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USING THE DICTIONARY

131

Nonsense!” cried the father. My boy weighed fifty pounds! How could a screech owl carry him

away?"

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"I cannot tell you how," answered the merchant. But, friend, there is nothing very wonderful about it. Surely a screech owl can carry off a boy weighing fifty pounds, if a tiny rat can devour one hundred pieces of silver!”

The dishonest man, seeing that he was detected, confessed his sin and gavė the merchant the hundred pieces of silver in exchange for his son.

LA FONTAINE (Adapted)

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What do you think of the merchant's plan for getting back his silver ?

Did he think his neighbor would believe his story about the screech owl?

Did he want him to believe it?
Why did he tell it?

Notice that the story is divided into three parts. The first part tells what happened the first time the two merchants met; the second tells what happened the second time; and the third tells what happened the third time they met.

II. USING THE DICTIONARY 1. Copy the words below, all of which are used in the story, The Two Merchants. Opposite each

write a word that means the same, if you are sure you know one. If you have any doubt about it, look up the word in the dictionary.

merchant treasure guard
prevent persuade pretend
distress
devour

ruin

2. Test each of your meanings by reading it in the story in place of the word there used. Does your meaning fit? If not, you must find another. Use the dictionary, if necessary.

3. If you are not sure of the pronunciation of any word, learn from the dictionary how to pronounce it.

III. PREPARING TO DRAMATIZE A STORY

Prepare to dramatize the story, The Two Merchants. Study each part through carefully. Try to see every action and to think the exact words that should be used.

FIRST PART

In playing the part of the dishonest neighbor, what words will you use to show just what you are thinking as you look at the silver after the merchant leaves ? Read the last paragraph ; this tells you what he thought, but you must express it in your own words.

DRAMATIZING A STORY

133

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SECOND PART

If you play the part of the merchant, what will you say in asking for your silver on your return from your journey ?

The story tells just what the merchant thought of his neighbor's answer. In playing the merchant's part, when you speak these words you will turn your face away from the neighbor and talk softly, as if you did not want him to hear what you were saying. This is called talking in an aside.

If you are the merchant, what will you say to your neighbor when you pretend to believe his story about the rat?

1

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THIRD PART

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20

Read the last paragraph. If you are the dishonest neighbor, in what words will you confess that you have stolen the silver and that you are willing to give it up in exchange for your son ?

Get a pupil to take the part of one of the merchants while you take that of the other. Rehearse the play together, at recess or after school, so that you will be prepared to give it well before the class, when you have the opportunity.

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IV. DRAMATIZING A STORY

1

1 Note to the teacher: See Manual, page 123.

V. SPEAKING CLEARLY AND DISTINCTLY

1. Read the words below, sounding the last letter in each word distinctly.

merchant things staring stolen weighed detected

saying
carried
last
pretending
persuading
confessed

honest
friend
mind
every
answered
dishonest

left hundred asked lying nothing child

2. Read the following sentences, speaking each word clearly and correctly.

(a) An honest merchant asked his friend to guard a hundred pieces of silver.

(6) The dishonest man kept the hundred pieces, saying a rat had stolen every one of them.

(c) The merchant knew that the man was lying ; but, pretending to believe the man, the merchant left the house.

(d) When detected at last, the dishonest confessed.

(e) Do you believe a child that weighed half a hundred pounds could be carried off by an owl ?

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VI. RETELLING A STORY 1

i Note to the teacher: See Manual, page 123.

WRITING A PLAY

135

VII. WRITING A PLAY

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The story of the two merchants is written in three parts. If it were written as a play, these parts would be called Act I, Act II, Act III.

What would Act I tell?
What would Act II tell ?
What would Act III tell ?

In writing a play you must tell the time and place of each act. All the acts of this play took place at the home of the dishonest neighbor. The different parts may be written in this way:

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ACT I
Place: Home of the Dishonest Neighbor.
Time: Long ago.

Act II
Place: Home of the Dishonest Neighbor.
Time: Several months later than Act I.

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ACT III
Place: Home of the Dishonest Neighbor.
Time: Several days later than Act II.

You are going to write one act of this play. Copy from above the heading of the act that you wish to write. Then turn back to the story, and copy, if you wish, the conversation from the book. In places where no conversation is written

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