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PUPILS USE THE PRIMER FROM THE FIRST
THE LITTLE RED HEN
 The teacher tells the children the story, as a whole.
She uses good English, vivid description, simple
natural dialogue, but does not confine herself to the
text of the "Primer." She lets the children talk about
the story, draw pictures, and dramatize the incidents
told. This precedes the reading lesson which comes at
a later time during the day.
First Reading Lesson
The teacher recalls the story by means of a question or
two, and writes, as plain as print, The Little Red
Hen, upon the board. She tells the children the
whole group of words, not trying to separate it in
their minds into words nor to drill upon it at
all—merely to let the children know she has
written the name of the story. Later, when she wishes
to use these words in her conversation, she takes care
to point to the whole group on the blackboard as she
speaks it. She opens a primer before the pupils,
teaches them how to hold a book and turn the leaves.
Then, pointing to the group of words on the board, she
says, "I'll show you a picture of the little red
hen," and turns to page 1. She then gives a book
to each pupil. Each is to keep his book closed until
told otherwise. When all are ready, the teachers
points again to the board, and says, "Find a picture of
the little red hen on the outside of the
primer." When all have done as directed, she suggests,
"Find a picture of this inside your book,"
writing instead of speaking
 the name, The Little Red Hen. "Find the very
first picture of this," pointing again to the
name. "Show me her name on the page." "What does it
say?" The name of the story may be written three or
four times, in different colors.
This may be followed by writing on the board the name
of the child the teacher wishes to gather and put away
the books. Then she writes the word, Rise, if
she wishes the pupils to go to their seats; at first
speaking the word each time she refers to the board,
later pointing to the word instead of speaking it.
The teacher steps to the board and writes, The
Little Red Hen. "This is the story I'm thinking
about," pointing instead of speaking the name. The
children will probably read the name of the story. If
they do not, the teacher may show the tiniest glimpse
of the picture on page 1 in the "Primer." The teacher
commends those who know the story she had in mind and
then erases the words. "Now I'm thinking about
this story," she says, as if she meant another
one, and writes the same title on the board. She
remembers that often repeated experiences are necessary
to impress images of words upon the minds of little
children learning to read. Some children can tell at
once. But for others, she writes again in another
place on the board, The Little Red Hen, and
says, "What does this make you think of?" She
gives the slower ones a chance to tell. The teacher
then holds up a strip of paper on which she has
written, The little red hen found a seed. "This
tells what she found, " she says, and several children
read it. The teacher then writes the same sentence on
the board. "Can you read this?" she asks. Some child
probably can do so, but not every one in the
 class. "See what this says"—and she
writes the same sentence under the first. She writes
this same thing perhaps half a dozen times on the
board, in such a way that like words come one under
another—and until the class see the likenesses.
Then, when all are expecting the same sentence to
appear once more, she writes a different one, "It was a
wheat seed," and looking expectantly toward the class
asks, "Who can read this?" Some will at once respond,
"The little red hen found a seed!" The teacher leads
them to see the joke she played on them when they wee
not expecting it. "I wrote something different this
time. See how it begins—not at all like The
little"—pointing to these words as she speaks
them. "I said 'It was a wheat seed.' You see the last
part is just the same. That is the word
seed. Here it is again where we said 'The
little red hen found a seed.' Can you see it
anywhere else on the board?"
Then she closes the lesson by asking various children
to erase certain sentences from the board, pupils at
seats clapping if the child at the board touches and
erases the correct sentence.
Before class time the teacher has written on the board,
The little red hen found a seed.
The little red hen found a seed.
The little red hen found a seed.
It was a wheat seed.
It was a wheat seed.
seed seed seed little little
found found found a seed
The arrangement of these sentences and of the words for
drill should be varied.
 "Find some words that look alike to you," she directs
some child. She shows what she means by a word,
by pointing not to the center nor to the beginning of
the group of letters, but by moving the pointer under
the whole word, or by putting her two hands around the
After the children have pointed to various groups of
similar words (not naming them, for they are not
expected to recognize isolated words yet) the teacher
says, "If I should tell you one word, you could know
whenever I was writing about that thing. here is
seed. Where else was I thinking seed?
Here is all I said that time," pointing to the sentence
written first, and reading aloud, "The little red hen
found a seed." "Did you hear that word
seed as I spoke? It was the last one I
said—and the last one I wrote. Can you find
which part of the sentence says red? little?"
