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1. Mastery of the Mechanics of Reading. The mastery of the mechanics of reading includes (a) rapid and accurate word recognition; (b) the development of skill in different kinds of reading, as careful reading, cursory reading, and reading for purposes of consultation; and (c) the enlargement of the reading vocabulary so as to cover the requirements of all kinds of reading matter.
2. Ability to Comprehend and Interpret. Ability in comprehension and interpretation of reading matter includes the ability (a) to understand and assimilate rapidly and accurately the content of what is read; (b) to analyze what is read; (c) to select the points of importance and interest in reading matter; (d) to assume the author's point of view; and (e) to organize, retain, and apply the content of selections read to situations other than those presented in the matter read.
3. The Development of General Culture. The development of general culture includes (a) the cultivation of ability to enjoy what is read; (b) training in the further pursuance of thoughts presented or suggested by selections read; (c) an acquaintance with a wide variety of literature; and (d) practice in dealing with problems which arise from reading.
Means for Attaining the Objectives of Reading. In order to attain the Objectives of Reading, pupils must not only be provided with suitable reading matter, they must also be given specific training in the use of this matter. To show clearly how the Lincoln Readers provide these means, several references are here cited:
1. The Development of Rapid and Accurate Reading is provided for in all selections. Especial provision for such training is made in some selections. For example, in the use of the selection entitled, Our Pilgrim Fathers, for Grade III, pupils are required to work rapidly and at the same time with care in the rudimentary outline work demanded. Again, in the short selections, which set problems for the children to perform, there is a premium upon speed and accuracy, and there is also an objective test of the pupil's accuracy. Speed without accuracy, assimilation, and retention would result in mere visualizing of words. These problems and the directions for games offer training not in mere visualizing, but in carrying out the directions set forth.
2. The Ability to Comprehend and Interpret is cultivated by means of selections which are read for a definite purpose and which provide tests to ascertain whether or not the purpose has been achieved. Many of the selections are opened with introductions which present problems that direct pupils to glean certain facts by reading. At the end are directions to test pupils' comprehension and to re-direct their reading until comprehension has been achieved.
Specific provision is made for training in Accuracy. Criticism has been waged against dependence solely on verbal reactions as tests of accuracy.
In accordance with this criticism, tasks of an objective character have been set for pupils. These tests, as in the making of a Sun Dial, The Magic Penny, and other selections, compel the pupil to give objective, non-verbal evidence of the accuracy of his reading:
The Ability to Organize, Apply, and Reproduce is cultivated especially by questions and other directions for study. The pupils are trained in the rudiments of outlining, in getting the gist of paragraphs, in naming paragraphs, and in the organization of the content of selections with reference to the knowledge which the readers already possess.
3. The Development of General Culture has not been overlooked. Various selections have been included in which the sole end is enjoyment and appreciation of new experiences. Here the pupil's purpose is at best unconscious; he reads a good tale of adventure or a funny story for the same reason that his father might read them. He usually has no problem to solve--no special end to gain. He finds an interesting story and reads it for the pleasure it gives him. This sort of reading widens his horizon, whets his appetite, and introduces him to the great realm of literature.
Informational and Testable Reading Selections. The selections contained in the Lincoln Readers are predominantly informational and testable and are designed as directly preparatory to the reading of such informational material as that met in history, geography, and other informational courses of the elementary school. In the reading selections for the lower intermediate grades, this informational material is often presented in story form and supplemented by nonfactual details which are in keeping with the facts in order properly to meet children's natural interests. Great care has been taken to keep this supplementary matter as well as the facts themselves within the reading comprehension of the pupils for whom the selections are intended. Examples of selections which are correlated with work in geography and history appropriate for Grade III are Howard's First Map and the selections on pioneer life. In the later grades less of the story form is used, because pupils of those grades have reached the stage of development at which they are accustomed to read history, geography, and industrial matter in which this form is lacking. Throughout the series, however, the selections are directly related to the general school and home reading of children. In addition to offering training in all kinds of reading, and thus enabling the pupils to study their lessons effectively, this broad reading technique is designated to lead pupils to include in their home reading other matter than merely light fiction.
Seasonal Projects. The selections have been arranged according to season and to project, as shown on the project sheet following the table of contents.
The Lincoln Readers have been tested and graded by school use. The authors have used great care in the placement of each selection finally incorporated into the series. The plan of grading consisted of, first, the careful grading of the content and diction by the authors; and, second, the testing of pupils' interest in and comprehension of the selections.
This method of testing enables the authors to assure schools
Sources of Material. Particular attention is called to
Distribution of Reading Abilities.*
easily,—pages 27, 193, 219, 280, 309.
2. The ability to locate data indicated by given questions,
outline, etc.,-pages 38, 127, 217, 233, 242.
3. The ability to determine facts of relative worth, i.e.
the main points in a paragraph, or part of a story, or
the entire selection, - pages 5, 43, 169, 266.
4. The ability to organize material under main headings,-
pages 78, 128, 151.
5. The ability to select facts for a definite purpose or end
in view,-pages 49, 230, 272, 302.
6. The ability to reason from given data to other related
facts. Prove correctness or incorrectness of inference,-
pages 12, 82, 156, 188.
7. The ability to use dictionaries,-pages 139, 156, 198, 314.
8. The ability to use references,-pages 8, 34, 161, 175, 185.
9. The ability to make a bibliography,-pages 110, 177,
213, 280, 325.
* Arranged for the convenience of teachers. This plan, however does not preclude
10. The ability to reproduce a story in parts (relay), or as
a whole,-pages 34, 145, 238, 255, 272. 11. The ability to appreciate and interpret in dramatic
action, - pages 139, 255, 284, 318. 12. The ability to increase vocabulary,--pages 87, 95,
230, 247. 13. The ability to memorize,-page 222, and poems. 14. The ability to appreciate refinement of speech,
pages 87, 106, 205, 230, 325. 15. The ability to appreciate a joke (humor), -pages 33, 63,
106, 139, 223, 318. 16. The ability to perform in response to directions given,
pages 101, 137, 188, 201, 262, 293, 296 (memorization). 17. The ability to use given data in another situation,
(a) exercising judgment in selection, comparison and organization of data gleaned from reference or consultative reading, -pages 161, 185; (b) selection and organization of data for specific purpose determined by pupil, as (illustrated lecture), -pages 238, 262, 297
(story-telling in relay), (costumed story-teller). 18. The ability to summarize,-pages 121, 123, 145, 175.
. 19. The ability to create new situations from data given:
(a) changing prose to poetry, page 280; (b) changing poetry to prose, page 33; (c) changing narrative to dramatic form, page 255; (d) changing introduction or conclusion, page 15; (e) changing form, but leaving
meaning intact by change in vocabulary, page 156. 20. The ability to ask questions as well as to answer them,
(a) emphasizing the main points in paragraphs, page 128; (b) emphasizing the main points in parts or the whole selection, pages 205, 238, 325, 110; (c) selecting details related to the main point, pages 230, 116; (d) recognizing relative worth of ideas, of form, of expression, etc., pages 78, 318; (e) provoking thought —"reading between the lines,” pages 110, 219, 238.