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The Story of the Greek People by  Eva March Tappan



Back Matter


[241] IT is becoming generally recognized that the most elementary education is incomplete without some knowledge of the history of the Greek people, to whom the world has looked for guidance and inspiration in all the arts and sciences of civilization. History, literature, and art will always have many large gaps for the person who has not become appreciatively with acquainted with Alexander, Homer, and the Parthenon. The Committee of Eight of the American Historical Association, in its Report on a Course of Study in History for Elementary Schools, says:—

"No people did more to begin the ways of living which we have and which our forefathers brought to America than the Greeks and Romans who lived about the shores of the Mediterranean when the Christian Era began. The aim of the topics selected from Greek and Roman history is to illustrate the characteristics of Greek and Roman life, and at the same time to interest the pupil in a few of the greatest memories which the Greeks and the Romans have left for all mankind to cherish."

The main consideration in the use of this book should be the desire to give pupils a permanent interest in the ancient Greek people—their immortal heroes, their great achievements, and their influence upon our civilization. The attitude of the child towards history is often determined in his first approach to the study of the history of any country,—whether he will regard it as a distasteful task to be thankfully dropped as soon as the last lesson is "recited," or whether he will enjoy reading and studying along similar lines in the future. Fortunately, the story of the Greek people, as told in this book, is [242] absorbingly interesting to children, and with the proper degree of interest and enthusiasm on the part of the teacher every child who studies it will be eager to learn more about this wonderful people.

The book may be used either as a history text or as supplementary reading. Probably the best results will be obtained by having the children read an entire chapter through orally, discussing with the teacher points that need to be cleared up or emphasized, and getting the correct pronunciation of names; this to be followed by a re-reading of the chapter in a study period, with the summary at the end of the chapter before the pupil. The class will thus be prepared to relate the main incidents of the story. This may be done by asking a pupil to tell the story—or a definite part of it—to the class, the other pupils making any corrections or additions that may be needed at the close of his recitation.

The topics given at the close of each chapter, and many of the pictures in the book may very profitably be used in composition work. Thus, the description of the scene pictured on page 40, or a story based on the illustration on page 77, will give excellent results in composition, especially if the pupil is led to write or tell about these things because he becomes thoroughly interested in them.

In preparation for the reading of the book, pupils should locate Greece on the map of Europe in their geographies, and as they come to them they should connect the maps given in the book with the complete maps of Europe and Asia. It will be found helpful to have pupils quickly sketch outline maps upon the blackboard or upon paper and locate the important places and events being discussed. This is one of the surest ways of mastering the geography of a country, and it will prove an invaluable aid in the study of the book.

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