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TECHNICAL Grammar is useful and valuable in its place, but committing the rules of syntax to memory never yet made a correct writer and speaker. Those children who habitually hear good English, speak and write it correctly, unconscious of rules; and the idea has at last dawned upon educators that the best way to gain a knowledge of the English language is to study the language itself.

That this study may begin as early in life as possible, the author has prepared this volume of selections from standard authors, believing that children from eight to twelve years of age may commit them to memory with profit and pleasure.

Most of the pieces herein contained are among the best that can be found in the small range of good childliterature; but a few, such “Mary's Lamb" and “Little Star,” are inserted because they have become children's classics, rather than for their intrinsic merit.

The composition lessons which accompany these selections are designed to enlarge the pupil's vocabulary and accustom him to express his thoughts in correct language.

The thanks of the author are extended to Scribner & Co., Scribner, Armstrong & Co., Hurd & Houghton, J. R. Osgood & Co. and others, who have so kindly allowed their copyrighted pieces to appear in this volume.

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Teuchers will please read the following suggestions carefully, as the value of this little volume depends very greutly upon the way in which it is used.

In most of our ungraded schools teachers complain that they have no time for language lessons, but they generally hear the classes in the second and third readers recite twice a day. If they will substitute a lesson in this book for the reading-lesson once a day, it is believed that the pupils will learn to read just as rapidly, and at the same time will improve in their talking and writing.

The book has been so prepared that a composition lesson accompanies each stanza to be committed to memory. In the latter part of the volume there are occasionally composition lessons without any corresponding stanza, and the reviews and spelling. lessons are thought to be enough in themselves for one day's work.

In order that the pupils may be prepared for the word-lessons in composition, it will be necessary for the teacher to give them in advance brief object-lessons on form, color, the animal, vegetable and mineral kingdoms, etc. Teachers who find any of these lessons too difficult for their classes may substitute something easier.

In the word-lessons in composition, require the pupils to write the words in the form of a paragraph instead of in columns, with the first line farther from the margin than those which follow, placing commas between the words, and a period at the end. The first word only should begin with a capital, except in cases of proper nouns and adjectives derived from them.

The review questions are intended for the teacher, and not for the pupil; and as they are merely designed to be suggestive, they may be used or not at pleasure. A live teacher can always frame

his own questions, and will ask a dozen for every one which the author has given. The index of authors is also designed for the teacher; but he will see that his pupils know all that it contains by the time the book is finished.

Method of Conducting Recitation.-When the class is called, let the pupils bring both books and slates with them. The slates should contain the verse for the day neatly written, with capitals and punctuation marks in the right places, in addition to the composition-lesson.

After each pupil has read the original matter on his slate, let the slates be examined by the teacher and attention called to all mistakes, especially in spelling. Then let some one, or all of the class, repeat the verse from memory, after which the class may recite it in concert.

When this has been done, let the pupils open their books while the teacher questions them upon the lesson for the next day, and explains whatever they do not understand, drilling them carefully upon the pronunciation of difficult words. When review day comes, let the whole piece be recited both individually and in concert, and let the teacher question the pupils upon everything that has been taught in connection with it.

After several pieces have been learned, it will be well to allow the class each day to repeat one or more of them in concert, so as to retain them in the memory. With a class of ten pupils, this may all be done in fifteen or twenty minutes.

Points that are very important : 1. Require the pupils to commit the exact words of the author.

2. Do not allow them to fall into the ordinary singsong when reciting in concert.

3. Accustom them to associate each piece with its author, so that when they have finished the book, the moment a piece is named they can tell who wrote it, and the moment an author is mentioned they can name all of his pieces which they have learned. 4. Correct all grammatical errors spoken or written ; teach the

; little folks how to speak correctly, but leave the why for mature years.


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