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Sufficient study having been given to plant structure, the student will use the microscope in determining the structure of the chief plants grown on the farm for commercial purposes, such as corn, wheat, clover and alfalfa. In the regular botany work he should have learned the use of the botanical manual so that he can classify agricultural plants, at least the commoner families. The entire Botany class should work together to build up a herbarium for the school. That is, a collection of the plants which are native and which are cultivated in the community where the school is located. The Botanical laboratory should contain a proper case for preserving these specimens in such a form that they will be easily accessible, and can be used from year to year. The collection can be replenished from time to time as necessity requires.
After studying the cultivated plants, the students may take up a study of weeds and in this they will give particular attention to their manner of growth, the crops they infest, the modes of disemination, and how they may be destroyed. This will include a careful study of the structure, form and appearance
of the seeds of such weeds as contaminate farm crops. In connection with this the students will make a careful study of the seeds of said farm crops, such as the several varieties of clover, alfalfa and the food grains for purity, and commercial rating or judging.
After this work has been done some time should be given to the study of plant diseases. Of course the student in the high school will not be able to go very far in this subject, but he may go far enough to learn to recognize rust, smut, scab, blight, and other diseases and fungus troubles, the aim being to train the student to be able to recognize these so far as possible with the unaided eye. Then in connection with his work in farm crops and horticulture he will study the various means of combating these pests.
I have made no attempt here to suggest this line of work in the order in which it should be presented in the school, because of the varying conditions which the instructor will find. I have only tried to outline in a very general way, the subjects of study that may be considered under the head of Agricultural Botany..
The following sketch gives somewhat of my idea of the order of presenting the topics in the Botany and in the Agricultural applications which may be made as the student goes forward with the different chapters and topics as they occur in the ordinary text book. The instructor in agriculture should understand, as every other instructor, that if the order given in the text which he does not coincide with environmenttal conditions or the best use of laboratory and apparatus, he is at liberty to take up the topics in a new order, or he may change the order as given in the text to meet his conditions. I am not presenting this as a compendium of botanical information, nor as a complete guide to the teacher of botany, but simply as a suggestive plan which may be used as a guide in working out the year's study.
(d) Kinds of soil. (e) Properties of soil. (f) Soil moisture. (1) Sources,
(2) Functions, (3) Amount
required for crops. (g) Soil air and soil ventilation,
1. The Plant. 1. Composition of the plant. (a) Essential ingredients, ele
ments necessary to plant life.
3. Sugar. (f) Fat.
6. Plant Food.
(a) Elements needed in plants
(3) Fertilizers. 7. Classification of economic plants: (a) Cereals. (b) Grasses.
. (c) Legumes. (d) Vegetables. (e) Fruits. (f) Tubers. (g) Roots. (h) Sugar plants. (i) Oil plants. (j) Fiber plants. (k) Stimulants. (1) Medicinal.
2. Plant Structure.
The parts of a plant and functions. Conditions under which they may work successfully. Economic uses of each part of the plant: (a) Seed. (b) Roots. (c) Stems. (d) Leaves. (e) Flowers. (f) Fruit. Elementary study of the cell.
(a) Activities of the plant ;
thods-seeds, buds, cuttings,
Application, or Agricultural
Demonstration. 1. The instructor may illustrate be
fore the class physical and chemical changes, the preparation of oxegen, hydrogen, etc. It is not necess
essary to prepare all the plant ingredients. Study the more common ones Possibly the separation of water into its component parts. Students become acquainted with the common scientific terms.
4. Environment, light and heat. (a) Effect on plant growth of
light and heat. (b) Influence of seasons. (c) Temperature for germination and growth.
5. Environment, Air moisture, Soil. (a) What are the conditions nec
essary to plant life and growth ? (b) Quantity of moisture requir
2. Examine agricultural seeds, parts
of a seed, using a lens. Make
Study general structure and circulation; uses of stem; parts of a leaf; experiments in detecting starch; effect of light on starch and on leaves; outdoor observations of flowers, bees, pollination.
Experiments to show the effect of moisture upon soil temperature, soil porosity and drainage. Effect of tillage. Experiments of tillage. Experiments to show the effect of different mulches. Field trips to observe drainage systems.
3. Laboratory work or greenhouse
work by pupils in plant propagation, seeding experiments, preparation of seed bed, depth of planting, care after planting.