Carry this device as far as seems advisable.
Do not teach the words the and a as
isolated words. Directions like this should be given:
Find "a seed," or find "The little red
hen." Which word is red? Which is
hen? Which is little?
It is unnecessary to separate a, the, and
an from the names, for these words recur so
often they practically teach themselves, if just
slipped in by the teacher when necessary, as a
seed, the little red hen. There is much
danger of too great importance and stress being placed
upon these words, thereby spoiling the expression in
This is not meant for a drill, and the teacher must not
expect pupils to remember the words. It is merely a
voyage of discovery in which the children who have so
far thought in sentences now discover that a sentence
can be separated into words.
The class is dismissed by allowing the pupils to take
turns in reading a sentence as the teacher erases it
from the board, thus saving their time and hers.
 Before class time the teacher has printed on strips of
manila paper, by use of a sign printer, or in some
the two sentences used in writing the day
before, and also the separate word seed, and the
title, "The Little Red Hen." This last she
holds up and asks the children to find in the book
where it says, "The Little Red Hen," pointing to
her printed words as she speaks. "Point to the next
place where it says,—" and she does not speak the
phrase as she holds up the paper. "I see a little
seed, (holding up word) in the picture. This is
the name. You may touch the picture. Find the word
seed under your picture. It looks like word,
only smaller. . . . Find the word seed in
another place." During this time the teacher moves
about among the children, showing them several words
Holding up her first printed slip she says, "Find in
your books a sentence that looks like this. It says,
'The little red hen found a seed.' Find another
line just like it. . . . What does that say?"
asks the teacher of several children. Then she treats
the other lines on the page in a similar way. As a
summary of the lesson, she stands behind the class,
where she can see as many individuals as possible, and
reads a sentence at a time, seeing that they show where
their books say what she speaks.
Fifth Lesson, Page 3
"Play you are the little red hen, Anne," says
the teacher, pointing, as she speaks them, to the
underlined words which she has written on the board. A
few grains of what have been scattered about on the
floor before the class, and
 Anne hunts about and finds one, saying, "Who will plant
the seed?" "What did she find, Isabel?" asks the
teacher. "I'll write it here on the board, "The little
red hen found a seed"—she writes. "Read this
"What kind of seed was it, Little Red Hen? she asks,
turning to Anne.
"It was a wheat seed," the child answers. "I'll write
that on the board," says the teacher, as she begins.
"Read this sentence, James—Russel—Helen."
"Read both these sentences, Edwin."
"What did 'The Little Red Hen' say, Katherine?" asks
the teacher, pointing to the sentences as she speaks
it. Children answer, and teacher writes, "The little
red hen said, 'Who will plant the seed?' " Different
children read and re-read the various sentences on the
board, and when the class turns to go to their seats,
each child points to some word or sentence or phrase on
the board as he goes by—the teacher giving a hint
as she gives her directions, by saying, "I don't know
what word you'll choose to touch and tell. Perhaps
you'll point to seed (doing so herself as she
speaks), or perhaps you'll choose plant
(pointing to the word), or it may be you'll point to
'The little red hen'—you see I don't know. You
are to decide." Then children in turn march past the
board and back to their seats, touching and pronouncing
"their words" as they go.
Sixth Lesson, Page 3
The teacher has prepared by the use of a sign printer,
or with a supply of the large printed words furnished
by the publishers of "The Primer," the printed
sentences used on page 3. She holds up the first and
asks some child to read it. Possibly he cannot, or
attempts and guesses
 wrong. The teacher reads it correctly, saying,
perhaps, "Now, next time you'll know. See this
—hen. And here is this last word
seed. Don't forget. What does this say?"
Then, laying down the printed slip with the
others—and seeming to pick up another she asks,
"Read what this says, Alice," showing the same
sentence. This device is often used, until pupils
recognize likenesses and can tell every time when the
teacher makes this kind of test. After using all the
sentences on the page in this way, with large printed
slips, the teacher asks the pupils to open their books
at page 3 and read the same sentences from the book.
While one child reads, the others show where it says
the same thing in their books. The notion that there
is value in having one child tell the others a
sentence whose content is already perfectly
familiar—while they sit with closed books and
assume an interest they do not feel—is an
exploded idea. It is only the form on page 3 that is
new, and this form must appeal to the eye, not the ear;
therefore the children ought to be using their eyes
while they are listening to one child read.
