The Dutch Twins by Lucy Fitch Perkins

Back Matter


Suggestions to Teachers

[193] THIS book is the first of a series of stories for supplementary reading the purpose of which is to give children a correct idea of life in different countries, both in the spirit and atmosphere of the story, and in the actual descriptions. These books will also further a spirit of friendliness and good will for children of other nationalities. Respect for and an understanding of the life and customs of other races, are not only educationally valuable, but are fundamentally important in this "crucible of nations," where different races are fusing themselves together as never before in the history of the world. Tradition is a precious heritage, and the traditions of other nations should be the natural inheritance of the American child, since here as nowhere else all the nations of the earth are entering into our national life.

The author has recognized from the start that the purpose of a book of this kind would fail of realization if the narrative does not appeal strongly to children. The delight with which the book has been received by children is evidence that the important element of interest has not been left out of the narrative.

To make the reading of this story most valuable as a school exercise, it is suggested that children be allowed at the outset to turn the pages of the book in order to get glimpses of "Kit" and "Kat," in the various scenes in which they are portrayed, in the illustrations, thus arousing their interest. With a globe, or a map of the world, [194] point out Holland, and tell the children something about the unique character of the country.

The text is so simply written that any third or fourth grade child can read it without much preparation. In the third grade it may be well to have the children read it first in the study period in order to work out the pronunciation of the more difficult words. In the fourth grade the children can usually read it at sight, without the preparatory study.

In connection with the reading of the book, have children read selections from their readers and other books about Holland and its people. The legend of "The Hole in the Dike" is an illustration of this kind of collateral reading. Let children also bring to class postcards and other pictures illustrating scenes in Holland.

The unique illustrations in the book should be much used, both in the reading of the story and in other ways. Children will enjoy sketching some of the pictures; their simple treatment makes them especially useful for this purpose. An excellent oral language exercise would be for the children, after they have read the story, to take turns telling the story from the pictures; and a good composition exercise would be for each child to select the picture that he would like to write upon, make a sketch of it, and write the story in his own words.

These are only a few of the number of ways that will occur to resourceful teachers of making the book a valuable as well as an interesting exercise in reading.


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