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The Primary Schools.

NATURE STUDY.

For developing the powers of observa tion there is nothing like nature^ study. Children are always interested in things, especially iu things with life, and so it is no difficult matter to rivet their attention on to flowers, insects, birds,, and other iia tural objects which they. come across every

day. The bush child can tell us many facts about the wild life, facts which even scien tists may not know; this shows us how valuable is the habit of observation. Too often we hear the children say, 'I never noticed. ' It is to correct this, that we in troduce nature study into the curriculum, as well as to give them some idea of the mar vels of creation. Here in Australia we are particularly lucky . as regards insect life, for we have many forms with- which the children are fairly familiar, and which they regard with interest, almost affection. To adults there is something incomprehen sible in the desire of the children to possess cicadas, the very 'feel' of those six cling ing legs is enough to make us shudder; yet the children love to let them walk over their their handfe, down their hands, down their bare legs, and even on their necks. Curious Likings. Thus we see that the children will have already a knowledge . of these harmless but rather unwieldy insects. They have their own names for them, names not to be found in any scientific catalogue; greengrocers, floury bakers, black princes, and so on. We hear of children risking their lives ' in climbing- trees for no other purpose than to* secure a double-drummer. A rather amus- ing incident, happened in a school one year, when the cicadas were particularly strident. The teacher was 'nervy,' and hearing a subdued buzz, said in an angry tone, "The girl with that locust will get up and walk out of the room." Result: The whole class marched out in a body! Provided they do not want to bring their "locusts" (as they will persist in calling them) into the class room, we should rather encourage their in terest in these Australian insects. It is a pity that they have been misnamed locusts, for that insect is a scourge, where our sum- mer singer, or, rather, droner, is quite harmless, living only a short time, and taking little by way of food except a little sap or a young leaf or two. Their lives are spent in droning, and thus we must admit that they do their life-work with a mad- dening persistency.   . ?' ? ? ., ? ? ? Observation. If we try how much the children know about their summer pets, we shall be sur prised to find that this knowledge is by no means contemptible\ They can tell you about the six legs, about the two large compound eyes, and the other little ones (ocelli) like jewels in the top of their heads. They will explain how the double-drumming is done, when it is noisiest and when least. They can tell how the eggs are laid on the bark of a tree, and the little grubs, when hatched, creep clown into the ground where they are to stay for periods of from two to seven years, according to the species. They have watched the ungainly looking thing come up from his place in the earth, and creep on to a tr'ee where from a crack down the back the cicada will emerge perfect in every detail except that until it has pumped air into its wings they are limp and draggled looking. Once the air is in they become gauzy and rainbow-hued when the light falls on them. The children can also tell of the many enemies that beset these insects dur ing their short lives. Hornets will attack them when they are helpless, before the wings are ready for flying; ants even will set upon them. When they are on the wing, tlie birds chase them, and as their flight is clumsy, the race is not a fair one, so that the cicada has its wings knocked off on the nearest -bough, and the rest of its body torn to pieces by cruel little beaks. There are few -'children who cannot tell us all, or, at least, most of the above facts. How few adults could tell half; in this case, they are the ones who have never noticed. ? ? ? * Beetles. . ? Though far inferior to the 'locusts, 'the beetles come in for a share of attention, especially the big Christmas beetle, with his glorious golden hard wings. Children can tell that a beetle has two sets of wings — one for flying and the other for a protec tive case. They can tell the difference be tween a beetle and a weevil. How many adults could do this? They will explain

