Notes of Lessons: Grammar, Class III

Notes of Lessons: Grammar, Class III

[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), some passage in one or other of their school books.—Ed.]

Subject: English Grammar • Group: English • Class III • Time: 30 minutes

By J. E. Brown
The Parents’ Review, 1909, pp. 632-633


I. To increase the children’s appreciation and understanding of poetry.

II. To show the pleasing and effective results obtained in poetry by various forms of expression, e.g., personification and alliteration.

III. To help the children to find beauty of expression in the poets.


Step I.—Let the children narrate the forms of expression they have already studied this term, e.g., simile, metaphor, sense by sound, contrast.

Step II.—Write the following lines of poetry on the blackboard, and get the children to find out what figure of speech is employed.

(i.) “But see the morn, in russet mantle clad,
Walks o’er the dew of yon high eastward hill.”—Hamlet.

 (ii.) “Oh, solitude, where are the charms,
That sages have seen in thy face.”—Cowper.

 (iii.) “Let not—
…grandeur hear with a disdainful smile
The short and simples annals of the poor.”—Gray.

Step III.—Tell the children that when poets thus describe inanimate objects as persons, they are said to personify them. Let them give some examples of personification.

Step IV.—Let the children read “The Cloud,” by Shelley, and “Written in the year 1746,” by Collins, noticing the personifications and the effect of them.

Step V.—Get from the children a definition of personification.

Step VI.—Write on the board the following lines, and ask the children what it is they exemplify.

(i.) “Deep in a dungeon was the captive cast,
Deprived of day, and held in fetters fast.”

 (ii.) “The horse, and the horn, and the hark, hark away.”—Wordsworth

 (iii.) “Dream from deed he must dissever.”—Henley.

Step VII.—If necessary name this form of expression. Get other examples from the children.

Step VIII.—Tell them that until about the 14th century alliteration was an essential of poetry, the initial consonant taking the place of the final rhyme. Read a short part from Piers Ploughman, the last great alliterative poem. When rhyme was introduced by the French alliteration gradually gave way, but is still used to give force and beauty to writing.

Step IX.—Notice various arrangements of alliterative syllables.

Double alliteration.

“From branch to branch the smaller birds with song
Solaced the woods, and spread their painted wings
Till even.”                                            Paradise Lost.

Extremes and Means.

(i.) “One laced the helm, another held the lance.”—Dryden.
(ii.) “Sonorous metal blowing martial sounds.”—Milton.

Middle syllables.

“The lustre of the long convolvuluses.”—Tennyson.

Step X.—Read a few verses from Canto I. of Faery Queen and the Kubla Khan, noticing the alliteration and the beautiful effect it produces.

Step XI.—Get from the children a definition of alliteration.

Step XII.—Notice that alliteration is used in prose, as in proverbs, and in common sayings. Example—“short but sweet,” “might and main,” “look before you leap,” etc.

Step XIII.—Mention that the beautiful arrangement of even a few words may give much pleasure by their sound, or by the vivid picture they present.