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. 847-852

[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.]

Plan for Working Two Classes Together.

For Class III. Geography.

Before the lesson begins, have a blank map already drawn on the blackboard, and the map questions written up on another board.

Set Class III. to work to learn the map of Scandinavia, and write the answers to the questions. Then go to Class Ia., and give them a lesson on "Word-building" for a quarter of an hour.

When this is finished, let Class Ia. leave the room, and take up the geography lesson to Class III. for the remaining quarter of an hour.


Subject: Reading.

Group: English Language. Class Ia. Time: 15 minutes.

By Dorothy Brownell.



I. To show the children how new words may be formed by adding letters to other words.

II. To improve the children's spelling.


Step I.—Let the children find "a" and "n" among their letters, and having put them together, ask what they spell.

Step II.—Let the children find out what letter must be added to "an" to make "and."

Step III.—If "h" were added to these three letters we should have "hand," what consonant must we put instead of "h" to make "land" or "sand?"

Step IV.—Let the children choose another consonant to put with "a," and build up words from that, as a-t "at," h-a-t "hat," t-hat "that," or a-m "am," h-am "ham," s-ham "sham," etc.

Step V.—Take the vowel "e," and let the children build up words by adding consonants.

Step VI.—Build words with the vowel "i."

Step VII.—Build words with the vowel "o."

Step VIII.—Build words with the vowel "u."

As each word is made, write it on the board, in order that the children shall get accustomed to handwriting.


Subject: Geography.

Group: Science Class III. Time: 30 minutes.

By Dorothy Brownell.

Scandinavia—Norway in Particular.


I. To introduce the children to Scandinavia.

II. To foster interest in foreign countries.

III. To teach the children how to learn the map of a country by means of map questions.

IV. To implant mental pictures of the characteristic scenery of Norway in the children's minds.

V. To show, by means of comparison, the great difference in the physical features of the two countries which are included in Scandinavia, although they form only one peninsula.


Step I.—Let the children learn the map of Scandinavia, Norway in particular, by means of the map questions previously written on the blackboard, writing down their answers.

Step II.—On coming to the children from Class Ia., ask for a general description of Scandinavia.

Step III.—Let the children fill in the blank map on the blackboard.

Step IV.—Require the children to give me the answers to the questions, and as they answer give information, in order that they may become acquainted with each place as it is mentioned, and be able to picture it in their minds.

Map Questions.

From the Geographical Readers, Book IV.

I.—What waters bound the Scandinavian peninsula? To what land is it attached? What countries does it include?

Describe the government of Scandinavia briefly, showing that, although Sweden and Norway have a common sovereign, each country has an independent parliament, elected in very much the same way as our English Parliament.

II.—Through how many degrees of latitude does this peninsula stretch? What other countries of the world lie partly in the same latitude?

III.—Describe the coast of Norway. Compare it with that of Sweden. Name the four largest fiords or openings, beginning at the extreme north.

Give the idea of the extraordinary way in which the coast is cut up, and the immense number of islands which fringe it. So innumerable are they that large steamers can go through the deep but narrow channels which divide them from Stavanger to the north of Tromsoe almost without seeing the open sea. Shew how these islands form an effective breakwater to the force of the Atlantic breakers, so that within their boundary the water is as calm and still as a lake. Describe the rocky, almost perpendicular sides of the fiords, over which the rivers fall in roaring torrents. Mention the fact that many ships of the Spanish Armada were driven as far north as Stadtland, and wrecked around this dangerous headland.

The Sogne is the largest and most important fiord. It is like a long sea channel running into the country for a distance of 100 miles, with branches right and left, over which wonderful torrents fall. The sides are very steep, and the water is very deep at the entrance. At the Sulen Islands, at the mouth of the fiord, Harold Hardrada collected his force for his expedition against England.

IV.—Name a group of islands north of the Arctic Circle. The most northerly island. The cape on this island. The most northerly cape on the mainland. The most southerly cape.

The Lofoden Islands are granite rocks, rising from the water in hundreds of peaks, with jagged and fantastic outlines. The cod fisheries of these islands are very important, and employ a great number of people.

