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of outlining questions. If the class is reading “Rip Van Winkle” for the first time, she asks: “Where are the Catskill mountains and what peculiar thing can you find out about them?” The children then read the first paragraph silently and ask any questions that arise in their minds from the reading; for instance, “Why are they regarded as barometers?” Then before they read the second paragraph the teacher asks, “What sort of village lay at the foot of these mountains ?” And after reading, the children ask any questions or make any comment that they desire. It is necessary only now and then to ask questions after the reading to see that it is well done.

Then, after this directing drill, may come such directions as, “Read this paragraph and see what it tells you.” When the first pupil is through, every pupil is required to close his book, while the most rapid reports what he got from the reading. Here the insistence is on rapidity and thoroughness. If he failed to get any essential point or if he got it incorrectly, he has failed in his recitation.

Later still the teacher sets a problem on a page or in a chapter. “Find out when he was born; on which side he fought; who were his friends; the trend of his argument; if he makes such and such a point;” or any similar direction will set the class hurrying to “read” the page or chapter,—that is, to get from it the information desired. Each time the pupil should, after his recitation, justify it by reference to the book. One does not plod through

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a whole encyclopedia to find a single fact; so he should have some directed drill on this kind of reading. The teacher must remember all the time and must insist that this is not careless reading; it is wise and economical reading. If his questions in directing the exercise are good, going to the core of fact each time, there is little danger of the pupils thinking that they have either wasted their time or that they must read everything in the same manner.

The last exercise to be suggested is the making of synopses. This matter has been treated more fully in the next chapter, which should be read in this connection; in this drill the synopses are to be made without reference to the book. The chapter, or other unit, is read as fast as the abilities of the children permit; and then, to test the excellence of the reading, a synopsis, written or oral, is required. Of course material easily within the mental grasp of the children should be used, and equally, of course, the requirements cannot be so rigid as when the book is used for the details; but the chief steps should be given in proper order. Most of the teacher's attention will, naturally, be given to the matter of proportion. Why is this point made so important in the report? Why is that omitted altogether?

This is a difficult work, but not too difficult for upper grade children, if they have learned in the earlier grades to get similar ideas and relations from smaller units. If they have not learned to get the thought from a sentence, they must begin there; if

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a paragraph is too much for them to assimilate, there they must work. But before one can be said really to read he must have this power of getting from the printed page directly by the eye the thought, to understand it, and to be able to report it in an intelligent, fairly full, orderly, and proportionate manner.



Inasmuch as thought-getting, not word-calling, should have been emphasized from the very beginning of reading, a child by the time he has reached the upper grades should be very sharply rebuked if he lapses into the wasteful habit of neglecting the underlying thought while reading material easily within his mental grasp. If his reading matter has from the beginning been worth his attention and his interest, he is far less likely to acquire this bad habit. “In the early reading of thoughtless lessons," declares Superintendent Spaulding, “begins the habit of thoughtless reading of all later lessons.”

But in the upper grades even more should be expected. Most of the practical reading in life is not of isolated sentences or paragraphs; it is of complete articles or even of books. Consequently, a reader should have some power, after completing an article, to give an intelligent and proportionate summary of its contents. The importance of this is recognized as soon as it is mentioned; but, strangely enough, little is done in the schools to train pupils in making such synoptic reports.

Of course this is not an exercise that should be entirely delayed in school; but it is of peculiar im

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portance to the upper grades, where the mechanics of reading have been largely mastered and where the minds of the children are matured enough to grasp larger divisions and to understand, at least to some extent, the importance of relations and proportions.

The Different Forms of Discourse Writers and writings differ greatly in their outlines. Narration is apt to be largely a sequence of incidents, arranged just as they happened or would happen in life. Exposition, or explanation, on the other hand, proceeds usually from effect back to causes: we are told what a volcano is, how it acts, and then of the causes. Sometimes, of course, another order will be adopted. Description is especially hard to analyze into an outline, as it may be treated in so many different ways. And argumentation, the fourth general kind of writing, usually presents its proposition and then, in strict order, its supporting proofs.

When this exercise of making synopses is first formally undertaken, the teacher should be sure to I choose articles the outlines of which are easily seen.

Usually an exposition of how something is made or what it is, presents the best material for synopses, as argumentation, which requires of its writer the clearest outline, is hard for the children to understand. Some stories, too, are good material. Here is a skeleton of Washington Irving's delightful old

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