Children's Classics in Dramatic Form Book Two cover

Children's Classics in Dramatic Form Book Two

Augusta Stevenson

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CHILDREN'S CLASSICS IN DRAMATIC FORMBOOK TWOBY AUGUSTA STEVENSONFormerly a Teacher in the Indianapolis Public Schools1908[Illustration]FOREWORDThis series of books aims to serve three distinct purposes: first, to arouse a greater interest in oral reading; second, to develop an expressive voice sadly lacking in the case of most Americans; and third, to give freedom and grace in the bodily attitudes and movements which are involved in reading and speaking. The stories given are for the most part adaptations of favorite tales from folklore, Andersen, Grimm, Æsop, and the Arabian Nights having been freely drawn upon.Children are dramatic by nature. They are for the time the kings, the fairies, and the heroes that they picture in their imaginations. They are these characters with such abandon and with such intense pleasure that the on looker must believe that nature intended that they should give play to this dramatic instinct, not so much formally, with all the trappings of the man made stage, but spontaneously and naturally, as they talk and read. If this expressive instinct can be utilized in the teaching of reading, we shall be able both to add greatly to the child's enjoyment and to improve the quality of his oral reading. In these days when so many books are hastily read in school, there is a tendency to sacrifice expression to the mechanics and interpretation of reading. Those acquainted with school work know too well the resulting monotonous, indistinct speech and the self conscious, listless attitude which characterize so much of the reading of pupils in grades above the third. It is believed that these readers will aid in overcoming these serious faults in reading, which all teachers and parents deplore. The dramatic appeal of the stories will cause the child to lose himself in the character he is impersonating and read with a naturalness and expressiveness unknown to him before, and this improvement will be evident in all his oral reading, and even in his speech...