GENERAL SUGGESTIONS FOR BEGINNING
 I. Telling the Story. Teacher should know the
original story and adapt it, keeping the Primer story
in mind as a guide when she prepares her story.
II. Conversation about the Story. Free
expression on the part of pupils and teacher gives an
insight into the understanding of the story, a chance
to correct mistaken notions, and helps pupils to gain
information which they need to make a unified whole of
III. Dramatization of the Story. This should be
begun early in the development of the new story. It
aids the pupils in getting the setting of the story,
vitalizes the thought, gives opportunity for
self-activity and self-expression. The child lives the
thought through its dramatization, and later, when he
reads it his expression will likely be better because
of this experience.
Too much emphasis cannot be placed upon the manner of
dramatization. The inexperienced teacher often errs in
giving too much direction for it. Bear in min these
facts; tell your story clearly, picture vividly the
images you wish the pupils to get, question in such
sequence as to secure continuity of thought in the
reproduction, and, when you feel that the children have
the story well in mind, parts in proper relation, say,
"Would you like to make up a game about the Little Red
Hen, and see if we can play it?"
Assign the various parts and allow pupils freedom in
arranging the stage. If the teacher remembers only to
direct and allow the pupils to do the acting, her
dramatization will be a joy and a source of excellent
results by way of laying a foundation for individual
 IV. Reference to Sentence. The teacher should
write on the blackboard the sentence as given in the
book. She should then read it, sliding the pointer
under it as she reads. A number of children should
then each read it, again sliding the pointer under the
sentence. This will tend to the establishment of
V. Locating of Word in the Sentence. Find the
word "hen," or find the sentence, The little
red hen found a seed. The pupil slides the pointer
under the sentence, saying it as a whole, not as
unrelated words. Then the teacher says, "Which word is
hen?" Until his knowledge of phonics can guide him,
the pupil may read silently to find the word.
VI. Use of Print and Script. Unless she can
letter well, the teacher should not use the print forms
on the board; it is simply an added difficulty to the
pupils. If the teacher uses the script on the board
pupils can take perception cards to the blackboard and
match with script there.
VII. Re-arrangement of Words into unfamiliar
Sentences. These sentences should be written upon
the board. They should not be contradictory to the
facts of the story in the book.
VIII. Silent Reading. The best materials for
this are sentences giving directions to be read
silently and acted out by the pupils, as in the Little
You may be the hen, Mary.
You may be the cat, Fred.
John may be the dog.
Or in The Boy and the Goats—
Play you are the boy, Jack.
You may be the goat, Albert.
You may be the squirrel, Grace.
 IX. Oral Reading. Pupils should not be asked to
express themselves orally until they have looked the
sentence through and are sure of the thought. Then,
looking from the book, they should tell the teacher or
the classmates what they have prepared.
X. Pupils tell the Story. After the pupils have
read the story for themselves, two, three, four, even
more, if the interest be sustained, should be allowed
to tell it to the class, to a visitor, or to another
class in the building.
XI. Enunciation. First of all the teacher
should set a good example in clear enunciation. Hold
pupils responsible for making the classmates understand
what is said. The teacher should keep at a distance
from the one who is reading.
Making a list of words which pupils do not enunciate
properly and having a drill separate from the reading
lesson time but referring to this list when a mistake
is made, is invaluable. Working with individuals who
seem to be slow to hear differences in sounds, finding
out the cause of the difficulty, may be time well
XII. Phonics. Phonic drills should always be
separate from the reading period, but phonics should be
used as soon as pupils have the power to get new words
of the reading lesson. A drill on the new words should
always be given previous to the reading. An exhaustive
list of words in a family, or set of words, containing
the same phonogram, is unnecessary. Four or five words
Words that are outside the child’s vocabulary should
not occur in these lists. Meaningless combinations
which are neither words nor phonograms should not be
used merely for the sake of phonic gymnastics.
XIII. Time and Number of Reading Lessons.
Children should have two or three short reading lessons
daily and two or three drill in phonics of two to five
 These periods should be full of vivacity and
enthusiasm. Short lessons are better than long ones,
for little children are likely to become fatigued if
kept long at one task. The time devoted to reading the
lesson as well as to phonic drills may be extended as
children grow in power of, sustained attention.
XIV. Devices. 1. Use the Perception cards
furnished with the Readers for the purpose of drilling
upon the words.
2. Use as sentence builders, cards containing the words
written or printed on them. Let these be put together
so as to form the easy sentences of the chart or board
3. Assign expression work to occupy the pupils at their
seats. This must be some profitable employment.
Playing with sticks, marking with a pencil, or doing
anything else with no definite aim in view, should not
be permitted. The work should be copying, illustrating
by drawing, or painting, card work, paper folding,
making objects described in the reading lessons, etc.
4. If desired, a chart for the reading work can be made
from manila paper of postal-card weight. Use black
"Standard Checking" crayon, number thirty-one, making
letters that can be seen across the room. Teachers are
advised to depend upon the board and methods suggested
heretofore rather than upon the chart.
5. Fasten to the top of the blackboard a common window
shade with a spring roller. This is to be used to
cover lessons written on the board for sight reading.
6. Use colored crayons on the blackboard to emphasize
certain words or ideas.
7. Use the sign printer to print the sentences on long
strips of manila cardboard.
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