See that the grate is clean and that the ashes have been removed. You know that a current of air containing oxygen is needed to make the fire burn. How will you arrange the damper at (2) and (3) when you are starting the fire?
Coal does not begin to burn easily. Therefore we kindle it by materials that have a low kindling temperature, light wood, paper, and matches.
In the bottom of the grate, lay twisted pieces of paper, or very finely split pieces of wood, or shavings, next in order larger pieces of wood laid "crisscross," yet close enough not to let the coal fall through, and on the top a shovelful or two of coal. Why do you not put in flat newspapers, and lay the kindling lengthwise and solid? Put on the stove lids, arrange the dampers properly, and touch the match. Why do you use the match? Why does the match light? Perhaps your nature study lessons will help you to explain this whole kindling process.
What should be the next step in the fire making? How should you finally arrange the dampers?
A coal fire will keep well for a considerable length of time, if the coal is put on and the ash removed regularly, provided the stove is well constructed, and the coal of good quality. Add fresh coal before the fire becomes a dull red, and shows ashes. If it gets too low, wood kindling will be needed, and this is poor management. Be careful not to put in so much coal that you cannot put the lid on firmly. It ruins the top of a stove if the hot coals touch it.
Soot must be removed once in a while from the top and bottom of the oven, and from the stove pipe.