that the weevils have a kind of snout which may be long or short. The boautiful 'Bot- any Bay Diamond Beetle,' as it is called, is a favourite with the children, who love to collect these conspicuous weevils, with their black coats so thickly covered with patches of metallic bright green scales, that they seem more green than black. The chil dren seem to like the tightly-clinging limbs of these insects, as they do those of the cicadas. For such teachers as are anxious to see a programme of nature work, we subjoin a specimen syllabus of what has been done in plant life in certain schools, with their fourth and fifth classes. * * * - * , Nature Study—Third Class. Two lessons weekly: 1st We'ek: Parts of plant, i.e., root, stem, leaves, flowers, fruit. Study of some flower, such as nasturtium or geranium. 2nd Week: Seeds, coats, cotyle dons; use bean, peanut, &c. Study a native flower- such as gum blossom.' 3rd. Week: How seeds begin to grow, moisture, air and warmth necessary. Compare native flower studied with nasturtium, &c. 4th Week: Boots, fibrous, tap, woody (useful, such as carrot, &&.). Parts of a flower; calyx, Co rolla, stamens, pistil. 5th Week: Stems, soft, woody twining. Parts of flower, exem plify from native flower. 6th Week: Leaves, stalk and blade, edges and veins. Parts of flower, buttercup or other native blossom. 7th Week: Leaves we use; tea, lettuce, cab bage, senna, &c. Flower parts; study of a flower, stock or other. 8th Week: How plants climb; tendrils, ho~oks, twining, suckers, aerial roots, leaf -stalks. Study of flower, na tive or garden. 9th Week: Visitors to the ? flowers, bees, wasps, flies, birds; what they come to get, pollen and honey. Observation of seed of bean and maize (corn), compare and contrast. 10th Week: Visitors to the flowers,, ants, moths, butterflies; difference between a moth and a butterfly. Study of pea flower, visitors, bees. 11th Weejc: Life of the bee, bee-bread and honey. Study of bouvardia or honey flower (native); visi tors, birds. ?? * * * * Practical Work. Put the seeds to germinate in this way: Take a small glass, an ordinary tumbler will do; make a roll of blotting-paper, stand in the glass and fill with sawdust; between the glass and blotting-paper place the seeds which are to be observed, and moisten the sawdust; the moisture will pass through the blotting-paper, and keep the seeds moist, and they will begin to germinate. Note how the plumule (primary shoot) goes up, while the radicle (primary root) goes down, no matter what position the seeds may be in. Alter the position of the seeds to show that the ? direction of these will alter so as to maintain the upward tendency of the stem, and the downward one of the root. By putting seeds in another glass, and not moistening the sawdust, show how the seeds need moisture before they will germinate. We may also germinate seeds on wet flan nel, cotton-wool or other similar material. * ? * * ? ? Nature Study. — Fourth Class. ? 1st Week: Observation of parts of leaf, with stalk, without stalk. Note that the wattles have only a flattened, leaf-stalk. Study of snapdragon, parts of flowers. 2nd Week: Work of the leaf. Study of a flower, such as spider flower (Grevillea), and com pare it with snapdragon. 3rd Week:' Study parts of a flower. Seed Leaves or cotyle dons. 4th Week: Complete and incomplete flov/ers. Study honey flower (note only co rolla, calyx wanting). 4th Week: Bracts and scale leaves (protective and attractive). Study Banksia (native honeysuckle) ; calyx wanting. Observe that it thus resembles Lambertis honey flower, and the Grevillea. Therefore, they must be grouped in one family. 5th Week: Study different forms of calyx, its' work is mainly protective. Study waratah or geebung; same family of Bank sia. 7th Week: Study different forms of corollas, tube, funnel, &c. Study flower of eucalyptus; note no corolla. 8th Week: Note different number of stamens — 4 in snapdragon, 6 in stock, &c. Study flower of wattle. Note conspicuous stamens. 9th Week: How flowers are arranged; raceme, spike, &c. Study Banksia; many flowers', few seeds. 10th Week: Fruits and seeds. Why most Australian fruits are so hard. 11th Week: Fruits and seeds; succulent. Fruits of geebung, five-corners, &c. Nature Study. — Fifth Class. 1st Week: Plants near a creek or river. Buttercup. *2nd Week: Plants on hills and exposed places. Heaths; note parts in 5's. 3rd. Week: Plants in swamps. Study flower of Ti-tree. 4th Week: Flowers of eucalyp tus family^ lilli-pilly, Melalcaua, &c. Open flowers cater for all visitors; observe euca lypts. 5th Week: Anthers and pollen. Study of hardenbergia, or other bush pea-flower. '6th Week: How flowers protect their pollen. Bush pea-flowers, contrast and compare. 7tii Week: How plants protect., their pollen. Flowers of wattle, pollen unprotected. 8th Week: Why wattles belong to the same family as the pea-flowers. 10th Week: Pol lination of sweet pea. 9th Week: Pollina tion of the snapdragon, cassia. 11th Week: Pollination of the honey flower (Lainber tia).

