Remembered as a theologian and conservative teacher, McGuffy believed that teachers should study the lessons as well as their students. He also emphasized reading aloud to students followed by questions, believing that in order for a teacher to give meaningful instruction, they must include questions. Spelling, vocabluary and public speaking were also part of the learning process provided by this series of readers.
Geography was often taught with Mitchell's Primary Georgraphy: An Easy Introduction to the Study of Geography Designed for Instruction of Children in School and Families created by S. Augustus Mitchell in 1852. It is an illustrated textbook with 120 engravings and fourteen maps. A second revised edition was published in 1864 in Philadelphia.
Following the model of nursery rhymes, Marmaduke Multiply was a collection of mnemonic rhymes designed to teach the multiplication tables. Originally issued by John Harris in 1816-17, with the subtitle A Merry Method of Making Minor Mathematicians it was later published in New York and Boston by C.S. Francis, in 1850.
Martha's Vineyard Museum