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upon his own appreciation and enjoyment of the poem and his power to arouse these feelings in his pupils. This poem must be studied in class before the pupils are asked even to read it.
Four Poets most Largely Represented.
More than half of the poems named in the course were written by four men, Longfellow, Whittier, Lowell, and Bryant. There were two leading reasons for including so many poems by these authors. In the first place, it was thought that they would be more generally accessible than others, as school and home libraries would be likely to include the works of these four writers. In the second place, it was thought that every American child should come to have, as a part of his rightful heritage, a sense of kinship with those poets who have done so much to gain European recognition for American literature and to develop a spirit of nationality at home.
Special Study of Authors.
Younger children should enjoy literature for its own sake, with little interest in the personality of the writer. The names of authors may be given them, but only gradually should pleasure in the work of an author arouse interest in the writer himself. But in the seventh and eighth years of the course, opportunities are suggested for giving special attention to the life and writings of each of the four poets whose names have become most familiar to the pupils.
At the close of the sixth month of the year in which, by the system of alternation common in Illinois, classes may be expected to be doing third, fifth, and seventh year work, an afternoon may be given to Longfellow exercises with very little special preparation. All classes have been studying poems written by him; these may be recited. The last compositions of all classes are suitable for such an occasion and some of them should be read. An older pupil may be called upon to tell of the author's life.
For the morning exercises of the eighth month of the same year, the eight poems of Lowell that have been learned during the year may be recited by different pupils, and be asked to tell the school about the author's life
others may and character.
An examination of the course will suggest that the fifth month of the alternate year is a suitable time for a special study of Whittier, and that a joint Bryant and bird celebration may come during the eighth month of this year.
Biographical sketches are included in this volume as helps in the study of the four authors named. Other material, such as pictures and magazine clippings, should be collected gradually, and each school library should contain one complete copy of each author's poems.