EASY STEPS TO READING
a linguistic primer
With tutorial guide
Cover design by Ed Hattyar
EASY STEPS TO READING
Copyright © 2005 by Harry Hattyar
Published by BookSurge, LLC
North Charleston, South Carolina
Library of Congress Control Number: 2005909310
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system,
or transmitted in any form or by any means – electronic, mechanical, digital, photocopy,
recording, or any other – except for brief quotations in printed reviews, without the prior
permission of the publisher.
Printed in the United States of America
n a b
D a n
Dan digs a pit. Sad Bill sits in it.
Sam naps in a tan bin.
Pam bit a lip.
Dad nabs a mad bat. It bit a big pig.
Jim sits in a bus. Jill runs and hugs him.
Gus had a bug in a jug. Bugs mill and hum in jugs.
Bill hid a nut in a hat. Gus hid a fig in a bag.
Fat Sam sits in a tub. Fat Sam hugs a pup. Sam rubs
A rat sits in a bag.
Ten rats sit in a bin.
a hen runs
a hen's hut
ten hens run
ten hens' hut
a pup limps
a pup's rug
ten pups limp
ten pups' rugs
A nun ran up the hill.
Meg got ten hens. A hen had mud on its leg. It sat on
Meg's rug. It got mud on Meg's rug.
Ned had a red wig. Ben bet Ned. Ben got Ned's red wig.
Ben had fun but Ned got mad. Jill sells Ned a tan wig. It
fits him. Jill tells Ned, "Bets will get men in a mess."
A rat had fuzz on its lips.
A mug of hot jam fell on a rag. Jill yells, gets a wet rag
and zaps up gob of hot jam.
Don's boss digs hot jazz and rap. Don hums a jazz hit.
Don's boss taps a gig and tips his hat.
Tom and Bob jog a lot up a hill. Tom gets at its top but
Bob zigs and zags. Bob sits on a log. Tom yells, "Get up,
Bob." Bob nods and runs up.
Tom sits in the sun. His dog, Mutt, sits on his lap. Dad
taps Tom's leg. Dad says, "Tom, do you have gas in the
Tom nods. "Yes, I got gas in the van."
Dad gets in the van. Dad runs it up to the top of the hill.
Sam tips his hat to Bud. Bud is Sam's pal. Bud says,
"Sam, you fat bum, are you well?" He hugs Sam.
Sam is not mad. They are pals.
Jill had a pot of jam. Meg said to Jill, "What is the
mess in the pot?"
"It is not mess," Jill said, "It is fig jam. I will sell it."
Meg was fit to hug Jill. "Will you sell it?"
"Yes, I will," Jill said.
Meg said, "Sell me a bit of it."
Jill fills fig jam in a zip top bag for Meg. Meg hugs
Gus sat on the sill. He had two big bugs in a jug. Ted
ran to Gus. Ted said, "Gus, let us have fun. Let the bugs
run. One will win."
Gus let the bugs run from the jug. One ran to a wet
"He wins," yells Ted.
"Yes, he wins, the big one. He is the boss of the bugs."
ca co cu
Nick, the duck, nips a bug. Nick picks up the bug in its bill.
It nicks the bug's neck. Nick kills the bug. Ducks have a yen
Jack had a cat. It sat on the deck. It had cut its leg.
Jack said to the cat, "Are you sick?"
The cat did not nod, but it did lick its leg.
Jack says, "You lick a leg. Is it sick?" Jack tugs the
cat's leg. "It is cut," he says.
Jack got a sock on the cat's leg. He fed a can of cod to
the cat. Jack's cat got well.
Dick picks up a keg of rum at the dock. He gets the keg in
the back of a van. Dick locks the van. He hops in the cab. He
zips off to the mess. Dick will set up the keg in the den of the
A big buck kicks a kid in the back. A cop hits the
buck. The buck runs off. The kid had luck. He did
not get sick. The cop gets a kiss from the kid's mom.
Gus is in a camp. He jumps in a pond to get wet. He
bobs up and jumps. He lands in the sand. Gus rests
for a bit. At dusk he sits in his tent. The lamp is lit. Gus
must mend his socks and pants.
Mom sends Jack to get milk. Jack gets milk and a bag of
"Mom, can I have a mint?" asks Jack. Jack is fond of mints.
"Yes, you can have one and a cup of milk."
Jack fills milk in a cup.
"Just do not gulp the milk," Mom says. "And do not get it
on the pants and the vest."
Jack holds the cup in his fist. He must act as Mom says.
And he must not sulk.
Don went west to hunt elk. It was dusk and mist fell on the
land. Two elks fed at the damp bog. Don held his gun in his
hand. He felt it was wet. "I will not get the two elks," he said. He
felt sad. In the end the elks ran off fast and hid in a dell of elms.
Don left and went back to his camp.
Jill mends a silk hat for a doll. She tints the hat band rust red. Pat
helps Jill. She gets the vest and the pants for the doll.
Jill says, "It is best to tend to the belt and the socks of the doll."
Pat gets the belt off the desk and the socks from a bag. They fit the
Ben went to the deck of the ship. The boss said to him, "Ben,
check the mast. It is bent and it has a dent. Chip off the rust and
get the mast as best as you can. Fetch the kit from the shack."
"Shall I get a punch?"
"Do not get the punch. Just fetch the chest and the stuff in
it," the boss said.
Ben went in a rush to fetch the chest. He got the mast OK.
Ben had lunch on a bench on the deck.
Mom was in a rush. She went to get fish and chips
from the shop. She had cash in a bag. In the shop she
said, "I wish you had chicks and eggs from the ranch."
But the man said, "I sell fish in the shop, but not chicks.
I sell much rock cod and chad, if I catch chad."
Mom got a bunch of chips and a lot of fish for lunch.
Mitch had a rash on his chin and a gash on his shin. He went
to the Doc and said, "Doc, I am sick. I have an itch on the chin.
And I limp. I will not last, Doc. A witch put a bump on my left
leg. Help, Doc, help."
"Shut up and do not rant," the Doc said. "I will put a patch
on the rash and mend the gash on the leg. Limp to the chest, sit
on it and hush up."
Mitch did as the Doc said.
The Doc got Mitch a patch on the leg, a chin mask and a shot
in the hand and said, "You will be well, Mitch."
A fat crab and a slim shrimp slept on a black rock. "I wish I had
a speck of fresh fish," said the crab.
"Step to the flat chest at the rock," said the shrimp. "I can smell
the flesh of a fish in it."
In a flash the two went to the chest. They got in and split the
"Let us get back to the rock," said the shrimp.
But the flat chest was a crab pot and a crab pot is a trap for crabs.
The slim shrimp slid from the slot in the trap, but the crab did not.
In the end the crab was put in a dish.
Fred and Greg slid off the crest of a hill on sleds. Fred had a
crash and fell in a shrub. He sat still for a spell.
"Stand up," Greg said as he went to help Fred.
"I got a cramp."
"Do not grunt and shrug. You will get wet. Get up and I will
help you limp to the hut. I will drag the sleds. Trust me."
Fred got up and they went to the hut.
Trish had a flat on Fran's block. Fran went to Trish for a chat. She
held a flask of Scotch in the hand. "Let us have a shot," she said.
"Do not just stand," Trish said. "Sit on the hutch."
Trish got a glass for Fran. They had a Scotch.
Fran said, "What did you do, Trish?"
"I swept the steps and got a brush to scrub the deck."
"And what do you still have to do?"
"I have to press a frock, a dress and two pants. And I have to dump
"I will help you dump the trash," Fran said.
She got the bag of trash and put it in the trash can.
A monk brings a strong broth for a sick man. He says,
"Drink this broth my man. It will help you get well."
The man grabs the cup and drinks from the broth. He
blinks and says, "Thank you so much. This thick broth is fit for
"It is if you think it is," says the monk. "I have to run and
ring the bells," he adds and is off.
And then the bells went bing, bong, ding, dong.
Frank is a smith. He had too much to drink and he is drunk. He sits
on his bunk and thinks, "What is with me? I am not a punk and I am not
a thug. The catch is that I drink a lot. I just drank a fifth of rum. I wish
to have a nap and get up fresh."
Frank slept long on his bunk. He got up. What a thrill! He felt fresh
and strong. Frank sang a song."
Fran strung up the pink mink from a string in the cloth chest.
Dan got the mink just as a prank. Fran went to bring it and she
sank on the chest. She was on the brink of sobs. She did think
she had had a theft. But then Dan said it was just a prank and put
back the mink. Fran said, "Dan, for a flash I just went blank. It
was a bad thing to do."
A moth with blank wings met a moth with pink wings. Said the
blank moth, "Are you a punk moth?"
"I am not a punk moth," he said. "I got dunk in a glass of pink ink.
I was as drab as you."
Back in the past the crack of the whip was a sad fact. Blacks felt the
sting of quick whacks on the back. The whip fell on them a lot and they
fell in the dust. But when the sun had sunk, they sang songs to beg for
God's help. Thank to God, whips are things of the past.
Max sent a fax to Quent. The fax said, "Quent, get me
prompt help. I have to fix the locks on the hatch. A nut just
did them in with an ax."
Quent sent back a fax. Its text was: "Which hatch?"
Max got mad. "Quit this, Quent. Just send the things
that I have to have to fix the hatch. Tom, Dick and Hank
can rob that hatch whilst you jest. It is the hatch on the
ship's deck. Send the lot quick." This was the text of his fax.
The next fax was from Quent. It went: "I put the things in
a box and sent it on a truck to you. I sent an ax as well."
The fifth fax was from Max. It said, "Thanks for the help
and the ax. Quent"
Greg is sick. He asks his mom to tuck in the quilt on his bed.
Mom steps to him and asks, "Do you have a chill?"
Greg squints and nods.
Mom says, "I will fix you a quick drink. A hot drink. You will
get well from it."
She picks up a box of mint to fix a mug of mint broth. Greg
gets a whiff of the smell and sits up. Mom hands him the mug.
"Just sip it. It is still hot," she says.
Quick as a fox, Greg grabs his mom's hand to press a kiss on
it. She pats his back. "You will get well quick," she says.
nap + kin = napkin
pad + lock = padlock
Buckskin Bill went on the zigzag path to the fishpond. He had
a basket and a velvet hatbox in his hands. Bill kept his fishing
stuff in the velvet hatbox. Bill's pet dog, a basset, went after him.
A chipmunk and a rabbit sat at a rock, and a robin sang on a twig.
At the fishpond the basset sat and rested. Buckskin Bill lifted the
fishing rod. He landed six catfish and a big bass, and got them in
the basket. Then Bill and the pet basset ran back uphill at a
gallop. Buckskin Bill went in his Grandmom's cabin and planted
the basket of fish on the bench in the cabin. Buckskin Bill and
Grandmom had catfish for lunch.
An actress of Grants Crossing went to the dentist. "I intend to
inspect the gums," the dentist said. "It will be a quick check." Then he
added with a wink, "Do not undress for it."
The actress shot a swift grin at the dentist. "I will dismiss such
jesting, but do not get me upset."