Seventh Lesson, Preparing for Page 4
The teacher stands at the board before the class and
says—writing italicized words neatly but quickly
as she speaks them—"To-day we shall plant
some wheat seeds as the little hen did—only ours
must be in these little boxes" (one for each child).
(See suggestions for hand work on page 38.) "Here is
the seed. Who will plant the seed? Play you
are the cat, Anne. Play you are the pig,
Kate. Play you are the dog, Vera. This is what
each one said when the hen asked, 'Who will plant
the seed?' . . . 'Not I,' 'Not I,' 'Not I.' "
"Play you are the The Little Red Hen, Frances.
 friends 'Who will plant the seed?' " Children
answer as teacher points, or point and
answer—"Not I." "The little red hen said, 'I
will,' " writes the teacher as Frances answers her
friends. "You may plant the seed in your box,
Frances." Frances plants several seeds. Then other
children play they are the different animals mentioned
and as the lesson proceeds, different ones point to
their names or to their conversation on the board as
this little incident in the story is acted and
re-acted, and various "little red hens" plant the seeds
in their boxes. If time is short, the teacher may say
the parts for the pig, the cat, and the dog, writing or
pointing as she speaks, while all who are left may play
they are a whole flock of "little red hens" and answer
all at once as they plant the wheat.
Eighth Lesson, Page 4
Let the memory of the story help the children enjoy
this page. It will be partly guessing and partly
reading. The teacher must lead the pupils to guess
correctly at this stage of reading. You may rest
assured that the work in phonics, if well taught, will
do a way with any need for guessing a little later in
Each child opens his book to the page. "Let us tell
the story from the picture first. Who talked first? .
. . What did she say? . . . I'll show you where the
reading on the page tells that very thing!" Then she
turns her book to show the pupils the very thing they
have told from the picture.
"Here is the fellow who spoke next," she says, pointing
to the picture of the pig. "What did he say?" She may
need to re-word the child's answer to fit the wording
of the next sentence—"Yes, the pig said, 'Not I.'
. . . Here is where the book tells about it," and she
points to the
sen-  tence... "Who spoke next? Show me her picture.
What did she say? Here it tells that very thing.
Let's all say it. Show me where it is in your book.
Now read what the dog said. . . . I'll read the
last line on the page."
Then the teacher goes about behind the different
members of the class and asks them to show her where it
says "Not I, Not I, Not I," on the page. She directs
them to find the same thing on page 5, saying, "That
tells the next part of the story when the little red
hen asked them to do some other work for her.
Ninth Lesson, Review
Children use books, "reading" page 1, looking at the
first line on page 2, and then telling it. The teacher
may stop here and ask pupils to point out the words
seed, little, and wheat using perception
cards to show the words to all while she does so.
By questioning, lead the pupils to look through each
sentence on the page and then read it aloud. Then
without questions, let some pupil read the whole page,
telling him at once the sentences he does not know. Of
course, just here, pupils can sometimes "read the
story" quite as well without the book, but that does
not matter. The point is, can he show where, on the
page, the familiar thought stands? Treat the next two
pages in the same way, and see to it that each child
has a chance to read aloud in the recitation many
times, occasionally in concert—but usually alone.
Tenth Lesson, Page 5
Caution.—Do not hurry to drill on separate words.
Do not try to teach these lessons as you yourself were
taught to read, unless you are sure it was the
The teacher begins, "Look at the picture. This wheat
 taller than that we planted. What does the hen want
the pig to do now? Books are laid aside and attention
given to blackboard lesson at this point."
"I'll tell you what she said"—(writing) The
little red hen—(stops to ask—"Who is
this?") said, "Who will cut the wheat?" This is
who spoke next.
The pig. . . . (Who is this?)
The cat. . . .
The dog. . . .
"Tell me the names of these three animals. Point to
The cat. The dog. The pig. . . . Shut your
eyes while I write something." . . . The teacher
writes these groups of words in different places on the
board. Then the children open their eyes and she
directs—"Find another place where I wrote The
cat. Where does it say The pig?" pointing
to words as she speaks, so that pupils have some thing
by which to test their search. Their own mental images
of the words may be too confused and indistinct. The
teacher will save time if she finds excuses for
telling these words over and over again in an
interesting way, and seeing that the children
strengthen and deepen the correct image of word,
phrase, or sentence. If she expects to tell once, and
then test memory on the strength of that one
impression, she will meet disappointments, and will
lose the confidence of her pupils, who feel she has led
them into deep water and left them helpless.
