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THE IDEAL CATHOLIC READERS

FOURTH READER

BY

A SISTER OF ST. JOSEPH
AUTHOR. OF THE “IDEAL SOUND EXEMPLIFIER,”

THE “IDEAL CATHOLIC PRIMER,” ETC.

New York
THE MACMILLAN COMPANY

All rights reserved

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PREFACE

THE teacher of reading distinguishes two periods in the elementary grades; the period of learning to read, and the period of reading to learn. During the first three years of school life, the greater part of the time is spent in learning to read, that is, in endeavoring to master the mechanics of reading, and, at the same time, storing up mental pictures which tend to develop the faculties of the child gradually and systematically.

But when the children take up the Fourth Reader, a more varied and interesting field of literature is opened to them. Gradually they leave the realm of childhood and fancy and enter into a more realistic world. It may be said, then, that the Fourth Reader serves as a transition from the work of the Primary to that of the Grammar grades.

The Fourth Reader of The Ideal Catholic Series is arranged according to the ideas and principles of the best educators in this country. While keeping the religious feature in the foreground, the author has succeeded in introducing selections of real literary value which cannot help appealing to the true, the beautiful, and the good in the nature of the child.

The numerous narratives from the Bible, the historical accounts of the first settlers of our continent, the stories telling of the heroic work performed by the early Catholic missionaries, the interesting biographical sketches, the lessons inculcating true love of country, the admirable nature studies, the engrossing and thrilling stories, and the exquisite selection of poetry, make this reader comprehensive, literary, æsthetic, and religious.

Moreover, the excellent contents of this book place before the mind of the child the noblest and the most inspiring ideals couched in simple and refined language. They deal especially with the period of youth which has an absorbing interest for school children, and they give plenty of scope for the proper training of the imagination.

The teacher will find the Questions and Notes at the end of each lesson a valuable help in ascertaining whether the chil- , dren have grasped the thought of the story. These questions and notes are merely suggestive.

The necessity of oral reproduction cannot be insisted upon too strongly. An extensive acquaintance with words is useful, but an ability to use them in expressing one's thoughts is a consummation devoutly to be wished.

Though the study of phonetics is supposed to be completed in the third grade, it is now not to be neglected. All the new or difficult words should be analyzed phonetically by the children. This will help to increase their phonetic power, and make the work of recognizing and pronouncing at first sight more easy.

Special care has been taken to include in this reader selections which will serve to develop and cultivate the different feelings of the human heart. When children feel what they are reading, good expression is secured, and the work becomes a pleasure rather than a task.

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