Next the actress went shopping to the biggest shop in Grants Crossing. It had lots of stuff to sell: dustpans and helmets, stockings and
lipsticks, buckets and padlocks, magnets and gaskets, handbags and
velvet jackets. Hundreds of things.
She was in the shop until sunset, shopping and shopping. The actress
spent a lot. In the end she got a big shellfish for Nick, the tomcat.
Eric and his pals and Eric's mom went on a picnic in the forest.
They went on the rapid transit. They had fun in the forest, running
on the grass, kicking up the sand and jumping ditches. When the
children had run a lot and they were spent, Eric's mom said, "Let
us sit on that log and have a sandwich. The picnic lunch is milk
and sandwich." The children sat on the log and on the grass to
munch on sandwich and drink milk.
canned = cand
kicked = kickt
Mom's = Mom'z
hens = henz
witches = witchez
misses = missez
Miss Fran was sitting on a bench. She was the mistress of a dog. The
dog was Max, a mastiff, a strong and big dog. Max did not sit on Miss Fran's
lap. Max was sitting on a mattress. Miss Janet dropped in for a chat. "Get
up Max," Miss Fran said to the mastiff. "This is Miss Janet." Max went to
lick Miss Janet's hand. Miss Janet patted his back and sent him to run a
stretch. Max was thrilled to run. His legs were swift and he was back in two
winks. "Max, you can run fast," Miss Janet said. Then Miss Fran tossed a
stick and said to Max, "Run, Max! Fetch it!" The mastiff sprang for the stick
and ran back with it. Max tapped Miss Janet's leg with the stick. Miss Janet
yelled, "You cad, you ripped the stocking." Miss Fran said, "Bad dog, Max!
You will not get milk in the dish. You will get a whipping." Max blinked
and licked Miss Fran's hand. A lick was Max's kiss. Then Max flopped on
the mattress and slept.
A box of sweet peaches will be at Eve.
Eve and Jean greeted Pete and his Dad on the dock near the beach. They went
to see the ships of the fleet. Three sleek steamships rocked on the swells in the
Jean squealed, "Do you see that seal swimming in the sea at that ship?"
A bell pealed on a ship. Dad said, "We can peek at the ships. It is free. This is
They went up a steep gang plank. Eve said, "The deck is swept clean. It is
Pete and Jean went up ten steps. A man said, "This is the ship's steering
wheel." Jean reached for it, but the man said, "Let us keep the hands off the
Then they went to the next deck. "This is the ship's mess. The men eat the
meals in the mess. They eat beets, beans, green peas, and meat. The meat can be
beef and veal. And they eat cream of wheat with sweet peach." Then the man said
to the men in the mess, "Let us treat the children to coffee with whipped cream.
And let me hear three cheers for them."
In the end Dad said, "Fleet week is a big treat."
Steve and Jean went fishing on the weekend. Steve fished from the
steep bank of a stream, keeping his fishing rod in one hand. The stream
teemed with fish, they were leaping up to catch bugs and bees. Steve did
not feel the heat of the sun. He was standing beneath the branch of a
beech tree. Jean was sitting at the trunk of the tree, leaning back. She
was reading and cracking beechnuts that fell from the tree. Beachnuts
have sweet meat. Steve did not see the quick streak in the stream, but the
reel on the rod began screaming. "I got a fish!" he yelled, gripping the rod.
The fish swam in the steam, but in the end Steve reeled it in and cleaned it.
Jean and Steve had a feast of fish.
A vain gray ape ate a date.
Kate had a date with James Blake, the mailman. Jim had said on
Monday, "I will take you to the games next Sunday. What do you say?"
Kate had nodded and said, "Thank you."
She had a pale green dress with long sleeves which she fixed for the
At the games they sat in the shade. Jim Blake got hot dogs and a
milk shake for Kate. He had a grape drink himself. The game was late
and a band played until the teams came.
When the game ended, Jim said, "Let me take you back, Kate. And
may we have a date next Sunday?"
Kate said with a sweet gaze, "Yes, Jim. You may have a date with me
A rabbit named Jake, and Dave, the quail, met late in the day at the lake. A
gale came up with rain and hail, and the two hid in a cave. The lake became gray;
waves came up in the bay, but in the cave it was safe. The rain went its way. Then
Jake said to Dave, the quail, "It is safe to leave. Let us play a game. Let us run to
the main gate on the lane." They got on the trail and ran off. It was plain that Jake
gained on Dave. The quail was trailing the rabbit. Jake made it to the main gate
and won. "My leg is sprained," wailed the quail. "Stop wailing and shape up,"
said Jake. "It is plain that a quail is not a match for a rabbit. Quails are made with
just two legs." Dave, the quail, gaped at Jake. "This was a mean game," he
complained. "Shame on you! This leg is lame." But Dave's leg was not lame. He
was just faking it. "Wait," said Jake. "This was just a game. I wish to make up
for it. Let us eat a hunk of date cake. Say, yes, Dave." Jake and Dave then went
to a quaint cake shop. They ate date cake and drank grape drinks. Jake paid the
A spy tried to find his dyed pipe.
Mike liked to ride his bike. It was a fine bike with a five-speed drive,
white tires and a chime. On a mild day in May, Mike went on a nine-mile
ride to Pinedale. He had his white pants on and a top with wide red and
white stripes. For a while he tried to ride on the white line of the pavement,
then he went back to the side. He arrived in Pinedale quite ripe for a meal.
He went to a deli for a ham sandwich and a pint of milk. "Why do you not
try my pie?" the man in the deli asked Mike. Mike then got a lime pie with
his sandwich and pint of milk. He sat on a bench, ate and drank. A man in
the deli went quite wild. "Why is a fly in my lime pie?" he cried. But it was
not a fly. It was a bit of the rind of the lime in his pie. Next day Mike went
to fly his striped kite on a twine. He liked to fly kites up to the sky.
Nina's husband had been on strike for nine months and they were in a
bind. She needed a job. She just had to have one. "You stay with the child
while I'll try to find a job," she said to the husband. She went to see a man in
the Five and Dime Shop, but he had nothing for Nina. He needed a typist
and Nina did not type.
Next she went to the trucking district and said to a man, "I need to get a
The man scratched his chin and asked, "Can you drive a pick-up truck?"
"Yes, I can," was Nina's reply.
"Fine," said the man. "My name is Clyde. I am the boss. I'll hire you
for at least five days."
"Can you maybe pay me by the day?" Nina asked. "I need it quite bad."
Clyde nodded. "I can do that. I'll pay you at the end of each day this
Nina said, "Thank you much," and gave him a big smile.
Old Joe, let's go home by the low road.
A mole in a hole broke his bone.
Joe and Joan's Mom told them one day, “This weekend we will go to the
Rainbow Ranch Motel. We will go by the toll road.” Joe did not groan and moan.
He was glad and grinned. Joan glowed with a smile. On the way Dad stopped by
an old inn on the toll road. They sat in the shadow of an oak tree. Mom and Dad
had tea with toast and jam. Joan ate a French toast and Joe had roast beef on a bun.
They both drank Cokes.
“Why is the grass grown so low?” Joe asked.
“Maybe it is mowed,” said Joan.
“See that old fellow on the end of that rope by the gate post?” asked Dad,
seeing a lone goat. “That old goat must be mowing the grass each day.”
They drove on on the toll road past a hill, sown with oat, and past a shallow
pond. Frogs croaked in the pond. They drove by a low yellow rock. A black crow
sat on a pole along the road. When they reached Rainbow Ranch, they strolled to
an old gold mine which was shown by a hostess.
“Hold on to the rope,” she said as she went to the steps leading to the mine. “It
is cold in the mine. You see, the mine has no windows,” joked the hostess.
In the mine shaft the lamps were low and the oak beams and posts had a
growth of mold. It was cold and damp and black in the mine, just as she had said.
“Mining gold is no fun and jokes,” said Joe.
The hostess shined a lamp in a hollow. “Can you see the gold shine in the
rock?” She showed them the hundreds of yellow specks in the stone.
Dad said in a low tone, “I think that is a hoax. Most of that gold came from a
spray can of paint.”
But for Joe it was real yellow gold in the snow-white stone. He hoped one day
to own a mine like this.
A shop sat next to the mine shaft. It was made of pine logs. A man in a thick
coat owned the shop. He said to the children, “If you wish real bad to own a hunk
of this mine, you can. See them rocks in them boxes by that rope next to the pole?
They are from this gold mine. You can see gold in each one of them and they are
for sale.” Both Joan and Joe gazed at them at length, blinking. Mom nodded to
Dad and Dad reached in his pocket. He got each of the children “a hunk of the
gold mine.” When he paid, he smiled and winked at the man, and the man winked
The children slept well in the Rainbow Ranch Motel with the “hunks of the
gold” mine beneath the pillows.
Next day they drove to a boat renting dock on the lake and Dad rented a rowing
boat. Joe rowed while Joan sat in the bow, tossing pine cones from the boat. They
tied up for a picnic lunch. They spied a doe in a grove a way off. She grazed on
the fine green grass. Then boarded the boat. This time Dad rowed to the boat
Both Joe and Joan dozed off on the way home.
Maud saw the ball.
The sore boar snorts at the door.
A quart of warm milk.
Almost always Walt got up at dawn. He stepped to the small
porch to sniff the morning mist. He called Paul next door.
"Morning, Paul. Shall we hike to the fork of Horse Creek?"
"The storm has passed and the morning is fine," said Paul. "Let us
have a cup of coffee and a bite to eat, and then we can go."
Paul and Walt got their backpacks and went off north, past a tall
wall by the store. They reached Horse Creek, called that way for all
the horses grazing by its banks. But this time they saw no horses by
the trees. They saw two fawns playing. Paul and Walt halted to see
them play more. As they went on, they saw a hawk soar in the sky,
then fall like a stone.
"It must be hunting," said Paul. "Maybe it saw a frog."
"Or a mole," said Walt. "Hawks like to feed on moles," he added
as the hawk was flying away with a black thing in its claws. "The
hawk must be taking it to the hawk chicks."
The fork of Horse Creek was a short way up from the falls. Paul
and Walt rested at the falls. The creek dropped from the top of a
rock fifteen feet tall. It roared like a storm at sea. On the way home
Paul said to Walt, "Hiking is a fine sport."
Maud was renting a flat and she had all kinds of grief with the blasted
thing. The paint was flaking off the walls, the rug in the hall was torn and
bugs crawled up the drain pipes.
Maud called the landlord. "I must speak with you. When can I see you?"
Next day the door chime rang. Maud went to the door and met a fat man
with a big paunch standing in front of the door. "Morning," said the man.
"I am the landlord. What can I do for you?"
"Step in and I'll show you," Maud invited the man. "See this?" she
poked at the paint on the wall. "It is flaking off. It needs a coat of paint. I
can do it myself, but I can't get the paint. My pay is quite low." Maud
showed the rest of the flat.
"Send me a note with a list of things to fix," the landlord said. "I will
have them all fixed."
Maud got sore. "I will do no such thing," she said. "You can see what
needs fixing, and get on with it. I pay rent for this place and I pay on time. If
you don't do it, I will and take the cost off my rent. The law is on my side.