4. Demonstrations to show methods
of heat transmission, convection
6. Give demonstrations through pot
culture, or the use of different soils in different pots or jars, in which plants are placed, and experiments followed by adding lime, potash, chloride, nitrates etc., to the soil in the pots. It would be best in this to use pure sand in each of the pots to begin with. Field trips for the purpose of examining clover, alfalfa and other legumes, showing no dules of nitrogen fixing bacteria. Field studies in the care of manure and fertilizers and the effect of plowing under coarse material.
7. Tield and laboratory study of
5. Laboratory demonstration in the
preparation and properties of oxygen, hydrogen nitrogen, carbon dioxide, etc. Use of a barometer. Practice in the use of weather maps. Experiments to show the necessity of air for plant life. Field trip to note differences of soil formation, erosion, effect of heat and cold, etc. Examination of typical soils in the field and in the laboratory. Observe the work of the earth
Observation of methods and judging of produces, that is, corn judging and grain and fruit judging. Field trips to observe smuts, rusts and plant diseases. Field trips for collecting and listing the weeds of the locality. Study of the method of dispersal and how the weed injures crops. Observation and study of har
vesting preparation for sale or shipment and marketing of economic plants.
Habitat, manner of growth, time of flowering and fruiting, method of seed dispersal. Application, or Agricultural Demonstration. Appearance, size, habits, visibility of seeds, methods of destruction.
Names of shrubs and trees, habitat, manner of growth, appearance, means of identification, Methods of tree and shrub propagation, planting and pruning. The wood lot. Care in removing trees, methods of replenishing. Life of trees.
11. Decorative plants.
Varieties, duration, color effects. Methods of propagation, care and culture, landscape effects and planning
9. Plant enemies. Kinds, life history,
As stated before, this is by no means a complete sketch or outline, but it is sufficient to show the character and trend of the work in regular botany and agricultural botany, together with practical demonstrations and study which are to be made in the laboratory and out of doors. It goes without saying that the teacher will be the chief point of inspiration in this work. His enthusiasm and energy will go far toward leading the student out into the spirit of the real naturalist.
It would seem that such a treatment of the subject of Botany would make it both interesting and practical as a subject of study in the secondary schools.
SUGGESTED COURSE FOR HIGH SCHOOL ZOOLOGY.
PROFESSOR JESSIE PHELPS, STATE NORMAL COLLEGE.
The High School course in Zoology must of course first of all set forth the fundamental principles of biology cell structure, growth, development, organization, etc. Secondly, it should show the application of these principles to human life directly in the physiology, psychology, and personal and social hygiene of man, and also thru the agricultural and home industries that are concerned in the care, use and breeding of animals and plants, and in the aesthetic, sociological, and ethical relation of man in all aspects. It should be so related to man's working philosophy as to interpret some of the more important and common phenomena of life, such as birth, death,
heredity, and social instincts, and it should be shown helpful in the solving of most of life's problems. Pure enjoyment of life should surely be enhanced by the study of zoology.
The method of attack should be chiefly that of the laboratory, divided between field and indoor work. The student should be led to state problems as far as possible and to devise means of solving them. Individual, original and intensive work should be encouraged. Accurate observations and records, as far as they go, should be insisted upon. Library work should supplement the laboratory. This should lead to a brief study of the methods of investigation employed by men of authority. The theories and evidences of evolution and the economic, aesthetic, and ethical applications of zoology should be sought out, that is, the student should be made aware of the philosophic bearing of these topics. It is not supposed of course that an exhaustive discussion will be entered into,--the doors will be simply opened.
The following list of topics is suggested to meet these ends:
About four weeks should be devoted to the study of mammals. This should include the rapid dissection, either by the individual students or by the instructor in demonstration, of some small mammal, such as a rat, rab bit, or cat; the general anatomy and physiology of every system of organs, including the ductless glands and details of one or two muscles; the history of the animal at hand and its allies ; adaptive features; vestigial organs ; general embryology of mammals including the features of the early and later stages; study of reproductive cells and fertilization; embryos in utero at two or three different stages; study of placenta and fetal membranes; ; birth, mammary glands, relation of number of young to care of young; birth rate versus probable death rate.
Two continuous weeks and some scattered work throughout the year; general dissection of English sparrow or pigeon; anatomy and physiology of every system of organs; (for muscles the pectoral and the perching muscles should be done in detail); evolutionary history of birds; adaptive features; embryology; study of the reproductive cells; study of the first four-day chicks; comparison of the breeding habits of the precoces and the altrices; study of some wild birds in the fields with methods of exterminating undesirable and protecting desirable species (use State, Government, and Grange bulletins) ; field problems of migration, breeding, feeding habits, etc. should be studied at beginning of course and continued for one full year unless such work has been thoroughly done in the grades.