Subject: Reading • Group: English • Class III • Time: 25 minutes
By Muriel E. Willis
The Parents’ Review, 1904, pp. 143-144
I. To try and improve the children’s reading by drilling them in clear and pure pronunciation.
II. To show them that by their reading a series of mental pictures should be presented to the listener.
Step I.—Breathing exercises. Ask reason for same.
Step II.—Practise the children in consonant and vowel sounds, by giving them sentences in which difficulties in pronunciation occur.
m, en, n. A stricken maiden musing on a mountain was given from heaven man in mortal form.
final t. A just knight felt a weight on his heart, and yet a sweet quiet rest was present when he went to meet the light.
p, b. A path of prickly brambles, bordered by pure pale poppies, breathed peace between the broken beams.
d. Touched by the hand that appeared from the cloud under which nodded the dead leaves. (Notice final d is sometimes pronounced like t).
Step III. Two verses from Tennyson’s “Sir Galahad.” Read the passage chosen, asking them afterwards to describe the mental pictures they have drawn.
“A maiden knight—to me is given
Such hope, I know not fear;
I yearn to breathe the airs of heaven
That often meet me here.
I muse on joy that will not cease,
Pure spaces clothed in living beams,
Pure lilies of eternal peace,
Whose odours haunt my dreams;
And, stricken by an angel’s hand,
This mortal armour that I wear,
This weight and size, this heart and eyes,
Are touched, are turned to finest air.
“The clouds are broken in the sky,
And through the mountain walls
A rolling organ-harmony
Swells up, and shakes and falls.
Then move the trees, the copses nod,
Wings flutter, voices hover clear:
‘O just and faithful knight of God!
Ride on! the prize is near.’
So pass I hostel, hall and grange;
By bridge and ford, by park and pale,
All-armed I ride, whate’er betide,
Until I find the Holy Grail.”
Step IV. Show a reproduction of Watts’ conception of the idea, asking them in what points the poet’s and artist’s ideas coincide.
Step V. Let the children read the passage.