You get my place fixed, or I warn you, you will have hell to pay."
The landlord scratched his jaw and blinked. "Wait. Wait," he said.
"Fine. No need to brawl. I'll have it all fixed. Just hold your scorn."
Indeed, in two weeks Maud was glad to see that most of the flat was all
Ma plays cards.
Here's the deer's ear.
The hero has a beard.
Mark spent three weeks on the farm. He went to see the horse and its
colt in the barn. The barn was near the yard. Mark opened the barn door
and let the colt run to the yard. The colt jumped and ran back and forth in
the blazing sunshine.
"The colt is free," Mark called to Carl, the farm hand. Carl came,
cussing, and marched the colt into the barn and back to its mom.
Late one morning Carl drove the car to a market called Smart Mart and
Mark rode with him. They did not have to drive far. At the market Carl
parked the car and Mark went to get a cart. They loaded up the cart with
jars of jam, pancake mix, beer for Carl, frozen tarts for Mark. They also got
a slab of lard, a pack of shark meat, rock salt and a box of starch.
"I will need some garments," Carl said, and got a scarf and a warm
Carl paid and then Mark pushed the cart to the parked car. They
loaded the lot into the trunk.
"We will drive back home," said Carl. He put the car in gear, and they
"Can I steer?" Mark asked, wanting to try his hands on the car.
Carl said, "Maybe you can try when we get off the tar road."
On the narrow lane, which was a side road, Carl let Mark hold the
steering wheel all the way to the farmyard. When the car stopped in the
yard, Spark, Carl's dog, ran to them and barked to show his sheer
gladness. Mark scratched Spark's ears. Spark panted and yelped and
licked Mark's hand.
"You must be parched and starving," Mark said to the dog. He gave
Spark three hard dog biscuits and milk in his dish.
Carl told Mark that an artist lived on a nearby farm. Mark's ma was also
an artist of sorts. She made carpets to hang on walls. Mark liked the one
with five deer grazing by a creek and a bearded man watching them from
"His name is Chuck," said Carl of this artist. "He is a farmer, but he
also carves things from logs." But that did not describe Chuck's art in the
One fine day Carl drove Mark to Chuck's farm. Beneath the eaves of
Chuck's old barn Mark saw the carvings Chuck had made. They were big.
Real big. Men and beasts of all kinds standing and sitting, all made from
logs. Big ones.
Chuck came to shake hands. "Want to see me carve?" he asked.
He started up his chain saw and the screaming almost split Mark's
eardrums. The sharp teeth of the saw bit into a log propped up on legs.
Sawdust cascaded to the floor. In a short time the shape of a standing
steer became clear. It was like watching witchcraft. It was great art.
Days passed and time for harvesting peaches came. Carl hauled piles
of crates to the orchard and set them up by the trees. Most of the peaches
were picked green so they keep on the trip to the market. But Mark did find
one tree with soft ripe peaches hanging on the branches and he ate them
until he was stuffed.
Mark liked life on the farm.
Ernest, Irma, Earl, and Myrtle all worked on Thursdays.
A hare and a bear went to the fair, there to try their luck.
It was Thursday, the thirteenth of March, and it was Irma's birthday.
Bert, Myrtle and Earl, all her classmates, were there to share in the birthday
cake. Irma's hair was curled. She wore white skirt and a pink top studded
"Irma, serve the cake and the pear punch," her Ma said.
Irma cut squares from the cake and stirred the pear punch. "Come
have your cake," she said, "We have cake to spare."
They ate cake and drank pear punch. Then Irma opened the birthday
gifts. She got a puppet bear with black fur, a pair of curved hairpins with
fake pearls, and a purse with a bird darned on it. Irma sat on her chair.
"This is a rare birthday for me," she said. "And such fine gifts! Thank
They turned on the tape deck to hear songs. Then Myrtle said, "Let's
"Fine, but what?" asked Bert.
"Perhaps let's play nurse," said Irma. The girls became nurses, while
Bert and Earl played the sick. The girls checked their pulses, gave them
drinks, and wiped their cheeks with napkins. "Don't squirm, Bert," one of
the girls said. "You are ill and you must rest."
They had more cake and punch before Myrtle, Bert and Earl went
"Thank you, Ma, for baking the cake and for all you did for my birthday,"
Irma said before going up the stairs to her bed.
Art is a hero of the Gulf War. In the first days of the war he was sitting in
the rear, taking care of the hardware and electronics on his tank. Both he and
his pal, Paul, heard airplanes screaming up in the air, speeding off to the
north. They wanted to go help the airmen but their time had not come yet.
One day they got rolling at last. The tanks rumbled past the salt marshes by
the coast of the golf. Next day they stopped to make camp and rest.
Darkness came and they saw great flashes to the north and heard the screams
of the incoming grenades and the flashes of blasts nearby. Then came a
blinding flash. Art felt he was flying in the air. He hit the sand hard. He felt
a searing pain in his arm, but his mind was on Paul, who had been standing
next to him. He dragged himself back to the tank. There was Paul, lying in
the dust. Art lit a flare and saw the tear in his pal's pant leg and tears of pain
stream on his face. "Are you hurt?" he asked Paul. Just then a grenade hit
their tank in a big blast. With one arm lame and bleeding, Art dragged Paul
from the burning tank and tied off Paul's leg with his belt to stop the
bleeding. When the medics came, they told Art that he had saved Paul's life.
By then Art was weak from his own bleeding arm and fainted. The medics
laid Art on a cot and cared for him. They reported the way Art saved his pal.
Watch for the
R. The R plays TRICKS!
These are always said in the same way:
board, core, swarm, quart
chirp, lurch, myrtle
These are not said in the same way:
clear, learn, pear
Nor are these:
hero, jerk, there
Nor are these:
Nor are these:
The cook shook his foot.
Cool Sue threw a prune at a goose.
Few mules bray on cue.
Miss Jane Blue was a gossip. She was dying to hear or tell what was going on,
but at times she made a fool of herself. She was standing by the gate of the
churchyard relating her latest scoop to Liz Duke, a dry old maid. She, too, thrived
on gossip. Miss Jane Blue's tone revealed that she was upset.
"That Sue Furlong, the girl next door, she is too fresh for my taste," she said
to Liz Duke. "Just think of what she said to me. This last Tuesday she stood by the
brook playing her flute. 'What are you doing there?' said I."
She says, "Playing my flute to a goose."
I was thinking, maybe she was speaking of me, but a goose stood by the brook
and she seemed to play for it. Well, Sue blew her flute, tooting a tune. But she did
not fool me. The crook was snooping at my hen coop. Next morning I look in the
coop and my hen that roosts on the crooked stool was gone with her brood.
I said to myself, "My goodness, Sue Furlong, that brute, she looted the coop
and took my poor hen and the cute chicks and slew them and cooked them to make
So, I drew on my boots and took the broom, and I said to myself, "I am going to
cure that foolish Sue for good!" I went up to the Furlongs' barn, the one with the
blue door, but she was not there.
Miss Duke asked, "Was Sue Furlong not there?"
"No, no," Miss Blue shook her hand. "I am speaking of the hen and her brood.
Well. Not seeing them I grew mad. I went to look for Sue. She was in her room,
sitting on a stool, scooping stew from a pot with a spoon. I shook my broom at her.
"Look here, you crook," I said, "I can see it is true!"
She looked at me and said, "What is true, Miss Jane? And why do you call me
a crook? Or did you mean to say, cook?"
I was fit to whack her with my broom and I said, "I will give you a clue, my
darling Sue. Where is my hen and her brood? She is in your pot of stew. Is it not
true? You looted my coop."
Then Sue said, "Did you look real good, Miss Jane? There is no hen in my
stew. I cooked the stew with pork and greens. Look for yourself. I will tell you
where your hen and her brood are. They flew the coop, and I herded them back to
the yard from the bank of the brook. Go, look for them in the woodshed."
"Well," I said, and I left her sitting on the stool.
Miss Duke asked, "Did you find the hen in the woodshed?"
"Yes, I did," said Miss Blue.
"Then why do you say Sue is fresh? It was good of her to herd the brood back
to the yard, was it not?"
"Yes, but she said, just as I was leaving, 'There is no need to act like a foolish
old goose.' That's why I say she is fresh."
The brown mouse was proud.
The boy spoiled the oil.
Roy had moved to the East Coast but now he came back to the small town of
Clintdale, where his grandma still lived. Roy took his new wife, Sharon, with him
for the weekend to see grandma.
Grandma told Sharon how Roy used to play cowboy out in the shed. He folded
a big brown flour sack for the saw horse and mounted it. Then he shouted loud,
riding to the point of the herd to round up the cows.
At noontime Roy and Sharon took Grandma to downtown Clintdale, which was
the town square and a few blocks of Market Street and State Street. The town
square itself was, in fact, not square at all, but round with a white bandstand on a
"Let's have lunch at our old joint, Grandma," said Roy, pointing at an inn
called The Stout Fowl.
"It's fine with me," she said. "They still cook their roast pork loin crisp on the
outside and moist inside."
Next day Roy took Sharon to the attic. "I used to prowl the attic when I was a
boy," he told her. "I dressed up in Grandma's old gown and found toys she had
played with when she was a girl."
There was a crate of books by the joint of the roof. Roy lifted the lid to look
inside. He picked up a book.
"I almost forgot this one," he said with a smile. "A book of verses. Look at
this one. Grandma used to read it to me. I still have it word by word. It was
called "The Mouse and the Owl," and Roy started out without delay:
A house mouse that was going to town
Was stopped on the road by a big brown owl.
"How do you do?" hooted the stout owl,
And his hooting sounded like a growl.
"I am just fine," told him the mouse,
Trying to leave behind
The owl and his house.
"Don't go so soon," pouted the bird,
"Rest in my house while quenching your thirst.
Sit on my couch, it's soft like a cloud,
And join me for a meal, making me proud."
But the house mouse had figured out
What the owl had in mind,
And shouted out loud,
"Thanks, but not now!"
And left the frowning owl behind.
"That was cute," said Sharon when Roy finished, kissing him.
The weekend went by fast. They all had a fine time. The two days were filled
with joy and happiness.
"Come back soon," shouted Grandma as the two drove off.
Twenty pennies were all the money Billy had.
One pony -- Two ponies
Watch these spellings:
hurry: hurries, hurried, hurrying
carry: carries, carried, carrying
curry: curries, curried, currying
try: tries, tried, trying
fly: flies, flied, flying
handy: handier, handiest, handily
funny: funnier, funniest, funnily
likely: likelier, likeliest
ugly: uglier, ugliest
shady: shadier, shadiest
thirsty: thirstier, thirstiest
sleepy sleepier, sleepiest
Making new words
Short vowel: hop + ing = hopping
Long vowel: hope + ing = hoping
Watch these spellings:
Benny's daddy joined the navy in nineteen sixty-five. He sailed all of
the seas during the three years he spent in the navy. Most of the time
when his ship got into a port, he and his buddies went on shore leave.
