Gateway to the Classics: The Irish Twins by Lucy Fitch Perkins
The Irish Twins by  Lucy Fitch Perkins

Back Matter

Suggestions to Teachers

Like the author's earlier books—"The Dutch Twins" and "The Japanese Twins"—this reader aims to foster a kindly feeling and a deserved respect for a country whose children have come to form a numerous portion of our own population.

To arouse the children's interest and thus to make the reading of this story most valuable as a school exercise, it is suggested that at the outset the children be allowed to look at the pictures in the book in order to get acquainted with "Larry" and "Eileen" and with the scenes illustrating their home life and surroundings.

During the reading, point out Ireland on a map of the world or on a globe, and tell the children something about the unique character of the country, thus connecting this supplementary reading material with the work in geography.

The text is so simply written that any fourth or fifth grade child can read it without much preparation. In the fourth grade it may be well to have the children read it first in a study period in order to work out the pronunciation of the more difficult words. In the fifth grade the children can usually read it at sight, without the preparatory study. Give little attention to the expressions in dialect. Let the children read them naturally and they will enhance the dramatic effect of the story. The possibilities in the story for dramatization and for language and constructive work will be immediately apparent.

In connection with the reading of the book, teachers should read or tell to the children stories of Irish life and from Irish folk-lore; for example, "The Story of the Little Rid Hin," "The Dagda's Harp," and "The Tailor and the Three Beasts," in Sara Cone Bryant's Stories to Tell to Children; and "Billy Beg and his Bull," in the same author's How to Tell Stories to Children. Material which may readily be adapted to this use will be found in Johnston and Spencer's Ireland's Story. Let the children bring to class postcards and other pictures of scenes in Ireland.

The unique illustrations in "The Irish Twins" should be much used, both in the reading of the story and in other ways. Children will enjoy sketching some of them; their simple treatment makes them especially useful for this purpose.

The book is printed on paper which will take water color well, and where books are individually owned some of the sketches could be used for coloring in flat washes. They also afford suggestions for action sketching by the children.

An excellent oral language exercise would be for the children, after they have read the story, to take turns telling the story from the illustrations; and a good composition exercise would be for each child to select the illustration 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 many ways that will occur to resourceful teachers for making the book a valuable as well as an enjoyable exercise in reading.

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