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RICHARD EDWARDS, LL.D.,
PRESIDENT OF THE ILLINOIS STATE NORMAL UNIVERSITY,

AND

J. RUSSELL WEBB,

AUTHOR OF THE NORMAL READERS AND THE WORD-METHOD.

NEW YORK:
TAINTOR & Co., 678 BROADWAY.

CHICAGO: GEO. SHERWOOD & CO.

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Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1866,

BY MASON BROTHER,
In tho Olerk's Office of the District Court of the United States for the

Southern District of New York.

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PREFAOE.

The principles of the Word-Method, as exhibited in the Lessons of the First Reader, are still farther illustrated in the present volume. It will be seen that, as a rule, words used for the first time are placed at the head of each Lesson, for exercise in pronunciation and orthography. The system of analysis which characterizes this series, is applied by notes and questions to the fifteenth and sixteenth Lessons, and the plan is commended to the attention of educators as calculated to interest pupils and make intelligent readers, by giving them an appreciation of the language and a knowledge of the subject. It is hoped that teachers will follow up the suggestions made—not being content with the pupil's correct utterance of words and sentences merely—and that they will encourage a thorough understanding, on the part of the learner, of the subject-matter of each Lesson. This, we are confident, is the correct method of making thoughtful, appreciative, and accomplished readers.

Attention is directed to the beauty and distinctness of the typography in which the Lessons of this book are given to the learner. We feel that we are thus offering to the pupil a road to knowledge, which, although not “royal,” is yet free from needless difficulty, and as easy as modern improvements in the art of printing can make it.

The illustrations were carefully designed for the text by one of the most distinguished of American artists, Mr. Thomas Nast. As will be noticed, they are not filled up with many elaborate lines, but, like most of the recent English and German illustrations of a high order of art, they present a few bold and ingenious strokes of the pencil, which not only give them a freshness and clearness of effect, but render them admirably adapted to the use of schools as models for drawing.

INTRODUOTION.

INDISTINCT ENUNCIATION, however natural it may be, is not to be tolerated. Art must be employed to correct this defect and produce new powers and new habits. At no time in life can her aid be more effective than in early childhood.

Children should not be allowed to utter a single word with indistinctness; its every sound should be correctly and distinctly formed, bearing due proportions to each of the others, so that the words shall drop from the mouth as new coins from the mint.

To secure so desirable a power, children must be practically taught the various sounds of the language, and their combinations. To give effectiveness to this power, sufficient practice must be had to produce correct HABITS. Daily practice on the “Phonic Chart” or on some combinations of sounds as hereafter presented, will accomplish the purpose.

By sounds are not meant NAMES. The sounds of the letters and their names are almost wholly unlike. The letter a, while in some words its name and sound are alike, as in ale, ate, has, in most instances, a sound entirely different: e. g., in all, arm, at; and each of these three sounds differs from each of the others. The same may be said of e, i, o, and U. In the consonants the names and sounds never agree; though the sound of the letter is usually one sound of its name: e. g., 6 is pronounced as if written be, the e having its name-sound. The undertone heard before the e-sound in speaking the name of b, is the sound of b. Note this sound in the word cab.

In using the “Phonic Chart” the sounds only are to be uttered. Let them be given with great force and energy.

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