They always had loads of fun. They dropped in at a bar or two for a few
beers, or tried to pick up shapely girls. Most men will do things like that
when they are twenty and on shore leave.
When Benny finished his studies, he also joined the navy. He had his
hair shorn before the basic training. The first ship he was on was the U.S.S.
Liberty. There were lots of running and scrubbing of the deck and jogging
and shinnying up ropes to fix the rigging. By the end of each day many of
the seamen were dragging their feet. But doing all these tasks till they
were dizzy made them hardy in a hurry.
At the end of two months they got new blue uniforms and white caps
and for the first time they went home. How proud they were in their dark
blue uniforms, shiny shoes and jaunty caps! Benny's mom and dad were
waiting for him at the airport. There was a lot of hugging and kissing. Dad
wanted to carry Benny's bag, but he did not let him.
"How was it on the plane, honey?" Benny's mom asked. "Did you have
a good seat?"
"Yes, just fine. I slept all the way. I was up till four thirty in the morning,
because I was on the first watch. Funny how one gets used to it. I woke
up only when the food came."
"Is it not funny?" dad said with a smile, "Men of the sea sleep, eat and
drink whenever they can."
"That is the first thing we learn, daddy."
"Just like in my days."
Billy, Benny's dog, ran out on the street yapping and wagging its tail.
Mary, the girl next door, stood in front of the house, her arms held out
wide. "Benny, I am so happy to see you. You look grand in that spiffy
outfit." She kissed Benny's cheek. "I baked you a cherry pie."
After the meal they all sat on the porch, with Benny telling story after
story about his life on the ship. It was funny to hear how many things can
happen to a lively bunch of lads in a fairly short time.
"Where will you sail when you cast off next?" dad asked.
"We will make a ninety-day run to the South Seas, we were told.
Maybe we will get to see Tahiti."
The time came quickly to return to the airport and the ship Liberty.
Sadly they said good-by, but Benny promised to send a few lines on a
post card from each port.
Carl cut the cake that Grace had made fancy with icing.
Cedar Springs is a small town, but it has its own firehouse with a big red
At all times nine firemen are in the firehouse. When there is a fire, they
rush to the burning house and quickly put out the flames. But the firemen
help the town not only when there is a fire.
One day Grace's cat, Cecily, got lost. Cecily liked chasing mice and
playing with strips of lace. She also liked to race bouncing balls of yarn and
pounce on them. But that morning, Grace did not see Cecily any place she
looked. She had looked twice in Cecily's place in the "kitten palace," but
Cecily was missing. Grace looked across the fence in the yard, calling
Cecily, but she did not come bouncing.
Then Grace heard Cecily's voice. She glanced up into the spruce tree that
grew near the fence, and noticed Cecily sitting on a branch way, way up.
"Lord have mercy," said Grace, then called out to her cat, "Come down,
Cecily. Come down, I tell you."
But Cecily was very scared and did not come down.
In the end, Grace's mom called the office at the firehouse. "Grace's cat,
Cecily, is up in the spruce tree and cannot come down," she said. "Can you
come out and help us?"
It took only a short time for the red fire truck to show up at the house.
The firemen quickly hoisted a ladder and rescued Cecily.
Grace hugged and kissed Cecily. "You silly cat," she said to her. "It is
best for you to stay off that spruce tree and stay where your place is, which is
the 'kitten palace.' Be a nice cat, Cecily."
Vincent and Nancy were at the grocery store when they heard it
announced, "A cyclonic storm is nearing with gale force winds and rain. The
city is on the path of the storm. Citizens are warned to take all necessary
Vincent looked at Nancy, concerned about the news. "What are we to do
now?" he asked in a shaky voice.
"Take their advice and brace ourselves," Nancy said.
First they decided they had to get extra groceries besides those they had
planned on getting. They picked from the shelves spices, bags of rice and
cans of minced pears. Then Nancy said, "We need three bags of ice, too."
"Ice? What for?" Vincent wondered. "We are not going to have a dance
"You are a silly man, Vince," she said. "We need ice in case the electricity
With shopping finished, they raced home from the grocery store. They
stopped by the fence and glanced around, but things looked nice and peaceful
all around. Then they noticed traces of clouds pushing up into the sky. Soon
the traces turned into black scary clouds, solid like palaces made of stones.
Then they felt the wind in their faces and all at once the full force of the storm
was upon them. Quickly as it came, the cyclone raced to the north and peace
settled on the city. Vincent and Nancy were glad when it was all past.
Elizabeth was wide awake.
Richard was a clever actor.
"Another day, another dollar," Albert's big brother, Edward, said.
The day was over, supper was finished. Albert's father and mother yawned,
and looked for their slippers to wander off to bed.
Edward was a sailor, home for a winter rest after a long trip in the South
Pacific. Albert liked to hear him tell stories about his trips. "Come, Edward," he
said, "I am eager to hear one of your 'rusty steamer in a faraway harbor' stories.
You never run out of them."
"Maybe another time," Edward said, "it is later than I realized." But then he
sat back in his wicker chair, turning toward Albert. "Well, maybe one, before I fall
"We were about to reach a harbor in Tahiti last October. The sea was fine, but
the weather was steamy and hotter than I have ever seen. The sun burned blisters
on the paint of the upper deck. We were about fit to go mad from the heat. I could
taste the flavor of a pitcher of cold beer awaiting me in the harbor. We were all
eager to get in, needless to say. 'One more day, lads,' the skipper said at dinner,
'before we lower the gang plank on the docks in Tahiti.'
"Next morning as I awoke, I noticed something was amiss. I was struck by the
dead silence aboard. The propeller was not turning. 'What is going on,' I
wondered. I found it out soon. The rudder operator was broken and the ship was
adrift. The skipper had ordered the ship stopped so she will not sail around and
"What were we to do? We needed an electric motor to fix the rudder, but
where do you get one away from a harbor? We wondered whether we will ever
make it from there. The first officer, mister Banker, wanted to radio for help, but
the skipper said no. To fly out a part would cost too much. 'Besides,' he said, 'we
do not have a good repairman.'
"We had a bit of luck that day. By noon we were spotted by an airplane and by
sunset a boat of the French navy came up alongside. A party came aboard and the
skipper explained our problem to them. The French officer said they took us for
smugglers and that was why they came. It was a big joke, but in the end they
towed us to Tahiti and all was well."
The metal pencil lay next to the awful, terrible nickel pistol.
The captain's garden in Wisconsin was in fashion, but
the thousands of lemon blossoms were a problem.
Did not Didn't:
Isn't this shorter?
Uncle Harold came to the Eaton family for a few days. He was Helen and
Alan Eaton's mother's brother. The Eaton children were in seventh heaven every
time their uncle with a twinkle in his eyes was with them.
No sooner did he open his travel bag, out came the gifts for the children and
their parents. For Mom it was a fragrant candle, for Dad a carved eagle, for
Helen a pin in the shape of a little fiddle, and for Alan a model racer. Mom was
always happy to have uncle Harold in the house. He was her little brother whom
she used to cuddle when he was a baby. Now he was a captain at an airline, but
for her he was still the baby brother.
By the time Dad came home from work, Mom was in a scramble in the kitchen trying to fry chicken, cook noodles and bake an apple pie, all at the same
time. Helen's willing help didn't make things more simple by one bit.
When the dinner was eaten and only bones were left of the chicken, Uncle
Harold leaned over the table and asked the children, "Have you ever been to a
real ball game?"
"Yes, we have," said Helen.
"No, we haven't," said Alan.
Uncle Harold was puzzled. "Well, have you or haven't you?"
"We play games all the time at the club," Helen replied.
"I didn't mean kiddy games. I mean the major league. A real game between
real baseball teams. I can see that you haven't been to one and every American
kid over eleven years must go to the games. I will take you to the ball park
Next day he borrowed the family car and drove the children to the ball park.
It was simply wonderful. They watched the players struggle to win, the pitcher
trying hard to strike out the men at the plate. In the bottom of the second inning
Uncle Harold got the kids hot dogs, raisin cookies and lemon drinks.
On the way home both Helen and Alan were thinking why is it that Uncle
Harold comes so awfully seldom?
The sign of a right thumb held up is well known.
Margo shared an apartment with Judy. They worked together at a department
store. Once in a while they had the weekend off and this was one when they didn't
have to go to work.
"We've got the weekend off so seldom that I don't know what to do with it,"
"Yes, and not a man in sight," Judy nodded, twirling her thumbs. But then she
looked out of the window and caught sight of a car she knew. "I see Charlie’s car,"
she exclaimed with delight. "Maybe he'll stop by."
That is exactly what happened, except that Charley brought along his buddy,
They were already knocking on the door. "Hi, dear ladies," Charley said from
the door. "Stan had a bright thought, which he seldom has. He thought you might
want to come with us to the movies."
"We might, depending on where you want to take us."
"We thought to the Capitol Theaters."
"That's mighty nice of you. All right, we accept it with thanks."
Judy pulled on her tight designer's jeans and Margo put on a knee high knitted
dress. "We're all set," she declared.
They saw the title of the movie from a distance. It was flashing in bright
THE RIVER BELLE
The fellows bought the tickets and the gals bought the buckets of buttered
popcorns and the tall paper cups of drinks. They settled in the eighteenth row to
watch the movie.
It took place on a Mississippi gambling boat, the River Belle. She cast off at
midnight at the town of New Madrid. The bright lights on the high banks were
mirrored on the dark river as the boat moved on and the town vanished from sight
after a tight turn past pilot knoll. A man in the bow called out the plumb line reading, "One fathom three." And the captain ordered five knots and head to midstream.
Southern ladies stood on the deck in fancy dresses, cooling themselves with
silk fans. "The gnats are terribly fierce tonight; they gnaw knobs on a body's
limbs," one of them said. They went inside to the saloon and danced to the music.
Later on a fight took place in the gaming room. A man caught sight of a patron
using sleigh of hand to win. "You sniveling knave," he yelled, pulling a knife fast
as lightning. But the cheater's neighbor caught his hand and knocked the knife out
of it before it was too late. "Whom did you call a sniveling knave," the other
wanted to know, straightening to his full mighty height and waving his knuckles
through the air. But the first one, a slight fellow, caught the big one straight on the
chin, knocking him down.
An elderly lady screamed, quite frightened, but her daughter shouted with
delight, "I'd love to watch them fight all night."
The big man, who was on his knees, scrambled to his feet and asked, "Do you
want to fight?" But the slight fellow wanted no more of it. Nor did the big one.
They paid their debts, sighed and left the saloon.
It was a good movie, all right. Full of music and fights and romance. In the
end the hero got his lady love and they were married in a pretty little church
standing on a knoll.
At the end of the show Charley drove them all home.
Thomas walked to the government house
to listen to the scientist's answer.
Johnny Thomson was a calm and wise old man. He liked to listen but
he seldom talked. Folks were saying that he was born in Africa, but one
never knows how much is true of what folks say. One autumn afternoon
Johnny Thomson was sitting on the porch as the children were coming
home from school. They stopped to look at the old man with grizzly hair.
"Johnny, is it true that you are from Africa?" a bold girl asked.
