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“ Harry saw the nest."
“That nobody shall hinder him from looking at it to-morrow?"
“Harry shall see the nest." “That perhaps he will look at it to-morrow ?" “ Harry may see the nest."
• How would you ask whether he will be allowed to see it to-morrow ? "
“ May Harry see the nest ?" “Whether he will be able to see it ? " “Can Harry see the nest ? ” “Whether it would be right for him to see it?” “Ought Harry to see the nest ? "
“How would you say, using other words, that Harry ought to see the nest ? ”.
“Harry should see the nest.”
“How would you tell that Harry had been looking at the nest before you went to see it?”
“ Harry had seen the nest before I went to see it.”
“That you mean that he shall see it ? ” “ Harry must see the nest,” etc., etc.
In this way all the mode and tense forms of any verbs that a child may use before he can study grammatical terms and definitions intelligibly and advantageously (which generally is not much under fourteen years of age), may be made perfectly familiar to him, practically. The idea
of time and manner will be so developed as to leave little besides classification to be done, when the time comes for learning technicalities, if it must come. And this will be a clear gain of time, labor, and feeling.
IV. “Here in your reading-book is the picture of some children gathering apples. What kind of apples do you suppose they are ? Ripe or unripe, green, yellow, red, striped, rosy, russet, hard, soft, juicy, sweet, sour, tough, round, oval, flat, longstemmed, short-stemmed, pink-cheeked, knotty, smooth, rough-skinned, withered, frost-bitten, frozen, mealy,—yes they might be any of these, perhaps, but which do you think they are? But what do all these words that you have thought of tell? They tell what kind of apples these may be." In prose the words are in their natural order, so that very little of this exercise is needed. But Third and Fourth Readers have many short metrical lessons which contain the usual inversions, always perplexing at first to children. When such selections are used as reading-lessons, prepare the way for a clear understanding of the matter contained in them by reading the inverted passages in their natural order, calling attention to them when the lesson is assigned. This exercise is sometimes called “metaphrasing.”
V. (a) Select from the reading-book, or from any convenient book, some familiar lesson, either
prose or verse; after showing how a dialogue can be made of it, by writing the beginning of one before the class, choose another similar lesson and ask for the sense of it in dialogue form with as many persons as the nature of the story demands.
(6) Use a short rhythmical story in the same way, and (c) a piece of description, selected from the reading-books.
(d) Pictures such as are to be used in Chapter II., Part II., are easily made to suggest subjects for dialogues.
(e) Almost any reading lesson, in parts, or as a whole, can be used as the basis of such a lesson. Geography, History, and even Arithmetic lessons may be pressed, also, into this service, and often with surprising results.
(f) It will be easy to pass from these to original dialogues on subjects selected from the pages preceding this or from the lists at the end of the book. Two pupils may write together, each writing the part of one speaker.
THIS kind of writing should begin very early,
I in a simple way, after metaphrasing has become a familiar exercise.
The first paraphrasing is necessarily literal and is easily learned if preceded by a lesson in synonyms.*
Write upon the board a short extract from some familiar poem, or other writing, selected from the reading-book. Placing the principal words conveniently, write under each, as the children give them, synonymous words and expressions, as in the following from Longfellow:
“ Tell me not in mournful numbers
Life is but an empty dream!
And things are not what they seem.”
verses, inform. sorrowful,
* The author is indebted to Miss F. de Laguna, teacher of English Literature in the Sacramento High School, for this simple method of beginning with paraphrases.
Now write a new sentence, using words chosen from these synonyms, thus:
“Say not to me in sorrowful tones that life is nothing except a worthless unreality, because I know that the man who dreams away his time is not truly living.”
This may seem like taking unwarranted liberties with language, but it will be found to be a very useful first step to translating the language of books into other words temporarily, for the sake of gaining an elastic and ready vocabulary. It has, in some degree, a similar value to that of translating from one language to another.
Follow this blackboard exercise (1) with others of the same kind for two or three lessons, requiring the class to practice writing paraphrases, making several from the same set of words, and reading them aloud in turn; (2) with others in which the pupils choose their own synonyms, in