The Secondary Schools* INTERMEDIATE ENGLISH; In dealing with the various text books we shall often find it advantageous to give questions to be answered, after reference to the books, 'Or to be discussed during a les son. Such questions as the importance- of the various characters in the novels, the force and. meaning of certain passages of verse, the detailed explanation of passages from 'Shakespeare, are all most helpful in getting the pupils to understand what they are reading. For instance, if we take the novels, we may ask them to give a short ac count of the following characters, and point out what part they take in the story: Mr. Weinmick, Mr. 'Wopsle, Miss Haversham, Israel Hands, Ben Gunn, Mr. Pumblechook. Sometimes, again, it may be found more helpful to give a paper drawn up on the lines of that usually set in the Intermedi ate Examination, and let the pupils answer as they would in the actual test.' This may be clone either without looking up, or af ter referring to the passages, &c, indicated. The latter method is better in the begin ning; later on, we may let the class take the papers, and answer as they would under examination '* conditions. The following is the first of several which we shall give from time to time: * * * * Intermediate English. The answers must be done up in four separate bundles, marked with the . letters A, B, C, and D, 'respectively. A. . ' 1. Write a composition of sufficient length to cover about two pages in hand writing of ordinary size on (i.) Speed, or (ii.) The value of learning by heart, or (iii.) My favourite game. 2. (a) Analyse the following* passage so as to show the principal and subordinate clauses,^.and indicate their relations to one another, and (b) parse the word in black letter: 'If every man did what he has to do in the best way possible, he would find when he comes to the end of the day that far more has been gained than when He spent time and energy lamenting what others left undone.' ' * * » * B. 3. Answer two of the following four sec tions fthe sections being a, b,'c, d): (a) * Coleridge's poem is really a weird dream. In haw far do you think that this is true? (b)^What part in the story is played by '. Herbert Pocket? (e) Relate how Jim Haw kins came to get possession of the Hispa- : niola. (d) Several of the Australian poems are about riding. Mention two that have made an especial appeal to you; give the substance of them, and name the author of each. ' , * ? ? * ?? ? '? ' C. 4. Quote a passage of not less than 16 . lines from any of the books set, i.e., 'Mid- 1 summer -Night !a Dream,' 'Selections from ( Australian Poets,' and the 'Rime of the - Ancient Mariner,' the passage chosen should be pathetic or appealing. . ? 5. Discuss any two of the following pass ages, naming the work from which each is i taken. What do you suppose the author in tended you to feel as you read? j (a) He iced it with a moon-beam, He patterned it with play, And sprinkled it with star-dust From off the Milky Way. , He put jt in a pearl-shell, , J O, white it was and new! He took the cake of rainbows, And baked it in the dew. (b) The king in his robe of falling stars, No trace shall leave behind, ' ; And where he stood with his silent court, The wheat shall bow to the wind. (c) Day after day, day after day, We stuck, nor breath, nor motion; As idle as' a painted ship Upon a painted ocean. (d) Sometimes a-dropping from the sky, I heard the skylarks sing; i Sometimes all little birds that are, . How they seemed to fill the sea and air With their sweet jargoningl Also discuss two of the following pass ages as to what light each throws on cha racter or plot:v (e) 'And that,' said I, 'is your deliberate opinion, Mr. Wemmick t' ''Thtft,' he returned, 'is my deliberate opinion in this office.' 'Ah I' said I, pressing him, for I thought I saw a loophole here; 'but would that be your opinion at Walworthi' (f) 'Doctor, when a man's steering as near the wind as me — 'playing chuck-farthing with the last breath in his body, like — -you wouldn't think it too much, mayhap, to give him- one good wordf' (g) And so far am I glad it so did sort, And this their jangling T esteem a sport, (h) I could play Ercles rarely, or a part to tear a cat in, to make all split.' ,.???''? ♦ ♦? # 3-. 6. Why do you consider this play is called 'A Midsummer Night's Dream?' 7. Explain fully and in detail the meaning of the following: (a) I was with Hercules and Cadmus once, When in a wood of Creto they bay'd the bear

