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Title: Beginner's Book in Language
       A Book for the Third Grade

Author: H. Jeschke

Release Date: November 4, 2012 [EBook #41288]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1


Produced by Mark C. Orton, Sue Fleming and the Online
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The Athenæum Press





How shall we bring it about that children of the third grade speak as spontaneously in the schoolroom as they do on the playground when the game is in full swing?

How shall we banish their schoolroom timidity and self-consciousness?

How shall we obtain from them a ready flow of thought expressed in fitting words?

How shall we interest them in the improvement of their speech?

How shall we inoculate them against common errors in English?

How shall we displace with natural, correct, and pointed written expression the lifeless school composition of the past, the laborious production of which was of exceedingly doubtful educational value and gave pleasure neither to child nor to teacher?

These are some of the questions to which this new textbook for the third grade aims to give constructive answers. Needless to say, much more is required in the way of answer than a supply of raw material for language work or a graded sequence of formal lessons in primary English.

It is the purpose of the present book to provide a series of schoolroom situations, so built up as to give pupils delightful experiences in speaking and writing good English. Since one can no more teach without the interest of the pupil than see without light, these situations have for their content the natural interests of children. They therefore include child life and the heroic aspects of mature life, fairies and fairyland, and the outer world, particularly animal life. Then, each [iv] situation is considerably extended, not only that interest may be conserved but also that it may be cumulative. Instead of the rope of sand that one finds in the textbook of unrelated assignments, there is offered here an interwoven unity of nearly a dozen inclusive groups of interrelated lessons, exercises, drills, and games. Among these groups are the fairy group, the Indian group, the fable group, the valentine group, and the circus group.

These groups or situations call for much physical activity, pantomime, dramatization. They provide for story-telling of great variety; for instruction and practice in punctuation, capitalization, and other points of form; for habit-creating drills in good English; for correct-usage games; for simple letter writing; for novel exercises in book making; and, second in importance to none of these, for the improvement by the pupils themselves of their oral and written composition,—all the work being socialized and otherwise variously motivated from beginning to end.

Careful experiments made with children of the third grade while these lessons were still in manuscript insure that the book will produce the desired results under ordinary school conditions. Very exceptional work may be expected where teachers conscientiously read the entire book at the beginning of the school year and enter into the spirit of it. That they may do this with the least expenditure of time and energy, the lessons have been provided with cross references and numerous notes.




1. Study of a Picture Story1
2. Story-Telling3
3. Making Stories Better4
4. Study of a Poem.  "Queen Mab"  Thomas Hood6
5. Story-Telling9
6. Correct Usage—Saw11
7. Study of a Fable.  "The Ants and the Grasshoppers"    Æsop13
8. Telling a Fable18
9. Making up Fables19
10. Correct Usage—Saw,  Seen21
11. Words sometimes Mispronounced23
12. More Making up of Fables24
13. Story-Telling26
14. Telling about Indians.  "An Indian Boy's Training"  Charles A. Eastman28
15. Studying Words33
16. More Telling about Indians35
17. Still More Telling about Indians38
18. Correct Usage—Have40
19. The Names of the Months41
20. Making Riddles44
21. Correct Usage—Did, Done45
22. Telling Fairy Stories. "Peter and the Strange Little Old Man"47
23. Study of a Poem. "The Fairy Folk" _Robert M. Bird_ "A Child's Song" William Allingham52
24. More Telling of Fairy Stories. "Peter Visits the Strange Little Old Man's Workshop"56[vi]
25. Making Riddles65
26. Making Riddles Better65
27. Study of a Poem. "The Light-Hearted Fairy" Unknown68
28. Correct Usage—Rang, Sang, Drank70
29. Making up Fairy Stories72
30. Writing Dates74
31. Telling Interesting Things75
32. Story-Telling. "Jack and Jill" Louisa M. Alcott76
33. Explaining Things80
34. Words sometimes Mispronounced81
35. Telling Interesting Things. "How the Eskimo builds his House"82
36. Study of a Poem. "Jack Frost" Gabriel Setoun87
37. Game90
38. Correct Usage—May, Can92
39. Talking over Plans94
40. Letter Writing95
41. More Letter Writing97
42. Still More Letter Writing102
43. Improving Letters103
44. Study of a Poem. "Mr. Nobody" Unknown104
45. Making a Little Book107
46. Correct Usage—No, Not, Never109
47. Telling Interesting Things111
48. Study of a Picture Story114
49. Correct Usage—Went, Saw, Came, Did119
50. Two Punctuation Marks120
51. Another Study of a Picture Story121
52. Letter Writing123
53. Words sometimes Mispronounced124
54. Story-Telling. "The Daughter of Ceres"125
55. Telling Interesting Things. "The Return of Spring"131
56. Story-Telling. "Ceres and Apollo"133[vii]
57. Correct Usage—I am not141
58. Riddles141
59. Story-Telling. "Ceres and Pluto"144
60. Talking over Plans150
61. Letter Writing152
62. Addressing Letters153
63. Telling Interesting Things155
64. Making Riddles158
65. Telling about Wild Animals159
66. Making a Little Book162
67. Correct Usage—Good, Well163
68. Talking over the Telephone165
69. Words sometimes Mispronounced166
70. Talking over Vacation Plans166


1. Study of a Picture Story[1]

[Pg 1]

The four pictures at the beginning of this book tell a story. It is about a boy of your age. His name is Tom. Let us try to read that picture story. Perhaps you have already done so. Perhaps you have already found out what happened to Tom.

Oral Exercise.[2] 1. Look at the first of the four pictures. What is happening?

Perhaps the owl thinks that the little man is a little animal. Perhaps the owl wants to eat him for supper. What might the owl say if it could talk? Say it as if you were the owl.

You know, of course, that the little man is an elf. And of course he does not want to be eaten. What is he doing? Call for help as if you were an elf. Remember that the owl is after you. Call with all your might. Call as if you were frightened.

[A] Note To Teacher. Immediately preceding the Index are the Notes to the Teacher. Cross references to these are given in the text, as on the present page. Note 1 may be found on the page that follows page 168.

[Pg 2]

See the surprised look on Tom's face. Play that you are picking flowers in a meadow. Suddenly you hear a call for help. Show the class how you look up and about you to see what is the matter. What might you say when you notice the owl and the elf?

2. Look at the brave boy in the second picture. He has dropped his flowers and run over to the elf. What is he doing? What is he shouting? Do these things as if you were Tom in this picture.

Play this part of the story with two classmates.

3. The good elf has taken Tom to a wonderful tree in the woods. What do you think he is saying to Tom? Should you be a little afraid to open the door if you were Tom? Why? What questions might Tom ask before he opens it?

Play that you and a classmate are Tom and the elf in the third picture, standing in front of the door in the tree. Talk together as they probably talked together. Some of your classmates may be other elves, peeking out from behind large trees.

4. Just as Tom reached out his hand to open the door in the tree, what do you think happened? Look at the sleepy but surprised boy in the fourth picture. Why is he surprised?

Play that you are Tom. Show the class how you would look as you awoke from the exciting dream.[3] What should you probably say?

[Pg 3]Play this part of the story with a classmate. The classmate plays that she is the mother. What do you think the mother is saying to Tom? What might Tom answer?

5. Now you and several classmates will wish to play the entire story.[4]

Then it will be fun to see others[5] play it in their way. Perhaps these will play it better. Each group of pupils playing the story tries to show exactly what happened, by what the players say and do and by the way they look.

2. Story-Telling

Tom awoke just as he was opening the door in the tree. We do not know what would have happened next. Perhaps there was a stairway behind the door. Perhaps this led to a beautiful garden in which were flowers of many colors and singing birds. We do not know whom Tom might have met in that garden. We do not know what might have happened there.

Oral Exercise. 1. Play that you are Tom. Tell the class your dream. But make believe that you did not wake up just as you were opening the door. Tell your classmates what happened to you after you opened it.

Perhaps you found yourself in a room that was full of elves. Perhaps the king of the elves was there. How did he show that he was glad that you had saved the life of one of his elves? What did he say? Did the elves [Pg 4] clap their hands? Did they play games with you in the woods?

Or perhaps the room was full of playthings, like a large toystore. Perhaps the elf told you to choose and take home what you wanted most.

As you and your classmates tell the dream, it will be fun to see how different the endings are.

2. It may be that the teacher will ask you and some classmates to play the best dream story that is told. The first part of it you have already played. Play it over with the new ending. The pupil who added this may tell his classmates how to play it. Should he not be one of the players? He will know, better than any one else, exactly what should be said and done.[6]

3. Making Stories Better[7]

On the morning when Tom awoke from his dream he found his mother at his bedside. The first thing he did was to tell her his strange dream. This is what he said:

Mother, I dreamed about a door. It was in the trunk of a tree. A kind elf showed it to me. I drove away a wicked owl that was trying to carry the elf away.

Oral Exercise. 1. Do you think that Tom told his dream very well? Did he begin at the beginning or at the end of it? Did he leave anything out? [Pg 5]

2. Does Tom's story tell what he was doing when he first saw the elf? Does it tell how the elf looked?[8] How might Tom have begun his story?

3. Does Tom's story tell how he drove the owl away? What might Tom have said about this? Look at the second picture of the story and see what it tells.

4. Tom's story says nothing about going into the woods. It does not tell what was written on the strange door. Look again at the third picture. What does it tell you that Tom left out?

The questions you have been answering are much like the questions that Tom's mother asked him. When he answered them, Tom saw that he had not told his dream very well.

"I left out some of the most interesting things," Tom said, as he thought it over on his way to school.

A few days after this, Tom's teacher asked the pupils whether they remembered any of their dreams. Tom raised his hand. The teacher asked him to tell his dream. This is what he told his classmates:

I dreamed that I was picking flowers. The sun was shining, and the meadow was beautiful. Suddenly I heard a cry. Some one was calling for help. I turned and saw a big owl. Its claws were spread out. It was trying to get hold of a little elf and carry him away.

[Pg 6]

I ran to help the elf. The owl flew up in the air. I waved my arms and shouted and frightened it away.

The good elf said that I had saved his life. He led me into the woods where there were very large trees. In the side of one of the largest I saw a little door. OPEN ME AND STEP IN was written on it.

At first I was afraid to go near the door. But the good little elf told me to fear nothing. Just as I reached out my hand to open the door, I awoke.

Oral Exercise. Did Tom tell the class the same dream he told his mother? Read again what he told her. Now point out where he made it better. What did he add? Which additions do you like most?

4. Study of a Poem

Some say that one of the fairies brings the dreams. They say that it is Queen Mab, a queen of the fairies, who brings them. The following poem tells about this good fairy, who flutters down from the moon. It tells how she waves her silver wand above the heads of boys and girls when they are asleep. Then, at once, they begin to dream. They dream of the pleasantest things. They dream of delicious fruit trees and bubbling [Pg 7] fountains. Sometimes, like Tom, they dream of an elf or a dwarf who leads them over fairy hills to fairyland itself.[9]


A little fairy comes at night,
Her eyes are blue, her hair is brown,
With silver spots upon her wings,
And from the moon she flutters down.

She has a little silver wand,
And when a good child goes to bed,
She waves her wand from right to left
And makes a circle round its head.

And then it dreams of pleasant things,
Of fountains filled with fairy fish,
Of trees that bear delicious fruit
And bow their branches at a wish,
Of pretty dwarfs to show the ways
Through fairy hills and fairy dales.

Thomas Hood (Abridged)[10]

Oral Exercise. 1. Let us make sure that we understand this poem. Find the following words in it and tell what you think each one means:[11]


[Pg 8]

2. Have you ever read about fairies? Tell the class how you think a fairy looks. If you tell it well, you may draw on the board with colored chalk your picture of a fairy. Explain your picture to the class.

3. Play that you are holding a wand in your hand. Wave it as you think the fairy waved it round the head of a sleeping child.

Written Exercise. Copy that part of the poem which you like best. Copy all the little marks that you find. Write capital letters where you find them. Every line of the poem begins with a capital letter. Perhaps you can do this copying without making a mistake.[12] [Pg 9]

Memory Exercise.[13] Read the poem aloud over and over until you can say it without looking at the book. Then stand before the class and recite it. If you make a mistake, you must take your seat. The pupil who saw your mistake may then recite the poem.

5. Story-Telling

Oral Exercise. Think of some dreams you have had. Choose the one that the class would probably like to hear most, but not one that will take long to tell. Explain to the class how the dream began, what came next, what after that, and how it ended.

If you cannot remember any dream, make up one. It may be that you can make up one that will be more wonderful than any real dream of your classmates.[14] But do not make it too long.

Group Exercise.[15] After you have told your dream, your classmates will point out what they liked in the story itself and in your way of telling it. Then they will explain to you how you might have told it better. Perhaps, like Tom, you left out many interesting little points.

Oral Exercise. Make believe you dreamed that, as you were on your way to school one morning, you came upon a big elephant standing on the sidewalk. Tell the class what you did in your dream and how you got to school. [Pg 10]

Or play you dreamed that a smiling elf met you on your way to school. He gave you a pretty box. He told you to open it when you reached the schoolroom. Tell your classmates what you found in it.

Or make believe you dreamed that a lion came into the school. Tell the class what you did. Were you and the teacher the only brave ones in the room? Tell what some of your classmates did in your dream.[2]

Or play you dreamed that you found a gold coin in the schoolyard. When you could not learn who the owner was, you made a plan for spending the money for the school. Tell the class about this plan.

Perhaps the teacher will ask you and the other pupils to play some of these dream stories, if they are very interesting.

Written Exercise. 1. The teacher will write on the board one or more of the stories told by you and the other pupils.[16] The class will read them carefully and point out where each could be made better.[17] Copy one that the teacher has rewritten. The next exercise, which you may read at once, will tell you why you should do this copying without making mistakes.

2. Now the teacher will cover with a map the story on the board that you have copied, and will read it to you, while you write it again.[18] This exercise will show whether you can write a story without making any [Pg 11] mistakes. You will need to know where to put capital letters and the little marks that are placed at the ends of sentences. Besides, you will need to know the spelling of words.

3. Compare what you have written with what is on the board. Look for three things:

(1) Capital letters

(2) The mark at the end of each sentence

(3) The spelling of words

Did you have everything right? If not, correct the mistakes you made.

6. Correct Usage—Saw

Some pupils use the word seen when they should use saw. Mistakes of this kind spoil stories, just as a song is spoiled when some one sings wrong notes. Let us begin to get rid of these unpleasant mistakes by learning how to use the word saw correctly.[19]

Oral Exercise. The word saw is used correctly in the three sentences that follow. Read these sentences aloud several times.

1. Tom said he saw an owl in his dream.

2. I saw a pretty dollhouse in my dream last night.

3. I dreamed that I saw a beautiful yellow bird sitting on a fruit tree and singing.

[Pg 12]

Game. Let all the pupils, except one, play that they have fallen asleep. When they have closed their eyes and rested their heads on their folded arms, the one pupil who plays that she is Queen Mab tiptoes up and down between the rows of seats. With a fairy wand she makes a circle round several heads. Then the fairy disappears, the class wakes up, and each pupil who has had a dream tells his classmates the most interesting one thing that he saw in it. Thus, one pupil might say:

I saw an elf. He was sitting in front of the door of his tree-house. He was making a toy for a little boy.

Another pupil might say:

I saw a dwarf. He was riding over the fruit-tree tops. He was on the back of a beautiful eagle.

Another might say:

I saw an owl. It had big, round, shiny eyes. It looked at me, but I was not afraid.

Still another might say:

I saw a fine white horse. It had a golden harness. A brave soldier sat on its back.

Each pupil begins with the words I saw and tries to say something that is very different from what his classmates say they dreamed, and much more wonderful.[20]

[Pg 13]

7. Study of a Fable

Oral Exercise. Did you ever read the story or fable of the ants and the grasshoppers? Read it carefully as it is told on this and the next pages. See whether you can tell your classmates the lesson that it teaches.


In a field one summer day some ants were busily at work. They were carrying grain into their storehouses. As they plodded steadily to and fro under their loads, they were watched by a number of grasshoppers. The grasshoppers were not working. Instead, they were sunning [Pg 14] themselves by the roadside. Now and then these idle fellows droned out a lazy song, or joined in a dance, or amused themselves by making fun of the ants. But the ants were tireless workers. They kept steadily on. Nothing could take their minds off their business.

"Why don't you come with us and have some fun?" at last called one of the grasshoppers to the ants.

"Oh, stop that work," another cried. "Come and have a good time, as we are doing!"

But the ants kept right on with their work.

"Winter is coming," said an ant. He was busily pushing a rich grain of wheat before him. "We need to get ready for the days when we can gather no food. You had better do the same."

"Ah, let winter take care of itself," the grasshoppers shouted, all together. "We have enough to eat to-day. We are not going to worry about to-morrow."

But the ants kept on with their work. The grasshoppers kept on with their play.

When winter came, the grasshoppers had no food. One after another they died. At last only one was left. Sick with hunger, he went to the house of an ant and knocked at the door.

"Dear ant," he began, "will you not help a poor fellow who has nothing to eat?" [Pg 15]

The ant looked him over a few seconds. "So it is you, is it? As I remember, you are the lazy fellow who did not believe in work. I do not care to have anything to do with you." And he turned his back on the lazy fellow.

Sadly the grasshopper made his way to another door and knocked again.

"You have nothing to eat?" cried the ant that lived here, in great surprise. "Tell me, what were you doing while the weather was warm? Did you lay nothing by?"

"No," replied the grasshopper. "I felt so happy and gay that I did nothing but dance and sing."

"Well, then," answered the ant, "you will have to dance and sing now, as best you can. We ants never borrow. We ants never lend." And he showed the lazy fellow out of the place.

The hungry grasshopper dragged himself to a third house.

"I am sorry," said the ant that opened the door. "I can spare you nothing. All that I have I need for my own family. If you spent the summer without working, you will have to spend the winter without eating." And he shut the door in the grasshopper's face.—Æsop

Oral Exercise. 1. Show the class how you would carry a heavy load. Play that a bag of wheat stood before you. Lift it from the ground, balance it on one [Pg 16] of your shoulders, walk with it across the room, and set it carefully down in the corner. Then go back for another, and another. Let several classmates do the same.

2. Play that you and several classmates are the ants in the fable, busily carrying loads from the field to the storehouses. What might you ants be saying to each other while you work? Should you speak of the sunny day, of the pleasant field, of the fun of working together? Should you probably speak of the pleasure of seeing the grain pile up in the storehouses? Should you be thinking, now and then, of the long, cold winter ahead? What might you say about it? What might you say to each other as you pass the grasshoppers loafing by the roadside?

3. Show the class how you would walk about if you had nothing to do all day long. Would your walk be brisk? Should you look wide-awake? Play that you and several classmates are the grasshoppers in the fable. What will you do? Will you walk lazily to and fro before the class, one of you twanging a guitar, another singing, and the third dancing about? What might you grasshoppers be saying to each other about the weather? What might you say about the busy ants you see passing by with loads on their backs? What might you say about the coming winter?

4. Play the part of the fable that tells what happened in the summer. First the ants will be seen at their [Pg 17] work. They talk with each other as they work. They say what they think about the lazy grasshoppers they see in the distance. Now the grasshoppers slowly come along, humming tunes. They talk about the beautiful summer. They laugh at the hard-working ants. At last they call to the ants and invite these to join them in a dance or in a song. Read the fable to see what each thinks and says and does in this part of the story.

5. Now play that winter has come. You and several classmates may be the grasshoppers. You are shivering in the cold and have no food to eat. Remember, you grasshoppers are not singing and dancing now. What might you say to each other about the summer that is gone? One grasshopper dies of hunger. What might the others say? Another dies. What does the last one say to himself and decide to do?

6. Can you see the last grasshopper going from house to house, begging for food? How does he look? Show the class how he walks and how he talks. What does he say at each door?

7. With three classmates, that will be the three ants, play the last part of the fable,—the part in which the last grasshopper goes from door to door. The fable tells what each ant says and does.

8. Another group of pupils may now play the whole story. Let them do it in their own way.[5] If the story is played well, the class will see everything as it happened.[Pg 18]

8. Telling a Fable

The fable of the ants and the grasshoppers may be told in different ways.[21] You could tell it as if you were one of the ants. In that case the story might begin in this way:

I am a busy ant. I really have no time to stop to talk with you. But perhaps a few minutes' rest will do me good. Yes, I will tell you about the grasshoppers.

One day last summer I noticed some of these good-for-nothing fellows near the field where I was working. They were sunning themselves by the roadside. They were too lazy to work.

Or you could tell the fable as if you were one of the grasshoppers. Then it would perhaps begin as follows:

I am a grasshopper. I had a hard time last winter. All my companions died then. I think it is wonderful that I am still alive. But my health has been ruined.

You see, last summer we grasshoppers did not feel like doing any work. We thought it was more fun to dance and sing and to laugh at the ants. We thought they were foolish to work so hard.

[Pg 19]

Oral Exercise. Tell the fable of the ants and the grasshoppers in your own way. As you speak to your classmates, shall you play that you are an ant or a grasshopper?

Group Exercise. As each pupil tells the fable, the class will listen to see whether any important parts have been left out. The class should tell each speaker where he did well and where the fable might have been told better. There is a good way and a poor way of telling a story. Do you not remember the two ways in which Tom told his dream?

9. Making up Fables

As you know, the fable of the ants and the grasshoppers teaches the lesson that during worktime one should work. The same lesson could be taught by other stories. Let us try to make up a fable of our own. Our fable should show what happens to those who will not work.

Oral Exercise. 1. What animals shall we have in our story to take the place of the ants? They must be very busy animals. They must be good workers. They must not waste their time in idleness. They must not play when they should be going about their business. Would bees do? Now, what animals shall take the place of the grasshoppers? What do you think of butterflies for this part?[Pg 20]

2. Make up a fable about bees and butterflies and tell it to your classmates. Will you tell it as if you were one of the bees? Or will you be a butterfly? Or will you tell the fable as if you were a bird or a field mouse that saw all that happened and heard all that was said?

Group Exercise. After each telling of the fable you and the other pupils should tell the story-teller, first, what things in his story you liked, and, second, what could be made better.

Sometimes pupils do not speak loud enough for the class to hear. Sometimes they do not seem strong enough to stand squarely on their two feet while they are speaking. They seem to need to hold on to a chair or table, so as not to fall. Those who stand well and speak with a clear, ringing voice should be praised for it by their classmates.[22]

Oral Exercise. Read the following ideas for stories. Perhaps you can make up a story from one of them that the class would like to hear. Perhaps you can make up a very interesting story that the class would like to play.

1. There are two dogs living in neighboring houses. One is too lazy to watch his master's house. The other is faithful. When a burglar comes, the faithful dog drives him away. Then the burglar enters the neighbor's house. There he finds the lazy watchdog fast asleep. What [Pg 21] happens next morning when the master of each dog learns what took place during the night?

