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The Elson Readers, Book 5   By:

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THE ELSON READERS

BOOK FIVE

WILLIAM H. ELSON AND CHRISTINE M. KECK

PREFACE

This book is based on the belief that an efficient reader for the fifth grade must score high when tested on five fundamental features: quality of literature; variety of literature; organization of literature; quantity of literature; and definite helps sufficient to make the text a genuine tool for classroom use.

Quality Literature:

First among these features is the essential that the foundation of the book must be the acknowledged masterpieces of American and British authors. American boys and girls may be depended upon to read current magazines and newspapers, but if they are ever to have their taste and judgment of literary values enriched by familiarity with the classics of our literature, the schools must provide the opportunity. This ideal does not mean the exclusion of well established present day writers, but it does mean that the core of the school reader should be the rich literary heritage that has won recognition for its enduring value. Moreover, these masterpieces must come to the pupil in complete units, not in mere excerpts or garbled "cross sections"; for the pupil in his school life should gain some real literary possessions.

A study of the contents of The Elson Readers, Book Five, will show how consistently its authors have based the book on this sound test of quality. The works of the acknowledged "makers" of our literature have been abundantly drawn upon to furnish a foundation of great stories and poems, gripping in interest and well within the powers of child appreciation in this grade.

Variety of Literature:

Variety is fundamental to a well rounded course of reading. If the school reader is to provide for all the purposes that a collection of literature for this grade should serve, it must contain material covering at least the following types: (1) literature representing both British and American authors; (2) some of the best modern poetry and prose as well as the literature of the past; (3) important race stories great epics and world stories of adventure; (4) patriotic literature, rich in ideals of home and country, loyalty and service, thrift, cooperation, and citizenship ideals of which American children gained, during the World War, a new conception that the school reader should perpetuate; (5) literature suited to festival occasions, particularly those celebrated in the schools: Armistice Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas, Arbor Day and Bird Day, anniversaries of the birthdays of Lincoln and Washington, as well as of Longfellow and other great American authors; (6) literature of the seasons, Nature, and out of door life; (7) literature of humor that will enliven the reading and cultivate the power to discriminate between wholesome humor an essential part of life and crude humor, so prevalent in the pupil's outside reading; (8) adventure stories both imaginative and real; (9) literature suited to dramatization, providing real project material.

This book offers a well rounded course of reading covering all the types mentioned above. Especially by means of groups of stories and poems that portray love of home and its festivals, love of our free country and its flag, and unselfish service to others, this book makes a stirring appeal to good citizenship. Moreover, it will be noted that wholesome ethical ideals pervade the literature throughout.

Organization of Literature:

The literature of a school reader, if it is to do effective work, must be purposefully organized. Sound organization groups into related units the various selections that center about a common theme. This arrangement enables the pupil to see the larger dominant ideas of the book as a whole, instead of looking upon it as a confused scrapbook of miscellaneous selections. Such arrangement also fosters literary comparison by bringing together selections having a common theme or authorship.

This book has been so organized as to fulfill these purposes... Continue reading book >>




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