Throughout the discussion Grace appears at ease with the botanical terms and reacts to the directions with complete understanding of what she is looking for. She knew that once she counted the stamens, she would arrive the pistil, that she would gain the order. Following this, she responded to her mother’s description that the corolla was salver form by removing a flower from the calyx to take a closer look. Her mother apparently has no trouble using the appropriate scientific terminology with the eight year old and even explains the Latin name.
I know that today’s grade three science student isn’t blessed with the scientific vocabulary to maintain a botanical discussion like this, let alone to actually comprehend the classification system.
The major focus of this book of course is an in-depth study of Nova Scotian history. However, once again I must emphasize that a present day grade three student doesn’t seem to be as familiar with History as this fictional eight year old in 1843. Apart from her obvious familiarity with Botany, Grace also shows some prior knowledge of history at the age of eight:
“I did not think, brother,” said she reproachfully, “that there would be anything about Robinson Crusoe in it, nor perhaps about Captain Cook…”
“…I doubt if you know who Columbus was?”
“…Yes, indeed I do; mamma told me he was a native of Genoa; and the Queen of Spain let him take some ships from her country and he sailed across the Atlantic and discovered America.”
“Yes… but he never saw North America; it was Cabot who discovered our country.“