Johnny turned slowly and nodded. They thought they saw a smile on
his face and they stepped closer.
"Is it true that Johnny Thomson is not your real name?" asked a boy.
"Johnny Thomson is my name now," the old man said, "but in Africa I
was called Seretse Sekeletu."
"Can you tell us a story? You never tell us any stories."
"All right, I will now. But only if you promise to sit down and listen."
The children settled down and he began his story.
"When I was a boy, we lived in a grass hut on the plains in Africa. My
mother grew squash and sorghum and beans, and my father hunted. That
was how we lived. I had a sister, Lani, who was a bright little girl.
"One autumn morning mother said to us, 'Go bring a few ostrich eggs.
You all like egg yolks.'
"Lani and I climbed up on a rock behind our hut. From the top we saw
the whole plain below. 'I see them,' Lani pointed in the distance. Then I
saw them, too, a flock of ostriches. We hastened back to the hut and
wrapped up our antelope skin pouches and tied them to our wrists before
"We walked for an hour, listening to every rustle in the grass, which was
taller than we. We made signs with our hands to talk, for one mustn't
speak when one is stalking game. We heard something behind a tree and
thought it was a lion, but it was only a doe and her calf."
"But how did you get the ostrich eggs?" one of the children asked. "Did
you chase off the hen?"
"Ah! That's the hard part. You see, ostrich hens don't sit on the eggs.
The males do. Many hens lay eggs in the nest of an ostrich. Anyway, Lani
and I had a scheme, although we had to be careful with it, for an ostrich
can kick and fight. When we found the nest, I walked towards it, whistling
and rustling the grass to make him notice me. Meanwhile, Lani crept up
from the other side of the nest. She whistled softly when she was near,
then I made a big scene as if I was attacking the bird.
"The ostrich jumped up to chase me, and I turned to run, but as soon as
he stopped, so did I and started waving my arms and yelling at the bird.
Meanwhile Lani crept to the nest and took four eggs and hid them in the
grass. She went back twice more and did the same. There were plenty
more eggs left in the ostrich's nest, although Lani had taken a full dozen of
"When she was done, Lani gave another whistle, and I left the ostrich in
peace. We went back to the eggs and carefully placed them into the
pouches. Then we walked back home. Mother was very happy with the
eggs. Each ostrich egg made a meal for the whole family."
The children listened in silence, their eyes as big as saucers. One of
them said, "Mister Johnny, why don't you write this in a book so everybody
can read about it?"
"Maybe I will, one of these days," Johnny said smiling.
A giant gypsy ate an orange.
The midget kept nudging the smudgy gadget.
Philip had a cough.
Daisy liked cheese and raisins.
The Story of William Tell
William Tell is a legendary hero in Switzerland. He was a gentle young man
with a quick smile and rosy cheeks, but he was tough and determined when it came
to standing up for the right cause. He lived in the fourteenth century, in an age
when the Austrians ruled Switzerland. William, just like any other Swiss, hated
the governor, because he treated folks unjustly. Also, being a hated stranger, the
Austrian governor surrounded himself with rough mercenaries, who abused
William Tell was fed up with a life lived in fear and servitude. He had a blacksmith forge him a crossbow and went to live in the wilderness of the virgin forest,
hunting for his food among the ridges and valleys. He made himself a log cabin
from timber he cut down himself.
One spring William Tell went back to the village where he was born and took
his sweetheart in marriage. They returned to the high ridges and his wife soon had
Years went by. The Tells lived in the rough cabin. It was a hard life, but they
liked it because they were happy and free. One day in the fall the Tells went to the
town of Altdorf to exchange hides and berries for winter clothes.
The governor just then was a man named Gessler. He was a mean man with an
urge to hurt and humiliate the town folks. He had put his hat on a stake in the town
square, and the passers-by were required to raise their hats to it to show that they
were all the governor's servants.
When William Tell heard this, he said, "I am a free man and nobody's servant."
He refused to raise his hat.
"You, there, stranger. Take off your dirty cap before the governor's hat," one
of the mercenaries urged him.
"Don't badger me," said William Tell. "I refuse to take my hat off on
command. I am a Swiss, and a free man."
Two mercenaries grabbed him and Governor Gessler was called. "Raise your
hat as I have ordered," the governor commanded.
"I will do that if and when I please," said Tell. "But right now I'm not
"Then I charge you with treason," shouted the governor in a rage. "What is
"I am William Tell."
"Ah! William Tell! Are you the great marksman?" asked the governor, who
had heard about him.
"I can use my crossbow quite well when I please," William replied.
Governor Gessler paused. "It is unwise to tease your judge, William Tell," he
said sternly. "But I am an easy man and I'll give you a choice between the
dungeon and going free." He then asked for an apple and placed it on the head of
William Tell's son. Then he said, "If you hit this apple with your arrow from thirty
paces, you can go free. Otherwise to the dungeon you go."
A crowd had gathered by this time to watch breathlessly as a mercenary
stepped off thirty paces and Tell took his place. He raised the crossbow and took
careful aim. He pressed the trigger and let the arrow fly. It sliced through the air
and like magic it pierced the apple right through its center.
The governor cringed as William Tell turned to him in triumph.
"You are a madman to have risked you son's life," he said and forced a laugh.
William Tell looked him up and down and said, "There is nothing in this world
too dear to me that I would not risk for freedom. Not my life, not my son's life.
But you must know, Governor, that my second arrow was ready to plunge through
your own heart had my first arrow missed its target."
Governor Gessler flew into a rage and had William Tell arrested. He ordered
him taken to prison in his castle.
The voyage to the castle was by boat across a lake called Urnersee. Towards
the end of the voyage a storm rose. The boat tossed and wallowed among the huge
waves, nearly capsizing. The boatmen knew that Tell was an expert helmsman,
and his hands were untied so he could steer the boat safely to shore. But when the
shore was close, William Tell leaped from the boat and escaped to freedom.
During the following year William Tell and other brave men rose up in rebellion and chased away the Austrians. They made Switzerland the home of free men
Aunty can't have a bath.
Leonard's friend says he likes heavy breakfasts.
Kate had a great day painting a daisy on the sleigh.
Even one flood does make some trouble.
Doctor Mantell's monsters
Over one hundred and fifty years ago there lived a young doctor in southern
England. His name was Gideon Mantell. He was interested not only in people's
health, but also in strange things that lay buried in the earth.
He found it pleasant to roam the countryside in Sussex with his wife. At the
ends of meadows they saw rocks which at some places were layered like a huge
cake. Sometimes they saw embedded in the rocks snail shells and leaves of strange
plants, all of solid stone.
The folks in the countryside said it was magic. That fairies had turned things
But Dr. Mantell was a man of science. His guess was that no such thing was
possible and there had to be something else to it. He turned the matter over in his
head many times and decided that all these things of stone must have been alive at
some point in time. He had friends over as guests and he brought up the subject.
"But how could a leaf get inside of a heavy slab of stone?" one friend asked.
Dr. Mantell had an answer ready. "The only time it could get inside the stone
was before the stone became stone. A leaf falls into a stream, it is covered by
sand. As the sand gets deeper and deeper, the weight of what is on top turns it into
"But that would take thousands and thousands of years."
"Or perhaps longer," the doctor nodded.
Animals and plants that had turned into stone, are said to be petrified, and they
are called fossils. One day while hunting for fossils Dr. Mantell glimpsed the end
of a bone that seemed incredibly large. He tried to dig it out himself, but it was a
nasty task. He brought help from the village and the bone was dug out at last.
When he looked at it, he was astonished. That single bone was nearly as tall as a
"It looks like the thigh bone of something," Dr. Mantell said. "My goodness!
If that is true, the beast must have stood ten feet tall or more."
Animals of that size sounded rather incredible, and everybody just smiled at
But Dr. Mantell was not satisfied. He wanted to find out more about the
mysterious monster. He went on to dig at the same place. Soon other bones came
to light, and also a number of teeth of frightening size.
As the doctor and his wife arranged the bones, even with many pieces missing
to make a complete skeleton, they made out the shape of a lizard. It must have
been twenty feet from its nose to the tip of its tail, and stood twelve feet tall. They
gave it the name Iguanodon, or lizard with teeth, and it was the first dinosaur
remains ever seen by man.
In later years fossil bones of many other dinosaurs were found. Some were
complete skeletons. Some of these animals stood forty feet tall and weighed as
much as eighty tons.
Tim built a house behind a busy street.
Dial the guide to buy island violets.
People saw the thief take these keys from the automobile.
A patch was sown on the shoulder of Joe's coat.
The Legend of Pele
The eight islands of Hawaii were settled by people about eight hundred years
ago. They traveled by small boats over thousands of miles of open sea from other
islands that lie to the south of Hawaii. They were guided only by the sun and the
stars on their long way.
Many people had settled already on the island of Hawaii when Pele and her
family arrived. The early settlers had taken up all the good land of the island, and
built their villages on the fertile coast.
Pele's father was a chief and her uncle was a priest of the family gods, but this
was of no use, of course, when they got to Hawaii. He asked for a piece of land for
his family, but the local chief told him the only way he could stay was if he
became the chief's servant.
They went back to their boats and Pele's father said, "If we cannot get a piece
of land, we must seize it in a war. Tomorrow night we will attack."
Pele was the oldest child in the family. She was not only very pretty, but also
very clever. She said to her father, "Don’t make war on these people, for it will
bring only grief for all. In the morning we will sail around that point of land and I
will find a place for our family to settle down and live in peace."
Next day they sailed along the coast of the island, and came to a place between
two lava flows, where there was good land and fresh water. "This is the place
where we will settle down," Pele said, and they built their village there.
They lived in peace there for some years. Nobody bothered them, nobody
wanted to take away their land, because of the frequent earthquakes on it.
Sometimes after the earthquakes fiery rivers of lava cascaded down the mountain.
The rivers of fire frightened people, even those in Pele's family, but she kept telling
them not to worry, for the fire would never come close to their village.
People in the other villages believed that Pele was a witch, or else that she was
close to the gods of the mountain. Many of them were afraid of her. No young
man dared to ask Pele to marry him, which Pele did not mind at all.
One evening a tall man came to their village. His face and arms were black
from tattooing. The hair on his head stood straight like the bristles on a hog's back.
He wore a vest made of pigskin. It was filthy with grease, and Pele looked at it
with disgust. But what she disliked most was the man's coarse face and evil eyes.
Pele's father knew that according to custom he had to treat the guest politely.
He invited the man to supper, for he had come in peace. The guest told the family
that his name was Kamapuaa, which means Hog-man in the Hawaii language. It
was then that he was recognized as a savage pirate who had pillaged and terrorized
villages on the other islands. But when he visited Pele's family, he was always
quiet and polite.
Hog-man visited every evening for about two weeks. Sometimes he brought
presents for Pele and her family. One night after the meal he finally said why he
was coming. "I want to marry you," he told Pele.
"I will not be your wife," Pele replied.
"But why? I am brave and strong," the Hog-man protested.
"Because I don't like you," said Pele. "You are ugly and rough and dirty. I
loathe you and I don't want to see you ever again."
