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short selections, and between material for intensive and extensive reading.
If the pupil is to gain the full benefit from his reading, certain definite helps must be provided. An effective reader must
score a high test not only on the fundamentals of Definite
quality, variety, organization, and quantity of literaHelps
ture, but also on its fitness as a tool for classroom use. The effectiveness of this book as such a tool may be indicated by the following distinguishing features:
(1) A distinctive Introduction, "Literature and Life” (see page 15), shows what literature is and gives the plan of the book.
(2) Definite provisions are made for developing speed and concentration in silent reading. (See pages 11, 27, 39, etc.)
(3) A comprehensive Glossary contains the words and phrases that offer valuable vocabulary training, either of pronunciation or meaning. The teacher is free to use the Glossary according to the needs of her particular class, but suggested type words and phrases are listed under Notes and Questions.
(4) A complete program of study, "How to Gain the Full Benefit from Your Reading" (pages 35-37), gives a concise explanation of the various helps found in the book.
(5) The helps to study are more than mere notes; they aid in making significant the larger purposes of the selections. These Notes and Questions include:
(a) Biographies of authors, that supply data for interpreting the stories
(6) Historical settings, wherever they are necessary to the intelligent understanding of the selection (see pages 141, 260, etc.).
(c) Questions and suggestions that present clearly the main idea, stimulate original discussion and comparison, and bring out modern parallels to the situations found in the selections.
(d) Words of common use frequently mispronounced, listed for study under “Discussion" (see page 38, etc.).
(e) Phrases that offer idiomatic difficulty; for convenience in locating these phrases the page and line number is indicated.
(f) Problems, individual and social (see pages 89, 235, etc.).
SUGGESTIONS FOR AN ORDER OF READING
In the Elson Readers selections are grouped according to theme or authorship. Such an arrangement enables the pupil to see the dominant ideas of the book as a whole. This purpose is further aided by an Introduction and a Review for each main group. The book, therefore, emphasizes certain fundamental ideals, making them stand out clearly in the mind of the pupil. This result can best be accomplished by reading the selections in the order given.
It goes without saying that selections particularly suited to the celebration of special days will be read in connection with such festival occasions. For example, "A Christmas Carol," page 149, will be read immediately before the Christmas holidays, even if the class at that particular time is in the midst of some other main part of the Reader. Before assigning a selection out of order, however, the teacher should scrutinize the notes and questions, to make certain that no references are made within these notes to a discussion in an Introduction or to other selections in the group that pupils have not yet read. In case such references are found the teacher may well conduct a brief class discussion to make these questions significant to the pupils.
It is the belief of the authors that many of the longer prose stories should be read silently and reported on in class. In this way the monotony incident to the reading of such selections aloud in class will be avoided. However, the class will wish to read aloud certain passages from these longer units because of their beauty, their dramatic quality, or the forceful way in which the author has expressed his thoughts. Class readings are suggested for this purpose. In this way reading aloud is given purposefulness.