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MINOR, PRACTICAL UTILITY OF THE DIAGRAMS.
1. The diagrams save time in teaching analysis—2. They aid the .
teacher in holding the pupil to the performance of his workImportance in the case of exercises in analysis assigned for study—3. They adapt the study of grammar to the taste and capacity of young pupils—They add new interest to the study of grammar—They adapt grammar admirably to the use of · Object Teaching" — They furnish employment for young students.
THERE are certain subordinate, practical advantages which result from the use of the diagrams, that deserve a separate notice.
1.- The Diagrams save time in teaching analysis.
Of these, first, the diagrams greatly facilitate the practical work of giving instruction in analysis. Enabling the teacher, as they do, to exhibit rapidly and in brief, the entire logical structure of any element, they, not only, as has already been shown, present the desired facts more clearly, but they greatly reduce the time required in explanation, a matter by no means unimportant in the routine of class drill. How positive is their utility in this direction may be seen by referring to the diagram given on the 420 page, and comparing it with the corresponding verbal formula. The difference in the time required for the completion of the two respectively, is apparent.
It may further be seen by noting the fact that the analysis of the following sentence :
“How dear to my heart are the scenes of my childhood,
may be represented in the appended diagram, in the brief space of a minute and a half; whereas the full verbal statement of the same will, even when condensed by the use of symbolic abbreviations, extend over a page and a half of printed matter.
2.-Aid the teacher in holding the pupil to the per
formance of his work. Still further, secondly, they both enable the teacher to obtain satisfactory proof that the pupil has properly studied the analysis of the sentence, and that he correctly understands it; and this, not by following the slow process of a verbal statement, but by a simple inspection of the diagram itself. For example, let the sentence given above, be drawn in diagram as it there appears, and a simple glance is enough to show just what has been done. It is enough to show, that while, in the main, a correct analysis has been instituted, and the diagram carefully drawn, the pupilhas, nevertheless, failed in several points. For instance, the subsequent figures in the phrases have been imperfectly finished at their left extreme, and the construction of the predicate is radically defective in both drawing and analysis. The omission of
the line of separation between “are” and “dear" in predicate, instead of its insertion as seen between “ was" and “ ambitious,” in the following example,
was , ambitious )
shows clearly that the pupil has failed to discriminate properly between the verb auxiliary and the adjective in predicate; and his failure to place “ are” farther to the left in the figure, and the adjuncts farther to the right beneath it, represents him as understanding "how" to be an adjunct modifying “are" instead of “ dear.”
IMPORTANCE IN THE CASE OF EXERCISES IN ANALYSIS, ASSIGNED
How important this use of the diagrams is, cannot but be seen from its practical application to the pupil's study of assigned lessons in practical examples for analysis. Every one knows how certain the pupils are, when the teacher has no means of reaching the results of their study of such lessons, save oral recitation, to neglect that study altogether, and rely upon an impromptu apprehension of the required facts. “Parsing lessons” are, next to never, studied properly ; and however carefully assigned beforehand for such study, “parsing exercises” are, in most cases, either shrewd or blind guess-work. But the written diagram, prepared and handed in, and open in every error to the prompt detection of the teacher, as above shown, enables him to hold the student as closely to the study of the examples, as, by the regular recitation, he may hold him to the proper mastery of the principles. 3.- They adapt the study of grammar to the taste
and capacity of young pupils, Thirdly. The diagrams are of the first practical importance as placing the study of elementary grammatical analysis in perfect harmony with the objective tendencies and constructive tastes of the younger pupils in our schools. Capable, as the child's mind is, of reasoning with no inconsiderable acuteness, when the subject matter is properly brought within his range of comprehension, it nevertheless demands something to be seen as well as thought,—something to be done as well as to be learned. This want the diagrams meet with singular excellence and success. The construction of sentences in diagrams according to the results of his analysis, stands side by side with the solution of problems in written arithmetic, and the drawing of maps in geography, being, however, superior to the latter in that, as logical symbols, they are inventive rather than imitative.
From this arise two important results.
THEY ADD NEW INTEREST TO THE STUDY OF GRAMMAR.
The diagrams invest the study of analysis and grammar with a new interest. Not only are they thus calculated to attract and hold the attention of the young beginner, but even to the more mature pupil, they open a new field of thought and exercise. Not only in the clearer perception of the grammatical facts, but also in the exercise of the inventive powers, is found a new delight. As the diagram grows under the eye, correct in its structure, from a just analysis ; well adjusted in all its parts, from the application of sound judgment as to position and proportion ; neat and elegant in drawing, from the exercise of proper care and graphic skill, few are able to avoid en
tertaining a feeling of excited gratification as if over the attainment of a practical triumph. How certain is this result, and how important its influence upon the pupil's interest, application, and progress, no teacher who has properly employed them, needs to be told. These are facts in experience, and beyond need of demonstration.
THEY ADAPT GRAMMAR ADMIRABLY TO THE USE OF “OBJECT
Again, while we are compelled to accept the claims of the so-called Object Method with some limitation, yet within its proper field, it is quite apparent that the diagrams are especially adapted to its use in the direction of grammar taught as an elementary study. Susceptible, as are the various forms of sentences and phrases in elementary analysis, of being employed as object lessons, the diagrams are of unsurpassed utility as a means of bringing out those forms before the eye, as sensible objects. Take, for example, such as the following :*
1. Birds fly.
2. Birds build nests.
1. Boys play.
2. Little children play
3. Stars shine brightly.
* Were the proper cuts at command the point could be made more clear by the presentation of a specific Object Lesson.