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It should also be an index of all that fills the child's hours at school. It should indicate reading methods, but not dogmatize. As the primer's limits are soon reached, the teacher needs to strengthen, vivify and expand all its lines of work. The primer should be a reading book. Mere lists of words are out of place. They waste the reading space and are an insult to the teacher's intelligence. The vocabulary should be carefully chosen, thoroughly graded and as ample as the average child can use intelligently.
Seat Work Or Hand Work. It affords a child the keenest pleasure to turn his restless activities into a useful channel. This gives his vague impressions a tangible form, calls into use the creative faculty and puts him into closer touch with the adult world. Thus his dignity and his ambition are satisfied. Moreover, the child's attempts to express, with his hand, the thought gained from his reading lesson, clearly show possible weaknesses therein and prove that suitable hand work is a valuable adjunct to such lessons. Only the simplest hand work is indicated in this book, but may be added to at the pleasure of the teacher. Much of this work should be done at the blackboard or work table.
Methods. Before the child can read independently, he must gain the following:—Power to grasp the thought and feeling expressed by the sentences. Instantaneous recognition of common words and phrases. A practical knowledge of phonetic elements. Instantaneous recognition of the script and Roman alphabets. The power to read aloud or to translate into action, in a correct and pleasing manner, what has been gained, silently, from the sentences. Hence, the author would advise, in general,
a wise combination of the best features of all standard methods —
Thought, Word, Action, Phonic and Sentence — discriminating so as best to meet the needs of the individual school or individual child.
Explanatory.—Pages 8 And 9. If possible, have white daisies present and arouse interest by an examination of them. Otherwise call attention at once to the picture. By kindly, informal questioning, draw out phrases and sentences on page 9. Verify by having child show objects in picture. Teach new words by using blackboard as well as book. Finally, have lesson read as a unit. Then assign seat work. In all subsequent lessons, interest may be gained and new words and phrases taught in similar way. Never allow child to try to read new lesson till this has been done. Work with enthusiasm, but without hurry. Give phonic drills as needed.
Pages 14, 15, 16, 17. Materials needed: Flag, building blocks and table. Children number to ten. Cuts indicate steps in dramatization. Teach figures with names of numerals. Afterward, use these pages for reading lesson. Easy dramatizations with little or no help may be worked out by the class for man}7 of the subsequent lessons. For example, see pages 28 and 29, 30 and 31, 40 and 41, etc. Such exercises lend interest, deepen impressions and remove self-conscionsness.
Page 22. Sing this to some simple melody and accompany with appropriate gestures. Afterward, use for reading lesson.
Pages 36 And 37. Teach this song now or earlier, as preferred. Accompany by graceful gestures. Later, use for reading lesson.
Pages 64 And 65. Teach here or earlier. Designate one half of class as ''sunbeams," other half as " shadows." Cuts suggest method of use. Much better if sung to some cheery melody, or accompanied by march music in "double-quick" time.
Pages 86 And 87. Have children model objects shown in these cuts.
Pages 95 And 96. Explain relationship of king, queen, prince and princess and that " Baby Stuart " was little son of King Charles I. Also tell class about the artist. Van Dyck. See " Great Artists," Ed. Pub. Co.
Pages 97 And 1)8. Recall information given with pages 95 and 96. Explain that " (rood morrow" was once a common form of greeting.
Note. For prismatic colors and alphabets, see pages 6 and 7.