2. The billboards say that a circus is coming. In a month it will be in a certain city where two boys live. These two boys plan to go. They need to earn the money for the tickets. One of them begins at once and works steadily. The other is unwilling to give up his play.

10. Correct Usage—Saw, Seen

Some time ago we began to learn about the correct use of the word saw. Some pupils use saw when only seen is correct, and seen when only saw is correct. The following sentences show the correct use of these two troublesome words:

1. I saw some ants busily at work.

2. Have you seen them?

3. Have you ever seen a grasshopper at work?

4. I never saw one.

5. But I have often seen ants at work.

6. Has your brother seen the ant hill in the field?

Oral Exercise. 1. In any of the sentences above do you find saw used with have or has? Do you find seen used in any sentence without have or has? Can you make a rule for the use of saw and seen?[Pg 22]

2. Using what you have just learned about saw and seen, fill the blanks below with the correct one of the two words:

1. The grasshoppers —— the ants, and the ants —— them.

2. I have —— many ants and many grasshoppers.

3. Has any one ever —— this grasshopper doing any work?

4. I once —— two ants carrying a heavy grain of wheat together.

5. I —— them at work.

6. Have you —— the ants carrying grain this summer?

7. My brother once —— a beehive.

8. He —— hundreds of bees.

9. I have never —— butterflies gathering food for the winter.

Game. 1. The teacher sends one of the class from the room. The remaining pupils close their eyes. The teacher tiptoes to one of them and shows him a pencil (or a book or a cap) belonging to the pupil in the hall. When that one returns to the room, he asks each of his classmates in turn, "George (or Fred or Mary), have you seen my pencil?"

The answer is, "No, Tom (or Lucy or John), I have not seen your pencil," until at last the pupil is reached who has seen it. He answers, "Yes, Tom, I have seen it."

Then he in turn leaves the room, and another round of the game begins.

2. The teacher points to one pupil after another and asks each, "What did you see on your way to school?" [Pg 23]

The answers come:

1. I saw many children all going in the same direction.

2. I saw a poster of the circus that is coming to town next week.

3. I saw a farmer driving a cow.

4. I saw a policeman.

Each answer begins with the words I saw. After half a dozen pupils have spoken, the one who gave the most interesting reply[23] takes the teacher's place. He asks his classmates a question beginning with the words What did you see? He might say:

1. What did you see at church last Sunday?

2. What did you see when you visited your grandfather?

3. What did you see when you went to the woods?

After half a dozen answers, another pupil becomes the questioner. Each pupil tries to ask interesting questions and to give interesting answers.[20]

11. Words sometimes Mispronounced

It often happens that a story is spoiled because the person who tells it makes mistakes in English. It is as unpleasant to hear a mistake in a speaker's language as it is to see a spot on a picture. You have already learned the proper use of saw and seen. In this lesson we shall take up another matter. Sometimes pupils do not pronounce all their words correctly. We must get rid of mistakes of this kind, too.

[Pg 24]

Oral Exercise. 1. Pronounce each word in the following list as your teacher pronounces it to you:


2. Read the entire list rapidly, but speak each word distinctly and correctly.

3. Use in sentences the words in the list above.

12. More Making up of Fables

Of course you have heard the fable of the foolish little chick. That chick paid no attention to its mother's warning to stay near her. You probably remember that it boldly wandered away from her and was caught by a hawk.

Oral Exercise. 1. If there are any pupils in the class who do not know the fable of the foolish chick, some pupil who remembers it clearly should tell it to them, so that all may know it. What is the lesson of that fable?

2. Make up a short fable like the one of the careless chick and the hawk. Read the following list of ideas for such a fable. Perhaps it will help you to make up an interesting story to tell the class. Perhaps the class will wish to play your story.

The Foolish Lamb and the Wolf

The Bear Cub and the Bear Trap

The Heedless Puppy and the Automobile

The Reckless Mouse and the Cat

[Pg 25]

Group Exercise. The teacher will write on the board the best of the fables that you and your classmates make. Then you and they may try to improve these fables, as Tom improved the story of his dream. Make each one as interesting as you can.[24] Think of bright things to add to each one.

Written Exercise. Copy from the board one of the fables that the class has improved. Write capital letters and punctuation marks where you find them in the fable. What you write should be an exact copy of what is on the board.[25] Do you think that there is any one in the class who can make such an exact copy? Are you that one?

[Pg 26]

13. Story-Telling

Oral Exercise. Did you ever see a sign with the words SAFETY FIRST? Explain to your classmates what you think it meant.

The three pictures on the opposite page tell three stories. Each story teaches the lesson, "Safety First."

Oral Exercise. 1. Make up a story that you and your classmates may play. Let it fit one of the three pictures. Tell it to the class.

2. Together with two or three classmates, whom you may choose yourself, play your story. Perhaps you and the other players will meet before or after school, and then you can tell them how each one must look, what he must do, and what he must say, in playing his part. Try to do it all without the teacher, but if you need the teacher's help, ask for it. Play the story once or twice before playing it in the presence of the class.

Group Exercise. Other pupils will play their stories. The class will tell what it likes and what it does not like in the playing of each story. These questions will help to show whether a story was well played:

1. Did the players say enough?

2. Did the players speak clearly, distinctly, and loud enough?

3. Did the players look and act like the persons in the story?

4. How might the story have been played better?

[Pg 27]


[Pg 28]

14. Telling about Indians[26]

Long ago there were no cities and no railroads in our country. The white men had not yet come. Only Indians lived here. As you probably know, their houses were tents made of skins. They had no guns, but hunted with bows and arrows. Their clothes were very different from those we wear.

Oral Exercise. 1. You have probably read or heard interesting things about the Indians. What can you tell your classmates about them?

2. Of course you know that Indian children were not sent to school as you are. They did not learn to read books. Do you know what they did learn? Tell the class what you know about it.

3. Read what an Indian says in the following true story. When this Indian boy grew to be a young man, he learned English. He has written a number of books about his boyhood. As you read what follows, notice [Pg 29] how many things you are told which you never heard of before. Perhaps you had thought that little Indian boys were never afraid of the dark. This story tells how they get over it. What else does it tell that is interesting to you?


My uncle was my teacher until I reached the age of fifteen years. He was strict and good. When I left the tepee in the morning, he would say: "Boy, look closely at everything you see." At evening, on my return, he used to question me for an hour or so.

He asked me to name all the new birds that I had seen during the day. I would name them according to the color, or the shape of the bill, or their song, or their nest, or anything about the bird that I had noticed. Then he would tell me the correct name.

One day he told me what to do if a bear or a wild-cat should attack me. "You must make the animal fully understand that you have seen him and know what he is planning to do. If you are not ready for a battle, that is, if you are not armed, the only way to make him turn away from you is to take a long, sharp-pointed pole for a spear and rush toward him. No wild beast will face this unless he is cornered and already wounded."

[B] Copyright, 1913, by Little, Brown and Company.

[Pg 30]


When I was still a very small boy, my stern teacher began to give sudden war whoops over my head in the morning while I was sound asleep. He expected me to leap up without fear, grasp my bow and arrows or my knife, and give a shrill whoop in reply. If I was sleepy or startled and hardly knew what I was about, he would laugh at me and say that I would never become a warrior. Often he would shoot off his gun just outside the tepee while I was yet asleep, at the same time giving bloodcurdling yells. After a time I became used to this.

My uncle used to send me off after water when we camped after dark in a strange place. Perhaps the country was full of wild beasts. There might be scouts from warlike bands of Indians hiding in that very neighborhood.

Yet I never objected, for that would have shown cowardice. I picked my way through the [Pg 31] woods, dipped my pail in the water, and hurried back. I was always careful to make as little noise as a cat. Being only a boy, I could feel my heart leap at every crackling of a dry twig or distant hooting of an owl. At last I reached the tepee. Then my uncle would perhaps say, "Ah, my boy, you are a thorough warrior." Then he would empty the pail, and order me to go a second time.

Imagine how I felt! But I wished to be a brave man as much as a white boy desires to be a great lawyer or even President of the United States. Silently I would take the pail and again make the dangerous journey through the dark.—Charles A. Eastman (Ohiyesa), "Indian Child Life" (Adapted)


Oral Exercise. 1. Play that you are an Indian boy or girl. Make believe that you are walking through the dark woods. Remember, there may be wild beasts in the woods, or the scouts of warlike Indian bands. Show the class how you would walk and how you would look about you as you picked your way to a spring to fetch water for the camp. Tell the class what you might see and hear on this dangerous trip.

[Pg 32]


2. Now let three or four of your classmates be white boys and girls. They are passing carefully through the same woods. Let these white children show the class exactly how they would make their way through the woods. What might they be whispering to each other?[Pg 33]

3. Play that suddenly you and the white hunters meet in these dangerous woods. At first you see them a little distance away. What do you try to do? But they have also seen you. What do they try to do? At length you find that they are friendly, and they see that they need not fear you. When you meet them, what might you say to them? What questions might you ask them? What might they ask you?

4. Make believe that the white boys and girls know very little about Indian boys, and that they wonder why you are not in school studying your lessons. What will you tell them? When they ask you whether you never learn anything, tell them what you have learned in the woods.

5. Now tell them that you know nothing about the schools to which white children go. Ask them to tell you why they go to school and what they do there. Ask them more questions until they have told you all about their school.

15. Studying Words

When the first white men who came to this country met the Indians, they learned from them some new words. The white men used these Indian words more and more. To-day we think of the words as English words, and we have almost forgotten where we got them. In talking about Indians we shall need these [Pg 34] words. Let us learn them at once. Then we shall make no mistakes when we use them.


Oral Exercise. 1. Listen carefully as the teacher pronounces each word in this list of Indian words. Then pronounce it the same way. Then read the entire list distinctly and rapidly without making a single mistake.


2. Which of these words do you already know? Make sentences using each of these to show that you know what they mean. Learn the meaning of the others and then use them in sentences.

Group Exercise. With each of the Indian words in the list make one interesting sentence. This the teacher will write on the board. Then the entire class [Pg 35] will make it as much better as possible. The teacher will write the improved sentence on the board under the other one. Thus, with the first word in the list, you might give this sentence:

The hunter saw a tepee.

The class tries to make the sentence more interesting. At last the following sentence is seen on the board:

The brave Indian hunter saw a large new tepee in the woods.

16. More Telling about Indians

One way of starting fire was for several of the boys to sit in a circle and, one after another, to rub two pieces of dry, spongy wood together until the wood caught fire.—Charles A. Eastman (Ohiyesa), "Indian Child Life"


Oral Exercise. 1. Do you know in what kind of houses the Indians lived? Explain to the class how large you think an Indian house was, how it was made, and what kind of door it had. If you can, draw on the board a picture of the tepee about which you are talking.[Pg 36]

2. In which of the following questions are you interested most? You probably know something about it already. Learn as much more as you can. Ask your teacher and your father and mother, and try to find something about it in books. Then tell your classmates what you know. If you can draw on the board[26] a picture of the thing about which you are talking, it may help your classmates to understand you better. Or you may make a drawing on paper with colored crayons.

1. What sort of boat did Indians use and how did they make it?

2. What did the Indians wear?

3. How were the Indian babies taken care of?

4. What did the Indians use for money?

5. How are the Indians of to-day different from the Indians whom the first white men saw?

Group Exercise. 1. After each pupil's talk the class should explain to the speaker, first, what they liked in the talk, and, second, how the talk might have been better.

2. One of these talks the teacher will write on the board.[16] Then the whole class should study it together, improving it as much as possible. The following questions may help in this work:

1. Is anything important left out?

2. What could be added to make the talk more interesting?

[Pg 37]

Written Exercise. 1. When the talk that you have just been studying has been rewritten on the board in its improved form, copy it. Before doing so, read the exercise that follows. It will show you why it is very important that you try to copy the talk without making a single mistake. Look out for the spelling of words, for the capital letters, and for the punctuation marks. In this way you will be preparing for the battle in the next exercise.

2. The entire class may now be divided into two Indian tribes. The tribes are to have a battle in the schoolroom. The battle will be a writing battle. It will show which tribe can write from dictation[18] with the fewer mistakes. What you have just copied from the board is to be used for this dictation. Before the exercise begins, each tribe may give its war whoop.


3. Compare what you have written with what is on the board.[12] How many mistakes in spelling have you made? How many times have you written small letters where there should [Pg 38] be capitals? How many punctuation marks have you forgotten? How many mistakes have all the Indians in your tribe made? Did your tribe make fewer mistakes than the other tribe? Then your tribe may give its war whoop as a sign of victory. The losing tribe must remain silent.

17. Still More Telling about Indians

What boy would not be an Indian for a while when he thinks of the freest life in the world? This life was mine. Every day there was a real hunt.—Charles A. Eastman (Ohiyesa), "Indian Child Life"

Oral Exercise. 1. What did Indian boys and girls enjoy that you do not have? What pleasant things do you enjoy that the Indian children had never heard of before the white men came to this country?

2. Make believe that you are an Indian boy or girl. Play that you have been asked by the teacher to visit the school. The teacher asks you to tell about your pleasant life in a tepee in the woods, and why you are glad you are an Indian. The teacher will meet you at the door, lead you before the class, and say something like this:

Boys and girls, I want to introduce you to our visitor. As you see, he is an Indian boy, who has come to us from his home in the woods. He will tell us why he likes the Indian life and why he would not exchange places with us.

What will you say to the class?


[Pg 39] 3. Now play that the class is a tribe of Indians. You have been captured by them as you were wandering through the woods.[27] They want you to live with them and to grow up with the Indian boys and girls. Stand before this Indian tribe. Tell them bravely why you would rather stay with the white men. Ask them to let you return to your home. Give good reasons why they should do so. Which of the following ideas will you use in your talk?

[Pg 40]

1. You would rather spend your life in the city than in the woods.

2. You like the white men's houses and ways of living better than those of the Indians.

3. You want to learn to read better so that you may enjoy many storybooks of which you have heard.

18. Correct Usage—Have[28]

A game that Indians often played was called "Finding the Moccasin." The players formed a circle around one who stood in the center and was "it." They passed a small toy moccasin quickly from hand to hand. The one in the center tried to guess who had it. If he guessed right, then the player who had the moccasin became "it" for the next game.


Game. Make believe that you and your classmates are a band of Indians playing "Finding the Moccasin." Make a small moccasin of paper or cloth. Pass it quickly from hand to hand as you stand in a circle. Be careful that the player in the center does not see you passing it. He will ask one after another in the [Pg 41] circle, "Have you the moccasin?" The answer will always be, "No, I haven't (or have not) the moccasin," until the one who does have it answers, "Yes, I have the moccasin." Then this player is "it" for the next game.

19. The Names of the Months

Here are two lists of names. The second gives the Indian names for the months. As you see, the Indians use the word moon instead of the word month.

January    Snow Moon
FebruaryHunger Moon
MarchCrow Moon
AprilWild-Goose Moon
MayPlanting Moon
JuneStrawberry Moon
JulyThunder Moon
AugustGreen-Corn Moon
SeptemberHunting Moon
OctoberFalling-Leaf Moon
NovemberIce-Forming Moon
DecemberLong-Night Moon

Oral Exercise. 1. As you read the two lists above, do you see the reason for each Indian name? Do you like the Indian names as well as the names we use? Which Indian name do you like best of all? Which do you think could be improved? Can you make up other names for the twelve months?[29]

[Pg 42]

2. Can you name the twelve months in order? Remember to pronounce all the r's in February.

3. Let twelve pupils be the twelve months. Let the pupil who is January speak first. He should tell who he is and what he brings. He might speak as follows:

I am January. The Indians call me Snow Moon. I bring cold weather, ice, and snow. Healthy boys and girls like me. When I am here, they can go coasting and skating. When I bring too much cold, they stay indoors by the fire and read books about Indians.


In this way each of the twelve pupils may tell the class what kind of month he is.

Group Exercise. After each month has spoken, the class should tell him, first, what was specially good in his talk, and then, what might have been better. These questions will help the class to see how good each talk was:

1. What was the best thing in the talk?

2. Did the speaker leave out anything interesting?

3. Did he use too many and's?[30]

[Pg 43]

Written Exercise. You and eleven classmates may go to the board. The teacher will name a month for each pupil. Each is to write a sentence that tells what he likes to do in one of the months. If you are to write what you like to do in November, you might write a sentence like the following:

In November I like to read books and play games by the warm fire.

While the twelve pupils are writing on the board, the pupils in their seats will write on paper.


Do not forget that the name of every month begins with a capital letter. Do not forget that the word I is always written as a capital letter.

Group Exercise. 1. The class may now point out any mistakes there are in each of the twelve sentences on the board. These questions will help pupils to find mistakes:

1. Is the name of the month spelled correctly? Does it begin with a capital letter?

2. Does the sentence begin with a capital letter?

3. Does the sentence end with a period?

4. If the word I is used, is it written as a capital letter?

[Pg 44]

2. Now the sentences that pupils wrote at their desks may be read. Those that are very good may be written on the board under the ones about the same months. Then the class will point out mistakes in them, if there are any.

20. Making Riddles

Oral Exercise. 1. Can you guess either one of the following riddles?

I come once in a year. I always bring Santa Claus with me. When I leave, a new year begins at once. What am I?

I come once a year. Turkeys do not like me, but everybody else gives thanks after I have been here several weeks. What am I?

2. Make riddles about the months, for your classmates to guess. Begin your riddles like the two above.


Game. Twelve pupils stand in a row in front of the class. The teacher whispers to each the name of one of the months. The game is for the class to arrange these pupils in the order of the months of the year. Of course January will be placed at the beginning of the row. December will [Pg 45] be placed at the end. Each pupil in the row makes a riddle about the month he is. The class must guess who is January, who is February, and so on to December.

Those who guess the riddles may be the months in the second game.

Group Exercise. Pupils who make very good riddles may write them on the board. Then the class will try to make them still better.


Written Exercise. When the riddles on the board have been corrected, copy the one or two you like best. Take these copies home to show to your parents. Write the name of the month under each riddle you copy. Begin that name with a capital letter. How will you make sure that you have spelled it right?

21. Correct Usage—Did, Done

Some pupils spoil their talks and stories because they make mistakes in using did and done. They say did when they should say done, and done when they should say did. The sentences at the top of the next page show these words used correctly:

[Pg 46]

1. The Indian boy did a brave deed.

2. He has done deeds of bravery before.

3. I never did anything so daring.

4. Have you done your work?

5. I had done my work long before you spoke.

Oral Exercise. 1. As you read the sentences above, try to find out when it is right to use did and when done.

2. Read the sentences again. Now notice that nowhere is the word done used unless has or have or had is used in the same sentence. Is this true of the word did also?

Let us remember, then, never to use done alone, and never to use did with have or has or had.


Game.[31] 1. One of the pupils plays that he or she is an old Indian squaw. All the other pupils are her children. She stands before them and says: "Children, I must go to the river. I must see whether the warriors are catching many fish for supper. I want you all to stay here in the tepee and finish your work." In a little while the squaw returns from the river. She walks up and down the aisles and asks each of her [Pg 47] children this question: "Have you done your work?" Each one answers: "No, I have not done my work, but I think that John (pointing to the next pupil) has done his." The questions and answers go on until every pupil in the class has spoken. Then those who made no mistake in their answers join in an Indian dance. They march up and down the aisles, clapping their hands and chanting, "All good Indians have done their work."

2. The old Indian squaw again leaves and again returns to her children. This time she asks each one, "What were you doing while I was gone?" Each one answers, "I did the work you gave me to do." All those who answer correctly join in an Indian dance, singing, "I did my work yesterday, and I have done my work to-day." [32]

22. Telling Fairy Stories[33]


On the edge of a great forest there once lived a toymaker and his little family. Although he worked hard, he was very poor. His wife had to help him whittle and paint the toys, which he sent to the nearest village to be sold.

"Times are hard," the toymaker said one night to his wife, "I cannot save any money. Christmas is near at hand, and I am afraid we shall have no presents for the boys."

[Pg 48]

They had two boys. These looked as like as two peas from the same pod, but they were very unlike at heart. Peter, the younger one, made his father and mother very happy. Joseph, the elder, caused them much worry.

The toymaker would say: "Put wood on the fire, boys. We cannot work if we are not warm." Peter would go to the shed at once, bring in an armful of wood, put some of it in the stove and the rest in the woodbox. All the while Joseph would stay in the warm room and would not lift a finger to help him.

So it was with everything. Peter worked steadily at his father's side most of the day, whittling and gluing and painting toys, while Joseph slipped away and spent his time in idleness and play. In the evening it was Peter who helped his mother dry the dishes.

One day as the three workers were busily bent over the bench, a knock was heard at the door. They were surprised to see standing outside a strange little old man, no higher than the tabletop.

"Excuse me," he said, lifting his red cap very politely. "I have lost my way. Would one of the boys kindly be my guide through the woods?"

"Yes, of course," answered the toymaker. He looked from one of his sons to the other, wondering which one to send. He hoped that Joseph [Pg 49] would offer to go, because he was the elder. But Joseph was already shaking his head very hard and turning away. Peter caught his father's look and put on his hat and coat.

"I know all the paths," he said to the stranger, "and will help you find your way."

They started off at once. When they had gone a short distance, it began to snow. They trudged along just the same until the ground was covered with a thick white blanket as far as they could see. They talked very little, but kept their eyes open for the way, and hurried along. At last they reached a place where four great oak trees stood in a row, as if some one had planted them so.

"This is the place," said the little old man. He took a golden whistle from his pocket and blew it. A low sweet tone came from it, that sounded like pleasant music in the silent woods. In a moment a large sleigh, drawn by eight prancing reindeer, appeared before them. The little old man motioned Peter to follow him and jumped in. As soon as Peter had jumped in too, they drove away as fast as they could go, bells ringing, and sparks flying as the reindeer's hoofs struck the ground. Now and then the strange little old man spoke to the reindeer. They seemed to know his voice. He called each by name, "Now, Dasher," and "Now, Dancer," [Pg 50] and "Get up, Prancer." Then they dashed and danced and pranced faster than ever.

They had been moving over the ground in this way for more than an hour. Then Peter saw in the distance a building that was longer and wider and higher than any building he had ever seen or heard about. As they got nearer, a steady buzzing sound was heard. Peter thought it was the sound of machinery. He thought a thousand wheels must be turning and humming within. As he looked and listened, the sleigh suddenly came to a stop. They stood at the entrance to the mighty building.

"What is this building?" asked Peter.

"This is my workshop," said the strange little old man, as he jumped out of the sleigh. "Some day I shall take you inside. You are the kind of boy I like. I know how you help your father and mother. To-day you have helped me. Here is a little present to take home with you."

He placed something in Peter's hand. Then he hurried up the broad stairs and into the workshop. The big door slammed shut behind him, and at that very moment the sleigh, the reindeer, and the workshop itself suddenly disappeared. Much to his surprise Peter found himself alone in the woods and not far from his father's hut.

