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The Coliseum, The Pantheon, The Rhine,
and other selections from Childe
Bryant Short poems of the descriptive order by Wordsworth, Shelley, and Keats may be selected from Palgrave's “Golden Treasury of Song” (first series ), and additional ones by Lowell, Emerson, and other American poets may be found in the various classic series prepared for school use. For Home Reading The Jungle Books
Blackmore Outline for Study of Narration
Synopsis or outline of the story.
Comparison with other narrations.
The object described.
determining its worth.
Purpose and Plan of Study. — The purpose of the study of narration and description during the first year of the course is to arouse the pupil's interest in reading, to develop his power to follow a writer in the unfolding of a plot or the delineation of character, and to cause him to form vivid mental images and pictures of what the author presents. If this purpose is accomplished, and if the emotional nature of the pupil has been stirred in response to the deeper influences of literature, then the teacher may feel that her efforts have met with more success than is usually the case in attempts to “teach literature."
During the first half of the year, emphasis should be given to narration, and during the second half to description.
Home Reading. — In addition to the class work several books should be read during the year by each pupil. The number required will vary, but in most cases it will not be asking too much to expect pupils to read and report upon four books. Some of the books in the suggested list will doubtless have been read by some pupils before entering the high school, and when the list does not offer enough new material for the purpose, the teacher can substitute other works of the same character.
The books read should be discussed in class, the pupils being encouraged not only to review the story told, but to discuss incidents and characters, expressing their opinions freely. Sometimes certain pupils may be selected to discuss certain phases of the book read. These exercises in oral expression should not be neglected; for they furnish an opportunity for unconscious drill in correct enunciation and pronunciation, and for the cultivation of the power to express thought clearly, accurately, and in good English.
The character of the written exercise may vary from time to time as the teacher may think best. Sometimes a synopsis or a review of the book may be written; another time certain particulars, descriptions, the purpose or the method of the author, may be taken for the subject. One caution may be given: the task should not be made so difficult or exacting as to become irksome, for then the purpose for which a book is read will be defeated.
NOTE.— In connection with the reading of fiction, the distinction between the short story and the novel should be clearly explained.
Exposition and Argument
The Sir Roger de Coverley Papers
Collins, Gray, Cowper, and Burns may be found in Pal
grave's Golden Treasury of Song (first series).
Hawthorne Life of Lincoln
Outline for Study of Exposition and Argument
The author's purpose.
Consideration of the effectiveness of the author's method. Plan of Study. — During the first half of the year emphasis may be given to exposition, the selections for reading and study being chosen with a view to furnishing good examples of this form of discourse. Exposition and argument are often merged into each other, and may usually be found in the same selection; but by directing attention to explanatory passages pupils will gain a knowledge of the methods employed in exposition before beginning the study of the more difficult subject of argument. By a skillful use of the material, pupils will be able to pass from a consideration of concrete objects and events, which are the subjects of narration and description, to a consideration of ideas with which exposition and argument deal.
It is not intended that all poems shall be studied in detail, or that every paragraph of a prose selection shall be critically examined and discussed. The teacher should choose from the longer selections those portions containing exposition and argument which she wishes her class to study critically. Some short poems and selections from long ones may be studied in detail for an understanding of the author's method and for an acquaintance with his style. When the purpose is merely to discover points of resemblance and difference in the treatment of the same or kindred subjects by different writers, or to make a comparison of the language used, several short selections may be read during one class period. Many beautiful passages and noble sentiments both in poetry and prose should be committed to memory, and some short poems may be memorized entire.
The time to be spent in the study of a selection should be determined by its value as an example of a particular kind of discourse, the benefits to be derived from its study, and the needs and attitude of the class toward the study; but the teacher should watch its effect upon her class and stop short of the point where it becomes wearisome. It is better to leave a piece of literature while pupils are still interested, even though they may not understand every word, than to continue the study until they grow tired of the selection and lose all interest and pleasure in it. There is often danger of spending too much rather than too little time upon a literary selection; but, on the other hand, it should not be skimmed over carelessly without obtaining any real result from the study. The teacher should always have a definite aim or purpose in the treatment of a selection and strive to realize this purpose.
There should be a final reading of a short selection or a summary of a longer one for a consideration of it as a whole, and for its intellectual or emotional effect upon the class. If the student has seen the vivid or beautiful pictures which the writer presents, or has been moved to conviction by some valuable truth or lofty sentiment; if his heart has been stirred by the record of heroic deeds; or if his emotions respond to those of the writer's, then the reading of literature will be of lasting benefit to him.
The written exercises given in connection with the reading must be carefully planned and judiciously assigned,