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United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, for the year 1883

Report of Hampton school,   pp. 165-179 PDF (8.0 MB)

Page 168

and thoughtful a class as the first division, it is a very true definition.
Names and 
stories, which have always been household words with us, are not so fresh
to them, 
but they pick them up very quickly and seem to enjoy their new treasures
of knowl- 
edge. Some of them thus commented on the question, "What is the good
of study- 
ing history I" "The history is good for learn about all things
going in past times." 
"Because we want to learn about the world, discoveries, settlements,
and also about 
Presidents."  "I like it because I'll know about the world."
 "Because the people 
wanted to know who is the greatest man in the United States." 
In teaching, the same general plan has been followed as last year. The familiarity
of most of the class with English has made it very interesting to read them
works other than their simple text book (".1Quackenbos' Primary History
of the United 
States"), more detailed accounts of the men, the battles, &e., of
which they have been 
learning. "IThe Boys of '76", and Hawthorne's "True Stories"
have been very use- 
ful. A sister of Bright-Eyes, from Omaha, has been one of the stars of the
class; a 
Sac and Fox boy, from Indian Territory, its most intelligent questioner and
perhaps, while a little Sioux girl, the youngest of all, has shown a wonderfully
tive memory. 
The fifth diviion-all boys (one and a half years' work). 
This division is composed chiefly of Sioux from 12 to 30 years of age. A
negro boy 
from the western coast of Africa, has joined the class this year; alsp a
native of Cey- 
lon, who was for some time cruising about the world in the yacht of an English
tleman, as his valet. At one time a Zulu, who was brought from Africa with
a trav- 
eling show, and left the party to seek an education, was a member of the
Fifth division in reading, Miss Laura Tileston, teacher.-A year and a half
ago, on 
a very warm morning, we welcomed a party of youths and maidens. Dusty and
they sat about the rooms, while we endeavored to make them feel at home,
and at the 
same time satisfy our curiosity, for it was a new sight to many of us to
see tall, strong- 
looking men glance out from beneath long locks of dark hair. When a few days
they entered the class-rooms, nicely dressed, it seemed that such a step
in their lives 
must be warmly met, and every nerve was alert to help them. Not one word
of Eng- 
lish could the fifth division boys use, with one exception. How then were
they to 
read f The first lesson was in sounds, m, n, 1, r, &c., through the alphabet.
amused them exceedingly, and often the teacher on entering a room would hear
r, s, t 
sounds for her benefit. Many days were they gone over, and then words made,
roe's Chart and the blackboard doing everything to aid them. After the sounds
learned merely as sounds we paid no more attention to them except as an exercise.
Words were taught at sight and as a whole, the sounds were not further pointed
In the vowels only one sound was given; a as in cat, e in ten, i in pin,
o in on, u in up; 
and since then the long or short sound has been given in words, but no attention
drawn to the difference. The primer was used with the chart, and afterwards
first reader. Now the class is reading the Franklin Second Reader as a preparatory
to Monroe's Second, it being thought best for them to read two books of that
The attention this year is given especially to voice pronunciation, position,
and speak- 
ing. All lessons are first taught from the board until words are recognized,
then each 
member of the class reads a paragraph. Expression is only particularly noticeable
its absence. Still there is a slight effort made at exclamation or question
mark. , and 
the comma and period are fairly noticed. A lady who visited the class, a
teacher of 
elocution, gave them some points in opening their mouths, which did them
a great 
deal of good. Reading in concert is the next step, and helps them in any
attempt at 
expression, as they are more willing to try when well supported. Another
day each 
boy goes to the platform in turn, reading the whole lesson, and taking correctiouis
from the class. One lesson is often all that is taught in a week, as every
step has to 
be illustrated by drawings, no matter how crude, acted out, or in some way
made clear 
to them; sometimes being put into Indian by the smallest member of the class,
a b ight 
little half-breed. The last time that a lesson is read is always the most
exciting, as 
each tries to read the story through or, as they say, "read all, make
mistahes, sit 
down." This exercise holds the attention of all to watch, and makes
the reader espe- 
cially careful of endings, such as ingand s, as an error is quickly noticed.
In spel'!ing, 
they have several written lessons a week, and, for the most part, the words
given are 
all learned. Once in a while oral spelling matches are tried, and again the
class will 
go to the board and write as many words as possible from memory. It repays
trouble to see these boys, after a year and a half, able to stand in any
service with 
Bible, prayer or hymn book, and know that they read for themselves the message
of good will. 
Fifth division in arithmetic, Miss Corn Folsom, teacher.-The characteristic
of this 
class is faithful and hard work. Most of the boys came a year and a half
ago, with- 
out a word of English, learned to add 2 and 2, and finally mastered the first
rules of arithmetic and the mechanical part of the multiplication and its
This year they have had short and long division, United States money reduction,

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