Teaching Tips for the McGuffey Primers
The McGuffey Readers are an excellent choice for children's reading material regardless of the Language Arts curriculum you decide to use. The following teaching tips will help you incorporate the Readers into your choice of Language Arts programs.
1. If you are using the Original McGuffey Readers, use the following lessons during the first year of reading instruction:
During the second year of reading instruction use Lessons 26-88 of the Original Pictorial Primer or Lesson 1-33 of the Revised edition of the First McGuffey Reader.
1. The lessons from the McGuffey Readers should be considered as read-a-loud selections where the students read the passage out loud to parents or teachers.
2. As children move into lessons that have sentences and paragraphs, encourage them to practice reading in a smooth conversational tone, pausing appropriately at commas, and using proper emotion and inflection suggested by the punctuation. Parents and teachers may need to demonstrate this for the child so they can hear the difference between a smooth reading and a choppy reading. Allow them to read lessons more than once to achieve this goal.
3. Allow the child's understanding and skill to determine the pace. Generally, you will be able to complete 1-2 lessons each week. A child may be reading from the McGuffey Primers for 2-3 years.
4. By following a pace of 1-2 lessons per week, children should have time to add other books at their level. Visit the library often. Encourage children to find books at their reading level that they will enjoy reading out loud or silently to themselves.
5. Consider introducing the McGuffey Progressive Spelling Book when children have reached Lesson 60 in the Pictorial Primer. The document below will explain how to use the Spelling books for both the Original and Revised versions.
Topics and Themes
Topics and Themes for Lessons from the Original McGuffey Primer and Pictorial Primer:
Primer 1-3: First Words
Primer 4-5: Reading in a smooth conversational
Primer 6-8: Vowel teams
Primer 9-11: Three letter phonograms
Pictorial Primer 1-4: Sentences and Paragraphs
Pictorial Primer 5-12: Reading with Expression
Pictorial Primer 13-18: Spelling from dictation
Pictorial Primer 19-25: Reading for Information
Some lessons will have pictures with a word list. For these lessons, allow the children to make up a story about the picture using some of the words from the list. This can be an oral story so the child's imagination is not limited by his writing abilities.
Primer 12-18: Reading Stories (Themes listed below:
Pictorial Primer 26-27,29-30, 33: Stories about
Pictorial Primer 31-32,34-35: Stories about people
Pictorial Primer 36-39: Words with Two Syllables
Pictorial Primer 40-46 - Plurals and Rhymes
Pictorial Primer 47-53: Combining sentences with conjunctions
Pictorial Primer 54-59: Compound words and suffixes
Pictorial Primer 60-65: Short vowel sounds
Pictorial Primer 66-71: Vowel Review
Pictorial Primer 72-78: Word Endings
Pictorial Primer 79-83: Stories and Rhymes
Pictorial Primer 84-88: The Moral of the Story