in size by cell-division and so does an ovule. Give a diagram of an ovule, and show an ovule under the microscope.

Step IV.—Give a diagram of the cross-section of an ovule. The embryo-sac is the most inportant part of the ovule; it afterwards contains the embryo of the future plant.

Step V.—Changes and growth go on within the embryo-sac until it is ready to be fertilized. Put diagrams of the successive stages of its growth on the board, and let O— draw the most important from memory.

Step VI.—Fertilization. When the embryo-sac reaches this stage the ovule is ready for fertilization. When the pollen-grain enters the ovary it passes into the ovule and into the embryo-sac. There it fuses with the oospore, which then changes into an oosphere. The oosphere becomes the embryo of the new plant. The secondary nucleus rapidly increases in size, laying up food material for the young plant, i.e., it becomes the cotyledon or cotyledons of the seed.

Step VII.—Recapitulation. Question O— on the structure of a pistil, and if there is time ask her to draw from memory certain of the diagrams, as these will test more exactly than questions if she has followed the whole process of growth.

Proofread by Leslie Noelani Laurio, November 2008