Excerpt from Reading-Literature: Fifth Reader
One needs to examine the Primer, First, Second and Third Readers of this series in order to understand the purpose and plan of the books - to train children in reading and appreciating literature through reading-literature.
The Primer contains nine of the best folk tales, true to the original, and yet written in such a simple style that children can begin reading the real story during the first week in school. The First Reader contains thirteen similar stories, of gradually increasing difficulty, and thirty-three of the best rhymes and jingles suitable for young children. This constitutes a course in literature, twenty-two stories and thirty-three child poems, as well adapted to first-grade children as are the selections for "college entrance requirements" to high-school students.
The Second Reader introduces fables and fairy stories and continues folk tales and simple poems. Others have used some of the same material in readers, but in a quite different way. Their purpose seems to have been to "mix thoroughly." We have organized the material: a group of fables, several groups of folk and fairy stories, a group of Mother Goose, of Rossetti, of Stevenson, and so on; so that the child may get a body, not a mere bit, of one kind of material before passing to another. Thus from the first he is trained to associate related literature and to organize what he reads.
The transition to the Third Reader will be found easy and to accord with the normal interests of the children.
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