With hounds of Sparta; never did I hear Such gallant chiding; for, besides ihe .groves The skies, the fountains, every region near Seom'd all one mutual cry. I never heard So. musical a discord, such sweet thunder, (bj Thrice blessed they who master so thoir blood, - To undergo such maiden pilgrimage; But earthlier happy is the rose distill'd, Than that which, withering on the virgin thorn, — Grows, lives and dies in single blessedness. (c) Therefore, the winds piping to us in vain, As in revenge, have suck'd up from the sea Contagious fogs which, falling in the land,,, Hath every pelting river made so proud,~'\ That they have' overborne thoir continents. (d) Hip: Indeed he hath played on his prologue like a child on a recorder; a sound but not in government. The: His speech was like a tangled chain; Nothing impaired but all disordered. ? ' « » ?« INTERMEDIATE GEOLOGY. .J The following questions may be found useful by pupils who are intending to take geology at the examination: _ Illustrate your answers by sketches where necessary. 1. Define, in not more than three lines of s writing for each: Overlap current bedding, - talus, unconformity, laccolite, anticline. 2. Write an account of the different con ditions under which igneous rocks may con solidate from a state 6*f fusion^ and describe the typical structures and textures which may be developed in them. 3. What tests may be applied to determine the geological age of (a) sedimentary, (b) igneous, and (c) inetamorphic rocks. 4. Describe the important physical and chemical changes which take place during weathering. 5. State what you know of the ways in which glaciers are formed, and write an account of the work they do. 6. What do' you know of the growth of a typical river system? How many adjacent rivers interfere with one another? 7. What do fossils teach us of the past history of the world? Name, sketch, and describe these fossils. State where each is found, and give its geological age. ? ? ? ? ANCIENT HISTORY. Those taking ancient history will always find it useful to study questions either as set in previous examinations at the Leav ing Certificate standard, or as given below. It is not necessary that these should be answered at sight. Often it will bo found most advantageous to look up more than one book, and consult several refer ences. Naturally most of the schools use the history of Greece by Professor Woodiiouse, but teachers will do well to have other histories as reference. Oman iB good, as also any of the others mentioned in the syllabus., Greek. 1. Explain clearly and * simply what is meant in Greek History by the 'Ionic Re volt.' Who were the chief personages con cerned in it? What were the main incidents of it, and ^what the outcome? , 2. Give a brief, but clear sketch of the Athenian Constitution as it was after the time of Cleisthenes. What were the main elements of it, and what functions of go vernment were assigned to each of them? 3. Write a short life of Brasidas, Cimon, Nicias. 4. What have you gathered from your reading as to origin of the Peloponnesian War? How came the war to be fought at all, and how was it that it lasted so long? x Roman. 1. The Roman poet Ennius wrote the fol lowing verse: Unus homo nobis cunctando restituit rem. (One man by his delaying restored our for tunes.) ' Of whom is he speaking, and to what is he referring? 2. Gaius Gracchus tried to combine every element which would help him to break down the Senatorial monopoly of government; he appealed alike to the mob of Rome and to the Italians, to honest-minded reformers, as well as to capitalists who wished to share in the spoils of office. ' Explain the above, showing by what par ticular means Gaius hoped to enlist the support of the various elements and parties in the State. , 3. Sketch the career of Marius,,and esti mate his importance in the history of your period. '? . 4. Outline the course of the Civil War between Caesar and Pompeius, giving in proper order the principal events from its outbreak to the death of Cato. . ? ? ? 9 Answers to Correspondents. 'Private Student': There is no Honours paper set in Mechanics. If you wisfi to ob tain Honours in Mathematics you must sat isfy the examiners in both Honours papers, as well as in the two pass papers. You cannot obtain Honours in Algebra or Trigo nometry alone. Honours. Mathematics I., comprises Geometry (Modern, Solid, the Parabola, and the Ellipse), and Trigonome try. Honours, Mathematics II., comprises; Algebra, Analytical Geometry, and Diffor ential Calculus, Barrard and Child's Al gebra and Carslaw's Trigonometry are suitable books for the Honours work in those two subjects.

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