TO FINISH THE FIRST STORY
For the following pages of the story let the pictures
help tell the new thought—"Who will thresh the
wheat?" "Who will grind the wheat?" etc., and let
a varied repetition in script and print gradually make
the child sure of these and the other often repeated
sentences from page 1 to page 10.
 If a child does not recognize familiar words in new
positions on new pages, turn to review pages which he
knows thoroughly and show him where it says the very
same thing. Tell him only so much as is really
necessary. Let him stretch his effort to the utmost,
but be sure he succeeds in the end.
When the children can read a story well, they
may be allowed to take their books home to read to
Mother and Father or to other children. This will give
much practice in oral reading with a genuine motive.
The same order of work, as outlined with the first
story may be followed, in a general way, with each of
the Primer stories. After pupils have a sufficient
sight vocabulary, the teacher should not tell the
story. Let the children have the pleasure of getting
its thought by their own effort. The general order,
however, should be as follows:
1. Teacher tells the story.
2. Reproduction by the children.
4. Reading sentences from the board and finally, the
5. Drill with perception cards on Primer stories, as
they are taught: This drill should be thorough, that
it will not be required after the Primer is completed.
Meantime, the child's growing knowledge of phonics
should enable him to master most new words as they
appear in the lessons.
6. Drill with phonic cards. This work should begin
with the second story and these cards should be used
for drill until pupils are thoroughly familiar with all
PREPARATION, PAGE 15
Let the first presentation here be from the blackboard.
Italicized words are written on board—others
 "I'll tell you more about The Gingerbread Boy.
The gingerbread boy met a cat.
He told the cat who he was. He said—
'I am a gingerbread boy.
I am. I am. I am.'
Play you are the gingerbread boy. Tell us who you are"
(pointing to sentence while child repeats).
"What did you do?" Writes as child says—
"I ran away.
I ran away from the little old woman.
I ran away from the little old man.
I ran away. I ran away. I ran away."
"This is what he told the cat"—(teacher reads as
"I can run away from you.
I can, I can, I can.
"Find where it says, I can.
I can run away from you."
Teacher reads and writes—
"And he ran, and he ran, and he ran."
She then goes back over the lesson on the board,
hinting at how easy it will seem, now that they know
what is there. She questions just enough to keep the
children reading intelligently—not holding them
for a knowledge of many separate words, but knowing
that frequent repetition, if interesting, will
do the work, and children will be reading before they
FURTHER PREPARATION, PAGES 15 AND 16
The teacher prints the sentences with a sign printer on
strips of paper five inches wide and a yard or more
long, uses the "Perception Cards" or the blackboard.
She questions carefully, and shows a sentence suggested
by the question for all the class to see. After it is
ready by several
 it is put aside, to be picked up in a moment, and again
shown to the class, while the image is fresh in their
minds. Again and again the same sentence is
shown—until the children know it promptly at
Then the book is opened and the children have the fun
of finding themselves able to "read the story."
Similar preparation should be given for pages 17-24.
No page in the book should be attempted until there has
1. Careful introduction to the thought, usually with
blackboard, because here class and teacher come nearer
to each other.
2. Enough word-drill so that the recognition of
sentences in the book is a pleasurable experience.
3. Enough imagination stimulated through the pictures,
the dramatization, the dialogue, to keep the story
While the children are reading the second story, teach
consonant elements as follows:
r in r ed h in h en p in
The child knows these words at sight. When red is
placed on the board as r ed, he may not recognize it;
but if a line be made to connect the parts, he will, in
most cases, readily say the word. This connecting line
will not be needed after a very few words are studied
in this way.
THE OLD WOMAN AND THE PIG
This story should be told to the children and re-told
by them, at the story hour or language period, before
the reading begins, because there are several words and
phrases not in the speaking vocabulary of the ordinary
child. Drawing pictures and playing parts of the story
inter-  est on the part of the children, and give the teacher
greater opportunity to correct wrong images the child
may have formed through hearing the spoken words.
When this has been done, the preparation needed on the
form side is much lessened. The preliminary blackboard
work may not be shortened to merely a
word-drill—as in the lessons previously outlined.