He wondered whether he had only dreamed all that had happened. No, that could not be, for he [Pg 51] still held in his hand a small leather bag, the present from the little man. Holding this tightly, he hurried to his home.

You may imagine the surprise of his parents and his brother when he told his story. They asked him to tell it again and again. Each one examined the small leather bag. There were two beautiful gold coins in it. Peter gave these to his father and mother.

His father patted him on his curly head.

"We shall spend these for Christmas," he said.

Oral Exercise. 1. Which part of this story do you like best? Tell your classmates what sort of picture you would make with colored crayons for this part of the story. Explain exactly what will be in the picture. Then make the picture.

2. Why did the strange little old man help Peter? Do you know any story in which a fairy helps good people?

3. Think of the fairy stories that you have heard or read. What is the name of the one you like best? Would it not be fun for each pupil to tell the class his favorite fairy story? When you tell yours, do not let it be too long. Tell only the important parts of it.[22]

Group Exercise. After each story, you and your classmates should tell the speaker what you liked in his story and in his telling of it. Then tell what you did not like.

[Pg 52]

23. Study of a Poem

Oral Exercise. 1. Tell your classmates how you think fairies look. How tall do you think they are? What kind of clothes do they wear? After you have answered these questions, draw on the board or on paper, with colored chalks or crayons, a picture of a fairy.

2. Do fairies always walk or run, or can they fly, or have they tiny horses and wagons?

3. Can you see the picture of the fairies in the following lines? What do those lines tell you about fairies that you did not know before?

Their caps of red, their cloaks of green,
Are hung with silver bells,
And when they're shaken with the wind
Their merry ringing swells.
And riding on the crimson moths
With black spots on their wings,
They guide them down the purple sky
With golden bridle rings.
Robert M. Bird, "The Fairy Folk"

4. Where do you think the fairies live? What do they eat? The following poem gives one answer to these questions, and tells us still more about fairies. What is the name of the poem? The child that sings it is afraid of fairies. Do you know any other children that are afraid of them?

[Pg 53]



[Pg 54]

Up the airy mountain,
Down the rushy glen,
We daren't go a-hunting
For fear of little men;
Wee folk, good folk,
Trooping all together;
Green jacket, red cap,
And white owl's feather!
Down along the rocky shore
Some make their home,
They live on crispy pancakes
Of yellow tide-foam;
Some in the reeds
Of the black mountain-lake,
With frogs for their watchdogs,
All night awake.
Up the airy mountain,
Down the rushy glen,
We daren't go a-hunting
For fear of little men;
Wee folk, good folk,
Trooping all together;
Green jacket, red cap,
And white owl's feather!
William Allingham (Abridged)

[Pg 55]

Oral Exercise. 1. Let us make sure that we understand every line of this pretty poem or song. In the first line, why is the mountain called airy? A rushy glen is a narrow valley in which many rushes or swamp reeds grow. Have you ever seen such a place? Draw a picture of a rushy glen.

2. Which lines in the first part of the poem tell about fairies? These fairies go in a troop or band or company. Which line tells us that? With colored crayons draw a picture of a fairy wearing a green jacket, a red cap, and a white owl's feather.

3. The second part, or stanza, of the poem tells where some of these fairies live. What do some of them do all the night? As they watch, who keeps them company?

4. When you read this poem, does it seem to be a song? Do you like the way it reads? Which part do you like best? Draw with colored crayons a picture for this part. Before you draw, explain how the picture looks in your mind. Perhaps you will draw a picture of a troop of fairies, or of a fairy in the reeds with fairy watchdogs near by.

Memory Exercise. Which do you like better, this poem you have just studied or the part of another poem about fairies that is printed before this? Read aloud, several times, the one you like better, until you can say it without once looking at the book.

[Pg 56]

24. More Telling of Fairy Stories


Over a week had passed since Peter's ride in the strange little old man's sleigh, but the little man had not come again. Peter was beginning to fear that he might never return. One afternoon, however, just as the early winter twilight began to darken the great forest, the jingling of sleighbells was heard in front of the toymaker's hut.

"Whoa, Dasher! Steady, Dancer! Whoa, Prancer!" was what Peter heard as he pressed his face against the windowpane. Yes, there were the reindeer, and there, bundled up to his chin in furs, was the strange little old man. He saw Peter at once and made signs to the boy to come along with him. Peter could not put on his cap and coat fast enough. In less than a minute he had climbed into the sleigh, tucked himself in snugly, and was flying over the frozen, snow-covered ground by the side of his strange companion. Soon they had left the lighted hut far behind them and were making their way through the woods on an old logging road that Peter knew. After a while, however, they reached parts of the forest that Peter had never seen. Here grew trees whose names he [Pg 57] had never heard. Now and then he caught glimpses of animals that were unlike any of those with which he was familiar. Peter was so much interested in these that he hardly noticed the great building, the little man's workshop, until the sleigh had stopped before the main door of it. But then he forgot everything else. The big shop was brightly lighted in every story, and the steady hum of machinery filled the evening air.

"We're working overtime now," explained the little man. "You see, Christmas is near."

The humming grew louder and the lights seemed a great deal brighter, as they entered the building. Peter was much excited. When the inner doors were opened, and Peter stood in the great roaring workshop itself, he could hardly believe his eyes. Before him, in long rows, he saw a thousand pounding and buzzing machines, all running at full speed. Ten thousand workbenches stood in orderly rows beyond the machines. The unending room fairly swarmed with busy workmen, like a hive over-flowing with bees. And such workmen! Each wore a green coat and a red cap, decorated with a white owl's feather. Each was no higher than Peter's knee. They were fairies.

As he stood there, trying to understand it all, troop after troop of the fairies passed him.[Pg 58] They were pushing long, high baskets, that stood on wheels. Down the long room they rolled these and through a great double swinging door at the other end. These baskets were filled to the top with playthings. Some held dolls, some sleds, some drums. Others were full of various kinds of musical instruments. Still others gave forth the pleasantest smells. They contained cookies and ginger snaps and all sorts of Christmas goodies.

"Why, they are all Christmas things!" cried Peter in great surprise, turning to the strange little old man at his side. But the strange little [Pg 59] old man was gone, and Peter stood alone in the doorway of this wonderful Christmas workshop.

Before he could decide what to do, a group of little workmen called him by name, as pleasantly as if they had known him all his life.

"Peter, come and help us with this basket!"

"I will," answered Peter.

He was glad to join in the work. Hanging coat and cap on a near-by hook, he put his shoulder against one of the heavy baskets. Soon he had it rolling merrily down the long aisle. Past machines that sawed boards he pushed it, past planing wheels, past long rows of benches where the workers were hammering or gluing or painting, past wide ovens where the little bakers were busy over hundreds of pans of frosted gingerbread—on and on, down the great room he pushed it so fast that his wee comrades were almost left behind. As he passed machines and benches and ovens, the workmen looked up from their work an instant. They smiled at the newcomer.

"When you get through with that," shouted the workmen at the saws, "come and help us with these boards."

"All right, I will," said Peter as he moved along with his basket.

"When you get through with the sawing," cried the planers, "come and help us."

[Pg 60]

Peter smiled at them. "I will," he shouted back as loud as he could, so as to be heard above the noise of the machinery.

"When you finish planing," the painters called to him next, "come and help us."

"I will," Peter replied. "I like to paint, anyway."

Now he passed the bakers. They tossed him a cooky. "When you finish painting," they said, "perhaps you will come and help us."

"That I gladly will," answered Peter in his pleasantest tone. It was quieter here, and he did not need to shout.

At last he reached the double swinging door. Through this he had seen basket after basket disappear before him. Here was the storeroom. It was even larger than the workroom. The walls were lined with shelves, on which were placed the Christmas things. This was an interesting place, but Peter had no time to stay. He was eager to help at the machine saws, at the planing machines, at the workbenches, and in the bakeshop. So he hurried back to these. He did first one thing, then another, as he was needed. He was used to work and liked to help.

The fairies were careful workers and jolly comrades. Now and then they sang as they worked. Then the machines themselves, like the fingers and arms and legs of the workmen, seemed to move faster and the work to be easier.

[Pg 61]

Suddenly a loud but very pleasant whistle sounded through the mighty workshop. It was the signal for a recess. The machines stopped. The fairies laid down their tools and brushes. All was quiet for a time. Now another kind of fun began. The fairies started various games. They formed rings and danced round and round as they sang:

"Oh, who is so merry, so merry, heigh ho!
As the light-hearted fairy? heigh ho,
Heigh ho!"

They played at guessing riddles. These were about toys.

"You see," whispered a fairy who explained everything to Peter, "when the snow comes, and Christmas is near, we leave our homes in the woods and spend our winters making toys for all the good children in the world. Sometimes we cannot make all the toys we need, but we do not wish a single child anywhere to be without a Christmas."

Peter soon learned that the fairies took pride in speaking correctly. Those who sometimes made mistakes played special games to help themselves get over bad speaking habits. At one place they stood like soldiers in a row and pronounced words that were printed on the board.

"Don't you sometimes wish for the woods and moonlight nights?" asked Peter.

[Pg 62]

He could not hear the answer. At a signal the machinery had started again. The fairies were hurrying back to their places. Peter took his place with the rest. He worked steadily at one job and another. The time flew by. Another whistle blew, and it was time to stop for the day. Then the strange little old man appeared.

"It's time for you to go back home," he said. "Should you like to be here always?"

"Oh, yes," answered Peter. "But I have pleasant work to do at home too."

The strange little old man took a ring from his pocket and held it up before the boy's eager face.

"You are the kind of boy I like," he said. "You are willing to help and work. Take this ring home with you. I give it to you. It is a magic ring. Wear it on Christmas Day. On that day wish any one thing you please. The ring will get it for you."

While he was talking they had walked to the main door of the building. Peter had put on his cap and coat. Now the door stood open, and they said good-bye. Peter walked slowly down the steps, staring at the magic ring on his finger. When he reached the last step, he turned and looked back. In the doorway stood the strange little old man, watching him. Peter thought he looked different. Yes, he seemed taller and [Pg 63] stouter than before. He seemed jollier. Peter glanced at the red cap, red coat, and leather leggings he wore. He noticed the laughing face, the twinkling eyes, rosy cheeks, and white beard.

"Can this be Santa Claus?" he thought.

Instantly the great workshop disappeared. Peter found himself, as before, not far from his father's house. His parents and brother caught sight of him as he came out of the forest, and they ran out to meet him. They listened in astonishment to what he told them he had seen. They could not admire enough the magic ring on his finger.

[Pg 64]

Oral Exercise.[34] 1. What interested you most as you read the story about Peter? What kind of picture should you make with colored crayons for the part of the story you liked best? Draw the picture after you have told your classmates about it.

2. Do you remember what kind of boy Peter's brother, Joseph, was? What do you think he would have done if he, instead of Peter, had been in that workshop? What might have happened to him?

3. Play the part of the story about Peter that tells of Peter and the fairies as they worked together in the great toyshop. Who shall be Peter? Who shall be the fairies at the saws? Who shall be the bakers? Who shall be the painters? What toys and things will you make?

4. Play the same part of the story but as it would have happened if Joseph had been there instead of Peter.

5. Make believe that, as you awoke one Saturday morning, you found a letter on your pillow. When you read it, you learned that it was from a fairy. This fairy invited you to meet him at the old tree near the school-house. When you met him there, you and he went off into the woods. Tell your classmates what happened. It may be that your story will be somewhat like that of Peter. Still, you may have seen and heard and done things that were very different.

[Pg 65]

25. Making Riddles

You remember that during the recess in Santa Claus's workshop some of the fairies made riddles. Peter said that these were about toys. Here are two they might have made:

It has two arms, two legs, and a head, like a human being, but it cannot walk or work or talk. What is it?

I spend most of my life in a little wooden box. I press against its cover day and night. I want to get out. Oh, how I leap when some one opens the box! Oh, how frightened little girls and boys look when they first see me! What am I?

Oral Exercise. 1. Of course you have guessed the first of these two riddles. But can you guess the second one?

2. Make riddles for your classmates to guess, about toys and other things that are suitable for Christmas presents.

26. Making Riddles Better

A schoolgirl once made this riddle:

It makes beautiful colors. Children like it. What is it?

The answer is, a box of crayons.

[Pg 66]

Oral Exercise. Do you think this riddle can be made better? Is anything important left out? Is it bright enough? Try to make a better riddle about the box of crayons.

A schoolmate changed the riddle of the box of crayons. He thought this was better:

We are twelve little men in a little tight box. Each one of us writes his name in a different color. What are we?

Oral Exercise. Which of the two riddles do you like better? Can you tell why? Does the first riddle say anything about the box? Does it tell that anything is in a box?

Three other schoolmates made up other riddles about the box of crayons. Here they are:

We are a band of fairies living in our cozy little home. Each of us wears in his cap a feather of a different color. What are we?

I am a piece of the rainbow caught and put in a little tight jail. A little schoolgirl uses parts of me when she draws pictures. What am I?

[Pg 67]

We are a company of soldiers. Each of us wears a cap of a different color. We spend most of our time in a small pasteboard fort. When we go out, we are sure to make our mark. What are we?

Oral Exercise. 1. Of all the riddles of the box of crayons, which do you think is the best? Which is the second best? Which is the poorest?

2. Now again make riddles about toys and Christmas presents. But you should now be able to make better ones than you did before.

Group Exercise. 1. The class, after a riddle has been guessed, should point out what is good in it and then should tell how it might be made better. Should it be made shorter? Should it be made longer? How could it be made brighter?

2. The best riddles should be repeated slowly, so that the teacher may write them on the board. Now these may be read over, and the class may try to make each one better.[20] The teacher will rewrite each in its improved form.[35]

Written Exercise. 1. Copy the riddle that the class likes best. As you copy, notice the spelling of the words, the capital letter at the beginning of each sentence, and the mark at the end of each sentence. This careful copying will prepare you for the next exercise.

2. Write from dictation the riddle that you have copied. Then correct any mistakes.[36] These questions will help you to find out whether you have made any:

1. Is every word spelled correctly?

2. Does every sentence begin with a capital letter?

3. Is every sentence followed by the right kind of punctuation mark?

[Pg 68]

27. Study of a Poem

You read in the story of Peter's visit to Santa Claus's workshop that the fairy workers sometimes sang while they worked. At recess too they had songs. One of these you will probably enjoy very much. As you read it you can see the fairies dancing in a ring in the moonlight.


Oh, who is so merry, so merry, heigh ho!
As the light-hearted fairy? heigh ho,
Heigh ho!
He dances and sings
To the sound of his wings
With a hey and a heigh and a ho.
Oh, who is so merry, so airy, heigh ho!
As the light-headed fairy? heigh ho,
Heigh ho!
His nectar he sips
From the primroses' lips
With a hey and a heigh and a ho.
Oh, who is so merry, so merry, heigh ho!
As the light-footed fairy? heigh ho,
Heigh ho!
The night is his noon
And the sun is his moon,
With a hey and a heigh and a ho.

[Pg 69]

Would it not be pleasant to dance in a ring with your classmates? You might play that you are all fairies, and you might say this poem while you dance. Each pupil could make a red cap of paper. He might stick a white owl's or a white chicken's feather in it as fairies do. He could wear it while reciting the poem. But, first of all, you must make sure that you understand every line of the song, else you cannot say it well.

Oral Exercise.[37] 1. What do you like about this poem? Have you noticed that the fairy is called light-hearted in the first stanza of the poem, but light-headed in the second and light-footed in the third?

2. What do fairies drink? The second stanza tells. They find this delicious sweet drink in the cups of flowers.

3. As you know, fairies are rarely, if ever, seen in the daytime. The night is their day, when they dance and sing and do good deeds. What is meant in the poem by the line, The night is his noon? What is the fairies' sunlight?

Memory Exercise. 1. Read this poem aloud a number of times. You will not have to read it often before you will be able to say it without the book. When you know it, recite it to the class as well as you can. Wear your red cap and think of the merry, airy, light-hearted fairy as you recite it. That will help you to say it in a lively way.[Pg 70]

2. Perhaps the teacher will permit the five or six pupils who have recited best to form a ring in front of the class and dance round and round as they recite the poem. Then the class may point out what might have been done better. Perhaps other bands of fairies will recite, each trying to recite best.

28. Correct Usage—Rang, Sang, Drank

The story about Peter does not tell us the words with which some of the fairies had trouble. If some fairies are like some pupils, then they need to learn how to use the words rang, sang, and drank correctly.

Oral Exercise. 1. As you read the following sentences, notice that rang, sang, and drank are not used with have or has or had. Are rung, sung, and drunk used with have or has or had?

1. I rang the bell for the teacher.

2. Have you ever rung it?

3. I sang the Christmas song.

4. Have you ever sung it?

5. I drank the grape juice.

6. Have you ever drunk apple juice?

7. The fairies danced and sang, and drank nectar.

8. They had rung the bell.

9. They had sung that song before.

10. He has never drunk nectar.

[Pg 71]

2. Which of the six words that you have been studying in this lesson are used with have or has or had? Which are not used with them? Make these two lists. Would it be right to make the following rule?

Never use rang or sang or drank with have or has or had.

3. Using what you have just learned, fill the blanks in the following sentences with the right words, rang or rung, sang or sung, drank or drunk:

1. The strange little old man had already —— his morning coffee.

2. He —— an old song that he had —— many times before.

3. When he had —— a silver bell, a troop of fairies appeared.

4. Peter is not a fairy. He has never —— nectar.

5. But he has often —— the song he heard the fairies sing.

6. He has never —— a silver bell.

7. Have you ever —— the school bell?

8. Have you ever —— spring water?

Game. Let the girls of the class, working together in a group, write on the board six sentences in which rang, sang, and drank are used correctly. Let the boys in the same way write six sentences in which rung, sung, and drunk are used correctly. The boys will correct the girls' sentences, and the girls the boys'. The teacher will decide whether the boys or the girls made fewer mistakes, and which group wrote the more interesting sentences. Then all the sentences may be read aloud by several groups of pupils in turn, each trying to read the most clearly.

[Pg 72]

29. Making up Fairy Stories

The magic ring that Santa Claus gave Peter would bring him any one thing that he might wish. When Christmas morning came, he had only to say his wish, and it would be fulfilled.[38]

Oral Exercise. 1. Suppose that you had such a magic ring. What would be your one big wish? It will be fun to see whether you and your classmates have the same wish.

2. What do you think Peter himself wished when Christmas morning came? What happened then? Tell your classmates the story of Peter's wish on Christmas Day, exactly as you think everything happened.

Group Exercise. One or two of the best stories about Peter's wish should be told a second time. This time the teacher will write them on the board. Now you and the other pupils should read them carefully to see where they can be made better.[20] These questions may help in this work:

1. Can better words be used for some of those in the story?

2. Should some of the and's be left out?

3. Can anything be added to make the story interesting?

Written Exercise. Silently read one of the improved stories, perhaps more than once, noticing the spelling of the words, the capital letter at the beginning of each [Pg 73] sentence, and the mark at the end of each sentence. Write it from dictation. Then compare your paper with what is written on the board, and correct any mistakes you may have made.

Oral Exercise. Suppose that Peter lost the magic ring before Christmas came. Who might have found it? What might have happened then? Make up a story to tell this. You might call it "The Lost Magic Ring." Try to make up a fairy story that your classmates will be very glad to hear. Try to think of some wonderful happenings for it. Perhaps the following ideas will help you to begin your story:

1. When Peter learned that he had lost the magic ring, and could find it nowhere, he started off at once into the woods. He wanted to find the strange little old man and tell him what had happened. Peter had not gone very far when he met a giant. On the giant's finger Peter saw his magic ring. What did he do?

2. Peter's careless and lazy brother, Joseph, saw the magic ring on the window sill. Peter always laid it there when he washed his hands. Joseph took the ring in order to tease his brother. Then the thought came to him that he would wish himself something on Christmas Day. On Christmas morning he placed the fairy ring on his finger and spoke his wish. What was that wish? Was the wish fulfilled, or did a fairy appear to punish the boy? What happened then?

[Pg 74]

3. The strange little old man himself took the ring from Peter's finger while Peter was asleep. Why did he do this? Did he want to see what Peter would do? Did he plan to give him another ring instead,—a ring that held three wishes instead of one? How did Peter find the strange little old man? When and where did he receive the more wonderful ring? What were his three wishes on Christmas morning?[39]

30. Writing Dates

If you were asked to write on a slip of paper your name and the date of your birth, could you do it? Of course you know how to write your name. Some time ago you learned to write the names of the months. Now you are to learn how to write dates. You will need to know this when you begin letter writing, which will be soon.

Written Exercise. 1. Here are two dates:

January 1, 1918December 25, 1917

The first date is that of a New Year's Day some time ago. The second date is that of Christmas more than a year ago. See the little mark (,), called a comma, between the year and the day of the month. Write the date of the last New Year's Day; of the next New Year's Day. Write the date of last Christmas; of next Christmas.

[Pg 75]

2. Write the date of your birth; the date of the birth of your mother; of a friend.

3. Write from dictation the list of dates that your teacher will give you.[40]

31. Telling Interesting Things

Now the Christmas vacation is over. Of course you had a good time. Of course Santa Claus brought you something. It would be fun for every pupil to tell the class about his Christmas. Probably each one's Christmas was different in some ways from that of his classmates.

Oral Exercise.[41] 1. Did Santa Claus come to your home? Did you see him? If you did, tell the class how he looked. Show the class how he walked into the house. How did he talk? What did he say?

2. Tell the other pupils what Santa Claus brought you. If he brought you a little engine, or a sand machine, or a small airplane, or a steamship that runs by clockwork, or a baby sewing machine, or a music box, or a doll stove on which one can really cook, or some other interesting toy, explain to the class exactly how it works. Perhaps it would be pleasant if each pupil brought a toy to school and held it up before the class while he explained how it works.

[Pg 76]

3. What was the best fun you had during the Christmas vacation? Tell the class about it.

32. Story-Telling


"Clear the lulla!" was the general cry on a bright December afternoon. All the boys and girls of Harmony village were out enjoying the first good snow of the season. Up and down three long coasts they went as fast as legs and sleds could carry them. One smooth path led into the meadow. One swept across the pond, where skaters were darting about like waterbugs. The third, from the very top of the steep [Pg 77]hill, ended abruptly at a rail fence near the road. There was a group of lads and lasses sitting or leaning on this fence to rest after an exciting race.

[C] Copyright by Little, Brown and Company.

Down came a gay red sled. It carried a boy who seemed all smile and sunshine, so white were his teeth, so golden was his hair, so bright and happy his whole air. Behind him clung a little gypsy of a girl. She had black eyes and hair, cheeks as red as her hood, and a face full of fun and sparkle.

"It's just splendid! Now, one more, Jack!" cried the little girl, excited by the cheers of a sleighing party that passed them.

"All right, Jill," answered he, and they started back up the hill.

