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The Elson Readers, Book 5 by Elson, William H.

The Elson Readers, Book 5 by Elson, William H.

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The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Elson Readers, Book 5
by William H. Elson and Christine M. Keck
#5 in our series by William H. Elson and Christine M. Keck

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**Welcome To The World of Free Plain Vanilla Electronic Texts**
**eBooks Readable By Both Humans and By Computers, Since 1971**
*****These eBooks Were Prepared By Thousands of Volunteers!*****

Title: The Elson Readers, Book 5
Author: William H. Elson and Christine M. Keck
Release Date: October, 2005 [EBook #9106]

[Yes, we are more than one year ahead of schedule]

[This file was first posted on September 7, 2003]
Edition: 10
Language: English
Character set encoding: ISO Latin-1

Produced by Mike Pullen.



This book is based on the belief that an efficient reader for the
fifth grade must score high when tested on five fundamental features:
quality of literature; variety of literature; organization of
literature; quantity of literature; and definite helps sufficient to
make the text a genuine tool for classroom use.

Quality Literature:

First among these features is the essential that the foundation of the
book must be the acknowledged masterpieces of American and British
authors. American boys and girls may be depended upon to read current
magazines and newspapers, but if they are ever to have their taste and
judgment of literary values enriched by familiarity with the classics
of our literature, the schools must provide the opportunity. This
ideal does not mean the exclusion of well established present-day
writers, but it does mean that the core of the school reader should be
the rich literary heritage that has won recognition for its enduring
value. Moreover, these masterpieces must come to the pupil in complete
units, not in mere excerpts or garbled "cross-sections"; for the pupil
in his school life should gain some real literary possessions.

A study of the contents of The Elson Readers, Book Five, will show how
consistently its authors have based the book on this sound test of
quality. The works of the acknowledged "makers" of our literature have
been abundantly drawn upon to furnish a foundation of great stories
and poems, gripping in interest and well within the powers of
child-appreciation in this grade.

Variety of Literature:

Variety is fundamental to a well-rounded course of reading. If the
school reader is to provide for all the purposes that a collection
of literature for this grade should serve, it must contain material
covering at least the following types: (1) literature representing
both British and American authors; (2) some of the best modern poetry
and prose as well as the literature of the past; (3) important race
stories--great epics--and world-stories of adventure; (4) patriotic
literature, rich in ideals of home and country, loyalty and service,
thrift, cooperation, and citizenship--ideals of which American
children gained, during the World War, a new conception that the
school reader should perpetuate; (5) literature suited to festival
occasions, particularly those celebrated in the schools: Armistice
Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas, Arbor Day and Bird Day,
anniversaries of the birthdays of Lincoln and Washington, as well as
of Longfellow and other great American authors; (6) literature of the
seasons, Nature, and out-of-door life; (7) literature of humor that
will enliven the reading and cultivate the power to discriminate
between wholesome humor--an essential part of life--and crude humor,
so prevalent in the pupil's outside reading; (8) adventure stories
both imaginative and real; (9) literature suited to dramatization,
providing real project material.

This book offers a well-rounded course of reading covering all the
types mentioned above. Especially by means of groups of stories and

poems that portray love of home and its festivals, love of our free
country and its flag, and unselfish service to others, this book makes
a stirring appeal to good citizenship. Moreover, it will be noted that
wholesome ethical ideals pervade the literature throughout.

Organization of Literature:

The literature of a school reader, if it is to do effective work, must
be purposefully organized. Sound organization groups into related
units the various selections that center about a common theme. This
arrangement enables the pupil to see the larger dominant ideas of the
book as a whole, instead of looking upon it as a confused scrapbook
of miscellaneous selections. Such arrangement also fosters literary
comparison by bringing together selections having a common theme or

This book has been so organized as to fulfill these purposes. There
are three main Parts, each distinguished by unity of theme or
authorship. Part I, leading from a wholesome appreciation of Nature,
particularly in its American setting, centers mainly about the
important themes of patriotism, service, and good citizenship; Part II
introduces some of the great tales that typify our love of stirring
deeds; Part III presents some of our greatest American authors at
sufficient length to make them stand out to the pupil. Through these
grouped selections, together with the accompanying biographies, pupils
may come to be familiar with and love some of the great company of
writers that have made the name of America known in the world of

Attention is called to three special features that keep the dominant
theme of each Part clearly in the foreground: (1) "A Forward Look" and
"A Backward Look" for each main division and important subdivisions
emphasize the larger theme, and show how each selection contributes to
the group-idea (see pages 19, 56, etc.); (2) the Notes and Questions
frequently call the pupil's attention to the relation the selection
bears to the main thought (see pages 39, 75, etc.); (3) the three main
divisions, and the subordinate groups within each main unit, are made
to stand out clearly by illustrations that typify the theme (see
pages 18, 21, etc.) and by topical headings that enable the pupil to
visualize the group-units. By these three means the organization of
the book is emphasized, and fundamental ideals are kept dominant.

Quality of Literature:

Obviously, a book that is to supply the pupil with a year's course in
literature must be a generous volume. Variety is impossible without
quantity, especially where literary wholes rather than mere
fragmentary excerpts are offered. Particularly is this true when
complete units are included not only for intensive study, but also for
extensive reading--longer units, of the so-called "paper classics"
type, to be read mainly for the story-element. In bulk such units
should be as large as the pupil can control readily in rapid silent
reading, a kind of reading that increases the power to enjoy with
intelligence a magazine or a book.

The Elson Readers, Book Five, is a generous volume in provision for
these needs. Its inclusiveness makes possible a proper balance between

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