Nordkin, which means "north chin," is the most northerly point on the mainland of Europe. Incessant storms rage round the island of Mageroe, so that it is extremely difficult for anyone to land there.

Lindesnaes means "Lime nose."

V.—Name five towns on the west, and three on the south-east coast of Norway.

Stavanger is the fourth largest city in Norway. Its chief trade is in herrings. It has a very ancient Cathedral.

At Bergen the houses are built on the slopes of the hills which run out into the deep sea. it was formerly the capital, and is now a great fish port.

Trondhjem is the oldest capital. The name means "home of the throne," and in the Cathedral the kings of Norway are crowned.

Hammerfest is the most northerly town in Europe. Tourists go there to see the midnight sun. Read Charles H. Wood's description of the midnight sun, from the Geographical Reader.

Christiania, the capital of Norway, is not a big town, but has a most beautiful situation. It is at the head of the Christiania Fiord, which is studded with countless grassy and wooded islands. Most of the houses are of wood, painted white, with green blinds. The fiord, which used to be very much frequented by the old Vikings, is blocked by ice for four months of the year.

VI.—The Scandinavian mountains nearly fill Norway—by what name is the range known in the north, south, and centre? Name three or four of the highest peaks.

There is no continuous range in the Scandinavian mountains; the whole is a high table-land, which increases in height as we go south, with here and there groups of peaks which appear like huge rocks dotted over the surface. These plateaux are topped with moors or snowfields from which glaciers descend right down into the sea.

VII.—How does the position of the mountains affect the rivers? Compare the rivers of Norway with those of Sweden.


Describe how, in Norway, the rivers rush in torrents over their rocky beds, while those in Sweden flow more gently down the gradual slope of the land. Give the threefold reason—great rainfall, small evaporation owing to the coldness of the climate, and small waste owing to the hardness of the rocks—for the great volume of water in the short, quick, Norwegian rivers.


Subject: Picture Talk.

Group: Art. Class Ib. Age: 8 1/2. Time: 20 minutes.

By Avice M. Cox.

"The Lady of Shalott." [probably Waterhouse's famous painting; note the swallows perching on the reeds.]


I. To give them another picture of beauty to carry away in their minds.

II. To show them how the idea of a story is worked out in the composition of the picture.

III. Though, in reading a poem, we all form mental pictures, an artist alone is able to show us its true beauty.


Step I.—Give the picture to the children for them to examine for themselves.

Step II.—Take the picture away, and ask them questions on it, concerning the time of day, the trees, island, tower, and the general details. See if they remember the curves and lines suggested in the drawing.

Step III.—Tell them where the subject of the picture is taken from. Refer to last picture they had. Poems are often illustrated by pictures. We form pictures in our mind while listening to poetry or stories. An artist gives us the benefit of his conception of the subject by a picture. When the children have heard the story, I want them to tell me the idea of beauty which the artist has taken from the poem to express in his picture, namely, one expressing mystery, wonder and awe.

Step IV.—Tell the story of the Lady of Shalott, illustrating by a few verses if required. Read the last verses to them, letting them find out what was the curse which fell on the "Fairy Lady of Shalott." See if they can say which verse especially illustrates the picture. Let them look at the picture to find this out. Let them see how the details they had before observed fit in with the story.

Step V.—Ask the children what beautiful idea the artist has drawn out from the picture.

Step VI.—Draw out from them how the composition of the picture harmonizes with the idea of the artist.

Notice the expression of the face, the silence of night, the absence of action in the picture, so as not to destroy the idea of silent amazement and wonder. The only movement is that of the swift, quiet swallows by contrast. Notice the careless unloosing of the chain and the dreamy attitude of the figure.

Step VII.—Show how the tones of the picture harmonize with the subject. See if they can tell me from memory the relative tones of the picture. If not, let them study the picture, and notice the lights and shadows and half-tones.

Step VIII.—If time, let them fill in the masses of light and shade, in monochrome, from memory.

Proofread by Leslie Noelani Laurio, August 2008