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MEMORIZING SHORT CHOICE PRODUCTIONS Another phase of good literature teaching outside the text lies in memorization. Throughout all the grades short complete productions, such as Longfellow's "The Children's Hour," Miller's “Columbus," Holmes' “The Last Leaf," and Lincoln's “Gettysburg Address,” should be studied and memorized by the children. Five selections a year committed
. to memory will enable pupils to leave the grammar school with a choice body of the best English and American shorter classics. This is the kind of work that should be given over to the memory. Children delight in these classics, and the retention of them in memory will prove a lifelong pleasure.
DISCUSSION OF INTENSIVE PLAN Having endeavored to make adequate provision for helpful variety and a sure approach to the library, we turn now to a consideration of the intensive as outlined in the study-plans accompanying six of the longer classics. Since the success of the general plan depends to a certain extent upon this intensive work, a discussion of the aims and methods involved therein is advisable.
PLAN OF PROGRESSIVE INTERRELATING
One of the causes of the failure to secure thoroughly satisfactory work in literature rests on the practice of treating each masterpiece independently. While most of the other studies provide for systematic reviews and enlargements of the topics treated, no adequate plan has been offered for similar work in literature. An attempt has been made in the study-plans of these six classics (and to a certain extent in the questions upon the other materials) to provide such a plan. By crossreferences, comparisons and suggestive questions, the past work is brought to bear upon the classic in hand. This not only reviews and renews the past work, but it also adds strength and interest to the new.
REFERENCES AND ALLUSIONS In connection with this plan to interrelate the classics as the work goes on, attention is called to the definite provision for securing for all the work a background of common literary knowledge. Literature is filled with references and allusions that must be understood to appreciate the thought. Longfellow's line, "Simple and brief was the wedding as that of Ruth and of
Boaz” requires acquaintance with a beautiful Biblical story. A classical story lies back of Shakespeare's lines,
“As Encas, our great ancestor,
Since the two great sources of reference and allusion are, classical mythology and the Bible, a knowledge of the principal stories of each is indispensable and should be developed as early as possible. The study-plan of “The Argonauts” makes a definite effort to secure such acquaintance with classical mythology. In a similar way “The Courtship of Miles Standish” has been used to give a knowledge of the principal Biblical stories.
STUDY OF THE AUTHOR The common practice of outlining the author's life before studying the classic is unpedagogical. Children are interested in a poem, a song, or a picture for its own sake, not for the sake of the author or artist. If the masterpiece is studied first, the fine glow of appreciation and enthusiasm aroused by it will lead children to desire to know something of the genius who produced it. Then, too, the production itself is generally a more complete revelation of the real self of the author than any biographical sketch may afford. This is especially true when the production is of considerable length. We feel confident that the plan of training children in the intensive work to search for the author in the masterpiece will commend itself to teachers. However, in extensive materials in which the principal aim of a brief biographical note is the association of author and production, it seems a matter of little concern whether this brief note be placed before or after the production. WORK IN LANGUAGE Too much language work in connection with literature is worse than not enough. There are two lines, however, that may be profitably followed. The pupil must not be permitted in his analytic work on the stanzas and paragraphs to lose sight of the central unity of the production. To make sure that the parts shall assume their proper relation to the whole, suggestive topic-headings have been prepared. Oral composition may well be a simple reproduction from one or more of these headings, but the written work on the classic should contain an element of originality. It may rest upon the firm ground of the classic as a basis, but from that basis the pupil should take flight of his own. The following topics for short papers will illustrate the character of the desired work: “An Adventure with Jason at Chiron's School,” “A Page from John Alden's Diary," "A Day in Ichabod Crane's School,' ,
' "A Letter from Evangeline to Basil," "A Story Told by the Young Schoolmaster" (Snow-Bound), "A Roman Citizen's Story of the Speeches of Brutus and Anthony." These two lines of oral and written composition may be pursued in the extensive materials, also, as far as time will permit. However, the preparation of topic-headings, requiring as it does a careful analysis of the thought, should be a part of the pupil's regular preparation in the extensive materials. It is suggested that this work in composition, both oral and written, be given during the periods set aside for language.