Proud of his skill, Jack made up his mind that this last "go" should be the best one of the afternoon. But they started off, talking so busily that Jill forgot to hold tight and Jack to steer carefully. No one knows how it happened. They did not land in the soft drift of snow or stop before they reached the fence. Instead, there was a great crash against the bars, a dreadful plunge off the steep bank beyond, and, before any one could see what was happening, a sudden scattering of girl, boy, sled, fence, earth, and snow, all about the road. There were two cries, and then silence.[Pg 78]

Down rushed boys and girls, ready to laugh or cry, as the case might be. They found Jack sitting up, looking about him with a queer, dazed expression, while an ugly cut on the forehead was bleeding. This sobered the boys and frightened the girls half out of their wits.

"He's killed! He's killed!" wailed one of the girls, hiding her face and beginning to cry.

"No, I'm not. I'll be all right when I get my breath. Where's Jill?" asked Jack stoutly, though still too giddy to see straight.—Louisa M. Alcott, "Jack and Jill" (Adapted)

Oral Exercise. 1. Make believe that you are the Jack or the Jill in the story. Play that the accident has just happened. You are lying in the snow. Your classmates are standing around you wondering whether you are alive or dead. Slowly you sit up. What do they do and say? Let some of your classmates do and say these things. What do you say? What happens next? Play the story up to the time when the doctor looks you over and says that you will have to stay in bed a long time.[42]

2. Again make believe that you are Jack or Jill. Play that the accident happened some time ago. Tell your classmates about that afternoon's coasting and how it ended. Could you walk home that day? Did the other children lay you both on sleds and slowly [Pg 79] draw you to your homes? What did your mother do and say when she saw you coming? Did they put you to bed at once and run for the doctor? What did the doctor do and say?

3. Do you own a sled? Tell the class about this sled. Tell about going coasting on it.

4. What can one do with a sled besides go coasting? What was the best fun you ever had with your sled? Where were you? What did you do? After you have told the class about the fun you had, you may make one or two pictures about it with colored crayons. Perhaps the following list will help you to remember some good times you have had:

1. The first sled ride that I remember

2. Hitching behind with a sled

3. A race down a hill on sleds

4. The toboggan slide

5. The longest hill I ever coasted down

6. The steepest hill I ever coasted down

7. Six of us on a bob

5. Did you ever have an accident with your sled? Accidents sometimes happen. Perhaps you are very careful and have never had any trouble. But you have probably heard of accidents and narrow escapes. Tell the class of one, and explain how it might have been avoided.

[Pg 80]

33. Explaining Things

Winter is here. There are many games to play and many pleasant things to do after school and on Saturdays. You would enjoy talking with your classmates about these. Perhaps you can plan some good times together.

Oral Exercise. Make believe that your class is having a meeting to plan some fun for after school and Saturdays. What games do you think would be best? Think out a clear plan. Then stand before your classmates and explain it to them. Tell exactly how it is to be carried out. Tell where, when, and everything else they must know. The following list may help you to make a good plan:[43]

1. A skating party some Saturday

2. A skating race to see who is the best boy skater and who is the best girl skater in the class

3. Building one or two snow forts

4. A snowball battle between your class and another

5. A straw ride

6. A game of shinny, or hockey, between your class and another

7. A class tramp with the teacher through the woods or parks

8. A basket-ball game between your class and another

9. A class party at some one's house

10. A coasting party

[Pg 81]

Group Exercise. After the plans have been told, you and your classmates must decide which one you will carry out. You may wish to ask some of the speakers questions. At last the class may vote.

34. Words sometimes Mispronounced

Some pupils do not know how to speak certain words correctly. If they did, their talks would be much more pleasing.[44]

Oral Exercise. 1. Pronounce the following words as your teacher pronounces them to you, in a clear, strong, and pleasant voice. Then read the whole list as rapidly as you can without speaking any word indistinctly or incorrectly.


2. Use in sentences each of the words in the list above. Try to make sentences that will give pleasure to your classmates. Anybody can use the word looking to make uninteresting sentences like these:

Some one is looking for me.

I am looking for some one.

He is looking at me.

[Pg 82]

Try to make sentences like these:

The boys were looking at Jack's big red sled.

The girls were looking for a story-book at the public library.

The hunter was looking at the panther, and the panther was looking at him.

Perhaps the teacher will write the best sentences on the board, or let the pupils who give them write them on the board.[20]

35. Telling Interesting Things

Far north of us lies a part of the world where it is very cold both in summer and in winter. It is so cold there that trees cannot live. No cities are to be seen there, and no farms. The people who make their homes in this world of ice and snow live by hunting and fishing. They are called Eskimos. Their clothes are warm suits made of the fur of the polar bear, the seal, and the reindeer. Let us learn about the Eskimos.


The house in which an Eskimo family lives is made of ice and snow. First the builder makes a ring on the snow-covered ground. This he makes as large as he wishes the house to be. On this ring he places blocks of snow. Then he lays more blocks on top of these. Each row or ring of blocks is a little smaller than the [Pg 83] row or ring below it. As more and more rows of blocks are laid, these rows at last close the top like a roof. Then snow is shoveled over it, until not a crack remains in the solid wall.

Now a narrow hallway is made. This is the only way into the house. It is long, and the opening is hung with skins. The Eskimos creep through it on their hands and knees.

There is only one window in the Eskimo's house. It is a small hole in the wall, over the low hallway. There is no glass in it, but it is covered with a thin skin that keeps out the wind and cold.[45]

Oral Exercise. 1. Can you think of a good reason why the Eskimos have no such houses as ours? Why have they no fine large coal or wood stoves in that cold country? What would happen if an Eskimo placed [Pg 84] our kind of stove in his house and started a roaring fire in it?

2. The Eskimo has only three things with which to build. What are they? If you had only snow and the skins and bones of animals to work with, what kind of house should you make? Can you think of any way in which you could make the Eskimo house warmer or safer?

3. Does the Eskimo way of building a house give you an idea of a good way of building a snow fort? Tell your classmates what you think would be the best way of building one. Shall you put a roof over it?

4. Play that you are an Eskimo. Make believe that you are in the frozen North and are just beginning to build yourself a new house. You have already drawn a ring on the snow-covered ground. Draw a ring on the floor of the schoolroom with a piece of chalk. Other pupils will play that they have come to the Far North in a ship. They will pretend that they know nothing about the way Eskimos live or build their houses. They stand around while you work at your new house. They ask you many questions about it. Stop in your work and explain it to them. Remember that they know nothing at all about it. Perhaps some of their questions will seem very stupid to you. But patiently explain to these strangers everything they want to know.

[Pg 85]

Group Exercise. The class will tell you and the other pupils how the meeting between the Eskimo and the strangers might have been played better. But first they will point out what they liked in the play. Several other groups of pupils will each try to show the class how the meeting should be played.

Oral Exercise. Find out from a book or from your parents or your teacher some interesting fact about the Eskimos and the country where they live. Let it be something that you think the class does not know. The other pupils will do the same. Then each one will stand before the class and tell what he has learned.

Some might tell about how cold it is in this North-Pole part of the world.

Some might tell about polar bears, seals, reindeer, or walruses.[Pg 86]

Some might tell the class what Eskimos eat and how they cook their food.

Some might tell about the inside of the Eskimo house.

Other pupils might tell the class about some of the men from our country who traveled in this cold part of the world. Some of these men wished to reach the North Pole.

Group Exercise. When each pupil has spoken, some of those who spoke best will tell again what they said. The teacher will write on the board what they say. Now the class will try to make this better. The following questions will help the class improve what has been written on the board:[46]

1. What is the best part of the account on the board?

2. Is anything important left out?

3. Could anything be left out because it is not needed?

4. Are too many and's used?

5. What could be added to make the account better?

Written Exercise. When all the accounts on the board have been rewritten, study the one the teacher selects. Notice the spelling of the hard words. Notice the capital letter at the beginning of each sentence and the punctuation mark at the end of each sentence. This study will make it easier for you to write the account from dictation without making any mistakes. Write it from dictation.

[Pg 87]

36. Study of a Poem

You remember, of course, that the house of snow in which Eskimos live has only one window. But this is only a hole in the wall, covered with a thin skin. There is no glass in it. So the little Eskimo boys and girls do not know the wonderful things that Jack Frost sometimes pencils on the windowpanes when children are asleep. The Eskimo children could not understand the poem below. But you have seen these sights on your own windows—castles, high and rocky places, knights with waving plumes, and trees and fruits and flowers. You will learn from the poem how Jack Frost paints them there.[9]


The door was shut, as doors should be,
Before you went to bed last night;
Yet Jack Frost did get in, you see,
And left your window silver white.
He must have waited till you slept;
And not a single word he spoke,
But pencilled on the panes, and crept
Away again before you woke.
And now you cannot see the hills
Nor fields that stretch beyond the lane;
But there are fairer things than those
His fingers traced on every pane.
[Pg 88] Rocks and castles towering high;
Hills and dales and streams and fields;
And knights in armor riding by,
With nodding plumes and shining shields.
And here are little boats, and there
Big ships with sails spread to the breeze;
And yonder, palm trees waving fair
On islands set in silver seas.
And butterflies with gauzy wings;
And herds of cows and flocks of sheep;
And fruits and flowers and all the things
You see when you are sound asleep.
For creeping softly underneath
The door when all the lights are out,
Jack Frost takes every breath you breathe,
And knows the things you think about.
He paints them on the windowpane
In fairy lines with frozen steam;
And when you wake you see again
The lovely things you saw in dream.
Gabriel Setoun

Oral Exercise. 1. How did Jack Frost get into the house? Has he visited your house this winter? Did he pencil, or trace, on your windows some of the pictures of which the poem speaks? Which ones?

[Pg 89]

2. What is a castle? What is a knight? What is a knight's armor? What is a knight's plume? Can you draw a picture of it on the board for those who do not know how it looks? Why did knights have shields? Draw a picture of a shield on the board.

3. Can you draw on the board a picture of a palm tree? Draw an oak or an apple tree beside it, so that every one will see how a palm tree is different. Explain your drawings.

4. Which part, or stanza, of the poem do you like best? Read it so that your classmates may see why you like it.

5. Play that you are Jack Frost. Show the class how you tiptoed into the room and out again without waking any one. Think of the following questions, and tell the class what you did last night when all children were sound asleep:

1. Did you visit more than one home?

2. What did you paint on the windowpanes?

3. Did you paint the same pictures in all houses?

Memory Exercise. When you understand every stanza in this poem, read the whole poem aloud several times. Perhaps the teacher will read with you, so that you may be sure to read correctly. After a few readings you will find that you can say the poem without looking at the book. It will be fun to see which pupils will know it first. But which pupils can recite it best?[47]

[Pg 90]

37. Game

Group Exercise. 1. Did you ever telephone? Make believe that you are telephoning to a classmate. Hold the make-believe telephone in your hands and call for the pupil with whom you wish to talk. He will take up his make-believe telephone and answer you. Ask him some questions. Listen to what he says. Reply to what he asks. In this way carry on a conversation with him.

2. The class will listen, and when you have finished talking they will tell you what they liked and what they did not like in the telephone conversation. The following questions[15] will help the class to decide how the talks might have been better:

1. What interesting thing was said by the speakers?

2. Was any poor English used?

3. Were the voices of the speakers pleasant?

4. What might have been said that the speakers did not say?

3. Other pairs of pupils may now telephone. Each pair will of course try to make their conversation as bright as they can. The class will enjoy listening to the bright talks.

4. Would it not be a good plan, before going on with this game of telephoning, for the class to make a telephone directory? All names beginning with A [Pg 91] could be written on one page of a little notebook that you could make. All names beginning with B would go on another page. And so it would go on, through the C's, the D's, the E's, to the end of the alphabet. Then each name could be given a number, just as in telephone books. Perhaps the teacher will bring a telephone directory to class and explain it to you.

5. It might be fun to place in your telephone directory such names as Jack Frost, Santa Claus, Peter the toymaker's son, Joseph his brother, Queen Mab, the busy ant, the lazy grasshopper, and some of the Indians and Eskimos that you have come to know in this book. Then you could telephone to these. One pupil would be Jack Frost and would always answer when Jack Frost's number rang. Another would be Santa Claus, another would be Peter the toymaker's son, another Queen Mab, and so on.

[Pg 92]

6. You and your classmates may now have the following conversations over the make-believe class telephone:

1. A conversation between Queen Mab and Jack Frost about some pupils in your class

2. A conversation between Peter and Joseph about the lost magic ring

3. A conversation between the ant and the grasshopper in the fable

4. A conversation between an Indian boy and a white boy

5. A conversation between two fairies, one in the woods and one in Santa Claus's workshop

6. A conversation between a polar bear and a boy hunter (the bear objects to being hunted)

7. A conversation between an Eskimo girl and a girl in your class

8. A conversation between Santa Claus and the teacher about some pupils in your class

9. A conversation between two girls about a plan for a good time next Saturday with which to surprise the class

10. A conversation between two girls about a new dress that one of them will soon wear to school

38. Correct Usage—May, Can

A mistake that pupils sometimes make is to use the word can when they mean the word may. These two words do not have the same meaning. The following conversation shows this:

[Pg 93]

"Mother, can I eat another piece of pie?" once asked a boy at the dinner table.

"I suppose you can, Tom," replied his mother. "You have teeth to bite and chew, and there is room in your stomach for another piece. Yes, I suppose you can eat another piece. But you may not, because I want to save it for to-morrow."

Oral Exercise. 1. Read the following sentences and try to tell the difference in meaning between may and can:

1. I can run faster than you.

2. I can write my name.

3. May I write my name in your notebook? Will you let me?

4. May I run over to George's house, mother?

5. I can do many things.

6. May I read the book Santa Claus gave you?

7. I can read books.

2. Do you see that when you say, "I can do this," you mean, "I am able to do this"? What do you mean when you say, "May I go to the moving-picture theater, Mother?" Do you mean, "Will you permit me to go?"

3. Fill each blank in the sentences below with the right word, may or can:

1. John, —— you spell Eskimo?

2. Father, —— I go with John to the game?

3. Miss Brown, —— I change my seat?

[Pg 94]

4. Miss Brown, —— you see me when I stand here?

5. Mary, —— you find that book for me?

6. —— you touch the ceiling when you are on the chair?

7. —— I go home at three o'clock, Miss Smith?

8. Miss Smith, —— I borrow a pencil of Ruth?

9. Miss Smith, —— you speak French?

10. Miss Smith, —— I have another sheet of paper?

Game. 1. Let the boys write on the board a number of sentences in which may is used correctly. Then let the girls do the same. Now let the girls read the boys' sentences. The boys will read those written by the girls. Who made the fewer mistakes?

2. After all sentences have been corrected (if they need to be corrected), let the boys read their sentences aloud, and the girls theirs. The teacher will tell whose reading was the better.

39. Talking over Plans

Valentine Day is near at hand. Why could not your class plan a special good time for that day? Other classes have done it. One plan would be for pupils to send each other valentines. You could have a post office right in the schoolroom. One of the pupils could be the postmaster. It would be the business of the postmaster to see that each valentine went to the right person.

[Pg 95]

Group Exercise. Make plans with your classmates for Valentine Day. Think out what should be done and how it should be done. Then stand before the class and explain your plan. The other pupils will explain theirs. At last the whole class will choose the one that seems best. The following questions will help in the making of plans:

1. How shall the class post office be run?

2. Who shall be the class postmaster? What shall he do? Shall there be letter carriers?

3. Would it be more fun for pupils to send short notes to each other than valentines bought at the store? Perhaps red-paper borders could be pasted around the edges of the letters? Some of the letters might be from Jack Frost, Queen Mab, Peter, and other friends you have met in this book.

40. Letter Writing

First of all, in getting ready for Valentine Day, you will need to learn how to write letters.

Oral Exercise. 1. Who wrote the first of the following letters? How can you tell? Who wrote the second? To whom is it written? To whom is the first written?

Dear Jill:

  The doctor says that I am perfectly well again. I should like to go coasting Saturday. Shall we go together? I want to show you how careful I can be in steering a sled.


[Pg 96]

Dear Jack:

  My mother will not let me go coasting. I wish you would come over to my house Saturday. We could write valentine letters together, to our friends. We could pop some corn too.


2. Do you see the little mark (:) after the words Dear Jack and Dear Jill in these two letters? That mark must always[48] be written there in a letter. Next, do you see how the first line in each letter is different from the other lines? The first line of a letter must always begin a little to the right of the other lines. Notice where the name of the writer of each letter is placed. Is there any mark after it?

Written Exercise. 1. In order that you may not forget the points you have just learned about letter writing, copy Jack's letter to Jill. Then compare your copy with the letter as it stands in the book, and correct mistakes.

2. Now read carefully Jill's letter to Jack. Notice once more exactly how the different parts of the letter are written. Write the letter from dictation. Then correct what you have written by comparing it with the letter in the book.

It is well that you now know how to write a letter. There is at this very time an important letter that needs to be written by you. As you know, the teacher [Pg 97] will soon choose some one in your class to be the postmaster for Valentine Day. Whom do you want for that position? Perhaps you would like to be postmaster yourself. Or do you want to be one of the letter carriers? The next exercise will give you a chance to tell the teacher.

Written Exercise. It would take too much of the teacher's time to listen to each pupil's opinion about those post-office questions.[49] Then, too, the teacher might not remember all that each pupil said. So there is only one thing to do. Each pupil must write his ideas and wishes in a letter to the teacher. Write your letter, beginning it thus:

Dear Teacher:

Tell in your letter exactly what you would tell the teacher in a private talk. No one but the teacher will see your letter.[50]

41. More Letter Writing

When Valentine Day comes, you will wish to write very good letters to your classmates. You already know how to write a letter, but it is another matter to write a bright letter.

Do you remember that boy, Tom, who once dreamed about an owl and an elf? One day Tom told his mother that his school was planning a special good time for [Pg 98] Valentine Day. "We shall have a post office in our room," he said. "Everybody is to send everybody else letters."

"What kind of letters are they to be?" asked his mother.

"Well," answered Tom, "each pupil is to write at least one bright letter about himself. Those who receive the letters have to guess who wrote them. You see, we do not sign our names."

Tom had already written his letter, and he showed it to his mother. It was to his best friend, Fred. Here it is:

Dear Fred:

  I am four feet three inches tall. I weigh seventy-five pounds. I like to run and jump. I like to read books, too. I am your best friend.


Oral Exercise. What do you think of Tom's letter to Fred? Is it a bright letter? How does every sentence in it begin? Do you like to have all the sentences begin the same way?

Tom's mother read the letter. Then she read it again. Then she said, "Tom, you can do better than that."

Tom was surprised. He thought it was a good letter. "Are there any mistakes in it?" he asked.[Pg 99]

"No, there is not a single mistake in it," answered his mother. "You have the right mark after the words Dear Fred. You have begun every sentence with a capital letter. You have the right mark at the end of every sentence. But, Tom, it isn't a bright letter."

"How shall I make it bright?" asked Tom.

His mother smiled. "Look at the first sentence in your letter," she said. "It tells that you are four feet three inches tall. How uninteresting that is! Who cares to know your exact height, down to an inch! Why not say instead, 'I am a funny little blue-eyed chap with brown hair all over the top of my head'! Would not that be much brighter than 'I am four feet three inches tall'? Now look at the next sentence. It tells that you weigh seventy-five pounds. How uninteresting that is! Is some one thinking of buying you by the pound, as if you were a little pig or a calf? Why not say instead, 'I am as round and fat as a ball of butter'? Look at the third sentence. It says that you like to run and jump. That is true. You do like to run and jump. But why not tell it in a bright way? You might have said, 'My brother says I can run like a deer and jump like a frog.'"

Tom took the letter back and gave a shout. "I see what you mean," he cried. "I'll write the whole letter over." A little later he showed his mother the following:

[Pg 100]

Dear Fred:

  I am a funny little blue-eyed chap with brown hair all over the top of my head. I am as round and fat as a ball of butter. My brother says I can run like a deer and jump like a frog. My sister says I am a bookworm. But rather than be a deer or a frog or a bookworm, I want to be your best friend.


Oral Exercise. Which of the letters that Tom wrote do you like better? Can you tell why? Point out bright sentences in his first letter. Point out interesting sentences in his second letter.

Tom was very much pleased that he had written his letter over. "The next time I have to write a letter," he said, "I shall write two, and send the second one."

"That's a good plan," said his mother. "First write the best letter you can. Then read it over and make it better." Tom began at once to write more letters for Valentine Day. "It's fun," he said, "and the teacher told us that we might send more than one if we cared to." He followed the new plan of writing a first letter, rather rapidly, and then slowly writing it over and making it better. Then he would throw away the first. Tom worked more than an hour. At the end of that time he showed his mother three letters. Here is one, written to a schoolmate named Marjorie:

[Pg 101]

Dear Marjorie:

  I have two blue eyes and a roof of brown hair. Besides, I have a nose, a mouth, and two ears. But I must not tell you any more, or you will guess who I am. My name is short and begins with T.


Tom's next letter was written to George, the biggest and strongest boy in the room. He and Tom were good friends. Probably Tom wrote the letter in order to have some fun with George. This is it:

Dear George:

  I am the boy who can spank you. I think I shall do it soon, if I feel like it. Better be good when I am near. Of course you know who I am. My name is short and begins with T. Better be good, George.


Tom's mother asked whether this letter might not hurt George's feelings.

"Oh, no," laughed Tom. "He knows that I am only joking. Why, he is so big and strong, he could spank me, if he wanted to."

Tom's third letter was to a friend whose name was Mary. Tom liked to tease her. Only a few days before, he had thrown snowballs at her. Here is the letter:

[Pg 102]

Dear Mary:

  I am the very, very good boy who never teases you. I never pull your hair. I never throw more than one snowball at you, at a time.


Oral Exercise. 1. Which one of the three letters by Tom do you like best? Read the sentence or sentences in it that you like specially.

2. What plan does Tom follow in writing letters? Why did he decide to follow this plan?

42. Still More Letter Writing

Written Exercise. 1. Write a letter for Valentine Day. Write it to one of your classmates. Have your letter tell about yourself, just as Tom's told about himself. Sign it Somebody, and let the receiver guess who wrote it. Better write the letter twice. Make the first one as good as you can, but write it rather rapidly. Then read it over carefully and make it better wherever you can. Let the second letter be the one you send.

2. If you would like to write more than one letter, as Tom did, do so; but it is better to write one very carefully than two or three carelessly.

Now all the letters should be taken to the class post-office. Each letter should be folded and should show on the outside the name of the person to whom it is [Pg 103] to go. Perhaps the class postmaster will have a box for all this mail. In this the letters may be kept until Valentine Day. On that day the entire mail should be sorted by the postmaster. All the letters for each row may be placed in a separate pile. The letter carriers, one for each row, will deliver them.

43. Improving Letters

After the Valentine letters have been read, and the writer of each has been guessed, it will be time to copy some[51] of the letters on the board for the following exercise.