The Hog-man became furious. He ranted and raved that women should be
obedient and yield to men. He swore that if she did not change her mind, he would
come back with his men and seize Pele by force after killing her entire family.
"You try that and you will be sorry for all your life," replied Pele.
She told her father not to worry about the brute, but Pele's father took no
chance. The whole family went to hide in a lava cave on the mountain. They built
a wall out of rocks, closing the entrance to the cave.
Three days later the Hog-man returned with his pirates to fulfill his threat. But
when they got to the village, it was abandoned, not a soul was there to be seen.
"They must be around," the Hog-man raved. "They must be hiding somewhere. They cannot deceive me." He then led his men to look for Pele's family.
They searched the hillside for three days before finally finding the cave. They
tried to destroy the wall, but were beaten off with spears Pele's family poked
through between the rocks. In the end they decided to dig through the ceiling of
the cave. They worked feverishly for a week and were close to breaking through,
when suddenly the earth began shaking. Then high up on the mountain a glowing
river of lava appeared, rushing down the slope, burning up trees in its path.
The Hog-man and the pirates ran in terror before the horrible river of death.
When they looked back, they saw Pele standing calmly on a boulder, glowing lava
flowing all around her.
Nobody saw Pele again, except amidst the lava rivers whenever the mountain
belched fire. This was how she became the goddess of the volcano. Others in her
family became the gods and goddesses of thunder, earthquake, steam, fire, and
The dog was lost in the fog.
Four storks flew abroad.
The guard watched the swan.
The woman could see the brook from the bush.
Who spilled juice on your shoes?
She wore a beautiful suit during the interview.
Circus came to town in a long train of fourteen rail cars. The cars were full of
people, crates and animals. The train boss ran along the cars, his shoes kicking up
loose pebbles. He was shouting orders left and right. The train was to be unloaded
in two hours, then the tent had to be set up so that the show could begin.
At last the company was ready for the opening show. The guests wandered
around the cages of the animals before they sat down to watch the performance.
They could see tigers and lions and wolves, even a bull moose. Then the show
began. All went well until the elephants came into the ring. They marched around
carrying red cushions tied to their backs. All of a sudden Sybil, the tamest of them
all, seemed to go wild. She stepped up to a guest and swamped him with mud,
using her trunk like a garden hose.
Needless to say, there was a big commotion. Sybil's trainer could not figure
out what had gotten into her, until an old circus hand remembered something.
The whole thing had started six years before, when the circus was in town the
last time. It seems that at that time Sybil made the customary rounds in the town.
Whenever the circus got into a town, Sybil, or another of the elephants, would
walk along the streets at the head of a full procession. A horse-drawn wagon
carrying the band would follow her along the streets, while clowns would march
next to them to attract more people.
Sybil's trainer would stop her at a likely corner, make her stand on her hind
legs, and make sounds like a trumpet's call through her trunk. Then the band
would play, the clowns would make cartwheels or get into mock quarrels with each
other, making people laugh.
When a good crowd would be together, most of them children, of course, the
music would stop and the boss would announce the show planned for that night,
telling about the splendid performance folks would see. He always finished by
saying, "Three dollars for reserved seats, two dollars for general, one for children.
Come any, come all to our magnificent performance tonight."
Then the band would play again, and away the group would march to the next
At the main square of the town, there stood a fruit and vegetable stand with
beautiful apples and pears and oranges piled up. Sybil saw them, of course, and
moved closer to them. She curtsied to the man behind the stand and reached out
her trunk, begging for an apple.
The crowd cheered, the owner of the fruit stand laughed, handing an apple to
Sybil. She made another curtsy and got one more apple. And so it went until she
had eaten half a dozen apples, and her trainer said, "Now Sybil, this was enough.
Shame on you, you thick-skinned beggar."
Then a clown went to the stand and curtsied, but he got nothing, not even when
he imitated the trunk of an elephant with his arm.
On this particular day, after the train was unloaded and the tent was pitched,
Sybil and the band wagon started on its rounds again. They came to the same fruit
and vegetable stand. Sybil must have recognized it, because without any delay she
began curtsying again. But this time a young clerk was at the stand instead of the
owner. And being a young man of simple mind and coarse humor, he though he
should play a joke on Sybil. He gave her an apple for the first curtsy, but for the
second one he handed her a hot green pepper.
Sybil put the pepper in her mouth and chewed it up, but after having done so
she turned away, not very pleased at all. She trumpeted with her trunk and shook
her head a few times. The crowd of people laughed about the cleverness of the
clerk, even though the fellow was not a very popular young man.
As it happened, that night the same clerk sat in the front row with his lady
friend. He was all decked out in his best suit, and was having a good time telling
his sweetheart how he had played a joke on one of the elephants that very
Sybil must have seen him during the opening march, because just before the
elephant number, she filled her trunk with mud from a puddle outside of the tent.
During the number she suddenly stopped before the clerk, made a nice curtsy, then
let loose with the mud.
There were only two people in the audience who did not like Sybil's joke: the
clerk and his lady friend. Perhaps he learned from his experience that jokes can
work both ways, and that elephants can be as clever as people.
Have you ever heard it said of some people that they have a memory like an
The physician and the patient lived in the mansion
by the ocean.
The lecture was followed by questions.
The machine packed sugar in bags.
A detective must be attentive.
In a Prairie Dog Town
The morning was as fine as any creature could ever expect a morning to be.
The vicious storm of last night was gone. The rain that had brought flood over the
ancient town, had also soaked the parched ground, and now everything was as it
should be: moist, but dry enough to work the dirt.
"Hey, Stubby Nose," one of the prairie dog neighbors shouted from his
burrow, "How did you come through the flood?"
Stubby Nose sat up from his breakfast of grass. "I can't complain," he said,
touching paws with Bright Eyes. "We had water pouring into our tunnel, but we
all ran up the sloping far side and sat there until the water disappeared."
"We did the same," said Bright Eyes. "And when it was gone, we all started to
move out the dirt that had been washed inside." He looked proudly at the freshly
built mound at the entrance of the burrow. "We've fixed it already. We worked all
night and, to tell the truth, I'm quite sleepy. But one hates to go inside on a day
"Why don't you take a nap right here in the sun?" asked Stubby Nose. "I can
surely watch while you doze."
One always had to be cautious. There was no sure way of avoiding danger, but
if one was careful, one could have a long future. Stubby Nose sat on his haunches,
leaning on his stubby tail, looking up into the sky. It was immensely blue with no
cloud in sight. "A good day for hawks," he thought. Just then one of the neighbor
women came by with two of her six children running in circles around her.
"What a fine day," she said to Stubby Nose.
"Pretty as a picture," Stubby Nose nodded, rubbing his mustache. "A good
day for hawks," he added.
"Have you seen any?" the neighbor woman asked with alarm.
"Goodness gracious, no. I just mentioned it, because one must always be
cautious. But don't worry. I'll remain on my guard station for a while. I'll shout if
I see something suspicious."
And Stubby Nose stayed there, sitting comfortably in the hot sun, scanning the
sky and the land all around. He was ready to doze off himself, but was determined
to remain attentive.
How fortunate it was that he did!
For when he turned his attention from the sky to the ground, he noticed
movement among the mounds of the neighbors, where no movement should have
been. And sure as he was sitting there, he discovered a large snake slithering
among the mounds, poking its forked tongue in the direction of children playing
run-around in a clearing.
"Alarm! Alarm!" Stubby Nose shouted. "Snake on the left!"
In an instant everybody stopped and looked in the direction of the approaching
danger. Then the little ones and the women rushed into the burrows, and the few
strong males, who stayed above ground, sat on their hunches watching the snake's
The snake, seeing that an easy meal was out of the question now, slid to the
opening of a burrow and sniffed the air coming out of it. It must have smelled the
family inside, because it began getting into the burrow in pursuit of the family.
"We can't let the snake get them," Stubby Nose cried, rushing to a hole. He
knew the burrow quite well, and, taking a side entrance to it, dived in head long to
alarm the family.
Fortunately, he reached them in good time. "Come, quickly," he said breathlessly. "A snake is after you." He rushed them along as they hurried up the
sloping tunnel to a point where only a thin layer of earth separated the tunnel from
the surface. He began digging like mad, shoving the dirt to the side, working
furiously until finally he could see the blue sky above.
"Go. Hurry up. Get out, quick."
When the whole family was safely out of the burrow, Stubby Nose turned to
the neighbors. "Is the snake still in the burrow?"
"It is," they told him.
"What are we waiting for, then?" he asked. "Let's close the entrances before it
comes out to eat some of us."
Then all the prairie dogs in the neighborhood began digging at all the entrances
of the burrow, filling the holes and tamping them firm with their paws.
"Where are we going to live now?" the woman whimpered, hugging her
children, as she watched her cozy home being buried in such haste.
"Don't you worry about it," somebody said. "You can stay with us for a few
days, until we build you another burrow."
When all the holes were firmly stoppered, they smoothened the earth above
them. An old male stepped into the cleared area and said, "From now on, this spot
will be remembered for the danger that is buried beneath it. Nobody shall build a
burrow under this spot."
Then everybody around stepped to Stubby Nose, touching paws with him,
some even rubbing noses with him. "Well done, Stubby Nose," they would say.
"You are a very fine creature. You have saved the life of many of us."
The soldier graduated.
The garage in the subdivision was usually full.
Julia didn't like onions.
Fred was anxious to give an example.
Tuesday Wednesday Thursday
Friday Saturday Sunday
January February March April
May June July August
September October November December
What Are Friends For?
Daniel and William got their education in the same school, but like millions of
others, they were not exactly proud when the graduation was behind them. The
reason was that somehow neither of them could manage to learn to read. It wasn't
a question of whose fault it was, because that did not change the fact that they both
had to face the future with an unusual handicap: Their inability to read. They both
got jobs, of course, but not very good ones. If they needed to read the directions
on something, they had to get somebody to read them for them.
Years went by as they both struggled along, always trying to hide the fact that
they could not read. Somehow they felt defective in a sense. They were sure they
were as smart as most other people, but their inability to read things made them
There were other problems, too. They both liked sports and if they wanted to
find out where their teams stood, they had to sit by the television to catch the news,
or else ask somebody. They could only look at the sports pages of the paper, but
they did not know what was printed in them.
One day Daniel lost his patience and made a decision. "Surely it is not too late
to change my life," he thought. He had heard of a special class where people
could learn to read, and decided to take action. He swallowed his pride and signed
up. The lady at the enrollment was cordial and understanding, and soon Daniel
had a tutor and was going over the alphabet and began learning to read new words
every day. At the end of a year of hard work and practice, he could take the
newspaper and read whatever he liked.
A year or so later he was in the supermarket, reading the label on a box of cake
mix when somebody tapped on his shoulder and said, "Don't pretend you can
make it out, Dan, old boy."
He looked up and saw his old school pal grinning at him. "Hello, Bill! Good
to see you." Then he glanced at the box in his hand. "Do you think I'm faking it
like we did in the school?" He then proceeded to read what was written on the
"How in the hell did you learn to do that?" Bill asked, rather surprised.
