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MODEL LESSON IN READING. (STANDARD I.)

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Apparatus required : Blackboard, chalk, duster, reading

books. [Time, 30 minutes. Class in desks or, better still, round the

desks or on the floor in three sides of a hollow square, the teacher at the fourth side. Sometimes the class is arranged on the floor in rectangular form, with corners rounded, toeing a chalk line or brass-headed nails ; while the teacher travels round the class from

the outside while the individual reading goes on.] Introduction.—Select about a dozen of the hardest words in the lesson to be read, and write these on the blackboard. Let the children read these simultaneously and individually three times each, and then write them on their slates. Turn the latter over, and elicit interest in the subject matter of the lesson (suppose it is on the Horse) by a few pertinent questions, but do not let the reading lesson become an Object Lesson.

The Reading Proper.—The teacher should read the whole lesson through, slowly and distinctly, taking care that the children “ keep their places " in following her. She should next read out the first sentence, and let the class repeat this simultaneously in the earlier part of the school year). The same thing should be done by an individual child. The difficult words should be noted, spelt, and explained, and the meaning of the passage as a whole demanded in the language of the child. If the class be a backward one, "pointing” to the place in the books may be permitted, but not in an upper section of Standard I., as this checks fluency. In the repetition, expression must be attended to by the teacher, and demanded from the child. This is

point really enjoyed by the children, who are eminently imitative and dramatic, if their susceptibilities are not

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repressed by unsympathetic treatment or ridicule, the employment of which would be almost unpardonable on the part of the teacher. Pick

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the backward and inattentive children by calling on them to read unexpectedly.

Do the same with the next sentence, and so on to the end, taking care to measure the amount of practice, explanation, etc., so as to go through the whole lesson (if it is of proper length), within the allotted time, reserving five minutes for the words on slates to be learnt by rote. In this exercise there will be, on the average,

about onefourth (25 per cent.) of irregular words (with silent letters, etc.), such as know, night, etc. These will have to be learnt on a purely “ Look-and-Say" method, and fixed by constant reiteration.

Insist throughout on loud reading by the class. Never allow inaccuracies, especially of small words, to pass unchecked, as was for saw (the child involuntarily reading backwards.)

ILLUSTRATION OF THE READING LESSON ABOVE. [The periods (.) mark the "phrasingof the teacher; the words in italics are those to be selected for spelling; and the words in clarendon type (mane) those which ought to be explained. The judgment of the individual teacher may be left to determine which of the words to be spelt also require to be explained ; and what phrases should be given in the child's own language.]

(Major's Crown Reader -Standard I.).

The Horse.

mane

kept
smooth
rough
next

Spellings. tail

watch very

else stuff roads plait

iron guard

limps

ought
whip
also
rain
knives

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1. “ We do not think that there is one boy or girl • in the class · who has not seen

a horse.” 2. “Let us see

what we know about a horse; · and I will tell you · more about it. What do you call · the bair: which flows · from the neck ? That is the mane ; . and you will find a mane · on the ass, · and on the lion, too."

3. “But all its skin · has hair on it as well ; · but the hair there is not so long

as it is

on the mane, but is kept smooth · and short."

4. “ When it is cold, · we turn the horse · into the fields if we have no work · for it to do. · And we let its hair grow long · and rough, · to keep it warm · when the snow is on the ground, and the wind blows cold” (and so on).

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PRACTICAL WORK.

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Have a picture of the horse ready for the lesson. Write out the spellings on the blackboard, the children repeating them as they are written, simultaneously and individually. Let the class write some or all of these, according to their stage. Ask a few questions about the horse, referring to its colour, size, disposition, etc.

The teacher then reads the lesson, the children following her in their books. She then reads sentence, or paragraph No. 1, according to the stage in which the class is; taking care of expression. The class imitates the teacher in doing

and the sentence or paragraph is repeated by an individual. In doing this the teacher should call attention to the spelling of think, and compare it with sink, drink,

do the same with girl. Repeat this for each paragraph.

Questions for Intelligence.- Where does a horse's mane grow? What other animals have manes ? What use do we make of the long hair on a horse's mane and tail ? Where does the horse feed ? etc., etc.

this;

etc;

PART II.

The most important factor in reading is Expression or Emphasis. By this we mean

(1) Laying the stress of the voice on the word, or words, which express the chief thought of the writer, whether this be

(a) Notional ; or

(6) Relational. (a) Thus, if the chief thought be notional, we shall have this expressed in the nouns (or pronouns), verbs, and adjectives, which must therefore be duly emphasized as

Noun. Will you give me the penknife ?
Pronoun. Will you give me the penknife? or

Will you give me the penknife ?
Verb. Will you give me the penknife? or

Will you give me the penknife ? Adjective. Is it a good penknife ?

(6) If the chief thought of the writer be relational, which it rarely is, the piece will be read so as to bring out(i.) Similarity or Comparison, as

“Man's life is a flowing river." (ii.) Unlikeness or Contrast, as

“I said an older soldier, not a better.” Or,

(iii) Relation, By my sword I won it, with my sword I will keep it.” These relational words are conjunctions, prepositions, etc.

(2) Besides Emphasis, Expression refers to Pause and varying Rapidity of utterance. Thus we should read the following line slowly, and with laboured breath, to suggest difficulty :

“ Up the high hill he heaves a huge round stone." The following extract will show the value of the pause :

“ Nay; call me not fool, till heaven hath sent me fortune.

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And after one hour more--'twill be eleven-
And thus from hour to hour—we ripe and ripe;
And then from hour to hour—we rot and rot;
And—thereby hangs a tale."

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Two or more adjectives before one noun should have a pause between them, as “he heaves a huge, round stone.” Words repeated should have a pause to mark the repetition, as “Far, far away;" "Stop ! stop! my friend !” On the other hand, no stop should be made at the ends of lines of poetry anless the punctuation mark is used or the sense requires it.

(3) Lastly, Expression includes Pitch, or Tone of Voice.

The most general rule for the use of a high or low pitch is that command, anger, and entreaty, especially if the latter be passionate, ends in a high tone of voice (with rapid speech). The same tone is adopted in questioning, as Did you go

?” On the contrary, a low pitch is chosen to express grief, sorrow, regret, or helpless pain.

Perhaps the whole of the above may be summed up in the following—“Try to induce the children to read as they talk.” This, of course, implies that they understand what they are reading, but they must be taught to do so.

All the class must be at work at the same time. To this end special attention should be given to the corners of the class in drafts, that is, to the children placed where the two flanks meet the centre at the angles. The same remark applies to the ends of the rows of children, and the back row, with a class in desks; and lastly, to the backward children, who should be placed nearest the teacher, and who should have most of the individual reading and teaching

Throughout the lesson, good expression and liveliness on the part of the teacher and class should be kept up.

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