|The Dutch Twins|
|by Lucy Fitch Perkins|
|Through the eyes of Kit and Kat, 5 year-old twins, we catch a glimpse of life in Holland a century ago. We follow them as they go fishing with grandfather, join their father on market day, help their mother around the house, drive the milk cart, and get new skates. The story draws to a close on St. Nicholas Day when St. Nicholas himself pays them a visit. Ages 6-8 |
SUGGESTIONS TO TEACHERS
 THIS book is the first of a series of stories for supplementary
reading the purpose of which is to give children a correct idea
of life in different countries, both in the spirit and atmosphere
of the story, and in the actual descriptions. These books will
also further a spirit of friendliness and good will for children
of other nationalities. Respect for and an understanding of the
life and customs of other races, are not only educationally
valuable, but are fundamentally important in this "crucible of
nations," where different races are fusing themselves together as
never before in the history of the world. Tradition is a precious
heritage, and the traditions of other nations should be the
natural inheritance of the American child, since here as nowhere
else all the nations of the earth are entering into our national
The author has recognized from the start that the purpose of a
book of this kind would fail of realization if the narrative does
not appeal strongly to children. The delight with which the book
has been received by children is evidence that the important
element of interest has not been left out of the narrative.
To make the reading of this story most valuable as a school
exercise, it is suggested that children be allowed at the outset
to turn the pages of the book in order to get glimpses of "Kit"
and "Kat," in the various scenes in which they are portrayed, in
the illustrations, thus arousing their interest. With a globe, or
a map of the world,
 point out Holland, and tell the children
something about the unique character of the country.
The text is so simply written that any third or fourth grade
child can read it without much preparation. In the third grade it
may be well to have the children read it first in the study
period in order to work out the pronunciation of the more
difficult words. In the fourth grade the children can usually
read it at sight, without the preparatory study.
In connection with the reading of the book, have children read
selections from their readers and other books about Holland and
its people. The legend of "The Hole in the Dike" is an
illustration of this kind of collateral reading. Let children
also bring to class postcards and other pictures illustrating
scenes in Holland.
The unique illustrations in the book should be much used, both in
the reading of the story and in other ways. Children will enjoy
sketching some of the pictures; their simple treatment makes them
especially useful for this purpose. An excellent oral language
exercise would be for the children, after they have read the
story, to take turns telling the story from the pictures; and a
good composition exercise would be for each child to select the
picture that he would like to write upon, make a sketch of it,
and write the story in his own words.
These are only a few of the number of ways that will occur to
resourceful teachers of making the book a valuable as well as an
interesting exercise in reading.
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