Group Exercise. 1. The first letter on the board should be read carefully by the class. You and your classmates should tell clearly what you like and what you do not like in it. The teacher will rewrite it on the board as the class tells how it can be made better. The following questions will help in this work:

1. Is the letter as good as it might be?

2. What do you like best in it?

3. Can you tell how it may be made better?

4. What bright thought might be put in the letter?

5. Are there any mistakes in the letter?

[Pg 104]

2. Other Valentine letters should be studied in the same way.

44. Study of a Poem

Our friend Tom, who wrote the bright letter we read a few days ago, was somewhat careless about putting his things in their proper places.

"I wonder where my cap is," he shouted one morning, just as it was time to hurry to school.

"Where did you put it?" his mother asked quietly.

"On the hook in the hall," answered Tom.

"Well," said his mother with a smile, "if you are sure you put it there, Mr. Nobody must have taken it away. Perhaps he threw it on a chair in the kitchen or on the table in the hall."

And there, to be sure, on a chair or table somewhere in the house, or even on the floor, the cap was found. Mr. Nobody had put it there.

On another day Tom was unable to find a story-book he had been reading.

"I'm sure I put it back in the bookcase," he said.

"Isn't it there now?" asked his mother.


"Then Mr. Nobody must have been reading it," she answered. "He always forgets to put the books back where they belong. Perhaps he left it on the lounge, where you were reading last night."

And there, to be sure, in a corner of the lounge, was the lost book.[Pg 105]

In Tom's house Mr. Nobody was always doing mischief. He was always mislaying Tom's things. He was always tearing his books, leaving doors ajar, and making finger marks on the doors. Now and then he spilled the ink on Tom's desk. He usually forgot to put Tom's boots where they belonged. He was so careless and forgetful that he got Tom into trouble nearly every day.

Does Mr. Nobody visit your house, too? If he does, you will understand the following poem about him:


I know a funny little man,
As quiet as a mouse,
Who does the mischief that is done
In everybody's house!
There's no one ever sees his face,
And yet we all agree
That every plate we break was cracked
By Mr. Nobody.
'Tis he who always tears our books,
Who leaves the door ajar;
He pulls the buttons from our shirts,
And scatters pins afar;
That squeaking door will always squeak
For, prithee, don't you see,
We leave the oiling to be done
By Mr. Nobody.
[Pg 106] He puts damp wood upon the fire,
That kettles cannot boil;
His are the feet that bring in mud,
And all the carpets soil.
The papers always are mislaid,
Who had them last but he?
There's no one tosses them about
But Mr. Nobody.
The finger marks upon the door
By none of us are made;
We never leave the blinds unclosed,
To let the curtains fade.
The ink we never spill, the boots
That lying round you see
Are not our boots; they all belong
To Mr. Nobody.

Oral Exercise. 1. Read the poem again in order to see which of the four stanzas you like best. Can you tell why? Look through the poem and tell all the things that Mr. Nobody does. Which of them has he done at your house?

2. Did you ever see Mr. Nobody at your house? Do you think you could catch sight of him if you looked in the mirror? Make believe that you did see him at your house. Tell your classmates exactly how he looked.[52]

[Pg 107]

Group Exercise. As each pupil gives the class a picture of Mr. Nobody the class will say whether this picture looks like the pupil speaking. Then the class will point out what they liked and what they did not like in that pupil's way of speaking. These questions will help in this work:

1. Did the pupil stand squarely on both feet, or was he so weak that he had to hold onto a chair or desk to keep from falling over?

2. Did he speak so clearly that every one in the class could understand him?

3. Did he make a stop at the end of every sentence and drop his voice there to show that the sentence was finished?

4. Did he use too many and's?

45. Making a Little Book

Would it not be pleasant for you and your classmates to make a class picture book? Perhaps you do not know how to make one. This is the way. Every pupil writes a few sentences that tell how he looks. These give the reader a picture of each writer. Then these pictures are all put together in a little book.

One pupil might write this picture of herself:

I am a short little girl with straight yellow hair, blue eyes, and red cheeks. My mother says I am always giggling. So my picture would show my round face covered with smiles.

[Pg 108]

Another pupil might write as follows:

I am a boy with black hair that is curly, brown eyes, and a long, thin nose. You would know me by my size, for I am the tallest pupil in the room.

Written Exercise. Write a picture of yourself. Write what will help a reader to see you as you are. You need not say that you have two eyes, two ears, two arms, and two legs. But if you have only one leg, or only one arm, say that. If you wear your hair in two braids, say that. Perhaps you will write twice, using the first writing as a help for the improved second writing, as Tom learned to do when he wrote letters.

Group Exercise. 1. When every pupil has finished his picture of himself, all these should be given to the teacher. Then the teacher will read one after another aloud, and the class will try to tell whose picture each [Pg 109] one is. You see, this will be like a game. If the class cannot guess a picture, the teacher will read the name of the writer. Then the class will explain what should be added to the writing, or changed in it, so that it may give a true picture of the writer.

2. You and your classmates should now rewrite your pictures, making them better. After that they should be neatly copied. Then[53] all these pictures should be fastened together to form a book. A cover should be made for the book, on which may be written words like these:


46. Correct Usage—No, Not, Never

I haven'tmeansI have not
you don'tmeansyou do not
he doesn'tmeanshe does not
nevermeansnot ever

It is a common mistake to use two not-words in a sentence when one is enough. Each of the following sentences is correct. Each contains only one not-word.

1. I have never seen your father.

2. I haven't ever seen your father.

3. I have no money in my pocket.

4. I haven't any money in my pocket.[Pg 110]

5. I don't see any mistakes in this example.

6. I see no mistakes in this example.

7. I don't ever go down that street at night.

8. I never go down that street at night.

Oral Exercise. 1. Point out the not-word in each of the eight sentences above. Are there any sentences there that need another not-word? Do you see that the second sentence is only another way of saying the first? Which sentence do you like better, the first or the second? The third or the fourth? The fifth or the sixth? The seventh or the eighth?

2. Say each of the following sentences in another way without changing the meaning:

1. I haven't any ink.

2. He has no book.

3. She hasn't any paper, and I haven't a pencil.

4. I have no ticket.

5. My father doesn't do any work on Saturday.

6. My father does not play any kind of instrument.

7. Haven't you ever seen a circus?

8. I have no pocketknife.

9. I haven't seen a ball game this year.

10. He had no money to spend.

[Pg 111]

Game. A pupil, who may be called John, is sent from the room. The teacher gives a flower, a piece of colored paper, a thermometer, or some other object that is not usually found in pupils' desks, to a member of the class. Then John is told that he may return.

Teacher: John, some one in this room has a flower (or whatever the object may be) in his desk. Try to guess whose desk it is. You may ask any of your classmates whether they have it.

John (to a classmate): Have you that flower in your desk?

The Classmate (if he does not have it): I have no flower in my desk (or, I haven't any flower in my desk).

The Classmate (if he has it): I have it in my desk. Here it is.

47. Telling Interesting Things

Oral Exercise. 1. What kind of dog should you like to have for your pet? Stand in front of the class and tell your classmates why you like that kind of dog and what you would do with him.

2. Dogs can do many useful things. Tell the class of a remarkable thing you have seen a dog do. If you [Pg 112] cannot do that, tell of some intelligent and brave deed which you have heard that a dog did. Perhaps the following list will help you:

1. Some dogs are faithful watchdogs. They may be trusted to guard a house, a small child, an automobile, or a flock of sheep.

2. Some dogs are used in hunting.

3. Some dogs are good rat catchers.

4. Some dogs are taught tricks. Such dogs are sometimes seen at the circus.

5. In some countries dogs are used to haul carts; in others they draw sleds.

6. The St. Bernard dog and the Newfoundland dog are famous as life-savers.

7. Dogs make good playmates for boys and girls.

3. Think of a dog you like. Without telling what kind of dog he is, make your classmates see exactly how he looks. There is no need of saying that the dog has four legs, two ears, two eyes, and a tail. Every dog has these. But tell what the class must know in order to see the dog as you see him in your mind. Perhaps you will make the class see a picture something like one of the following:


My dog has long hair but he himself is short. He looks like a white muff. His bark and bite are sharp, but no one is afraid of him. He might just as well be a rabbit.

[Pg 113]

After a painting by Landseer


The dog I am thinking about is nearly as tall as I am. He is so heavy that I cannot lift him off the ground. He is so strong that he can carry me. His beautiful brown and white hair is long and curly. He is a good dog, and I should feel safe with him anywhere on the darkest night.

Group Exercise.[54] 1. The class will try to guess the kind of dog each pupil tells about. Then it will tell each speaker (1) what was good in his talk, and (2) where the talk might have been better.

2. Some of the talks should be given a second time. This time the teacher will write them on the board.[16] How can each of them be made better?

[Pg 114]

3. You and your classmates might make an interesting dog picture book. After writing about each dog, you could draw his picture or cut it out of a magazine and paste it beside what you have written.[55]

48. Study of a Picture Story


Oral Exercise. 1. What is happening in the first picture on the next page? Does the dog want to go along? Why do the boys not take him?

2. Make believe that you are the boy on the back seat in the boat. Look at the dog as that boy looks at him. Hold up your finger as the boy does. What does that mean? Now, as your boat slowly moves from shore, talk to the dog. Are you sorry that he must stay? How do you show that? Do you sternly warn him not to leave his post?

Group Exercise. 1. Some of your classmates will now play that they are talking to the dog. Each tries to show how it really happened.

2. The class will tell what it likes in each pupil's talking and playing, and what it does not like. The following questions will help the class:

1. Did the pupil talk as he really would talk to his dog if the class were not there to hear him?

2. What was the best thing he said?

3. What might he have said that he left out?

[Pg 115]


[Pg 116]

Oral Exercise. 1. You and a classmate may now play that you are the two boys in the first picture. Make believe that you are just arriving at the lake on your bicycles. Jump off and lean them against trees.[56] Talk about the lake and the beautiful day. Look the boat over and talk about your plan to go rowing. Talk about where to leave the bicycles. Decide to have the dog watch them. Explain this to the dog. Tell him you are sorry that he cannot go along. Then untie the boat, jump in, and push off. One of you is rowing. The other is sitting on the back seat and talking to the dog.

2. Two other pupils, and two others, may now play the same happenings.[57] They should try to talk exactly as they would if they were really the boys in the picture. Those two boys probably talked all the time.

Group Exercise. The class will tell what it likes in each playing of the picture, and what it thinks could be done better. The following questions will be useful in these talks:

1. Did the boys jump off their make-believe bicycles as if these were real? Did they lean them carefully against trees?

2. Did they talk together as if they were really on a day's picnic?

3. Did they get into the boat carefully? Did one of them row the make-believe boat as if it were a real boat? Did he look back now and then to see where he was going?

4. Which two boys played the picture best? Which two talked the best?

[Pg 117]


In the second picture the boys are seen on the water, well out from shore. They have just made an unpleasant discovery.

Oral Exercise. 1. Play that you are one of the boys in the boat and have suddenly discovered your dog in the water near by. Look as you think this boy looked. Say what you think he said to the dog. Say what he said to the boy rowing the boat.

2. Now, with a classmate, play this part of the story. Begin where you stopped in the first picture. You have left the dog on shore and are rowing out into the middle of the lake. What can you see out there? What do you say to each other? Think of the things that two boys out in a boat would talk about,—birds flying by, fish, the sky, the depth of the water, whether they could swim ashore. Say these things. Then, right in the middle of your good time, the dog! After you have scolded him, you and your classmate talk together about what to do. What does each say, and what do you decide?

Group Exercise. Other pupils will now play this part of the story in their own way. Each two will try to show the others the best way. After each playing, the class will talk about it. These questions will help the class to see whether the playing was good or not:

[Pg 118]

1. Did the players talk enough? What more could each one have said?

2. Did they act and move as if they were sitting in a boat out on a lake or as if they were standing on dry land?

3. Did they lean over the edge of the boat and look for fish? Did they speak about how the shore looked from the middle of the lake? Did they see other boats on the water?

Oral Exercise. How did the story end? Did the boys row on and let the dog swim after them until he got tired and returned to shore? Or did they take the wet animal into the boat and leave the bicycles to take care of themselves? What happened then? Were the bicycles still there when the boys returned from their boat ride? Tell your classmates how you think the story ended. If the ending is a good one, the teacher may ask you and other pupils to play it.

Group Exercise. The teacher will write some of the story endings on the board. Perhaps one or two pupils who have told good endings may write these on the board. Then the class will try to make each one better.[58] The following questions will help in this class work:

1. Does every sentence begin with a capital letter?

2. Does every sentence end with the right kind of mark?

3. Are there mistakes in any sentence?

4. Where can better words be used than those of the writer?

5. Where can a sentence or two be added to make the story better?

[Pg 119]

Written Exercise. Of all the story endings that have been corrected and rewritten on the board, the best one should now be copied. As you copy, notice the spelling of the hard words, the capitals, and the punctuation marks. Then, together with two or three classmates, correct your work and theirs.

49. Correct Usage—Went, Saw, Came, Did

An interesting game is sometimes played by pupils, which teaches them to use four words, went, saw, came, and did, correctly. Besides, it teaches them to have sharp eyes.

Game. Many things are placed on the teacher's desk. At a word all the pupils in the class march past the desk and try to see everything on it as they pass. When they have returned to their seats, the teacher asks questions that the pupils answer. For example:

Teacher (to first pupil): Tom, what did you do?

Tom: I went to your desk, I saw a pencil on it, and I came to my seat. That is what I did.

Teacher (to the next pupil): Mary, what did you do?

Mary: I went to your desk, I saw a knife on it, and I came to my seat. That is what I did.

Each pupil must name an object on the desk that no other pupil has spoken of. One of these objects the teacher has marked on its under side. The pupil [Pg 120] who names that object wins the game, if he has made no mistake in his language, and he may go to the desk and mark another object for the next game. In this second game only those may play who made no mistake in the first.

50. Two Punctuation Marks

You already know that every sentence must begin with a capital letter. Besides, you have learned that some sentences end with a little mark (.) that is called a period, and some with a mark (?) that is called a question mark.

Written Exercise. In order to prepare for the game on the next page, copy the following sentences on the board.[59] Put capital letters where they belong. Place the right mark, a period or a question mark, at the end of each sentence.

1. what do you see on the side of the mountain

2. a large dog is standing in a snowdrift and barking

3. does he want to call us to him

4. these Saint Bernard dogs are very intelligent

5. they are beautiful dogs

6. what happened to the two boys who went boating on the lake

7. did they take the disobedient dog back to shore

8. the next picture in this book shows what they did

9. what should you have done

[Pg 121]

Game. The class is divided into two equal sides. Five pupils of one side go to the board. Each pupil writes a question. The questions may be about dogs or horses or Indians or anything that the class may choose. When they are written, the whole class reads them carefully to see whether there are any mistakes in them. Every mistake that is pointed out counts one score for the side that finds it. When the questions have been corrected, five pupils of the other side write the answers. These, in turn, are read by the class for mistakes. Then five more questions are written by five other pupils, and so on. When one of the two sides has made a certain score, twenty-five or more or less, the game ends. The side first reaching that score wins.

51. Another Study of a Picture Story

Of course you remember the two boys whose dog followed them out into the lake. When they rowed back to land, they found the bicycles untouched. Nobody seemed to have passed there. Still, the boys were afraid to leave them, and of course they could not take them along in the rowboat.

[Pg 122]

Oral Exercise. 1. What plan are the boys carrying out in the first picture on the next page? Do you think it is a good plan? Could you think out a better one? Explain it to your classmates.


[Pg 123]

2. Look at the second picture and tell what has happened since the boys tied the dog to the bicycles. How did the boat happen to upset? Is this dog a good swimmer? Could he probably save the drowning boy if he were not tied? What will happen next? This exciting story might end in several ways. Tell the class how you think it ended. Begin your story with the tying of the dog.

52. Letter Writing

It is over a month since you mailed a letter in the class post office. Shall we have another letter-writing day? It might be fun for all the pupils to send short letters to each other.

Written Exercise. 1. Think of a question that you would like to ask one of your classmates.[60] It may be something you really want to know, or it may be a question that you are asking just for fun. It does not matter. Write a short note asking the question.

2. Before mailing the letter, read it over several times with one of the following questions in your mind at each reading:

1. Have you begun the letter correctly? If it begins with a greeting like Dear Tom or Dear Mary, there should be this mark (:) after the name of the pupil to whom you are writing.

2. Have you written your own name in the right place at the end of the letter? No mark should follow your name.[Pg 124]

3. Does the first line of the letter begin a little more to the right than the lines below it?

4. Did you place a question mark at the end of the question you are asking?

5. Would it be a good plan to write your letter over so that it will be one of the best and neatest letters in the class post office?

3. The class letter carrier will bring you the letter that one of your classmates has sent you. Write a letter[61] answering the question you have been asked. You know how to write dates. Place in the upper right-hand corner of your letter the date of your writing. The following letter shows the date written in the right place and in the right way:

March 25, 1919

Dear Tom:

  The question you sent me is the same as the one my letter asks you. I wonder whether the answers will be the same. My answer is, Yes, I do want to go to the woods next Saturday.


53. Words sometimes Mispronounced

It is very pleasant to listen to speakers who make no mistakes in pronouncing words. In the list below are some of the words that give trouble to some pupils.

Oral Exercise. 1. Listen carefully as the teacher pronounces the words in the following list. Then read the [Pg 125] whole list as rapidly as you can, pronouncing no word incorrectly or indistinctly.

againdrownedcould haveto-morrow
I wishItalianchimneyjust

2. Ask your classmates questions in which the words above are used. The answers, too, should use words from the list.

54. Story-Telling


Long ago there lived on the earth a good goddess or fairy whose name was Ceres.[62] It was she who made the corn and the grass and the flowers grow. She drove over the fields in her magic chariot and waved her wand. Then the trees put forth green leaves, the grain sprouted, and the fruits glistened in red and gold colors. She was the queen of all growing plants.

Ceres had an only daughter, of whom she was very fond. Her name was Proserpina.[62] One day Proserpina begged her mother to allow her to go into the meadow to gather flowers.

"You hardly ever let me wander in the fields, Mother," she said. "Other girls go. Do let me go to-day. I shall be gone only a short time."

[Pg 126]

Ceres did not like to let her daughter go. She feared some harm might come to the little girl. But Proserpina begged so piteously that, finally, Ceres agreed.

"But," she said, "you must not go farther than the brook that borders the meadow. Do not cross that. I want to be able to see you when I look out of my window."

Proserpina promised gladly. In a minute she had put on her bonnet and had kissed her mother good-bye. With a basket on her arm she ran gaily toward the near-by fields. They were dotted, on this sunny morning, with the most beautiful flowers. Ceres at her window watched the happy girl for a time. Then she returned to her work, for she was always very busy.

Proserpina, like a butterfly that is glad to use its wings, wandered delightedly from flower to flower. Never had the sunshine seemed brighter and pleasanter. Never had the birds sung more happily. Never had she seen such beautiful flowers. The violets seemed larger and sweeter than ever before. The roses, the pinks, and the lilacs seemed to be wearing holiday clothes. In a short time she had filled not only her basket but also her apron with the choicest blossoms. Then she sat in the tall grass and clover to make some wreaths. She decided to make one for herself and a large, beautiful one for her mother.

[Pg 127]

As she sat there in the sunshine and twined the stems of flowers into pretty wreaths, she suddenly heard a low murmuring. It seemed to come from near by. She listened. The sound kept steadily on. She arose to see what it was. A few steps showed her that she had heard only the murmuring and splashing and babbling of a little brook. It bordered the meadow in which she had been gathering flowers and was the very brook that her mother had told her not to cross.

And now a strange thing happened. As Proserpina stood beside the running water, she saw, just a little distance on the other side, a large shrub such as she had never set eyes on before. It was completely covered with the most wonderful flowers in the world. Before she knew what she was doing she had stepped lightly across the brook. The nearer she came to the beautiful plant, the more attractive it looked; and when she stood close to it, its beauty seemed richer than anything she had ever seen. There were a hundred flowers on it. Each had a color of its own. All together they made one beautiful bouquet.

Proserpina was so charmed with what she saw that she did nothing at first but look and look at the magical sight. At length, however, she made up her mind to pull the shrub up and carry it home.

[Pg 128]

"I will plant it in our garden at home," she said.

So she took hold of the thick stem at the center of the plant and pulled. It would not come up. She tried harder and loosened it a little. Then she grasped it firmly near the ground with both hands, and pulled and pulled with all her might. Suddenly, up came the shrub, roots and all, so suddenly that Proserpina nearly fell. A deep hole had been left in the soil where the plant had grown. As Proserpina looked at this hole, it grew wider and wider and deeper and deeper. In a few moments it had grown so deep that the bottom seemed to be entirely gone.

Suddenly a tall man arose from the black depths. He wore a helmet and carried a shield. As soon as he saw the frightened maiden, he made a sign to her to come nearer.

"Do not be afraid," he said. "I shall do you no harm. I have come to take you to my palace. You may live there as long as you please."

Proserpina was so frightened that she wanted to run away. But she was not able to move.

"No, no," she cried. "I don't want to go to your palace. I want to go to my mother."

The stranger leaped swiftly to where she stood. He caught her in his arms. In a moment he had jumped with her into the deep and almost bottomless opening. There, far down, stood a [Pg 129] golden chariot, drawn by six coal-black horses. Into this chariot the stranger stepped, carrying the frightened girl. He laid her gently on the floor of the car and took the reins in his hands. They were off at once at a furious pace. In a minute they had left the meadows and the brook far behind them. Then the opening slowly closed. Nowhere was there left the least mark or sign to tell what had happened.

[Pg 130]

Oral Exercise. 1. What did you like best in this story? Do you like the ending? How do you wish it had ended?

2. With a classmate play the first part of the story. This is the part that tells about Ceres and Proserpina before Proserpina goes to the meadow. What does Proserpina say? What does Ceres say?

3. Now with another pupil play the part of the story that tells what happened after Proserpina crossed the brook. First, she sees the beautiful shrub. What does she say when she sees that? Next, she tries to pull it up. How she tugs and tugs at it! This must be shown in the playing. What does she say as she pulls away at it? How does she look and what does she say when she sees the deep hole that grows wider and deeper every moment? Last, the stranger is seen. He and Proserpina talk together before he carries her away. Does Proserpina scream as the stranger picks her up? Scream as if you were being carried away.

4. Now that spring is here, shall you be going into the fields and woods to gather flowers? Tell the class the best places you know, how to reach them, and what flowers may now be found there. Do you know any place where some rare wild flower grows every year? What is the most beautiful wild flower you have ever found or seen?

[Pg 131]

5. Did you ever see a brook? If you did, tell your classmates how a brook looks. How is it different from a river or a lake? Can you tell the class where to go to see a brook?

