Editors' Note to Mother and Teacher—One day, more than sixty years ago, a group of young men in Harvard University were assigned a lesson in Zoology, by a new professor from Switzerland. He told them to study a live fish swimming in a tank. Every day for two weeks the class was sent back to look again at that fish. Then the teacher went to the tank with his pupils, and gave a lecture an hour long, on the things they had failed to see. The professor was Louis Agassiz. His method of teaching from the natural object, rather than from a text book, gave such amazing results that he won world-wide fame. His class-room was crowded with eager students who afterwards, having learned to see what they looked at, made discoveries in the natural sciences.

It took a long time for this Nature study idea to work down into the primary grades. We have to get our knowledge of everything about us through the five senses. As the senses are keenest in childhood, that is the time to get into the habit of seeing. The successful man is the one who sees the most and best, and who grasps the meaning and relation of things, and applies them to his own particular affairs. The first object of nature study, then, is the training of the powers of observation. What a child observes matters little, so long as it secures his absorbing interest. How he observes it, matters a great deal. Any one flower, tree, insect, bird, animal or other natural object, truly seen, is as inexhaustible as Professor Agassiz' fish, and is bound in infinite ways to the whole material universe.

The following studies in nature are offered as examples and methods. Older people should read the article on Nature Study, in Volume III, page 1,307. It is a summary of the best educational thought on the subject, and gives plans to be followed in practical work. Midway of the common school period, in the fourth and fifth years, educators have noticed that there are "lean years," when interest in books flags, and a child learns little and cares less. Nature Study gives the child something he wants to look up in text and reference work. It cultivates his sympathies, tastes and judgment, and makes him talk and write with eager intelligence. A microscope, a camera and a case for arranging and preserving specimens, are valuable helps.