"Well, it took a few nights of homework, Bill, but that is now behind me. It
was not easy and many times I was ready to throw in the towel, but luckily I didn't.
Now that I can read, I get a lot more out of life than I used to." He then told Bill
about the place he had gone to sign up for the reading course, and encouraged Bill
to do the same. "You will feel better about yourself once you put the thing behind
you. It takes a bit of courage to get started, but it's worth it."
Bill thanked Dan for his suggestion and said he would think about it.
"Don't just think about it," Dan said. "Do something about it. And if you need
any help, let me know and I'll be glad to help you. What are friends for, anyway?"
USING THE DICTIONARY
When reading something, we often come across words we are not sure what
they mean. Most of the time we can guess at the meaning from what we read, but
often we want to know for sure. Of course, we can ask somebody, but the best
way to find out is to look it up in a dictionary.
Let's say you come across the word imminent and don't know what it means.
This is how to find it out.
Open the dictionary at the letter I and look at the top of the page, where two
words are shown. They are the first and last words appearing on the page. All the
words in a dictionary are arranged in the order of the alphabet. They are listed by
the first letter in the word, then the second letter, then the third, and so on.
Just for reference, here is the alphabet in capital letters:
If you don't already know the alphabet, it is a good idea to memorize it.
Looking in the dictionary, you will find a page where the two words at the top
imitation - immoderate
The word, imminent fits in between these two. Next, look for the word on the
imminent This is it! You've got it.
First of all, you see the word printed like this:
This shows the "syllabication" of the word. The syllables in the word
imminent are "im" "mi" and "nent." This means that you can separate the word at
the end of any syllable in case you reach the end of a line and there is not enough
space to write the entire word in that line.
You can write the word, for example, like this:
imminent, or else like this:
Next appears the "Standard American" pronunciation of imminent:
The apostrophe ( ' ) after the im tells us that the emphasis is placed on the
syllable im, meaning that it is uttered a little louder than the rest of the word.
At the bottom of each page of the dictionary (or of every other page) there is a
pronunciation key, which tells you what sounds to utter in pronouncing a word. In
this case, the first letter i is sounded out as the in the word it. The second i is an
obscure vowel (marked with a special small letter e in our case) and is pronounced
like the letter i in the word “sanity.” The letter e in the last syllable is also an obscure vowel pronounced like the letter e in the word “agent.”
Now say the word imminent a few times aloud, just to make sure you've
gotten its pronunciation right.
Next, the dictionary tells what kind of word this is. This happens to be an
adjective, a kind of word which tells some characteristic about another word. (For
example, in ”warm milk” warm is the adjective.)
Next, the dictionary tells about the origin of the word, which may be of interest, but can be ignored most of the time.
And then, finally, what you are looking for: The meaning of the word. The
1. /Rare/, overhanging. (This meaning is rarely used)
2. likely to happen without delay; impending; threatening: said of danger, evil,
There you are. Now you know what the word imminent means, plus how to
If you look up the word syllable, you will find that it has three meanings:
1. a word or part of a word pronounced with a single, uninterrupted sounding
of the voice; the unit of pronunciation, consisting of a single sound of great
sonority (usually a vowel) and generally one or more sounds of lesser sonority
2. one or more letters or symbols written to represent, more or less, a spoken
syllable. In this dictionary, the syllables of entry words are separated by centered
dots and do not always correspond to the syllables of speaking.
3. the least bit of expression; slightest detail: as, don't mention a syllable of
Sometimes the dictionary tells you even more. Take, for example, the word
glad. It means:
1. feeling or characterized by pleasure or joy; happy; pleased.
2. causing pleasure or joy; making happy.
3. pleased; willing: as, I'm glad to do it.
4. bright; beautiful.
Then at the end of the entry you read -- SYN. see happy. This means that
there are a number of synonyms (words with similar meanings), and they can be
found listed at the word happy. Turning the pages to happy, this is what you find
after the listing of the various meanings.
SYN. -- happy generally suggests a feeling of great pleasure contentment, etc. (a happy marriage); glad implies more strongly an exultant
feeling of joy (your letter made her so glad), but both glad and happy are
commonly used in merely polite formulas expressing gratification (I'm glad,
or happy, that you could come); cheerful implies a steady display of bright
spirits, optimism, etc. (he's always cheerful in the morning); joyful and
joyous both imply great elation and rejoicing, the former generally because
of a particular event, and the latter as a matter of usual temperament (the
joyful throngs, a joyous family). See also lucky.
Well, if you want to, go ahead, look up lucky.
When you regularly use a dictionary, you will soon find pleasure in finding out
the exact meanings of words. In no time you will notice that you know more and
more words and you are using them to better express yourself. Well-spoken
people are always looked up to. You can be well-spoken, too, if you read and learn
the meaning of the words you read.
EASY STEPS TO READING
EASY STEPS TO READING utilizes the linguistic method of teaching reading, a method
which has been used very successfully for many decades.
Dr. Leonard Bloomfield, Sterling Professor of Linguistics at Yale University, has originally
devised this method for teaching his own children to read. He based it on the principles of
alphabetical writing and the patterns of spelling in the English language. His work was later revised by Clarence L. Barnhart, editor of the Thorndike-Barnhart Dictionaries, and this version of
Dr. Bloomfield's work is still in use to this day.
A similar method was used by Julie Hay and Charles E. Wingo in developing a primer in the
late 1940s. Their book has been in use in many areas of the country ever since.
Dr. Rudolf Flesch in his best-selling "Why Johnny Can't Read" published a similar method,
as an appendix to his book, for home teaching of reading.
EASY STEPS TO READING is built on the principles used in the above mentioned works
with some refinements, but differs from them in two important aspects.
First, the process of learning to read must start out with exercises of phonic awareness
training. Only after the completion of these exercises should the student be started out in the
actual process of learning to read.
Second, it assumes that the student has little or no knowledge of the alphabet. The first five
STEPS teach the letters of the alphabet in the approximate order of their frequency in written
English, and at the same time uses phonetic words of the consonant-vowel-consonant pattern for
practicing the letters. This simultaneously trains the student in phonic reading.
An innovation of EASY STEPS TO READING is that, beginning with STEP 2, reading
exercises in the form of sentences and stories become an integral part of the program. The
exercises are written to contain only such words as had been introduced up to each STEP, with
emphasis placed on the frequent use of words first appearing in that particular STEP.
By the use of this device, several goals are achieved. First of all, the student gets used to
reading for comprehension from the very beginning. Secondly, even though the stories are
initially rather simple, they are likely to hold the student's interest, making the study less of a
chore. Lastly, but perhaps most importantly, the ability to read stories early on is a positive feedback for the student, which bolsters enthusiasm and makes continued study easier.
EASY STEPS TO READING is equally suited for individual study on a tutor-pupil basis, or
for use in a small classroom environment. In the course of the thirty-five STEPS a reading
vocabulary of well over 3000 words is learned by the student, enabling him to read and
understand any text consistent with his speaking vocabulary. The thirty-sixth STEP explains the
use of the dictionary.
The entire program can be comfortably covered one STEP per week, making it possible for
the student to achieve literacy within 8 to 9 months. Although nothing in the program is said
about writing, it is recommended that the student copy the words in the listings of words, as
writing practice tends to fix the correct spelling in the student's mind.
GUIDE TO EASY STEPS TO READING
Right at the outset it must be stated that first came spoken language. People used speech to
communicate long before writing was ever invented. Likewise, a child learns to speak long
before the subject of reading ever comes up. This is fortunate, because by the time it does, the
child has a vocabulary of thousands of words, which makes the process of learning to read easier.
The spoken language consists of sounds which make up words, which make up sentences,
which express thoughts. We use alphabetical writing, in which letters and groups of letters are
used to indicate what sounds in what order must be uttered to produce the spoken words
represented by the written words.
We must distinguish between letters and sounds. For example,
is a letter. Its name is "bee" and most of the time it stands for the sound
which is the first sound of such words as boy baby box. For reference, the 45 sounds making up
the "Standard American" speech are listed below:
Short vowel sounds (5):
Long vowel sounds (14):
Consonant sounds (26):
EASY STEPS TO READING starts out with the simplest words in our language and
proceeds to more complicated ones. It not only teaches to read the words in the sense of
reproducing spoken words from written letters, but also teaches to comprehend the words.
Chances are that your pupil knows the meaning of all the words contained in this book no
matter what the pupil's age. Therefore, particularly in the beginning, it is very important to make
sure he gets the meaning of each and every word as he reads.
If your pupil is a non-reader or a beginner reader, spend enough time at each STEP to make
sure he can read all of the words fluently while also getting their meanings. The most important
things is to get your pupil:
Read the letters in the words always from left to right
Read the words in one continuous sound by uttering the sounds designated by the
Get the meaning of every word
If he doesn't know the meaning of every word, then you are faced with a second task: that
of enlarging your pupil's vocabulary. Explain what the words mean. Put them in short sentences
to illustrate the meaning, or use words with similar meanings (synonyms) to explain. Many
times this will give an opportunity to loosen up the session a bit, but remember that the primary
task is to teach the mechanics of reading.
If your pupil is not very sure about which letter is which, and this is quite often the case, it is
a good idea to make up a set of 3 inch by 5 inch index cards with the letters of the alphabet. Use
a felt tip pen to write the lower case letters only, holding the cards with the 5 inch side up and
down. In addition to the 26 letters of the alphabet, make a card for the following groups of
letters as well:
Use the cards as you need them along the STEPS to make sure your pupil can say the sounds
which the letters designate without thinking about them. This is very important to practice,
because the pupil's mind will be quite busy figuring out the sounding of the words as he reads the
groups of letters making them up without having to stop and think first what sounds the
individual letters stand for.
One more item needs mentioning. Spoken language varies from region to region. People
pronounce the same word differently in Vermont, New York, Tennessee, and Texas, just to
mention a few dialects. It doesn't matter what particular dialect you and your pupil speak,
because pronunciation is quite consistent as far as writing is concerned. The designations of the
sounds as used in this book are the same as in the major American dictionaries, which is
"Standard American," if there really is such a thing.
Well, enough of this. Let's get down to the business of learning.
PHONEMIC AWARENESS PREPARATION
Before the beginning of the actual process of learning to read and write, it is essential to
prepare the student by teaching a few basic facts about our language and the connection between
the spoken and written language. This text is for the tutor to read and its contents are to be
verbally presented to the student. The various exercises that are contained in this preparation
part are very important. Depending on the age of the student, they can be presented either as a
game, or as a very serious activity. Either way, the knowledge that is to be acquired and the
skills that are to be developed through the exercises are absolute necessities for learning to read
and write, and they must be mastered before the commencement of the reading instruction.
Paper and pencil or pen will be needed for the student for two reasons. First, certain
exercises make it necessary to draw diagrams, mainly little circles in a row to represent the
sounds in spoken words. Secondly, the fact that the student uses a writing tool for drawing
simple markings makes its use familiar, which will help him when time comes to write letters.
