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use. Write at the board before the class, after the list has been written in a column, a brief story, made up at the moment, or in the previous preparation, bringing in the selected words naturally and smoothly, in any order. Thus, suppose the list of words to be:
The written result might be as follows:
"Cousin Mary gave Anne a piece of wide yellow ribbon; Anne thought she would make a pin-cushion of it for her mother's birthday. But, since she had been so extravagant as to spend all her money for candy as soon as she got it, she had nothing to buy the other materials with. Looking out of the window she saw clouds of thistle-down sailing by in the wind, along the edge of the common, and gathering in puffy heaps in an old basket that lay on its side there. Why,' she thought, 'that will be just the thing for my cushion.' So, disregarding the thunder that threatened a storm, she ran out and gathered up a large quantity of thistle-down, sewed the ribbon into shape, made the cushion of muslin, filled it, and afterward embroidered on the outside a thistle, with the down flying off its puffy head. Behind this, she made some grass stems cross
each other in such a way as to make the initials of her mother's name."
"I had a fine pie made of three large apples which I found in the garden under a tree; I was looking for my kitten there, and found her by the back gate staring at a great toad that sat under a large leaf, winking. If I had the pie now, I would give you some of it, but Jenny, Kate, and I ate it on the porch in the shade of the hop-vine."
"I have a cat; her name is Fan. A bad dog bit her on the foot; she ran to me and sprang on my new book. I gave her some of my bread, and then I laid her on a mat by the fire."
Now give a new list, from which all write. When all have finished, call on several pupils, or, if possible, all, to read. Make the first exercises. short. Limit older classes to five, seven, or ten minutes for such writing. If there is space suffi
cient, allow the whole class to write at the board frequently. Rapid criticism by the class, wellmanaged, will be of great service, saving time for the teacher in subsequent exercises, as all the commoner mistakes can now be avoided.
Having made the first lists of familiar words, introduce, after the first four or five lessons, at least one which the reading-lesson has shown to be difficult or out of the vocabulary of the average pupils. Observation will show that many simple words of their text-books are meaningless to them. Occasionally, also, include in the words selected such as are constantly misused; as "funny," "awful," "expect" for "suspect," "fix" for "arrange," "loan" for "lend," and the like. Explain the proper use of these.
After a few lessons, give longer lists; substitute phrases for some of the
3. With angry looks.
4. Running after it.
9. One by one.
In primary and lower grammar grades a five or ten-minute exercise of this kind will soon show
the advantage of daily writing.
grades gain in readiness from it.
Classes of all
An endless variety of lessons may be made from modifications of this; some may be used to test the knowledge of pupils in their daily
lessons; for example, for older classes, instead of giving the words directly, require each to write on a slip of paper with his name, after the following directions:
I. A common noun.
4. Conjunctive adverb.
6. Abstract noun.
3. In the morning.
9. Of blue silk. 10. Pshaw!
This may be varied each time by using other words from the children's common stock.
To High School classes and the grades next below, such exercises as the following may be given :
Exchange (or otherwise).
Do not allow pupils to think that they have done what is required when they have merely put the words into sentences with some sort of unnecessary sense. The composition should be connected, and so well put together that the words seem to have been chosen after the writing; and it should contain nothing that might not have been true within the limits of this species of fiction, etc.