A list of words already learned should be kept on the
board and children should be drilled on this list as
well as with the perception cards.
Devices for conducting this word-drill:
The teacher tells the children to find the first word.
She has some child find the word in another place.
Tell the children to find the second word.
Then ask another child to tell all the words he knows
from the board. The drill may be thus extended, or the
teacher may give occasional concert drills as follows:
1. She touches a word with the pointer, and waits
until all see. Children keep silent but alert. As
soon as she removes the pointer, all speak with
great promptness. Concert drills thus conducted
give slower members of the class a fair chance, and
promote self-control in the quicker members who want to
2. She points to a word with her eraser. All look and
keep silent. When the eraser moves over the word, all
When the children are ready to read page 26, the
teacher has at hand the list of words printed in large
type two inches high and just before the children read
each sentence she shows for a second one or two of the
key words of that sentence—thus giving a hint of
what it is to tell them.
At the end of the lesson the teacher should give short,
quick drills on these words, and perhaps lend them to
 some child to take home and tell his mother. "Be sure
to tell her it is not a spelling lesson!" she warns
him—for most well-meaning mothers are strong on
teaching spelling, before it is wanted or needed.
After a page has been worked out sentence by sentence,
it should not be dropped and forgotten. It should be
re-read as a whole by several children, and gone back
to in subsequent lessons to be read "just for fun," and
"to make it sound like a story."
But if every lesson there should be some new
work; either words and thoughts not given before,
or so differently arranged that they seem new to the
children. It is only by pushing forward that
the teaching of reading is accomplished.
As indicated, drill in the phonic series should begin
with the third story and should develop as indicated in
various suggestions that follow.
The phonic drills beginning with the third story will
be on n in not, d in day,
y in you and ccat. Give
frequent drills, also on the first four phonic series
while the pupils are reading this story.
1. Do not re-arrange sentences so that they are
contradictory to the facts in the story, merely for the
sake of word drill. For example, such sentences as
these should not be given: The little red hen did
not find a see, or The little red hen said, "Not
2. Above all, do not measure your success by the
number of words your pupils know, nor judge the work of
the first year by the number of books read, but by the
ease with which the pupils attack new material.
THE BOY AND THE GOAT
 Some teachers prefer not to tell this story before
reading it. The pictures, the words already fairly
familiar, and the rapidly growing desire and ability on
the part of the pupils to find out new words and
sentences for themselves by means of phonics, will more
and more do away with the need for blackboard
preparation for each page, and for oral introductions.
The teacher must come less and less between the child
and the book, if reading is taught effectively.
The phonic work to be carried on concurrently with the
reading of this story is on m in m an,
s in s o, b in b ut, and
th in th en. At the same time take the
next four of the phonic series. Remember that in
extending the work with these series, there should be
constant review of series already taught.
This story of the boy and the goat is an excellent one
to play. The dialogue is natural and the action rather
funny. Written suggestions, taking words or sentences
from the story, may be used to start the play, but if
used throughout the lesson are too likely to hamper
freedom of action and original expression.
By this time the children should have considerable
power to recognize words. It should not be necessary
to tell this story as a whole before reading begins,
for then the incentive for discovering thought for
themselves is taken away from the pupils.
Through use of the pictures, hint just enough to lead
the children into each page. They will partly guess at
the reading there, but they must be made to be sure
when they are right by verifying or disproving their
guesses by sounding the words.
 Example: At beginning of the lesson the teacher may
"This tells about an old woman and all her children.
How many do you suppose she had?" Children probably
count and answer "seven." Read the first sentence and
see what the book says. Children then read, first
silently, then orally. "What word makes you sure how
many there were?" Children point to the word
"What has she on the board?" asks the teacher,
referring again to the picture. Guesses are made and
then the children are told to find out what the second
sentence really tells. The word is the name of the
Then after two sentences have been studied through,
another child is called upon to read both. Then a
third is approached, and so the story grows. After the
first three pages have been thus developed sentence by
sentence, the rest of the story will need less
questioning, for continued repetition will add to the
number of words known at sight, and the cumulative
thought will make it much easier to infer what is
coming next. So questions may tell less, and only
direct—for example: "See what happened next," or
"what did he say after that?"
This is a well arranged story, as are many of those in
the book, for getting good grouping of words. For
example, "for the boy, into the word, over the
brook," etc., should be glanced at as a single word
and not spoken one at a time. With careless
teaching, one rather bad habit may be formed. That is,
children may learn to drop their voices after the word
said when it introduces someone's conversation.
