This is taken from Primary Language Lessons by Emma Serl.
This book is intended for use with pupils of the second and third grades.
Assignment of lessons – It is not intended that each lesson shall represent one day’s work. The intelligent teacher, knowing the capabilities of her pupils, can best determine the amount of work that should be done. Some of the lessons will doubtless require part of the recitation periods of many days.
Dictation exercises – In giving a dictation exercises, the teacher should read each sentence once. The sentences in the exercises have been made short so that they can be retained easily in the pupil’s memory. The results of the pupil’s work should be carefully noted by the teacher, attention being called to mistakes in spelling, capitalization, and punctuation, or to failure to reproduce the exact words dictated.
Careful work in these dictated exercises and frequent drills on the lists containing “troublesome words” are sure to produce good results in written composition.
Selections to be memorized – These selections should be read to the pupils and discussed with them before being memorized. The “November” poem, “The Brown Thrush,” and “The Bluebird” should be taught at appropriate seasons of the year.
Drawing – Several exercises are given in drawing. The purpose is not to obtain finely finished pictures, but to secure the representation of ideas. Let the pupils select the central theme of the pictures to be drawn, and then decide on a fitting background and surroundings.
Nature and observation lessons – These lessons should be introduced by oral discussions covering the points indicated by the questions or directions. After the discussion, a pupil should read the question silently, and then give the answer aloud as a complete sentence. As the class progresses, these answers may be written, but they should always be preceded by the oral discussion.
Lessons on troublesome forms – These lessons should be repeated many times, not at a single period or at succeeding ones, necessarily, but at different times during the year. A little quick work on preceding lessons fixes important forms as no single treatment can do.
Lesson 86 should be repeated many times until the expressions, “It is I” and “It is he,” no longer seem strange. This exercise may be read by two pupils, and the answers given from memory.
Variety may be given to this line of work by having pupils occupy different positions about the room, the teacher asking questions that will require the use of these forms in the answer; as, “Who is at the blackboard?” “It is I,” “It is she,” or “It is he.”
This book in the hands of the pupils makes possible much review work that cannot be given when each lesson must be written on the board by the teacher.
The teacher should keep a record of the most common errors committed by the pupils, and should give frequent drills on sentences containing the correct forms.
The best results in the use of good English comes from continued practice on correct forms rather than from learning of many rules.
Every lesson should be a language lesson. No mistake in grammar, pronunciation, or in the use of a word should pass uncorrected.