55. Telling Interesting Things[63]


Have you noticed any signs that spring is coming? The bluebirds are usually among the first to tell us that winter is over. Soon after, the robins tell the same glad story. Then the song sparrow puts the good news into a beautiful song. At about this time boys and girls begin to talk of going into the woods for flowers.

But the air still seems a little too cold. The ground is still too wet. The tramps into the country are put off a while. In the meantime a pretty flower, an early dandelion perhaps, shows itself here and there along the roadside or on a green lawn. Then, suddenly, one fine warm day, a boy brings to school a handful of yellow marsh marigolds. He found them in the low meadows. Now every boy and girl starts out, and spring flowers are seen in every schoolroom and in every home.

Gradually the pleasant weather grows still warmer. One boy sees a snake. Another finds a turtle. These have been enjoying their long winter sleep deep down, a yard or more, in the ground. Now they are glad to lie in the pleasant sunshine, as if they needed to thaw out. In the ponds the frogs sing day and night. More and more flowers start up, more and more birds arrive [Pg 132] and begin to build their nests. Boys play marbles and make willow whistles. Farmers start their early plowing. A veil of delicate green shows clearly on the forest trees. Spring has come.

Written Exercise. Make a list of all the birds you know. Make a list of all the flowers you know. Make a third list of all the flowers, birds, and animals other than birds, that you have seen this spring.

Correction Exercise. The teacher will now write three lists on the board. The first will give the names of all the birds the class knows. The second will name all the flowers the class knows, and the third all the flowers and all the birds and other animals that have been seen this spring. Compare your own lists with those on the board, and correct any mistakes in spelling that you may have made.

Group Exercise. Think of one of the birds or flowers or animals in your three lists. Tell your classmates an interesting fact about it. Tell it in two or three sentences. Thus, you might choose the bluebird from your list and say:

A pair of bluebirds is building a nest in a bird-box my father put up. They lived in the same box last year.

Your classmates will tell about some bird or flower or animal in their lists. The teacher will write some or all [Pg 133] these groups of sentences on the board,[64] or ask some of the pupils to write their own on the board. Then the class will try to improve each of these short accounts. Thus, what was said about the bluebird might be changed to read as follows:

A bluebird family has rented the birdhouse that my father built in our back yard. They seem to like it, for they lived there last year. Perhaps they will buy it some day and decide to live there always.


Mr. and Mrs. Bluebird have started housekeeping in a little flat near my home. I saw them getting the straw mattress ready. They are old neighbors, for they lived here last summer.

56. Story-Telling


Ceres, the good queen of fruit trees, grains, vegetables, and all growing plants, returned to her work after watching Proserpina run gaily to the meadow to pick flowers. She was very busy. Now and then during the afternoon she went to the window. She wanted to make sure that her daughter was in sight and safe. She saw the girl sit down in the long grass.[Pg 134]

"The child is getting a little tired, I suppose," she said. "She will be coming home before long."

But an hour passed, and Proserpina had not yet returned.

"She has probably fallen asleep in the soft grass," said her mother. "When she awakes, she will run home as fast as her legs will carry her."

But when another hour had slipped by, and Proserpina was still not in sight, Ceres became greatly worried.

"I wonder what has happened," she cried, as she hurried outdoors. She ran into the meadow. She called. Here and there she found a withered flower that the girl had dropped. At length Ceres reached the place where Proserpina had sat in the grass and where, as Ceres supposed, she had fallen asleep. There was nothing here but an unfinished wreath beside a pile of flowers. Ceres hastened to the brook. Yes, there in the soft ground on the edge of the water Proserpina's footprint was plainly to be seen. A little farther on, Ceres came upon the shrub that Proserpina had pulled out of the soil. But no other trace of the girl could she discover anywhere.

A farmer chanced to be passing. He was on his way home from the fields where he had been at work all day.

[Pg 135]

Ceres called to him. "Have you seen a little girl around here to-day?"

The farmer thought a moment. Then he shook his head.

A little later Ceres met an old woman in a meadow. The old woman was gathering herbs. She had seen no girl.

It was not only human beings whom Ceres asked about her daughter. She asked the animals too. A robin on a tree top was merrily singing his evening song. Ceres asked him. A pair of squirrels were chattering noisily in a pine tree. Ceres stopped a minute to question them. But no one had seen the lost maiden.

At last night fell. Ceres left the fields and entered the open road. At the door of every house she knocked. Wondering and pitying faces looked at her curiously as she told her story. Some asked her to come in and rest a while. But Ceres had no thought of rest. All night long she kept up her search, and when morning came she was far from home. She looked about her in the early light. She found that she had wandered to that far eastern place where the sun rises and begins the day.

In a few minutes, indeed, Apollo, the sun-god, appeared. He was all ready to drive his sun-chariot across the sky. In this way he gives [Pg 136] light and warmth to the people of the earth. His six white horses wore golden harness, which jingled pleasantly as they pranced about. They were anxious to be off. Apollo held them in check with a firm hand, when he saw Ceres approaching.

"What brings you here before sunrise, Mother Ceres?" he called to her gaily, for he had known her a long time. Then he saw that her eyes were red with weeping, and he leaped from his chariot to take her hand.

"What has happened?" he asked in a gentle tone.

[Pg 137]

"Oh, Apollo," cried Ceres, while the tears streamed down her cheeks, "I have lost Proserpina. Only yesterday I allowed her to go into the meadow near my house to gather flowers. She did not return, and I can find no trace of her. Oh, tell me, have you seen her? You see everything as you drive across the sky."

Apollo thought a moment. "Let me see," he said. "Could that have been little Proserpina I saw in Pluto's[62] chariot—"

"In Pluto's chariot?" cried Ceres. "What would she be doing in Pluto's chariot?"

"It was she," said Apollo. "Now that I think of it, I am certain it was she."

Then Apollo told Ceres all that had happened. He told her about the shrub of marvellous flowers. He told of the hole that its roots left in the ground. He told of Pluto and his six black horses, and of how Pluto had carried off Proserpina.

"He will never bring her back," said Apollo.

Then Ceres dried her tears. Her face grew stern and cold. She stood straight and held her head high, like a queen.

"He will bring her back," she said. "I shall make him bring her. Until he does, I shall allow nothing on the earth to grow. Until he brings Proserpina to me, no tree shall put forth leaves or fruit, no grass shall become [Pg 138] green, no grain shall sprout,—nothing, nothing at all, shall grow on the earth."

Scarcely had she said this when a change came over the earth. The leaves on trees and shrubs everywhere grew yellow and dropped to the ground. The green fields became brown and gray. Fruits rotted on the stem, and vegetables dried where they grew. Even flowerbeds lost their bloom and became patches of dry stalks.

Mother Ceres looked upon all these changes with a hard heart.

"Never," she said, "will the earth grow green again, until my daughter is returned to me."

Oral Exercise. 1. Play that you are Ceres working in her house and glancing out of the window now and then. Say what she said when she saw Proserpina sit down in the long grass. Say what she said when, after several hours, her daughter was still absent. Say it in the way you think she said it. Now show your classmates how she hurried into the meadow to find Proserpina; how she picked up the half-finished wreath and crossed the brook; how she looked when she saw her daughter's footprint in the soft ground near the brook. What do you think she was thinking then?

2. One of your classmates will be the farmer in the story, another the old woman, another the robin, two [Pg 139] others the pair of squirrels. Still other pupils will be the people in the houses at whose doors Ceres knocks. Now play that you are Ceres looking for her daughter, and asking everywhere for her. Remember how Ceres must have felt. Show that feeling in what you say and in the way you say it. The pupils playing the other speakers in the story will answer your questions. Try not to ask your questions always in the same words.

Group Exercise. 1. Now let other groups of pupils play this part of the story.

2. Each time[57] the class will say what they liked and what they did not like. The following questions should be answered by the class:

1. Did the pupil playing Ceres look very much worried over Proserpina's not returning? Several pupils should try to show the class how the player ought to have looked.

2. Did the pupil playing Ceres talk like a worried person? Several pupils should show how Ceres probably did talk.

3. Did the pupil playing Ceres talk enough? What might she say as she looks out of the window now and then? What might she say when she finds the unfinished wreath? What might she say when she sees Proserpina's footprint and, a little farther along, the beautiful shrub pulled out of the ground?

4. Did the pupils playing the farmer, the old woman, the robin, the squirrels, and the other people speak as persons really would speak if a poor woman should ask them where her daughter was? What might these say that none of the players said? [Pg 140]

5. Did the pupil playing Ceres ask each of the other players the same question in the same way? Would it be better if this player asked the question differently of different persons? Should this player grow more worried and more excited all the time?

Oral Exercise. 1. Make believe that you are Apollo. Obtain a long rope and harness your six horses. Choose six classmates to be the horses, but first explain to the class how you plan to harness them. Then drive them up and down in front of the class once or twice. As you do so, you see Ceres coming toward you. You pull in your horses in great surprise. Show your classmates this surprise. What might you say in a low tone to yourself to express this surprise?

2. Talk with Ceres. The pupil playing Ceres will answer you very sadly at first. But at the end of the story the manner of Ceres changes. How does Apollo look and what does he say when Ceres declares that nothing shall grow on earth until Proserpina is returned?

Group Exercise. 1. Several pairs of pupils should play the meeting between Apollo and Ceres. Each pair should try to show the class exactly how they think Apollo and Ceres looked and spoke and acted.

2. Then the class will tell what they liked and what they did not like in each playing.

[Pg 141]

3. Now the entire story should be played several times. After each time the class will explain to the players how the story might have been played better.

57. Correct Usage—I am not[65]

Game. The teacher asks a pupil to stand before the class. This pupil plays that he is a certain bird, flower, or animal other than a bird, that is seen in the woods in the spring, but he tells no one except the teacher what he is. The class must guess this. No pupil may guess more than once, and only ten guesses are allowed the whole class. The pupil before the class says nothing except that he is or is not the bird, flower, or animal guessed. The game moves along as follows:

First Guesser: Are you a dandelion, John?

Pupil before the Class: No, Fred, I am not a dandelion.

Second Guesser: Are you a turtle, John?

Pupil before the Class: No, Mary, I am not a turtle.

Third Guesser: Are you a song sparrow, John?

Pupil before the Class: Yes, Nellie, I am a song sparrow.

The pupil who guesses correctly is the next flower or bird. If no one of the ten guesses is correct, the pupil before the class says, "Classmates, I am a song sparrow." Then he names the pupil who is to take his place in the game.

58. Riddles

One day our old friend Tom read his mother a riddle he had made. This is it:

[Pg 142]

I am a tiny little thing and have an orange face. What am I?

"Can you guess it, mother?" he asked. "A dandelion," she answered. "Yes, that's right," said Tom. "What do you think of it?"

"It's a pretty good little riddle," his mother replied, "but I think you can make it better. Is orange the best word for a dandelion? And should you not put in something to show that you do not mean a bird? Your riddle, as it is, would do for a yellow bird as well as for a dandelion."

Tom thought this over. Then he wrote the following riddle:

I am a tiny little thing with a bright yellow face. I have no legs or wings, but I come and go with spring. What am I?

Tom's mother was very much pleased with this riddle, and so was Tom. Tom thought he could not make it the least bit better. The next day, however, he had made the riddle over once more. "This," said Tom, "is the very best that I can do."

Here it is:

My face is bright yellow. I have hundreds of brothers and sisters. We have fine parties on the lawn. I cannot walk, but I can fly when I am old and white-haired. What am I?

Oral Exercise. 1. Which of Tom's three riddles do you like the best? Which do you care for least?[Pg 143] Why? Do you think the third riddle is too long? What is in the third riddle that you do not find in the second?

2. Can you make a riddle of your own about the dandelion?

3. Make riddles for your classmates to guess, about flowers, birds, and animals that are seen in the spring.

Written Exercise. Write on paper the best riddle of a bird or a flower that you can make. Then, as Tom did, think it over a little longer and try to make it better. When you think it is so bright that your classmates will be much pleased with it, read it to them.[66]

Group Exercise. Some of the riddles should now be copied neatly on the board. It will be fun for the whole class to try to make them better. The very best ones the teacher will copy in a book to show to other classes.[35]

Written Exercise. 1. Copy the riddle or riddles that your teacher chooses. As you copy them, notice the spelling of the words, the capital letters, the punctuation marks, and the beginning of the first line of each riddle. This will help you to write the riddles correctly when you reach the next exercise. Together with another pupil, correct your copy and his.

[Pg 144]

2. Write from dictation the riddles you have copied. Then correct any mistakes you may have made. You may do this work of correcting either alone or with one or more other pupils.

59. Story-Telling


In the underground world, where Pluto was king, stood a magnificent palace, in which he lived. The pillars that held up the roof were of solid gold. Jewels of many colors shone and sparkled in the walls.

Two persons were talking together in a room in this wonderful building. One of these, who was no other than the lost Proserpina, was crying. Before her stood Pluto. He was trying to comfort her.

"Why do you keep on weeping day after day?" he asked. "Look about you and see what a beautiful place it is to which I have brought you."

Proserpina only shook her head and cried the harder. "I do not care how beautiful it is," she said. "I want to go back to my mother. I want to see the sunshine and the blue sky, and the flowers growing in the meadows."

Pluto pointed to the jewels that gleamed from the walls and floor and ceiling of the palace. Some were red as roses, others blue as violets. Still others shone yellow as dandelions or purple as lilacs or green as the young grass that grows on the banks of brooks.

"There are flowers for you," said he. "See all their colors! And these flowers are unlike those [Pg 145] on the earth, that last only a day or a week. These never wither and never fade."

But Proserpina did not so much as look at the jewels that Pluto praised so highly.

"Please take me back to the earth," she begged. "If you will do that, I shall always think of you as a kind king. Perhaps I should visit you now and then."

Pluto smiled and shook his head. "I do not dare let you go back to the earth, Proserpina," he explained. "I am almost sure you would never come back to me. Think how lonely I should be down here. I should have no one to share my palace and my riches with me. But let me tell what I will do."

He took the golden crown from his head. It was the most splendid crown in all the world. He held it out before her. It sparkled with a thousand lights. The most skilful goldsmiths in Pluto's kingdom had made it.

"This," said Pluto, "I will give you, if you will stay with me."

Before Proserpina could answer, the bark of a dog was heard outside the palace wall. It was Pluto's giant mastiff. He was a huge three-headed dog that guarded the palace gate. Some one was coming. A minute later a loud knock sounded on the door. At once this flew open and showed a tall young man standing there.[Pg 146] His face was flushed and he was breathless, as if he had run a long distance.

When the stranger saw the king and Proserpina, he drew himself up to his full height and made a deep bow.

"What is it?" asked Pluto.

The tall stranger stepped into the room. He was still breathing hard. "I am the bringer of sad news, King Pluto," he began. "I come from the earth to let you know what has happened."

"Well, what has happened?" impatiently asked the king.

[Pg 147]

"The earth has lost its color and its beauty," answered the stranger. "Nothing grows any more. Where once there were beautiful fields and orchards, now there is nothing but the uncovered ground and bare branches to be seen. And Ceres sends me to you with this message, O Pluto. Until you return her daughter, not a blade of grass, not a shoot of corn shall grow, not a flower shall bloom, not a tree shall put forth leaves, on the whole earth that was once so green and wonderful."

Pluto smiled at these words. "What care I," he said, "whether anything grows on the earth!" Then he saw that Proserpina was weeping. His voice grew softer. "What does Ceres want me to do?" he asked.

"She wants you to return that which you have taken away," was the solemn answer.

"That," said Pluto, "I will never do."

The messenger of Ceres turned to go, without another word. Proserpina stepped forward and stopped him.

"I have a plan," she said, "that will help us all." She turned to Pluto. "Let me spend half of every year with Mother Ceres," she said, "and I will gladly spend the other half with you."

Pluto looked at her and made no answer. He did not like being alone in his great palace six months of every year. But then he thought of[Pg 148] how unhappy Proserpina would be if he never allowed her to see her mother again. He did not wish her to be unhappy. At last he said, "I will do it."

Proserpina clapped her hands. She laughed and danced about. "Six months here," she said, "and six months on earth. That will make six months of green and bloom on earth, and six months of bare branches and empty fields. Every year when I start back to the earth, things will begin to grow and bud and blossom. That will be spring. Every year when I return to this underground world, the leaves will fall from the trees, the grass will become yellow, and flowers will wither and fade. That will be fall."

Proserpina at once prepared for her journey back to the earth. When she had said good-bye to Pluto, Ceres's messenger led the way. They passed the growling three-headed dog. They passed the iron gates of Pluto's kingdom. Far ahead they saw a bright light. It was the sunshine of the earth. They hastened toward it. As they hurried along, Proserpina noticed that the dry fields began to change. Green grass sprang up in them, and flowers. A veil of green covered all the shrubs and trees, and fruit blossoms began to unfold. The farmers had been sad over the long winter. Now they worked merrily in the fields, glad at the coming of spring.

[Pg 149]

It was not long before Proserpina saw that she had reached the meadow in which she had gathered flowers. Yes, there was the brook she had crossed without really meaning to do it. There was the place where she had sat in the grass to weave wreaths. And there, at the edge of the meadow, stood her mother's house. Hurrying from it and toward Proserpina with outstretched arms was Mother Ceres herself.

Oral Exercise. 1. Make believe that you are Proserpina in the story above. Think how you would feel if you were in an underground palace far from your mother. A classmate will play that he is King Pluto. Ask him to let you go back. Speak as Proserpina probably spoke. Pluto will answer you. He will try to explain to you that you ought to stay with him.

2. Make believe that you are the messenger from Ceres. Make the deep bow that he made when he saw the king. Tell the king what is happening on the earth. Give him the message from Ceres.

3. You and two classmates should now play the story. Would it be a good plan to have some one play the dog?

Group Exercise. 1. Now three other pupils[67] should play the story, and then three others. Each group will try to show the class exactly how everything happened [Pg 150] in the story. Each player will try to look and act and speak exactly as he thinks the person in the story did.

2. The class will praise what is good in the playing and point out what might be done better.

60. Talking over Plans

Why couldn't the class plan a spring festival? It might be held on a Friday afternoon. Every pupil could invite his parents and friends. The festival would be one way of showing how glad you and your classmates are that spring has come.

Oral Exercise. 1. Make a plan for a spring festival.[68] Then stand before the class and tell the other pupils what your plan is. The following questions may help you to make a plan that your classmates will enjoy carrying out:

1. Shall the festival be held in the schoolroom or outdoors?

2. Shall you decorate the room with spring flowers?

3. Shall the festival begin with a march by the pupils?

4. Do you know a suitable story that could be played by a group of pupils?

5. Could some suitable poems be recited?

6. Would it be a good plan to have each pupil play that he is a spring flower or a bird and make a riddle about himself for the visitors to guess?

7. How shall visitors be invited? Shall each pupil write a letter inviting somebody and mail it in the United States Post Office?

[Pg 151]

2. It would be fun to have you and a classmate talk the spring festival over on the class telephone. Of course this is only a make-believe telephone, but two pupils can talk to each other over it just as well as if it were real. Tell your classmate at the other end of the telephone what you think of the spring-festival plan. Ask him questions about it. He will ask you questions.

3. Use the class telephone to invite persons to the spring festival. Different classmates of yours will play that they are Mr. Brown and Mrs. Brown and others whom you wish to invite. Tell them about the spring festival. Tell them why the class will have it, and what it is to be like. Then invite them to come.

Group Exercise. The class of course hears these telephone conversations. After each one the class should talk about it with the following questions[69] in mind:

1. Did the speakers telephone in clear, pleasant voices that could easily be heard?

2. Were the speakers polite to each other?

3. Did the speakers make any mistakes in English? Did they pronounce any words incorrectly?

4. Did the speakers say bright things that every one likes to hear?

5. Can you think of anything the speakers might have said to make the telephone talk more interesting?

[Pg 152]

61. Letter Writing

A few days before the spring festival you will be inviting your parents and friends to come to it. You could write short letters asking them to come. You could take your letters to their houses or you could send the invitations by mail.[70]

Here is an invitation to the spring festival. It was written, as you see, by a boy named George Smith to his friend Mr. Brown.

Oral Exercise. What do you think of George Smith's invitation? What do you think Mr. Brown will say when he receives it? Does George Smith seem to be a very polite [Pg 153] boy? How could the invitation be made more polite? What should the invitation tell about the spring festival?

Written Exercise. Write one of your invitations for the spring festival. Put in it all that you think such an invitation should say to the one who receives it. Before you begin it, notice how the following greetings are written. This may help you in writing yours.[71]

Dear Mr. Brown:Dear Friend:
Dear Mrs. Brown:Dear Uncle:
Dear Miss Brown:Dear Teacher:

Group Exercise. A number of the invitations should now be copied neatly on the board. Then you and your classmates may point out what is good in each, and may try to make each one better.

62. Addressing Letters

If you send your invitations by mail, you will need to know how to write the addresses on the envelopes. Perhaps you can learn this most quickly by carefully copying addresses that are correctly written. Before copying them you should read them with care. Notice every capital letter and punctuation mark.

Oral Exercise. Read the name of the person to whom each of the following envelopes is addressed. Is it placed nearer the top or the bottom edge of the envelope? Is it nearer the right or the left edge of the envelope?[Pg 154] Is it placed exactly in the middle of the envelope? Is the second line of the address exactly under the first line? Is the third line exactly under the second line?

[Pg 155]

Written Exercise. 1. Draw lines to mark off an envelope on your paper. Then copy the first of the addresses above. Mark off another envelope, and copy the second address.[72]

2. Cut figures of paper the size and shape of an envelope, and on each write one of the following addresses:

1. The address of your father

2. The address of your mother

3. Your own address

4. The address of a friend not in the class

5. The address of a friend who is a classmate

63. Telling Interesting Things

Oral Exercise. 1. When did you last go to the circus?[73] Of course you remember many interesting things about it. Think of these a minute; then tell your classmates about them. Perhaps the following questions will help you remember:

1. Did you see the circus come to town early in the morning?

2. Did you see the men putting up the tents?

3. Did you see the parade?

4. Where did you buy your ticket?

5. What did you see first when you entered the tent?

6. What did you like best of all you saw and heard?

2. If you were old enough to travel with a circus, and if your parents would allow you to go, what should you most like to be? Should you like to be an animal trainer? Should you like to be a horseback rider? [Pg 156] Should you like to be a juggler, a tightrope walker, or a clown? Tell your classmates what you would be if you could join a circus. Besides, tell what that kind of performer needs to know and do. Tell how he does some of his tricks.

You and your classmates may now plan to make a book about the circus. Each pupil should write a page for it. One could tell about the parade, another about the tents and the seats and the rings, another about the horses, another about the jugglers, another about the trapeze performers, and so on. When all the pages are finished, they should be bound and a cover put on them. On the cover might be written or printed in large letters:[74]

Written Exercise. Choose what you will write about for the circus book. Think what you can say that your classmates will enjoy reading. Then write the account. Better write a short and bright account than a long and stupid one. First, write on your paper rather rapidly the best account you can. When this is finished, read it several times and try to make it better.[Pg 157] If you were writing about the juggler, your first, rapidly written account might read like this:


There was a juggler at the circus. I cannot tell all the tricks he did. It must take a long time to learn to do tricks. I wish I could do some.