This, however may easily be guarded against if the
pupils are trained to read thoughts as wholes.
This grouping of words or "phrasing" is one of the very
best aids in securing expression and it should have
 In fact nothing less than this is reading. The teacher
who accepts less is not teaching reading.
The phonic drills with this story are f in
fox, t in to, g in get and
k in kill. Add to this, drills in phonic
series nine to twelve, inclusive, with reviews of
series already taught.
This story needs little development beyond the second
page, except a naming by the teacher of the characters
as they appear in the pictures. The names given in
nursery rhymes vary, and a class of children may have
quite a variety to suggest if left to guess. Teachers
must remember that one "right-telling" is not enough to
make up for three or four "wrong-tellings" on the part
In using the review stories, for example, page 76,
after a study lesson with the teacher, in which
questions, word drills, and phonics help the children
to find out what the page says, the teacher may
profitably plan a seat lesson in silent reading
something as follows:
Each child is supplied with a piece of drawing paper
and a soft pencil.
The teacher goes about from seat to seat, encouraging
and teaching the individuals, whose different
conceptions of the story will be amazing and
Each child is directed to read a little, until
something reminds him of a good picture to draw. Then
he is to stop and make the picture—read again,
draw another and so on. The pictures will tell whether
pupils have really read, and how they interpreted their
This may be varied by having pupils cut the pictures
from paper, free hand, instead of drawing them. This
is desirable in such a story as "The Three Billy Goats
Gruff," where the bridge, the hill, the troll, and the
goats are easily
 distinguishable forms. A child likes to have his
The phonic drill with the sixth story, "Chicken
Little," will be cr in cry, wh in
why, and qu in quench. Add phonic
series thirteen to sixteen, inclusive, and review
all series already taught.
The phonic drills with the seventh story, "The Billy
Goats Gruff," will be with ch in chicken,
sn in snout, and sk in sky.
Add to these a thorough review drill in all the phonic
series already taught.
LITTLE TUPPENS AND LITTLE SPIDER'S FIRST WEB
By this time pupils should be accustomed to attempting
new words without much help from the teacher. However,
it is advisable to teach the new words which appear in
these stories before attempting the reading, for when
the stumbling blocks are removed the appreciation of
the story is greater, the pupils enjoy the story, and
hence they read better. In teaching the new words, a
pupil should never be told the word if he can possibly
get it for himself. Though it takes more time, it pays
to let the child use his own powers in this work.
While reading the eighth and ninth stories, the
consonant drills will be with gr in gruff,
th in thank, and tr in trip.
Also complete phonic series seventeen to twenty,
inclusive. Review all phonic series including series
one to twenty.
Silent reading can only be of value when pupils know
the words of a story at sight, or can find them out
without audible effort. Silent reading is a thing to
be taught with care, and with much persistence. It
should begin the first days of school and continue
throughout the grades.
 Whispering, or using lips is not silent reading.
After sentences, paragraphs, or pages have been worked
through for thought, with the teacher's help, there
should be thorough drill in glancing through the
material. Drills of various sorts should increase the
speed with which this can be done. Single sentences on
cards or strips of paper are of value here, since they
can be held quiet for a second, then removed from view.
Finding the place on a page is another good kind of
SEAT WORK SUGGESTED FOR THE CHILDREN
I. WORK BASED ON HANDWORK
1. Draw pictures that will tell parts of the story.
The pupils should do this, not by copying someone
else's ideas, but by each one showing how he thinks it
might have been. Encourage originality here.
Mediums—Charcoal, crayola, soft pencils, or
2. Cut or tear from drawing paper or ordinary wrapping
paper figures showing parts of stories. Mount on
3. Color outline pictures the teacher has copied on
hectograph or mimeograph.
4. After a lesson with the teacher on the needed folds
and pastings, let children make small paper boxes for
holding a little earth in which wheat seeds may be
planted. These germinate very quickly, and after they
are a few days old, may be carried home in triumph by
the "little red hens" who planted them.
5. Children may make of clay various things suggested
by the different stories. For example, in connection
with "The Gingerbread Boy" they make make:
The gingerbread boy.
The bowl in which the old woman made him.
 Her rolling pin.
The little old woman.
