Each lesson in the Fourth Reader should take at least one week, sometimes two weeks may be necessary when a research or composition project naturally flows from the lesson. This Reader may generally be used today at the high school level. This stage involves an advanced kind of comprehension which requires students to understand a variety of viewpoints and think about abstract ideas. Complete themes such as life values, truth, religion, and freedom appear in this Reader. Writing of English literary giants such as Milton and Byron appear in this Reader, and many Bible selections as well.
Students participate in creating their own learning experience with each lesson:
At this age, students should be well practiced in creating their own learning experience using the 5 points of learning as a model. The Parent-Teacher Guide for the McGuffey Readers by Ruth Beechick may be referred to frequently to help students and teacher determine learning activities to include with each of the lessons. This guide is not a rigid plan, but may be used as suggestions as students design their own learning experience. The PDF file at the right is a page of book marks that students may print and copy to record their lesson plans.
The Parent-Teacher Guide also includes a glossary with the meanings of words as they are used in the Reader. Thus it can save a good deal of study time over dictionaries, which include fuller information about each word. This glossary will be very helpful to students.
The following activities should be considered for each lesson.
Define the learning goals for the lesson and record your plans on the bookmark provided at the right. At the beginning of the week students should quickly pre-read the lesson to identify the topic of the lesson with a few main ideas. Each lesson should contain the following elements:
As students become familiar with designing their own lesson plan, they will develop efficiency and will be able to complete the above tasks in 5-10 minutes. This allows time for students to move into the Discovery phase early in the week.
Discover: Ask yourself "What do I already know about this topic?" Identify at least three questions to help you learn more about the topic. The following words may help you identify questions to ask: what, why, when, where, who, was, which, would, were, how, is, do, does, did, may, are, could, shall, will, can, have, if
Spell and define vocabulary words at the end of the lesson.
Include an analysis of roots and affixes.
Optional resource: Completing exercises from the book English from the Roots Up by Joegil K. Lundquist provides
a great foundation for vocabulary study. Students may follow the suggested learning model from the
author of this book and include a few exercises each week in addition to their work with the McGuffey
Midweek: Parents and teachers may guide students as they schedule the practice and apply experiences they have identified for their learning experiences. Choose early in the week if a second week is needed to complete a research, service, or writing assignment. Many creative activities can be done simply in a single day. However, some topics will lend themselves to more extensive research.
Read lesson silently, followed by discussion with mentor. Reread various parts of the lesson to answer questions,
enjoy humor, meet new vocabulary words again, or to figure out the meaning of something difficult.
Copy at least one paragraph of your choice. Use best handwriting and include all punctuation, capitalization and
spacing as modeled in the text.
Practice oral reading of the lesson, using suggestions at the beginning of the lesson. (Poetry—parents or teachers
should read it first to model proper expression and inflection). At this point, students should be very familiar with
the material to allow for better expression during an oral reading.
Spelling test with vocabulary words
Grammar study that naturally flows from lesson if applicable. See Parent-Teacher guide for ideas.
Optional resource: If you can obtain a copy of Self Aids in English Usage by LJ O'Rourke, you may use this
excellent resource to improve grammar skills. The book is out of print, but used copies are currently available on
Research, Service or Writing project that flows from the lesson. See Parent-Teacher Guide for ideas.