« PreviousContinue »
To Those Interested:
To place before the young a series of Reading Books that will contain noble and elevating thoughts, the best that has been enshrined in the literature of ages, is a task worthy of the wisest minds and grandest efforts. Whatever may be gleaned from the past that will contribute to the noble and holy living of the present, is by right, the heritage of the young, the heirs and descendants of the long line of great and good who have gone to their reward.
A Reading Book is, or should be, a collection of the sayings and writings of the best men and the noblest women. The young are asked "to think over again the thoughts of others"; they are directed to make those thoughts so much their own that they in turn will be able to aid in transmitting them to posterity. "Will this thought have a good effect on the soul of the reader?" "Will it inspire him to do better work, to have higher ideals, to develop his character more in accordance with the designs of the Creator?" These and other questions face the makers of Reading Books, and the test of the book's worth must be determined by its effect on the thoughts, words, and deeds of the readers.
BOOK FOUR of the Foundation Readers contains literary selections and pictures which will convey to the young elevating thoughts, and which will inspire them to do noble deeds. In making the literary selections the following points have been considered:
I. Will the thoughts be of benefit to the children?
3. Will the selections interest the young readers? Will they be stimulated to read more of the works of the authors quoted?
4. Will the articles chosen aid the children in understanding the good literature of the world? Will they be benefited by such aid as may be given by explaining allusions which are frequently found in the writings of our best authors; and by directing attention to the sources of many of our best productions?
For instance, in "Jason and the Golden Fleece," the young reader
finds the explanation of the much quoted sentence, "He is between Charybdis and Scylla." Also the meaning of the expression, "Sowing dragon's teeth," and of the sentence, "They obtained a victory by using Jason's method with the dragons."
Many of the selections will serve to introduce the readers to good authors and good literature. The tales of heroism, honesty, fortitude, and obedience will be found valuable aids in character building.
New words are taught when needed or when they appear in the reading lessons. The pronunciation and explanation of certain words as found at the end of many of the selections, will be of assistance by directing attention to the meaning of the words as they are used in the lessons. The explanations cannot properly be called definitions. The teacher will need to give the children opportunities to use the new words in oral and written exercises.
Attention should be directed to the subjects which have inspired writers and to the way in which different authors have treated the same subjects. Have the pupils compare the folk-lore of the different races. PICTURES. The pictures are after the best paintings by the best artists. The work which may be done with the pictures in this book alone is sufficient for a book in itself. A taste for good pictures, and a knowledge of where they may be found will often be safeguards against many temptations. An acquaintance with the life and works of even one good painter is sufficient to open the eyes to a world of beautiful thoughts, beautifully expressed.
The pictures in this book may be used profitably in any grade in school.
The Foundation Readers are excellent guides for a course of study of good authors and good artists. The complete works of the authors should be in the school-room where the children may see them and consult their pages.
The young should commit to memory many of the selections in this Book.
The Teacher's Manual, which accompanies this book, contains many valuable suggestions. -B. E. B.