All reading material should stand three tests.
1. Will it increase the childís desire to read?
2. Does it make an appropriate demand for good reading
habits and good taste?
3. Does it have an intrinsic value in the subject
matter which it presents, or in the emotions which it
is capable of arousing in children?
Silent reading should have the first place in the
supplementary reading. Some one has said, "Silent
reading is the agency which enables the child to look
through the words to the thought in the same way that
one looks through a clean window glass to the objects
Silent reading is the only way to teach rapid reading,
because a child is not hindered by the agencies he uses
when reading aloud. When the child acquires facility
in word-recognition he is likely to read aloud too
rapidly. It also is an aid in discipline; it helps the
teacher to save her voice for a time when it is more
necessary to talk; it makes an excellent medium of
communication. It is now generally conceded that the
more a teacher talks the more she must talk and the
less is her power in the schoolroom.
The following examples show how silent reading may be
used at a very early stage:
I. This lesson can be given for a class who are to
leave the seats and go to the front of the room for a
lesson. The teacher writes:
 1. Stand.
2. Drum, George. (George runs to the front of
the room and gets the drum.)
3. March! (When teacher puts in the
punctuation, George takes the mark as a signal to beat
the drum and the pupils begin to move.)
When the pupils have reached their destination George
puts the drum away.
The teacher writes, Thank you, George.
George says, "Youíre welcome, Miss—."
II. For morning work.
The teacher writes, Good morning, children.
(Pupils rise and say, "Good morning, Miss—.")
The teacher writes, Please close the door, May.
When May returns teacher has written, Thank you,
May replies, "Youíre welcome, Miss—."
III. Just before the books are used in a reading
The teacher writes, Please pass the books,
James. Or if a guest comes in, You may give
your book to our guest, Edith.
IV. Just before dismissing in the afternoon the
Please pass the basket, May.
Thank you, May.
Good night, children.
Pupils rise and say, "Good night, Miss—."
V. When distributing materials, the teacher writes:
1. Helpers, stand! (Pupils who are appointed
as helpers stand and take materials to be distributed.)
VI. In singing time.
1. Letís have a concert. You may sing, James.
2. Clap. (Pupils clap when James has
 3. You may sing, Elizabeth. When Elizabeth
finishes the teacher points to the word clap.
Make the class work lively by originality in the
introduction of new devices, in word drill, and in
lessons generally, that the exercises may not become
monotonous. Require the sentences of the lessons to be
acted whenever possible in beginning work.
Sample Lessons in Silent Reading
I. Let us play "The Little Red Hen."
You may be the hen, Mary.
You may be the pig, Jack.
You may be the cat, Alice.
You may be the dog, Ben.
II. We are going to play "The Boy and the Goat."
You may be the boy, Frank.
John, you may be the goat.
You may be the rabbit, Bert.
Grace may be the squirrel.
William may be the fox.
Alice, you may be the bee.
There are so many practical uses for silent sentence
reading that it is unnecessary to have the children do
absurd things just for the sake of having them read and
act. For instance, rather than ask a child merely to
"Run to the door," write, "Please close the door," or
"Please open the door."
Books for Supplementary Reading
Books for supplementary reading should be selected with
great care. The teacher should look them through
 1. Will they be interesting to the children?
2. Will they create in the child a desire to read?
3. Do they lead to consecutive thinking or are they
disconnected in thought?
4. Will they enrich the lives of these children?
5. Would the material be considered acceptable reading
for children outside of school?
Teaching the Child to Copy or Write the Words
1. Write a known word on the blackboard.
2. Have the class watch you trace the word with a
3. Have the child hold up his pencil and think of it
as long enough to reach the board. Let him trace with
4. Pupils trace the form with the pencil in the air
5. Cover up the word. Pupils trace in the air.
6. Ask them if they can think the word. (It is
7. If they cannot form a mental picture of the word,
repeat these steps until they can.
8. When they can see the word mentally, erase the word
and let them write from this mental image.
9. Teach other new words in the same way. Always
requiring the pupil to write from the image.
10. Repeat until the pupil uses the process
mechanically for all new and old words.
Drill Upon the Words
1. Reserve a place upon the board to list words as
fast as learned.
2. Review the list by skipping about as part of each
3. Place words in all possible combinations and drill
until the recognition of words is instantaneous.