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CALIFORNIA STATE SERIES

SIXTH YEAR

LITERATURE READER

BY

LEROY E. ARMSTRONG

REVISED AND ADOPTED
BY THE CALIFORNIA STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION

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BY THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA

C'opyright, 1916
By LEROY E. ARMSTRONG

In the compilation of this book certain matter from “Sixth Year Litera-
ture Reader" by Leroy E. Armstrong has been used. All such matter is
protected by the copyright entries noted above.

::: ::ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

For permission to use materials, the maker of this book acknowledges
his indebtedness to A. M. Robertson for Clark Ashton Smith's "The
Cherry-Snows" from "The Star Treader and Other Poems"; to the Harr
Wagner Publishing Company for Joaquin Miller's "Columbus" and "In Men
Whom Men Condemn" from Joaquin Miller's “Poems"; to the American
Book Company for “The Cadi's Decisions" from Alderman's "Classics Old
and New, Fourth Reader"; to Henry Meade Bland for "A Song of
Autumn”; to E. P. Dutton & Company for Katherine F. Boult's "Siegfried
and the Dragon" from "Heroes of the Norselands”; to Ina Coolbrith for
"In Blossom Time" from "Songs of the Golden Gate”; to Little, Brown &
Company for Mary H. Wade's "The Flower Magician" from "The Wonder
Workers"; to John Steven McGroarty for “California"; to George P.
Brown & Company and Perry Pictures Company for the pictures credited
to these companies.

EDUCATION DEPT.

8th Ed. 12.000—1925

THE

A TALK WITH THE TEACHER
HE PAST ten years have seen in many mpctions of oir

: country a decided change in the character and scope of

the reading work for the upper grades. The old advanced reader with its assortment of short poems and selected passages from longer poetic and prose productions has gradually been discontinued. An examination of recent courses of study and pedagogical works reveals a pronounced tendency toward a careful consideration of a limited number of classics of considerable length.

TEST OF ANY PLAN IN LITERATURE

It may perhaps be granted that this general movement toward a more careful study of complete classics is for the child's literary welfare. It can not be questioned, however, that many school systems have gone too far in this direction. The expanding life of a child as a citizen of the world demands acquaintance with a considerable portion of the world's best thought as expressed in literature. If literature is to stimulate the child's intellect, kindle his imagination, arouse generous enthusiasms, and develop appreciation of the good and the beautiful, it must not be doled out in workhouse portions like the mush devoted to the sustenance of the youthful Oliver Twist. At the inexhaustible fountain of English literature the child should be led to drink deep. Any plan is at fault that does not develop in him an ever-growing taste for good things to read. It may well be questioned whether limiting the work in literature in the three upper grades to five or six classics a year does not check the natural desire to read. The microscopic study of details, when once the central unity of a production is clearly grasped, is for the grammar-grade child a delusion and a snare. On the other hand, the power to turn on the white light of examination to clear up doubtful meanings and to grasp an author's central purpose should be developed in every child. Such power can come only from a careful study of masterpieces worthy of the child's best efforts; but to insist upon constant intensity is to prevent a perfect entrance into that delightful realm of fact and fancy which every child must approach on tiptoe. To insist that he

99 1805

I have a firm ground of understanding at every step is a stupendous. folly is to forget that the child is straining manward, that the half-perceived truths and beauties of today will be among tomorrow's clearest visions.

PLAN OF THESE READERS

Thus it is the purpose of these books to furnish a plan that will recognize and incorporate the rightful claims of both the intensive and extensive methods of presenting literature. On the extensive, or variety side, the task has been comparatively easy. Many old-time favorites, as well as the best of the new, have been chosen. The two principal deviations from the old plan have been the inclusion (with a very few exceptions) of complete classics only, and the rigid subordination of intellectual and informational materials to the emotional. On the intensive side the task has been more difficult. A new plan is presented. Systematic lesson plans have been prepared for six classics, viz: Kingsley's “The Argonauts”. (from “Greek Heroes”'), Longfellow's “The Courtship of Miles Standish, Irving's "Legend of Sleepy Hollow," Longfellow's “Evangeline,” Whittier's “Snow-Bound,” and Shakespeare's Julius Caesar." (Study plans of Ruskin's “King of the Golden River," Hawthorne's “Great Stone Face,” and Lowell's “Vision of Sir Launfal” have been included, also, but these may be passed over lightly, if time presses.) Each half-year's work from the low sixth on begins with a careful study of one of these longer classics, a study that will require from four to eight weeks. The remaining weeks are given to the reading and easy discussion of other productions and books.

REASON FOR ARRANGEMENT This arrangement of the work springs from a recognition of a certain alertness toward the printed page developed by a careful study of a classic. Most people seldom study carefully the printed page. Very few readers take the trouble or have the power to follow the niceties of an author's thought. Usually they stop with a mere approximation to it. If all of a child's reading is of the extensive sort, he is sure to fall into a habit of imperfect grasp. The preventive and corrective of this habit rest in definite and recurrent periods of effort upon classics of some length. A tonic effect of such effort reveals itself later in increased alertness toward other materials that are to be studied less carefully. Hence the intensive work at the beginning of each term is the best preparation for the extensive materials that are to complete the half-year's work. This mental pulsation makes for increased power and appreciation.

FORMATION OF THE LIBRARY HABIT In addition to the materials given in these Readers, children should form that wider acquaintance with literature afforded by a good library. Good books should be constantly within reach. To assist teachers in leading children in these grades to an enjoyment of good authors, many pleasing books have been cited for “Pleasure Reading" following the selections; and a list of other books suitable for the grade has been appended to each Reader. Teachers are urged to have these books placed in the school library. They should be made an integral part of the work in literature. If the classrooms are supplied with these books, one recitation period per week may profitably be given to their silent reading, each child for himself, under the guidance of the teacher. As another means of placing the children on the king's highway of good books, oral rep rts on books read may be commended. A ten-minute report may include a simple resumé of the story in the pupil's own language, supplemented by extracts read from the book itself. But these reports should be voluntary rather than required. Appealing to children's natural liking for stories, these reports are sure of interested auditors; and some of the members of the class will desire to read the book for themselves. Material outside the text must be supplied regularly if the class is to be kept vigorous. Pupils should be encouraged to prepare under the approval of the teacher four or five minute readings from their favorite books. Every effort should be made to make the world of books so inviting that children will enter for the pure pleasure of it. Teachers should never forget that the goal in the teaching of literature is a robust library habit based on worth-while books. A teacher should measure his success in teaching reading by the number of good books his pupils have read intelligently and appreciatively during the term.

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