After the Civil War, Penina Moïse, her sister Rachel Moïse Levy, and Rachel’s daughter Jacqueline returned to Charleston from refuge in Sumter, South Carolina, and opened a secular school for girls on Queen Street. Penina’s teaching methods were based on a pedagogy known as “Magnall’s Questions.” Every Friday afternoon her students played the game “Facts for You and Me,” answering questions drawn from geography, history, antiquities, and Biblical events.
To keep physically and mentally fit, Moïse, who suffered from neuralgia, exercised daily by walking around her bed. She chose a letter from the alphabet and named the cities, mountains, rivers, historical figures, and literary characters whose names began with the letter. The next day she selected another letter and again walked a mile around her bed until she had exhausted her subject.