Of course this first, rapid account can be made much better. It does not tell how the juggler looked. It does not tell clearly what he did. After you have added these and other points, the account might be like this one:


I saw the wonderful Japanese juggler at the circus. He was dressed in red silk. He stood in the ring before all the people. I saw him do one trick after another. It was like magic. He threw five shiny, sharp knives up in the air. He kept them flying up and down without dropping one.

[Pg 158]

Group Exercise. Some of the circus stories should be copied neatly on the board. Then the whole class may try to make them better before they are copied on the pages of the circus book.[75]

64. Making Riddles

Oral Exercise. Make believe that you are one of the performers or one of the animals in a circus. Tell your classmates two facts about yourself: (1) what you look like and (2) what you do. But do not tell what you are. Thus, you might say:

I look just like you, but I spend much of my time in a cage. No, I am not a monkey. It is my business to be in a cage. Lions are afraid of me, and I am afraid of them, but you can see us side by side in the same circus cage in every parade. What am I?

Or you might say:

My face is pale, and my clothes are white. I look like a very foolish, sad, and solemn person. Everybody laughs at me. I don't mind it. It is my business to look silly. If I did not look silly, I should lose my place in the circus. What am I?

Your classmates will try to guess what you are.

Group Exercise. 1. Some of the riddles may now be written on the board. Then the class will try to make them better. The teacher will write each improved riddle beside the one from which it was made.

[Pg 159]

2. When everybody in the class has made a riddle, and all the riddles have been guessed, you and the other pupils will enjoy having a circus parade. In this circus parade the whole class marches around the room and up and down the aisles. Each pupil plays, as he did in making the riddles, that he is one of the performers or one of the animals in a circus. Each without speaking tries to show what performer or animal he is. For example, if you are a circus horse, show it by prancing about, but do not lose your place in the parade. If you are an elephant, show it by your walk. You might use a piece of rope or cloth for an elephant's trunk. If you are a horseback rider, show it by talking to your horse in low tones and by holding him in line. If you are a clown, show it by acting as clowns do.[76] If you are a musician, play your instrument as you march.

Perhaps the teacher will let the parade pass into the hall, so that the piano may be played as the class marches.

65. Telling about Wild Animals[77]

[Pg 160]

Sometimes boys and girls play menagerie. Each makes believe that he is the keeper or trainer of some wild animal. When his turn comes, he stands before the class and tells about the animal that is supposed to be in a cage at his side.


Oral Exercise. Choose the animal of which you will play that you are the keeper. Then tell the class about this animal. Tell everything interesting that you know or can find out about it. Perhaps the following list of questions will help you to think of what to say:

1. What does the animal look like? What is its size, color, and shape?

2. Where does the animal live?

3. How does it live? How does it obtain its food?

4. Is the animal very different from most wild animals in any important ways?

5. Can it be easily tamed?

[Pg 161]

Group Exercise. 1. The two following accounts are such as a make-believe trainer might give of a lion. One of these is much better than the other. Can you tell which is the better one?

2. What do you like in the first account? Notice that all of the sentences begin in the same way. Do you like that?

3. Do you like the word frames in the second account? What is the difference in meaning between dangerous and cruel?

4. After each talk the class should tell whether that talk was more like the first or the second of these accounts:


The lion is a large animal. It has four legs, one on each corner. Its body is covered with yellow hair. It has a shaggy mane. It has a long tail. It lives in the wild parts of Africa. It will eat human beings.


Ladies and gentlemen, the big animal that you see in this cage is a lion. See his beautiful yellow coat. See the shaggy mane that frames his head. You probably know that the lion is a dangerous beast. But do you know that he is the most dangerous and cruel of all the wild animals? The father of this fine-looking specimen before you was caught in Africa. Human bones and several copper bangles were found in his den.

[Pg 162]


66. Making a Little Book

Now you and your classmates are ready to make a book about wild animals. Every page of the book should contain a short but interesting account of some wild animal. A cover of stiff paper might have these words written or printed on it:

[Pg 163]

Written Exercise. Write your page[78] for the class book about wild animals. Better write it twice. After the first, rather rapid writing is finished, read it over several times and try to make it better. Try to put better words in the places of some of those you used. Try to add a bright sentence or two. Leave out sentences and words that are not needed. Copy what you then have.

Group Exercise. Before each pupil's account is put in the book, that account should be read by the class to make sure that there are no mistakes in it. The class might be divided into a number of groups of five or six pupils each. Each group could then correct its five or six accounts. The pupils of each group would work together, correcting one account at a time.[79] In this work of finding mistakes the following questions[80] will be useful:

1. Does every sentence in the account begin with a capital letter?

2. Does every sentence end with a period or question mark?

3. Is every word correctly spelled?

4. Are there any mistakes in English?

67. Correct Usage—Good, Well

Some pupils make the mistake of using the word good when they should use well.

The word good is correctly used to tell what sort of person or thing you are speaking of. Thus, you may say, "He is a good writer."[Pg 164]

The word well, on the other hand, usually tells how something is done. Thus, you may say, "He writes well."

Game. Tom plays that he is the manager of a circus. His classmates want to work in the circus. Each one makes up his mind what kind of work he will play that he can do. Then one after another raises his hand and asks Tom for a position.

For instance, Fred says: "Tom, have you a position for me in your circus?"

Tom answers: "What kind of work can you do well, Fred?"

Fred says: "I am a good ticket seller. I can sell tickets well."

Then Nellie asks: "Tom, have you a position for me in your circus?"

Tom answers: "What kind of work can you do well, Nellie?"

Nellie replies: "I am a good cook. I can cook well."

Other pupils are good musicians, they can play well; or good tightrope walkers, they can walk the tightrope well; or good singers, they can sing well; or good drivers of horses, they can drive horses well; or good shoemakers, they can repair shoes well. After each pupil has told what he can do well, all those who made no mistake in speaking to the manager of the circus may march around the room, saying or singing, "We are good circus workers. We do our work well."

[Pg 165]

68. Talking over the Telephone

Oral Exercise. Talk to a classmate over the make-believe class telephone.[81] Play that he is the ticket seller in a circus. You want to know about the prices of seats. Ask the time at which the doors are open. Ask him whether you and your two children may all go in on one ticket. He will say no to the last question. Try to make him see that he should let you in on one ticket. Then telephone to other classmates. The following ideas[82] for telephone talks will help you think of what to say:

1. Telephone to the lion trainer. Tell him that you want to become a lion trainer. Ask him what you must do to get ready for this work. Ask his advice about it. Perhaps he will tell you something interesting about lions.

2. Telephone to the keepers and trainers of other wild animals.

3. Telephone to the clown, or the juggler, or the tightrope walker, or the horseback rider.

4. Telephone to a pupil and try to make a plan with him for going to the circus to-morrow. Where shall you meet him? How will you prove to your parents and to your teacher that it will do you more good to spend the afternoon at the circus than in school?

5. Telephone to a classmate and ask him where the circus is to be. Play that you are a new pupil in the school and do not know the roads and streets very well. Keep asking the classmate questions about how to reach the circus grounds. He should answer so clearly that a stranger would not miss the way.

[Pg 166]

69. Words sometimes Mispronounced

Oral Exercise. Pronounce each of the following words clearly and distinctly as the teacher pronounces it to you. Then pronounce the entire list as rapidly as you can, but still clearly, distinctly, and correctly.


Game. Ask a classmate a question that has in it one of the words in the list above. The classmate will answer your question, using the same word from the list. If he pronounces the word correctly, he will ask a classmate a question containing another word from the list. And so it will go on until every one in the class has both asked and answered a question.

70. Talking over Vacation Plans

Soon the school term will come to an end. Then the long summer vacation will begin. What good times you will have! Perhaps your parents have already made plans for you. Perhaps they have planned a trip away. Or it may be that they will send you to the summer [Pg 167] school. Or, like most pupils, perhaps you will spend the summer at home. You will play outdoors with boys and girls who live near you.

Oral Exercise. Tell your classmates what you think you will be doing during the coming summer vacation. Perhaps the following questions will help you:

1. What games do you think you will play during the summer?

2. Shall you go to any city parks? What can you see and do there?

3. Shall you go swimming or boating? Shall you go on a picnic to a pleasant place?

4. Shall you go to the public library?

5. Shall you take a trip away from home?

Earlier in this book you read about fairies. You know what wonderful things they can do. They can make wishes come true. If a fairy came to your schoolroom and spoke to you and your classmates, you might be very much surprised. But you would be still more surprised if the fairy stood before the class, perhaps on the top of the teacher's desk where all could see, and made this little speech in a tiny but musical voice:

Boys and girls, I have been very glad all the year to see you having such good times together in this room. I think that young folks who enjoy school as much as you do should have a very pleasant vacation too.

[Pg 168]

As you see, I have brought my magic wand with me. Watch me as I wave it in the air. Yes, I am waving it more than once. I want to make a ring in the air for every boy and girl in the class. There, I have done it. Now each of you may have a wish, just as Peter was given a wish by the strange little old man. Each of you may wish a summer vacation exactly as he would like it best. All these wishes will come true.

Some of you boys will probably wish for a trip to the moon in a magic airplane. The trip is yours the moment you speak your wish. Some of you girls will probably wish to spend the two summer months in fairyland. Your wish, too, will come true.

Now I must say good-bye. Before I leave I shall make one more circle in the air with my wand. For whom is this? It is for the teacher. When the wishing begins, the teacher must have a wish, too.

When the fairy left the room, the planning and wishing would begin. Each pupil would probably have a wish very different from that of his classmates. Some of the plans and wishes would be very interesting. It would be fun to hear them all.

Oral Exercise. Tell your classmates how you would like to spend the long summer vacation if you could spend it any way you wished.[83]


(The page number following each note number indicates the first appearance of the note in the text)

[Pg i]

Note 1 (page 1). Although the lessons in this book are addressed to the pupil, it will probably be advisable for the teacher to reproduce the procedure of the first ones orally and independently of the text, rather than to confront the class at once with the printed page. In some instances, however, it will be preferred from the beginning to work out each lesson as it stands, the class reading and studying the text with the teacher (the "study recitation"). In no case should there be haste. If the teacher finds that the Christmas lessons cannot easily be reached by December, or the valentine lessons by early February, much depending on the class, judicious omissions are advised. The plan of the text makes this both permissible and easy. The teacher is asked to read the Preface and is strongly urged to read the entire book, including the Notes, at the beginning of the year's work.

Note 2 (page 1). The spirit of play should pervade the composition period. Pupils should feel as free and happy as on the playground. It is suggested that they be encouraged to "let go" when they are playing stories. Let there be much action, even exaggerated action. Let there be unembarrassed speaking, even if it be sometimes a little louder than necessary. Let there be energetic pantomime. When animals are imitated, or sleepy boys, or elves, let it be done with a will, perhaps even ludicrously. This freedom and abandon of play and fun will help lay the foundation for natural, vigorous, and interesting self-expression.

Note 3 (page 2). A number of pupils may be asked to show how the sleepy boy looked as he wakened. Let each one lie on the platform or floor before the class, apparently fast asleep; then awaken and stretch and yawn prodigiously; and finally awake fully and realize lazily that mother is at the bedside. This may represent an awakening from dreamless sleep. Next, let each player awake with a start, as Tom may have done after his exciting dream. It may be advisable with some classes, as a preliminary "warming up," to ask that (for example) flying a kite, riding a horse, picking flowers, sweeping and dusting a room, rowing a boat, be represented in pantomime.

Note 4 (page 3). No finished dramatic product is looked for in these exercises. The ends are (1) the pupils' keen pleasure in the activity and expression [Pg ii] involved in the play; (2) the creation of a situation that means for the pupils freedom and absence of self-consciousness; (3) purposeful speech by the children "in the situation"; (4) development of increasing interest in the story as a basis for further, and now story-telling, expression work. No rehearsing, no memorizing of speeches, but originality, extemporaneous expression, natural, spontaneous speech, are desired. Later on, different pupils should be asked to be managers of plays, selecting players, giving stage directions, urging the actors to speak more, to act more naturally, etc.

Note 5 (page 3). It is desirable that all pupils take part in the dramatizations, and not only the favored or the forward few. Besides, each pupil should be encouraged to play the part as he sees it. Originality, not thoughtless imitation, is desired. It is the differences that will be recognized as interesting and valuable in schoolrooms where individuality is encouraged; and it is the differences that justify repeated playing of the same story before the same audience. See Note 57.

Note 6 (page 4). It is astonishing and delightful how well little people do when they are permitted to take the initiative and to assume responsibility. Frequently pupils should be allowed to work out a play alone, the teacher helping only when asked or when the situation calls loudly for her assistance.

Note 7 (page 4). If the purpose of language teaching is the improvement of pupils' speaking and writing, pupils must speak and write abundantly. But they must do more. Two garrulous housewives may gossip over the back fence for years and at the end of that time speak no better than at the beginning. The same grammatical errors with which they began, the same infelicities of expression, the same lack of organization, the same meager and overworked vocabulary, the same mispronunciations and slovenly utterance, will still be there. Why is this? The reason indicates clearly that it is not enough that pupils speak and speak and write and write. This is only half the battle. In addition there must be continual attention to the problem of improvement in speaking and writing. This improvement is a task of years, and only one step can be taken at a time. In these first lessons criticism should be directed mainly to the matter of the pupil's expressing himself fully. See Notes 20 and 64.

Note 8 (page 5). As pupils suggest improvements, Tom's dream should be rewritten on the board, sentence by sentence, the point being throughout that Tom did not tell all that he had in mind. The class will greatly enjoy and profit by seeing Tom's original bald, fragmentary story become a vivid narrative, full of interesting detail and realistic color. See Note 64. Later this should be compared with Tom's improved narrative as it stands on pages 5 and 6. Pupils should not conclude, however, that length is necessarily a virtue in compositions. What is desired is not mere fullness but fullness of interesting detail.

[Pg iii] Note 9 (page 7). After pupils have read the introduction to the poem, or the teacher has freely developed one (see Note 1), the poem should be read aloud by the teacher, in order that the class may be impressed at once with its rhythm and thought. A second reading by the teacher, immediately following the first, may be advisable, in order to deepen the first favorable impression. With most classes every selection in the book should be read, the first time, by the teacher to the class. Many teachers memorize the poems, reciting instead of reading them.

Note 10 (page 7). Some teachers will desire to use the second half of this poem. Judiciously employed, that half will be greatly enjoyed by children and will, in fact, give added point to the first half.

Note 11 (page 7). When the force of each word has been explained, pupils should use it in sentences of their own and thus show that they understand its meaning.

Note 12 (page 8). Far better than the traditional correction of completed papers by the teacher at home it is for the teacher to walk up and down the aisles while pupils are busy copying, and to point out sympathetically their mistakes, making concrete and constructive suggestions where they are needed.

Note 13 (page 9). The best way for the pupil to memorize, as is well stated in Pillsbury's "Essentials of Psychology," page 192, is "to read through the whole selection from beginning to end, and to repeat the reading until all is learned, rather than to learn bit by bit." The teacher should join the class in reading the poem aloud repeatedly, in order that pupils may have the right emphasis and expression while they memorize.

Note 14 (page 9). Pupils will enjoy, in this connection, hearing some of the wonderful tales, which might very well have been fantastic dreams, of Baron Munchhausen. See "Tales from Munchhausen," edited by Edward Everett Hale (D. C. Heath & Co.). The telling of dreams involving comical situations should by no means be discouraged. The funnier they are, other things being equal, the better.

Note 15 (page 9). The term group exercise designates in this book those class activities in which pupils manage the matter in hand mainly themselves, or in which they work together on a problem as in a laboratory.

Note 16 (page 10). It is suggested that the term sentence be used incidentally by the teacher while writing on the board. The beginning capital letter and the final punctuation mark (period or question mark) should be pointed out, as well as capital I, also incidentally. Besides, the terms punctuation mark, period, and question mark should receive passing notice. The object is to give pupils a preliminary acquaintance with these technicalities. No definition of the sentence should be attempted in this grade, but the foundation for sentence sense may be laid successfully.

[Pg iv]

Note 17 (page 10). Improvement here should take the form of adding interesting and significant details, as was done on pages 4 and 5 in the improvement of Tom's dream. The matter of variety in expression may be lightly touched. By no means should the work be formal or heavy or above the heads or interests of the pupils. So far as possible let them make the suggestions.

Note 18 (page 10). Let the dictation clearly indicate, by a dropping of the voice and by a pause, the end of each sentence. Thus the dictation work will be a drill rather than a test in the writing of sentences. Preparation for dictation work may include counting the capital letters in the selection to be written, counting the periods, etc. It is suggested that occasionally the pupils be asked to repeat each sentence aloud as it is read by the teacher, and then write it.

Note 19 (page 11). See page 21 for the fuller presentation of saw and seen. In this connection the teacher need hardly be reminded that good English is largely a matter of habit rather than of knowledge, and that repetition under stimulus and in the atmosphere of interest is the means of establishing habits. Of course the game is one of the best of these means.

Note 20 (page 12). Encourage originality. Applaud unusual conceptions. Let pupils give free rein to their imaginations. Some of the best sentences may be written on the board, both for their content interest and to emphasize again the capital letter at the beginning, the punctuation mark at the end, and capital I. Besides, work in variety of expression or in amplification may profitably become an incident of the game. Thus, a sentence like "I saw an automobile" offers a real opportunity. It should be placed on the board. By means of questions the class should be led to amplify it, to give it definition, color, interest. What sort of automobile was it? Was it new or old? Where was it? Who was in it? Etc. Finally the original meager sentence becomes, "I saw an old, unwashed automobile that stood by the roadside with the driver asleep on the back seat," or, "I saw a shining new automobile spin noiselessly down the street with three laughing children on the back seat." See Notes 7 and 64.

Note 21 (page 18). While the fable of the ants and the grasshoppers is occupying the attention of the pupils certain classic phrasings of its lesson may profitably be put on the board. See Proverbs, Chapter VI, verses 6-11, besides the quotations below. A lesson devoted to the study of these may be given, followed by exercises in copying and memorizing.

"Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap."

"Work while it is day: for the night cometh, when no man can work."

"There is a time for work and a time for play."

"He that will not work shall not eat."

"When you play, play with all your might. When you work, do not play at all."

[Pg v]

Note 22 (page 20). Pupils should stand before the class as they tell their stories. Only when they face their classmates can they speak to them effectively. There is no good in pupils' speaking unless they speak to some one. They must, like adults, have a real audience and something to tell that audience which it does not already know. Or, if there be repetition, this must be for a purpose that is of interest to the audience and therefore to the speaker.

Note 23 (page 23). A little talk on "Sharp Eyes" is suggested.

Note 24 (page 25). The expansion should not go too far. There is no virtue in mere length. Quality of work should be emphasized. Besides, one of these fables, the shortest one, is to be used in the subsequent exercise in copying.

Note 25 (page 25). The work in copying should be motivated by placing before the pupils the problem involved, namely, making an exact reproduction of the original. Can it be done? This is the question before the class. Copy only a part of a fable rather than make the exercise too long. See Note 12.

Note 26 (page 28). It is suggested that the room be decorated appropriately for these lessons that deal with Indian subject matter. Possibly a small Indian tepee may be pitched in one corner of the schoolroom. A Navajo rug may adorn the wall, and pictures of Indian weapons, tools, utensils, and other articles of various kinds may be drawn in color on the board. Besides the book quoted in the text, Frederick Starr's "American Indians" (Heath) and Gilbert L. Wilson's "Myths of the Red Children" (Ginn), from the latter of which the Indian illustrations in the present textbook have been taken with the kind permission of Mr. Wilson, will be found replete with authoritative information. At the discretion of the teacher this problem of room decoration may be solved in a series of group exercises in English (see Note 15), each pupil expressing his views as he stands before the class.

Pupils will enjoy drawing tepees, tomahawks, Indian chiefs, squaws, and papooses on paper with colored crayons; dressing dolls as Indians; dressing themselves as Indians; making tepees, canoes, etc. out of paper and cardboard; making an Indian scene on the sand table.

The following are war whoops or Indian calls: "Ki-yi, whoo-oo! Ki-yi, ki-yi, ki-yi, whoo-oo!" and "Boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom!"

Note 27 (page 39). It is suggested that this exercise be preceded by a pantomime in which a pupil plays that he is wandering through the woods, while the class pretend that they are Indians waylaying him. Some may approach on the river in canoes. Some may follow his tracks on the ground. The women and the papooses would remain in the safe background. Finally the boy is captured. Then a little extemporized dramatization takes place before the captured boy makes his speech. Sensitive children should perhaps be informed that such captures no longer happen.

[Pg vi]

Note 28 (page 40). This game is designed to help stop the incorrect use of got. If some chicken feathers can be obtained, each player may wear one.

Note 29 (page 41). Some Indians call January "Cold Moon," April "Green-Grass Moon," May "Song Moon," June "Rose Moon," and November "Mad Moon."

Note 30 (page 42). The antidote for the and habit is not a don't but a do. If pupils are trained to drop the voice at the ends of sentences and to make a pause there, not only will many thoughtless and's remain unspoken, but sentence sense will be developed. Let the class read the January selection in the text, exaggerating the pause at the end of each sentence.

Note 31 (page 46). The teacher should not hesitate to modify any game to suit the needs of the class. Games 1 and 2 on pages 46 and 47 should be played on different days, to avoid confusion. Few mistakes will be made in these easy games, nor are mistakes desirable. The repetition of the correct form is desirable. It must not be a thoughtless repetition.

Note 32 (page 47). Parent coöperation in the work of eradicating common errors is to be sought. Some schools send cards to the pupils' homes, explaining the errors for the removal of which the teachers ask the help of the parents.

Note 33 (page 47). Pictures of fairies should now be drawn on the board, in order to help create the proper atmosphere for the present lessons. Later in the month let Christmas decorations be added. Perhaps a small Christmas tree could be brought in and ornamented with inexpensive colored papers. See Note 26.

The story in the text may be used for story-telling, although it is given here merely to create an appropriate atmosphere for the pupils' stories and as a prelude to the work of the next weeks.

It depends very much on the class whether teachers will read or freely retell the stories and other selections in the book or whether they will utilize them for reading lessons or for study recitations. With many classes it will be decidedly best for the teacher to read or reproduce the stories and selections. See Notes 1 and 9.

Note 34 (page 64). A number of possible exercises suggest themselves here. Thus, several lesson periods might profitably be devoted to each pupil's explaining how to make a toy or other Christmas thing. If correlation with manual training be possible, pupils may actually make toys, Christmas cards, New Year's cards, and calendars. This may be handled dramatically. Pupils may play that they are a band of fairies going to Santa Claus to offer their services in the great toyshop. One pupil is Santa Claus. He asks each pupil to explain what he can do in the way of making Christmas things. Then he puts them to work. See the game in section 67.

