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TO THE TEACHER
THE design of this series of School Readers is to help children to acquire the art and the habit of reading well — that is, of interpreting the printed page in such manner as to give pleasure and instruction to themselves and to those who listen to them. The selections throughout have been chosen with reference both to their literary and educative value and to their fitness for practice in expressive oral reading. All the lessons in this volume are easily within the comprehension of pupils in the fourth-year grades of the public schools.
The notes under the head of “Expression,” which follow many of the lessons, are intended to assist in securing correctness of pronunciation and enunciation, a clear understanding of what is being read, and the intelligible and pleasing oral rendering of the printed page. These notes should be carefully studied by both teacher and pupils.
The phonetic exercises should be frequently and persistently practiced until every pupil acquires, not only the ability to enunciate properly and in natural tones, but also the habit of doing so. The pronunciation of troublesome words should be noted, and every word in the lists should be spelled both by letter and by sound.
Among other special features to be noted are: (1) the adaptation of the lessons to the seasons of the year in which they will most usually be studied;
(2) the arrangement, in groups, of certain selections that relate to similar subjects or that require similar methods of study and recitation; (3) the interesting quality of the historical and biographical stories, including the patriotic exercises appropriate for the February holidays; (4) the many selections relating to nature, and especially those which inculcate lessons of kindness to all living creatures; (5) the numerous lessons which, without being didactic, are calculated to inspire worthy and noble ideas of life and duty; (6) the group of interesting letters by famous persons, a feature which appears in each book of the series above the third ; (7) the frequent introduction of stories and poems which readily lend themselves to dramatization, and also the little play near the end of the volume – features which are of much value in the practice of expressive reading ; (8) the constant care to cultivate in the minds of young learners a taste for the best style of literature as regards both thought and expression, thus pointing the way to an acquaintance with the best books in our language.
The exercises under the head of “Word Study” at the end of the volume are designed to supplement the “Expression” notes, and they should be the subject of daily reference and study.
The selections to be memorized are such as have been recommended and required by the departments of education in New York state and elsewhere. They should not be disregarded until the end, but should be studied and spoken at appropriate times through
out the year.
II. A Famous Voyage .
The Sons of William the Conqueror
. James Balduin 76
Thanksgiving at the Farm
A Good Time.
Marian Douglas 83
Juliana Horatia Ewing 85
Frank R. Stockton 95
The Funny Little Fire .
Author Unknown 99
A Child's Thoughts about Santa Claus
Sydney Dare 104
A Christmas Fairy
John Strange Winter 106
Robinson Crusoe's Pets.
Adapted from Daniel Defoe 113
The Fairies of the Caldon Low
Mary Howitt 116
Under a Chestnut Tree :
1. The Smithy
121 II. The Village Blacksmith. Henry W. Longfellow 123 Dare to be Right .
Author Unknown 126 The Whistle.
Adapted from Benjamin Franklin 126 Two Girls I Know
Mary Mapes Dodge 129. Lincoln and his Books .
I. The Fawn and the Little Tiger An East Indian Fable 161 II. The Monkeys and the Trees An old Hindoo Story 162 III. Woo Sing and the Mirror
A Chinese Story 164 The Coming of Spring .
Margaret J. Preston 166 A Spring Song
George Eliot 167 Going Fishing
John G. Whittier 168