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The child is at once imaginative and matter of fact. He is interested in fables and fairy stories, and also in stories of real life. The child of seven, more frequently than the child of five, asks for true stories and for the narration of events that happened when father and mother were little.
In making the Second Reader of the series, these facts have been borne in mind by the authors. Folk stories and "real stories” will fairly supply the needs of the second school year. The “real stories” are, with one or two exceptions, from authentic sources and drawn from children's interests. The limited reading vocabulary of a child of seven has made it necessary to simplify the fanciful stories, but the constant aim has been to preserve the spirit of the originals. Those who have had experience in writing stories for real children will readily understand the delicate nature of this work. It is to be hoped that the effort has not been without a measure of success.
The poetry selected is from approved lists used in the first grade and the kindergarten, and is already familiar to the
Knowing the content of these adds interest to the effort of acquiring the form.
New words are introduced gradually, and reviewed carefully. The selection presupposes that children using this book are familiar with the First Reader vocabulary.
Phonics, which were introduced in the first year of school, should be presented constantly and faithfully during this second year. If this is done, practical results must follow. Two lines
of work were suggested in the first year: first, the building of words based upon a common phonogram or phonic syllable; and, second, familiarizing the children with the elementary sounds and the characters by which they are represented. The first, continued, should result in a growing independence in pronouncing new words based upon familiar phonograms. The second should give immediate help in translating into vocal terms all words diacritically marked. Let the teacher also bear in mind the necessity for correct training in enunciation and pronunciation. For this purpose, two series of exercises are necessary: one the imitation of models of both, following the teacher's example; and the other, the correction of undesirable habits previously acquired.
The thanks of the authors are extended to the publishing houses named below, by whose courteous permission they are enabled to use the selections mentioned : “Sewing for Dolly" and “On the Seashore" from "Holly Berries,” E. P. Dutton and Company; "Little Pumpkin's Thanksgiving" from "Stories of Mother Goose Village,” by Madge A. Bigham, Rand McNally and Company; “Watering the Flowers” and “The Locust Trees” from “ Chinese Mother Goose Rhymes,” translated by Isaac Taylor Headland, the Fleming H. Revell Company; “The Swing” and “The Cow” from “Poems and Ballads,” by Robert Louis Stevenson, Charles Scribner's Sons; “The Secret” and “The Go-to-Sleep Story,” The Youth's Companion; “Clovers,” by Helena Leeming Jeliffe, The Outlook. Grateful acknowledgment is made also to Emilie Poulsson for permission to use “The Three Goats” from her book Through the Farmyard Gate,” Lothrop, Lee, and Shepard, Publishers.
Madge A. Bigham 75