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Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1844, by WILLIAM D.

Swan, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of Massachusetts.


795384 A

ASTOR, LENOX AND RECOMMENDATIONS. TILENBOYAPAT Records of the School Committee of the City of Boster. R 1935

“In School COMMITTEE, May 7, 1844. Ordered, That the Primary School Reader, Part Third, by William D. Swan, be introduced into the Grammar Schools, as the Reading book for the Fourth Class, in the room of the Gradual Reader.

Attest, . F. McCLEARY, Secretary.

From the Principal of the English High School, Boston.

Boston, December 1, 1845. William D. Swan, Esq. :

Dear Sir -- Accept thanks for a copy of your series of Readers, which you have kindly sent me as they were issued from the press. I have carefully examinod these volumes myself, and have heard, in private, the uniformly favorable opinions of many gentlemen well qualified to judge of their merits. Allow me to say, that I think they are admirably adapted to the objects for which they are designed, and that I heartily recommend them to the favor of all interested in the cause of English education.

Very respectfully, yours,


From the Principal of the Phillips Grammar School, Boston.

Phillips School, Boston, Dec. 29, 1845. William D. Swan, Esq. :

Dear Sir - I have examined your series of Reading Books, and am happy to say that I am much pleased with them. The plan seems to me admirably fitted to accomplish the important work of developing the organs of speech, and of securing a graceful and easy elocution. I cordially commend the books to the attention of teachers and school committees.


From the Principal of the Brimmer Grammar School, Boston.
William D. Swan, Esq.:

Dear Sir - I most cheerfully, and fully, concur with Mr,
Greene, in his recommendation of your series of Reading Books.

Yours, respectfully,

Joshua BATES, JR. BRIMMER SCHOOL, Feb. 20, 1846.





This book forms the concluding number of a series for teaching reading in Primary Schools. It is also designed for the lowest class in Grammar Schools, thus forming a connection between them.

As an accurate and distinct articulation forms the basis of good reading, it should receive our first attention in instruction, and be constantly taught, until words are habitually “delivered out from the lips as beautiful coins, newly issued from the mint, deeply and accurately impressed, perfectly finished, neatly struck by the proper organs, distinct, in due succession, and of due weight.” *

To accomplish this, some system is necessary. The first step should be to practise upon the Alphabetic Elements. This exercise, and a careful pronunciation of words in which the elements are liable to be perverted or suppressed in utterance, will soon enable the pupil to have all the vocal elements under complete com

* Austin's Chironomia.

| “When the elements are pronounced singly, they may receive a concentration of organic effort, which gives them a clearness of sound, and a definite outline, if I may so speak, at their extremes, that makes a fine preparation for a distinct and forcible pronunciation in the com. pounds of speech.” — Rush's Philosophy of the Human Voice.

WOR 201 UN 34

mand. Correct habits of speech will thus be formed in the Primary Schools. It will then be an easy and delightful task to teach good reading in the Higher Schools.

I have, therefore, inserted an exercise upon the Alphabetic Elements, and a series of words liable to be mispronounced, in connection with most of the Reading Lessons. The utility of this arrangement will be obvious to every experienced teacher. Directions for avoiding common errors in reading will avail but little if unaccompanied by exercises for practice; and these exercises must be so arranged that a small portion of them must receive daily attention and practice, or they will fail to receive that attention which their importance demands.

The Reading Lessons consist of simple and interesting stories in prose and verse, and contain such sentiments as children will naturally be inclined to utter. In making the selections, such alterations have been made as would adapt them to the design of the book.

Such suggestions to teachers as are deemed useful are inserted throughout the work ; but no rules and direc tions for children. These can be of no use to them until they arrive at an age when they are capable of receiving a knowledge of the grammatical construction of sentences. The style of reading, at this stage of instruction, must principally depend upon the taste and judgment of the teacher.



PART First of this series of books is designed for be. ginners. It contains the alphabet, a lesson upon each of the elements of our language, and a few simple, interesting stories for children.

In teaching children the alphabet, the powers or elementary sounds of the letters should be taught in connection with their names. The child will be interested by this process, and will acquire a knowledge of the names and powers of the alphabet in less time than he would of the names without the powers. The teacher should occasionally give the names of the letters to a whole class, and require them to utter the elementary sounds of them in concert; then utter the powers, and require the class to give the names.

In the Reading Lessons, it will be perceived that the words in columns were selected principally with reference to their classification. In the lessons upon the vowel sounds, words that terminate alike are placed in the same column; and, in the lessons upon the consonant sounds, some of the columns are arranged with words that commence with the sound, and others with words that terminate with it. Thus, in the les. son upon the letter b, the words in the first column are bad, bag, ban, bat, and in the fourth column, job, rob, mob, sob.

The best method of teaching beginners to read these and similar words is, to teach them the power of each letter singly, and then of the letters combined. Take, for instance, the words bad, bag, ban, bat. First teach the child the power of a, as heard in these words, then the power of b. Let him utter the combined sound of ba; then teach him to join it to the powers of d, g, n, and t, and the words are formed.

Having gone through with one class of words, - b, d, org, - then he will be ready for another, and another, until all are finished. This classification simplifies the whole in the mind of the child, and aids his memory. By this process he will soon be able to read words with facility, and pronounce them correctly.

PART SECOND of the series contains a few lessons upon the Consonant Sounds in Combination, Exercises upon Inflections, and a selection of Easy Reading Lessons.

When children first commence reading sentences, their attention is almost exclusively directed to the pronunciation of the words : hence arise the monotonous tones in which most young children are inclined to read. To remedy this fault, or to prevent the formation of this habit, the Exercises upon the Inflections of the Voice are inserted. The examples are adapted to the capacity of young children, and are such as they will naturally be inclined to express in conversational tones, which ought to be the basis of delivery.

T'HIS VOLUME contains a selection of Easy Reading Lessons, and Exercises upon Articulation in connection with them.

These Exercises are designed to aid in forming habits of distinct utterancé. Too much importance cannot be attached to this branch of instruction. The whole beauty and force of delivery, however easy and natural the style, will be marred and destroyed if the words be carelessly and imperfectly uttered. It is important, therefore, that the Exercises receive daily attention and practice.

In reading the lessons, the teacher should ask such questions, and make such explanations, as will enable the pupil to understand what he reads. If the pupil, then, do not succeed in reading a sentence properly, let him be required to shut the book, and speak it as if he were relating the story.

Children should be required to stand erect when they read. By so doing, the chest will be expanded, and the lungs have free action. They should not be permitted to hold their books so near their eyes as to hide their faces from the teacher.

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