Ella Arthurs was a primary school teacher at the Dundas Public School. Records show that Ella taught primary and senior primary from 1914 through the 1940s.
In a monthly report to the Principal in 1927, Ella reported that her class consisted of 26 students and noted that 14 students were absent throughout the month due to illness. Although several of her students were absent, Ella did not miss a single day of school, taking pride in her work of teaching her young students.
The Dundas Museum holds Ella Arthurs’ lesson plan books and attendance records. A typical daily lesson plan consisted of English (teaching new words, reading, and phonics); arithmetic (number sense, recognizing groups, and counting objects through informal experience arising from classroom situations); and health (talk of “good habits”, marching games and exercises, safety rules, and stressing the importance of keeping clean and neat). Social Studies included learning about home life, helping mother and father, and creating a scrapbook of their home and identifying the different rooms. In natural science she taught the names of flowers, how to make bouquets of flowers from home gardens and identifying different seeds. She also taught art and music.
Looking through Ella Arthurs’ lesson plans it is clear to see that she wanted to develop well-rounded students by creating a fun and diverse learning atmosphere that encouraged young children to learn important life skills.
Thanks to students of McMaster University Department of History for their help with this project.