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Formerly Assistant Professor of Elementary Education, Yale University
Assistant Superintendent of Schools, Cleveland and Minneapolis
and Supervisor of Primary Instruction, Newton and Passaic
This book is strictly a pupil's book; with the exception of an occasional brief note to the teacher, every page and paragraph of it is addressed to the pupil ; it is written in language that the pupil can understand. It represents the carefully prepared result of many years' experience in teaching hundreds of classes of all kinds of children.
The Manual which accompanies this book, entitled Aldine Language Method, Second Book, is strictly a teacher's book; it is addressed to the teacher throughout; it explains in detail the purpose of every exercise in this, the pupil's book, gives careful directions concerning the most effective ways of conducting the various exercises, and is filled with practical suggestions calculated to make language teaching not only successful but a delight to teacher and pupil. Like the pupil's book, the teacher's Manual is the outgrowth of many years of experience in helping hundreds of teachers to make their work effective.
This pupil's book does three essential things.
First: It furnishes and suggests a veritable feast of rich, varied, wholesome material such as the interests
and imagination of normally growing children crave. This material is peculiarly suited to expression in language, both oral and written. Indeed, some of it, such as the proverbs and fables, has served classic writers over and over for generations and ages. Much of it is out of the lives of the pupils, out of each one's observation, memory, imagination, thought, and daily experience. All this material, whether classic fable and proverb or the child's own experience, is used in a way to make it significant and meaningful to the pupil.
Second : this book makes clear and really interesting to children the significance of the language forms which give effective expression to the material. Hence, they learn really to appreciate the importance of correctness and fitness of expression -- the importance, not only of correct spelling, capitalization, and punctuation, but of discriminating choice and arrangement of words and expressions, and of the orderly and impressive presentation of ideas.
Third : material and form are so presented as to awaken the desire and to arouse the ambition of the child to express in correct, beautiful, and effective form the fruits of his own experience, imagination, and thought. Hence, children become eager to write of their own experiences, perhaps in the form of a story, perhaps in that of a letter; to explain clearly something, as a game, with which they are familiar; to give reasons for a judgment or an opinion.
Here we have, then, the beginnings of literary appreciation and of literary production, using the term "literary” in a broad sense. But even more important than these beginnings are the sure promises for the future; pupils become intensely interested in what others have expressed in language and in the way that they have expressed it; they become ambitious to express themselves; they acquire a natural and justifiable confidence in their ability to observe and to think and to express the results of their observation and thought clearly and effectively. All these promises warrant the expectation of continued growth in thought and language power.
The manner in which material, forms of expression, and pupils' exercises have been employed to bring about these results can be fully appreciated only by a careful study of the book itself and of the teacher's Manual which should always accompany this book's
The table of contents following, however, is suggestive of material, plan, and method.
Acknowledgments are here cheerfully made to authors and publishers who have kindly permitted the use in this book of their copyrighted material.
The selections from Tarr and McMurry's Geographies are used by permission of the publishers, The Macmillan Company; the poem, The Flag Goes By, is used by permission of the author, Henry Holcomb Bennett; the selection, The Flag, is used by permission of the author, Charles F. Dole, and of the