6. The sand-table is a very helpful medium for fixing
the scenes of the stories and promoting freedom and
originality of expression.
Little Red Hen Story
The sand-table is converted into a barnyard.
a. Cardboard barn made by the pupils is placed in the
b. A fence can be made by folding an oblong paper
several times and cutting so as to show posts and
c. The figures in the story can be modeled in clay or
cut out of paper. If made from paper, they should be
cut free-hand and suitably colored. Make two of each
figure, paste together with a wooden paste-splint or
strip of stiff cardboard between, protruding an inch so
as to make a stem to be stuck into the sand and hold
the figures in an upright position.
Figures cut from paper, either by pattern or free-hand,
of the gingerbread boy, old woman, old man, cat, dog,
fox, etc., can be treated like those of the preceding
The sooner the pupils get to the free-hand cutting,
the sooner will their powers of free expression grow.
This work may be very crude in the beginning but it is
astonishing how their ability to express grows and the
sand-table, giving the practical use for these
cuttings, encourages the pupils greatly.
The Old Woman and Her Pig
A stile is not within the experience of many of the
children. Here is a splendid chance to build either a
card-  board stile or a wooden one on the sand-table. The
scene where "the old woman got home that night" works
out well on the sand-table. Her old house, the stile
and the old woman leading the pig down the road make a
Three Billy Goats Gruff
Make a cardboard bridge and cuttings of the three
goats. Water can be represented by placing a glass
over blue paper. Sand will make a very good irregular
coast-line to the river. The hill may be of sand piled
up and covered with sawdust dyed green. The goats
might be modeled of clay. The bridge then should be
modeled of clay to represent a stone bridge. These
suggestions are sufficient to show the possibilities of
the sand-table, with which every primary room should be
II. WORK BASED ON WORD-FORMS
1. The teacher may duplicate the sentences on a
certain page of the "Primer," using each sentence
several times. If she has a mimeograph at hand this is
not hard. These pages are given to the children, at
first as a reading lesson in class. Then they take
them to their seats and cut the sentences so they stand
on separate strips. Each child then places all that
are alike in one group, like words one under another.
Not only does this care in grouping the sentences and
words aid the pupils in distinguishing like words but
the teacher can easily inspect the work after it is
2. These same strips may be placed in envelopes and a
few days later, when the child has had more drill on
those sentences, he is asked as seat work to look them
over, put all he knows in one pile and all he does not
know in another.
3. He may be directed to lay them in order, to make a
story like the one on the board.
 4. He may lay them in order, so as to build a small
story of his own—or from memory.
5. Pupils may be tested on the ready recognition of
the words of a story studied by referring to the list
at the back of the book.
Exercises 1 and 3 may be done when the child does not
know a single word at sight, if he can recognize words
that are alike; 2 and 4 imply a knowledge of at least
part of the words and so are to be later treatments of
the same material.
These following devices may be used later with lists of
words, either the well-printed ones provided by the
of the "Primer" on convenient sheets of
paper, or lists based on the lesson of the week,
mimeographed by the teacher so they can be cut apart.
1. Finding words alike.
2. Separating known words from unknown.
3. Building sentences when model is given.
4. Building original sentences.
If this work is worth doing at all, it is worth
inspection on the part of the teacher after it is done.
The teacher should pass up and down the aisles,
commenting upon the neatness and exactness of the work,
also teasing the pupils as to the thought they have put
upon it, by questioning in this manner. What do these
sentences say? What are these words?
III. WORK BASED ON SILENT READING
This should be deferred until the latter part of the
first year. Use a review story. Let children read
 find a sentence which suggests a good picture, then
stop to make a picture, read a little more, make
another picture, etc.
Do not ask children to do much writing for seat work.
SUGGESTIONS OF GENERAL INTEREST
Let the children plant wheat seeds as suggested above.
Ask them to bring ripened stalks of wheat to school.
Show what happens when wheat is threshed.
Grind some grain of wheat between two stones. Sift
bran and flour. Show several good pictures of the
animals mentioned in the stories as you talk about
them, especially if you are teaching where children
have little opportunity to know animals well.
Use cuttings of these animals, the best views you can
get, for a border along the top of your blackboard,
adding to the procession as fast as each new friend
comes into the stories. This is well suggested by the
grouping of animals on the outside of the "Primer," and
the blackboard parade can be made a real help in
holding the interest of the children in the slow
growing ability to read about those friends.