[Pg vii]

Note 35 (page 67). Teachers who preserve the best riddles will find them useful means of stimulating subsequent classes to their best endeavor. A riddle book may gradually be made by a teacher's successive classes, each class contributing its best. Only worthy pieces of work may be included. Thus a school or a schoolroom tradition in English may be made to grow up, whose educational value would be not inconsiderable.

Note 36  (page 67). An exchange of papers, or the correction of each paper by a small group of pupils working as a team, will often prove desirable.

Note 37 (page 69). Very incidentally during the study of the poem, use the word stanza to designate each of the three large sections of it, and call attention to the interesting fact that every line of poetry begins with a capital letter.

Note 38 (page 72). The teacher may read or tell the class the Spanish fairy tale "The Three Wishes" (see Wiggin and Smith's "Tales of Laughter," Doubleday, Page & Company). The story of Midas should be postponed until the fourth grade. See "Oral and Written English" (Ginn), Book One, page 100.

Note 39 (page 74). The last lesson period preceding Christmas may be given to the teacher's reading aloud "A Visit from St. Nicholas," by Clement C. Moore.

Note 40 (page 75). Dictate twelve dates, one in each month. Remind the pupils of the spelling of February and of the fact that the names of the months begin with capital letters.

Note 41 (page 75). Let children of foreign parentage tell about their unusual customs. Let them realize, as they tell about their home traditions, that they are making a most interesting contribution to the class entertainment.

Note 42 (page 78). Pupils will enjoy and profit by a pantomimic presentation of the scene, as a preparation for the real dramatization. Let one pupil show how Jack slowly and painfully rose from the ground. Let another show the alarmed mother, another the wise doctor. Then ask each actor what the person represented might have said. See Notes 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 27.

Note 43 (page 80). Other subjects will readily suggest themselves: as, a toboggan party, making an ice rink, trapping for muskrats or rabbits, fishing through the ice, ice boating, visiting the museum, visiting the zoo, visiting the botanical gardens, visiting the aquarium, a class dance, a class workshop for making things of wood, paper, or cloth.

The meeting may be presided over by a member of the class. Set speeches should be required and order maintained. The discussion should not lapse into undirected, fragmentary conversation. It is not enough for a pupil to say, "Let us go to the museum next Saturday afternoon." The speech should say when and where the class is to meet, how long it is to stay, what it is to do when it reaches the museum, who the leader is to be, whether the teacher is to be invited, and why this plan is preferable to the others proposed.

[Pg viii]

For seat work the class may make a picture book of winter fun, using colored crayons. An opportunity will here be incidentally offered to impress pupils with the fact that if they could only write their thoughts they might now make a real book about winter fun, and not simply a picture book. The promise may be made that as soon as they learn to write their thoughts well, they will be given a chance to make books.

Note 44 (page 81). The moment a word is mispronounced in the story-telling or other exercises, it should be added to a list kept on the board. Pupils will soon become alert for errors of this kind. From such a small beginning may well grow a class language conscience, a class pride in its English, and thus finally an individual conscientiousness in the use of the mother tongue.

Note 45 (page 83). Freely rendered after Chance's "Little Folks of Many Lands." Other books containing suitable material are Andrews's "The Seven Little Sisters" and "Each and All," as well as Peary's "Snow Baby" and "Children of the Arctic." Some Eskimos do have houses of wood, mainly driftwood, but others do not. It is with these latter that the present lessons are concerned.

Note 46 (page 86). It is advised that, as pupils suggest improvements, each account be rewritten by the teacher. The improved account should be placed on the board beside the original, so that the differences may be apparent to all. Teachers should guide in these criticisms and reconstructions, but very gently, leaving pupils free to suggest and change, making them responsible for the improvement, putting nothing down that does not appeal to the class, thus confronting the pupils with the problem of making each account better and permitting them to feel and to enjoy the full challenge of this problem.

Note 47 (page 89). Parents may be invited to hear the class recite poems. This will give an occasion and reason for reviewing the poems learned during the year.

Note 48 (page 96). It seems inadvisable, in the present state of conflicting usage, to follow the greeting of some letters with a comma and of others with a colon. Not only may this arbitrary distinction prove embarrassing when a writer does not wish definitely to commit himself as to whether his letter is strictly business or merely friendly, but it also compels the teaching of two forms where one will do.

Note 49 (page 97). Since the question may arise, why the subject should not become a matter of class discussion, it is advised that emphasis be placed on the fact that each pupil would probably prefer to talk the matter over with the teacher privately. Few pupils would like to announce publicly their desire to be postmaster, but all would be willing to tell this wish to the teacher alone. All these individual conferences, however, would be impracticable for the reasons [Pg ix] stated in the text. There thus arises a real occasion and need for the personal letter from each pupil to the teacher.

Note 50 (page 97). This will probably prove the strategic time for a conference between the teacher and each pupil. The letter written by each pupil alone should be made the occasion for this meeting. Sympathetic, constructive suggestions by the teacher, covering letter form (just taught) as well as the capitalization and punctuation of sentences, will do much toward giving letter writing a promising start with the class.

Note 51 (page 103). Some of the best letters, as well as some of the poorest, should be utilized for criticism, in order that pupils may appreciate the excellence of the best and, on the other hand, may have ample opportunity for constructive, improving work in making over the poorest. See Note 20.

Note 52 (page 106). This exercise involves, of course, the description of each pupil by himself. It is suggested that the spirit of play and fun be permitted to permeate the exercise, in order that wooden descriptions, mere catalogues of qualities, may be avoided.

Note 53  (page 109). A committee of pupils, or several committees, may profitably be appointed to see that each pupil rewrites and copies neatly his sketch of himself. The committee would have charge of the making of the book after each sketch has been finished. During this work the need may arise of learning ways of lettering book titles. Then and there the teacher should study titles of books and articles with the class and inductively teach the rule that the first and every important word in a title should begin with a capital letter.

Note 54  (page 113). Do not hurry in these critical exercises. Continue each one as long as the interest of the pupils will permit.

Note 55 (page 114). If pupils manifest a desire at this point to talk about ponies, horses, goats, chickens, ducks, pigeons, rabbits, or other domestic animals, this desire should be utilized for a series of exercises similar to those about dogs.

Note 56 (page 116). Pupils should arrive on their bicycles in animated talk, should dismount and lean the bicycles very carefully against the tree. Then they should step cautiously into the boat. When the boat leaves shore, the boy in the stern is sitting half twisted around and talking to his dog, while the other boy is seated squarely, well braced, so that he may row with steady strokes. Two girls may play the story as if it were about two girls.

Note 57 (page 116). Repetition in these dramatizations must always have a clear and justifiable purpose that pupils understand. For instance, having a new audience (the pupils from another room or a visitor) would usually constitute a good reason for a second performance. Then, repetition before the same audience might be justified by the endeavor to improve the playing by introducing more [Pg x] action or more speech and thus achieving a better representation, which the class recognizes as desirable. But every wise teacher knows that the play must stop before it has lost its savor. See Note 5.

Note 58 (page 118). If this exercise is to reach the maximum of profit for the class, it will include constructive work in word study, variety in expression, expansion by happy additions of words and sentences, contraction, rearrangement, combination of sentences, shortening of sentences, the striking out of needless and's, as well as attention to mistakes in grammar. Only one critical question should be considered at each reading.

Note 59 (page 120). Nine pupils may work at the board at the same time, each writing one of the nine sentences.

Note 60 (page 123). Teachers will arrange matters tactfully, that every pupil may receive a letter from one of his classmates. Pupils may write more than one letter if they wish, but the postmaster should accept no slovenly mail.

Note 61 (page 124). It is recommended that this correspondence be permitted to continue as long as pupils take pleasure in it. There should be allowed great freedom of content. Let pupils tease each other, poke fun at each other, even ask silly questions. See Note 2.

Note 62 (page 125). Pronounced se̅´re̅z, pro̅-sûr´pĭ-nȧ, ȧ-pŏl´o̅, plo̅o˝´to̅.

Note 63 (page 131). Since the next dozen lessons or more assume the spring-time as their background, it is strongly recommended that the room be fittingly decorated. If a class excursion could be made into the woods or to a river or park, it should be done. Some time during this group of lessons dramatization may take the form of playing that the schoolroom is a meadow or a wood in which pupils wander about picking flowers, seeing birds and animals. These they describe to the class.

Note 64 (page 133). By seeing written products grow in clearness, force, interest, beauty, and language effectiveness as the class faces the problem of improving them, by seeing the better word displace the good and the phrase of color the colorless one, by watching the vague thought give way to the vivid thought, pupils will be impressed as in no other way with the fact that the first draft of any written expression, brief or long, is merely the first draft, merely a basis, a beginning, a preliminary sketch, for the finished written composition. See Notes 7 and 20.

Note 65 (page 141). By having another pupil stand before the class and speak for the pupil who is a bird, flower, or animal (replying, for instance, "No, he is not a dandelion" or "Yes, he is a sparrow") the game I am not is easily transformed into the game He is not. Similarly, the games He has not and He does not may easily be devised.

Note 66 (page 143). A classroom correspondence, that is, a class exchange of riddles through the class post office, may be desirable at this time.

[Pg xi]

Note 67 (page 149). The playing of this story, the preliminary pantomime, the discussion before and after, the playing by different groups in friendly rivalry, may well occupy several English periods.

Note 68 (page 150). It is recommended that a real spring festival be held. See Percival Chubb's "Festivals and Plays" (Harpers). A committee of pupils may be appointed to take charge of it.

Note 69 (page 151). During the telephone game the teacher may now and then take the receiver and show what clear, polite, efficient telephoning is. In fact, the entire game may be played between the teacher on the one side and different pupils in succession on the other.

Note 70 (page 152). Sending by mail may not seem advisable in some schools; but if it is decided on, it should be preceded by an exercise on the writing of addresses.

Note 71 (page 153). The writing of the titles Mr., Mrs., and Miss should not be made the object of any extended drill at this time. Pupils should know how to write them for the purposes of the present exercises and of a few of the succeeding exercises.

Note 72 (page 154). While some pupils are copying at their desks, others may copy at the board. The latter will write copies for class criticism. Then other addresses, supplied by the teacher, may be written from dictation or copied, other pupils now writing at the board.

Note 73 (page 155). It will be delightful to decorate the schoolroom for this lesson and the lessons immediately following. Pictures of wild animals, of trick riders, of circus parades, should be hung on the walls. It would be the best of good luck if a large circus poster could be obtained and fastened on the front wall. See Note 26.

Note 74 (page 156). In many schools the making of the book will be doubly enjoyed if the carrying out of the plan is put in charge of several committees of pupils, after the work has been initiated by the teacher.

Note 75 (page 157). A committee of pupils, or several such committees, may now take upon itself the work of helping in the improvement of the remaining circus stories, their final copying, and their arrangement in the book. The whole class may be divided into six or eight small groups for this coöperative work. The teacher, apparently in the far background, is in reality in the thick of the work. See Note 79.

Note 76 (page 159). A march may be played while the parade is on its way around the room. Let fun and play abound. Let pantomime be as extravagant as these dictate. The parade may well precede as well as follow the making of riddles. In fact, there might be an alternation of making riddles with marching, a short march following each half-dozen riddles.

[Pg xii]

Note 77 (page 159). Wood's "Animals: their Relation and Use to Man" (Ginn) is recommended to teachers who wish interesting and reliable information about lions, tigers, elephants, and other wild animals.

Note 78 (page 163). For the sake of difference from the preceding oral work it may be desirable to let each animal tell its own story in the written accounts for the class book. Each animal may say where it came from, how it used to live, how it was caught, how it likes to travel with a circus, and what it would do if it were free again.

Note 79 (page 163). While this correction work is apparently entirely in the hands of the pupils, the teacher should make the most of the situation, first, by allowing pupils to feel the weight of responsibility (for a book with mistakes is no book at all, since it cannot be shown to other pupils and teachers), and, second, by imperceptibly and constructively assisting in the finding and correcting of mistakes. The teacher should pass from group to group, ready to help where help is needed, but very cautious about interfering or dominating or overturning the delicate balance of enjoyment, responsibility, and coöperative endeavor in any social group of workers.

Note 80 (page 163). Only one question should be considered at one critical reading.

Note 81 (page 165). The more realistic this can be made, the more fun there will be for the pupils, and the more profit for them from the English teacher's point of view. Each child should have a telephone number. A "Central" should answer rings and make connections. A little bell might be used. Toy telephones might be employed. The children are to play at telephoning, with emphasis on the play. Not until we have a deep stream of pleasure running in the class consciousness can we float the technical freight for whose sure delivery to the pupils the language teacher is responsible.

Note 82 (page 165). Pupils will enjoy pretending to telephone to the animals in the circus. These may tell how they like circus life, what they think of their trainers, whether they would like to return to their homes in the wilds, what they think of other animals in the menagerie tent, and which kinds of people they like to have look at them. For still further variation, the different circus animals, as well as the circus people, may telephone to each other.

Note 83 (page 168). If written work be desired at this time, it is suggested that this oral exercise be followed with the making of a book of vacation wishes or vacation plans.

[Pg xiii]


(The numbers refer to pages. The Notes designated are the Notes to the Teacher, printed at the end of the text)

Address on envelope, 153, 154, 155
Alcott, Louisa M., Jack and Jill, 76, 77, 78
Allingham, William, A Child's Song, 54
And habit, the, 42, 72, 86, 107;
Notes 30 and 58

Bible, quotations from, Note 21
Bird, Robert M., The Fairy Folk, 52

Came, 119, 120
Can, may, 92, 93, 94
Capitalization, Notes 16, 40, and 53;
drill in, 8, 11, 25, 37, 45, 67, 72, 86, 119, 143, 163;
sentences, 11, 25, 37, 67, 72, 86, 99, 118, 163;
months, 41, 42, 43, 45, Note 40;
I, 43;
names of persons, 90, 91;
titles, 153;
to begin every line of poetry, Note 37
Ceres, The Daughter of, 125-129;
Ceres and Apollo, 133-138;
Ceres and Pluto, 144-149
Christmas, Notes 33, 34, 39, and 41
Circus, 155-166
Colon, 96, 99, 123, 153
Comma, 74
Committee of pupils, Note 53
Completing unfinished story, 3, 4, 72, 73, 74, 114, 116, 117, 118, 119
Copying, 8, 10, 25, 37, 45, 67, 96, 119, 143, 154;
Notes 12 and 25
Correct Usage, Notes 19, 28, and 32;
saw, 11, 12;
saw, seen, 21, 22, 23, 119, 120;
have, 40, 41;
did, done, 45, 46, 47, 119, 120;
rang, sang, drank, 70, 71;
may, can, 92, 93, 94;
no, not, never, 109, 110, 111;
went, came, 119, 120;
I am not, 141;
good, well, 163, 164
Correlation, Notes 26 and 34
Criticism of compositions, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 11, 19, 20, 26, 42, 43, 51,
72, 73, 86, 90, 97, 98, 99, 100, 101, 102, 103, 109, 113, 114, 116,
118, 123, 124, 132, 133, 139, 140, 142, 143, 149, 151, 153, 157,
158, 161, 163,
Notes 7, 8, 12, 17, 36, 50, 51, 53, 64, and 79;
questions for, 26, 36, 42, 43, 67, 72, 86, 90, 98, 99, 103, 114,
116, 118, 123, 124, 139, 140, 151, 163,
Note 80

Dates, 74, 75, 124;
Note 40
Decoration of schoolroom, Notes 26, 33, 63, and 75
Description, exercises in, 8, 42, 52, 106, 112, 113, 158, 160, 161, 163;
Notes 52 and 63
Dictation, 10, 37, 67, 73, 86, 96, 143;
Note 18
Did, done, 45,46, 47, 119, 120
Doesn't, Note 65
Dogs, 111-123
Double negative, 109, 110, 111
Dramatization, 1, 2, 3, 8, 10, 15, 16, 26, 31, 32, 33, 38, 39, 42, 64,
69, 70, 75, 84, 89, 91, 92, 114, 116, 117, 130, 138, 139,
140, 149;

Notes 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 27, 42, 56, 57, and 63
Drank, 70, 71
Dreams, telling, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 12;
Note 14

Eastman, Charles A. (Ohiyesa), An Indian Boy's Training, 29;
starting a fire, 35;
character of Indian life, 38
Eskimos, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86;
Note 45
Explanation, 28, 35, 36, 39, 75, 79, 80, 111, 116, 121, 123, 130, 150,
159, 160, 166, 167, 168;
[Pg xiv]Notes 34 and 43

Fables, 13-25;
The Ants and the Grasshoppers, 13
Fairies and fairy stories, 1-8, 47-74, 167, 168
Foreign children, Note 41

Game, 12, 22, 23, 40, 44, 45, 46, 47, 71, 90, 94, 109, 111, 119, 121,
164, 166;
Notes 28, 31, and 69
Good, well, 163, 164
Got, 40, 41
Greeting of a letter, 96, 97, 99, 123, 153;
Note 48
Group exercise, 9, 19, 20, 26, 34, 36, 42, 43, 45, 51, 67, 72, 81, 85,
95, 103, 107, 108, 114, 117, 118, 132, 133, 139, 140, 143, 149, 151,
153, 157, 158, 161, 163;
Notes 15, 53, 58, and 79

Hasn't, Note 65
Have, got, 40, 41
Hood, Thomas, Queen Mab, 7

I, 43
I am not, 141;
Note 65
Improvement in English, 4, 5, 6, 10, 19, 25, 35, 36, 42, 65, 66, 67, 72,
81, 82, 86, 90, 98, 99, 100, 101, 103, 107, 109, 113, 118, 133, 142,
143, 149, 151, 153, 157, 158, 161, 163;
Notes 7, 8, 17, 20, 24, 46, 50, 51, 53, and 64
Indention, 96, 124
Indian Boy's Training, An, 29
Indians, 28-47;
Notes 26 and 29
Individuality, Notes 5 and 20
Initiative, Note 6
Isn't, Note 65

Letter writing, 95-103, 123, 124, 152-155;
Notes 49, 50, and 66

Making a book:
class picture book, 107-109;
dog picture book, 114;
circus book, 156, 157;
book about wild animals, 162, 163
May, can, 92, 93, 94
Memory exercise, 9, 59, 69, 89;
Note 13
Months, 41-45;
Note 29
Mr., Mrs., Miss, 153;
Note 71

Names, writing, 90, 91
Negative words, 109-111

Observation, 22, 23;
Note 23
Optional work. See the Preface
Oral Composition. Not listed, since practically every page of the book
would be included

Pantomime, 2, 8, 12, 15, 16, 17, 31, 32, 33, 69, 75, 78, 84, 89, 114,
116, 117, 138, 139, 140, 159;
Notes 2, 3, 27, 42, 56, and 76
Parent coöperation, Notes 32 and 47
Period, 8, 11, 25, 67, 72, 86, 118, 120, 121, 163
Peter and the Strange Little Old Man, 47;
Peter Visits the Strange Little Old Man's Workshop, 56
Picture, as basis for composition (see Notes 26 and 33): frontispiece;
Safely First, 27;
An Unfinished Story, 115;
A Story to Finish, 122
Picture, making a, with colored chalk or crayon, 8, 35, 36, 51, 52, 55,
64, 89;
Notes 26 and 33
Poem, study of:
Queen Mab, 6-9;
The Fairy Folk, 52;
A Child's Song, 54, 55;
The Light-Hearted Fairy, 68-70;
Jack Frost, 87-89;
Mr. Nobody, 104-107
Post office, class, 94, 95, 97, 102, 103, 124;
Notes 60 and 66
Posture, pupil's, while speaking, 20, 107
Project. See Situation. See also Note 46
Pronunciation, 23, 24, 34, 81, 82, 124, 125, 166;
Notes 44 and 62
Punctuation, Note 16;
sentence, 8, 11, 25, 37, 67, 72, 86, 99, 118, 119, 143, 163;
period, 8, 11, 25, 37, 67, 72, 86, 118, 120, 121, 163;
comma, 74;
letter, 95, 96, 97, 99, 124;
colon, 96, 99, 123;
question mark, 120, 121, 124, 163

Question mark, 120, 121, 124, 163
Questions used in criticism of oral and written compositions, 26, 36,
42, 43, 67, 72, 86, 90, 98, 99, 103, 114, 116, 118, 123, 124, 139,
140, 151, 163;
Note 80

Rang, 70, 71[Pg xv]
Responsibility, Note 6
Review. See Group exercise. See also Notes 15 and 47
Rhythm in poems, 55, 68, 69, 70
Riddles, 44, 45, 65, 66, 67, 141, 142, 143, 158, 159;
Note 35

Safety First, 26, 27
Salutation of a letter. See Greeting
Sang, 70, 71
Saw, seen, 11, 12, 21, 22, 23, 119, 120
Sentence study, 10, 11, 24, 25, 34, 35, 36, 43, 44, 67, 71, 72, 73, 86,
94, 97, 113, 119, 120, 121, 133, 143, 157, 158, 163;
Notes 16 and 58
Setoun, Gabriel, Jack Frost, 87, 88
Situation, long (see the Preface):
dreams, 1-12;
fables, 13-25;
Indians, 28-47;
fairies and Santa Claus, 47-74;
winter, Eskimos, Jack Frost, 80-92;
valentines, 94-109;
dogs, 111-123;
spring-time, 125-151;
circus, 155-166;
vacation plans, 166-168
Spelling, 11, 37, 42, 45, 67, 72, 86, 119, 132, 143;
Note 40
Spring festival, Note 68
Stanza, 55, 69, 89, 106;
Note 37
Story-telling, 3, 4, 9, 10, 18, 19, 20, 21, 24, 26, 47, 51, 56, 64, 72,
73, 74, 76, 78, 79, 118, 123, 125, 133, 144;
Notes 22 and 38
Study recitation, the, Notes 1 and 33

Telephone directory, making a, 90, 91
Telephoning, 90-92, 151, 165;
Notes 69, 81, and 82
Telling interesting things, 28, 35, 36, 38, 39, 75, 82-86, 111, 131,
155, 160
Titles, 153;
Note 53

Unfinished story, completing, 3, 4, 72-74, 114, 116-119

Vacation plans, 166, 167, 168
Valentine projects, 94, 95, 97, 102, 103
Variety in expression, Note 58
Voice, 20, 107, 151;
Note 30

Well, good, 163, 164
Went, 119, 120
Word study, 7, 33, 34, 35, 55, 69, 72, 118;
Notes 11 and 58
Written composition, 45, 97, 102, 108, 114, 118, 123, 124, 143, 156,
Notes 43, 49, and 64

End of Project Gutenberg's Beginner's Book in Language, by H. Jeschke


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