CORRELATIONS For the correlation of literature with other subjects a paragraph must suffice. The suggested re-inforcement of the literature work by appropriate language exercises has just been developed at some length. This work is advisable, but the same can not be said of many proposed correlations of literature with geography and history. While literature may often be used profitably to supplement history, the reverse is not true. When it is attempted, the establishment of the correlation is purely intellectual, and is thereby opposed to the fundamental conception of the emotional nature and value of literature. Dragging any considerable amount of geography or history into the literature lesson chokes the generous aspiration aroused by the classic, and reduces the lesson to an intellectual grind from which the highest pleasure and profit are gone. Truly the spirit giveth life. Perhaps the safest plan
. will be to debar all proposed correlations with geography and history unless they are clearly necessary to an understanding of the thought. They must not be used merely to embellish" the literature.
USE OF PICTURES IN LITERATURE On the other hand, the use of pictures in connection with literature should be encouraged. Appealing primarily to the feelings, both pictures and classics are art-forms, and as literature may be used in support of history, geography, or nature study on the principle that the higher emotional study may support the intellectual or the less emotional, so pictures (having for children as high an emotional value as literature) may profitably be used in its support. Geography is apt to throw an intellectual chill over the literature, but the high emotional value of the picture adds life and strength to the classic. In addition to suitable large pictures for the walls of the schoolroom, portfolios of pictures illustrating the classics under consideration should be made by the teacher and pupils. There are several series of small inexpensive pictures, notably Brown's Pictures and the Perry Pictures, that may with little difficulty be so arranged. These portfolios will add greatly to the effectiveness of the literature lessons.
BASIS OF THE GENERAL METHOD The general method of presenting these classics rests upon the assumption that literature is addressed to the heart and to the conscience, rather than to the intellect. We apprehend our problem most clearly when we look upon literature as a series of organic art-forms, spiritual in nature, appealing to the spiritual within us. Registering this appeal in our consciousness is a simple matter. As the piano is required to actualize Beethoven's "Moonlight Sonata" with all its mysterious spiritual surges and cadences, so the human voice with its richness and flexibility is required to actualize Whittier's “SnowBound” in all its supremely spiritual power. Many people do not care for poetry because they have sought it with the eye instead of the ear. How many would enjoy music if sought in the same way? Yet the poem requires the voice as fully as the written music requires the piano.
READING BY THE TEACHER These conclusions point to a practical end. Since an artform is an organic thing, a classic should be grasped first as a literary whole. The voice is needed to convey the spiritual element of the classic to the spiritual within us. Then the first step in the presentation of a literary masterpiece would seem to be a sympathetic oral rendering of it by the teacher, because he can grasp and express the art-form of the author better than the children. During this first reading it is generally better to make no comments. Present the production in its organic unity, and the resulting impression will be fine and strong. However, if the classic is short and offers no special difficulty,
preliminary reading may be done by the children.
PREPARATION BY THE PUPILS
The story element having been satisfied by this reading, the pupils are ready to undertake the work of making the classic their own. The teacher should now assign the prepared words and questions on one or more stanzas or paragraphs, adding such other directions and suggestions as are deemed necessary. When this assigned work has been prepared, it should be discussed in class. The definitions of the words should usually be synonyms. By revealing the different meanings and the different shades of meaning of the same word in varying contexts, this work will rapidly develop discrimination in the use of words and add largely to the pupil's vocabulary. But beware of too much word work; it soon becomes an intrusion and a hore. Words are known by the company they keep. If the context brings out clearly the meaning of a word, go forward without delay. Word work is distinctly intellectual, and finds justification only in so far as it assists pupils to a better grasp of the author's thought. In literary study we are aiming directly at emotional results.
READING BY THE PUPILS When the work on words and questions has been completed, the pupils may pass to the oral reading. Impress upon the