After these preliminaries, let us get on with the task, which is for the tutor to present the
When people speak, they make sounds. We hear those sounds and understand what they
say. When mother says, “Bring me a glass of water,” we know what she wants. We go to the
kitchen, fill a glass with water and take it to her. If she had said, “Hozz egy pohár vizet,” we
would have no idea what she wanted. The reason is that these last words are in Hungarian, and
even though they say the same thing, few people in our country understand Hungarian.
Here we speak English, and because mother said in English, “Bring me a glass of water,”
and we know English, we understood what she said. We all learned English when we were little
children. We hear people around us speak to us and to each other. Healthy children imitate and
repeat whatever people say. In time they learn to say the things they hear, and little by little they
know how to speak the language people use around them. Learning a language when we are
very young comes naturally. It is no trouble at all. Learning a language later on can be difficult.
There are lucky children, who live among people speaking more than one language. These
children can learn two or three languages at the same time when they are very young.
When we speak, we say things we have in mind, things we think of. For example we say
things like these:
I am not sleepy.
Can I have a scoop of raspberry ice-cream?
Look, Mom, the rain stopped.
My brother is in the third grade.
Our neighbor has a black dog.
Soon I will read books and stories.
Who has the key to the front door?
It’s in Dad’s coat pocket.
All of these are separate thoughts. When we speak our thoughts, we say sentences. Each of
these are sentences. “Soon I will read books and stories.” That is a sentence. “It’s in Dad’s coat
pocket.” That is another sentence. Listen to this little story and try to tell where is end of each
sentence. Just hold up your hand like you were stopping me when you hear the end of a
sentence. Just to give you a little help, at the end of a sentence we lower our voice and hold a
little rest. Here we go. (The tutor should take care to read the sentences clearly articulated,
observing the punctuation marks, and lowering the voice at periods, while raising it at commas.)
Janet is staying with her grandmother. Her parents are traveling and nobody is at home.
Janet likes to stay with grandmother, because she can eat a lot of cookies. Grandma’s
legs are hurting her. She cannot go to the store. On Janet’s first day grandma called her.
Janet, go to the store. Here is five dollars. Buy a loaf of bread and a carton of milk. Do
you know where the store is? That’s a good girl. While you are there, buy yourself a
Well, that was very good. Let us try it again.
So, today we found out that we speak in English, and when we speak our thoughts, each
thought is a sentence. In a sentence we can tell something or we can ask a question. We speak
Yesterday we found out that we speak in the English language, and we talk in sentences.
Sentences are our spoken thoughts. We can tell something in a sentence, or we can ask
something in a sentence.
We started out with, “Bring me a glass of water.” But what if we had said, “Bring me a
glass of milk.” or “Bring me a bucket of water.” or “Drink a glass of water.” These sentences
all say something different, even though they are similar. Only a little is changed in them, yet
their meaning is different. First, all we did was say “milk” in place of “water.” Then we said
“bucket” in place of “glass.” Then we said “drink” instead of “bring.” What we did each time
was we changed a word in the sentence.
Our speech is made up of sentences, but each sentence is made up of words. Or at least of
one word, like when mom gets very impatient and says, “Go!” or “Quiet!”
Glass, water, bring, bucket, milk, drink — these are all words. They stand for things, or for
something we do, or for something we want to describe.
Here are some examples of words:
chair shoe table paper tree
jump drink eat
sharp green hot
Words can be short and they can be long. “Go” is a short word. “Tea” is a short word. So
is “pie.” “Remember” is a long word. So is “complicated.” Or “automobile.” “Simple” is not
too short and not too long. So are “brother,” “apple,” and “open.” These are all words.
Now let’s see if you can tell apart words. Tell me how many words are in each of these
sentences. You can count them on your fingers, if you want to. (The tutor should say these
sentences at a normal talking pace, not too fast and not too slow.)
Albert sits down.
I think so.
Can you believe it?
Father brought in the newspaper.
Children ride the bus.
Don’t forget to wipe your feet.
Two birds are sitting on the roof.
Did you hear the latest song?
Fred almost knocked over his cup of milk.
Sometimes two words are put together to make a new word. To give an example, you know
the word “some.” Like in “Have some more broccoli.” You also know the word “time.” When
the two are put together, they become one word, “sometime,” which means something different,
like we said, “We don’t really know when.” Now I’m going to say a few words. Try to tell me
first what they mean, and then find the two separate words in them and tell me what those words
We learned a lot today. We found out much about words. We know that they make up
sentences. We know that words mean something, like “coat,” “stand” or “warm.” We also
found out that they can be short or long, and there are even words that are made up of other
When we speak or listen to somebody talk, we don’t pay much attention to sentences and
words, even though we know now that sentences make up speech and words make up sentences.
We even counted the words in a few sentences. Let’s do that again. For each word make a little
circle like this on your paper. Draw them in a line, one circle next to the other. (The tutor must
make it sure that the pupil writes the circles going from left to right, like in writing.)
Today is Wednesday.
The dog chases the cat.
Many flowers bloom in the summer.
Sandy and Mary study together.
The teacher draws a picture on the blackboard.
It is a flower.
Mother cooks carrots and peas.
How many hands do you have?
Very good. Now you can tell words apart in sentences, and you know that when we speak
we are saying words, which make up sentences. The sentences are our thoughts as we speak
Now let’s talk about something else. When was the last time you went to a doctor? Did he
look in your mouth to see your throat? Did he tell you to say “Ah?” Say, “Ah” now. Great.
“Ah” is a sound. What do we say when we are very surprised? “Oh.” Well, that is another
sound. Here is another sound: “Ooh” (like in root). “Ah,” “oh,” “ooh.” These are sounds.
What do you say when you’re eating something good and your mouth is full and you want to
say that you like the stuff? “Mmm.” Well, “m” is another sound. What kind of sound does a
bee make? “Zzzz.” Now we know one more sound. How about a snake? How does it hiss?
We make many different sounds when we talk. In fact, all of the words we say are made up
of sounds. We say sounds one after the other as we talk, but we know so well how to speak that
we don’t pay attention to it. But if we listen very carefully, we can hear the various sounds in
what we say. Listen to this: “No. No. No.” What sounds do you hear? “nnn” and “ooo.”
Let’s try another word: “see.” What sounds do you hear? “sss” and “ee.” How about this
one: “Ma?” “mmm” and “ah.” Let’s try these words (The tutor is to pronounce the first two or
three words regularly, then repeat them saying the sounds in the words separately. The student is
to repeat them. Next, the tutor says the word, the student repeats it, then the student divides the
word to its component sounds.):
no, up, it, tea, on, Sue, or, Al, law, in, at, off, paw, ape, me, are, you, is, eye, saw
Can you tell me what is the first sound in these words: ape, you, no law
Can you tell me what is the last sound in these words: tea, up, in, off
We found out today that the words are made up of sounds. We put together sounds to make
words. We also learned what are the first and last sounds in the words.
Yesterday we found out that words are made up of sounds. We said “no,” “up,” “ape,”
“off.” How many sounds are in each of these words? Now let’s try to figure out some more
How many sounds do you hear in these words? (The tutor is to pronounce the word, the
pupil is to repeat it, then sound out the component sounds.)
Very good. Now let us try it the other way around. I will say the sounds and you will put
them together to make them into words. Like this: r-oo-m: rrr oo mmm — “room.” Or this
one: s-a-y sss aa yy — “say.” (The tutor is to pronounce clearly the sounds in the following
words with a little pause between each sound. The pupil is to put the sounds back together to
produce the words. This exercise is called telescoping the sounds into words.)
What is the last sound in these words: sill, bad, van
What is the first sound in these words: fish, dog, bus
What is the middle sound in these words: hot, yell, fish
That was very good. Today we learned how to make out what sounds are words made out
of. We also learned how to build words out of sounds.
Today we will talk about words and sounds again. Yesterday all the words we pulled apart
and put together had three sounds in them, like these words: “fat — ff aa tt,” “moon — mm
oo nn,” or “sheep — ssh ee pp.” We also put words together from sounds, like these: “k-eep — keep,” or “m-a-p — map,” or “c-u-t — cut.”
Today we will try words that are a little longer. Listen carefully how many sounds you hear
in each word. Then make a little circle for each sounds you hear in them. When you make the
circles, start on the left and write each of the circles on the right of the one before. Do you know
which is your right hand? Good. Let’s start then. (The tutor should repeat the words slowly if
the pupil has trouble making out how many sounds are in them.)
milk small pillow carpet chair
radio telephone candy penny pluck market faster
vegetable cherry sugar grandma
Well, that was quite a lot. You have written so many little circles that pretty soon you will
know how to write. Today we learned again that words are made out of sounds, some from a
few sounds, others from many sounds.
We know that words are made up of sounds. Yesterday we made a little circle for each
sound in the word to make sure we count them all. Today we are going to do something
different with words and the sounds in them.
(For this exercise the tutor and the pupil has to sit on the same side of the table, side by side.
Five “markers” of different color are also needed. These can be two-inch squares of cardboard
colored with crayons to red, blue, green, yellow and black. Each of the markers will represent a
sound in making up words. The tutor has to take care that the sequence of the markers, as they
stand for a string of sounds, are always arranged from left to right, just like the letters are in
writing. When pointing at the markers, always go from left to right to train the pupil in the
correct sequence of letters in written words. We are not dealing with letters here; we are dealing
with sounds that make up spoken words. Some pupils may be slow catching on what is the
intent here since this is something new and unusual for them, so the tutor may have to repeat
what marker represents what sound in each turn of the exercise.)
Each of these color markers stand for one sound. For instance, the red stands for “mmm,”
the blue stands for “oo” and the green stands for “nnn.” (The tutor puts the markers in a row.
The pupil is to say the sounds, then to telescope them to make the spoken word.)
How about these ones:
yellow black red
green black blue
Now let’s try this trick. Watch carefully the markers, because we are going to do something
Now let’s change these two sounds around:
green black red
What do they say now? (The pupil should say: the correct sounds and then telescope them.)
green black red
Do you see what happens when we change sounds in a word? First we had “pan.” We
changed the sounds at the two ends and we got “nap.” Let’s do the same with these words:
black yellow blue
green black red
There is another way of changing sounds in a word. We will take out a sound, put another
sound in its place, and see if we get a new word. (It is up to the tutor to designate which marker
stands for which sound. The substitutions are as shown in the lists. For example, the vowel
sound in “sit” is changed from /a/ to /i/, resulting in the word “sat.” Or the vowel sound in
“lane” is changed from /aa/ to /oh/, resulting in the word “loan.” Keep in mind that we deal
here with sounds and not with letters and spellings. Once the pupil gets the hang of the exercise,
he should be changing the marker to correspond to the sounds in the new word. This exercise is
very important to develop the phonemic awareness of the pupil.)
Additional word pairs:
tell → tool; fit → fat; rig → rug; feel → fool; hop → hip; sip → soap; seed → said;
day → bay; fun → phone; dig → dip; roof → root; dog → fog; noon → moon;
feet → seat; run → fun; kit → cat; ball → wall; bike → bite; bowl → boat; fat → hat;
boat → goat; full → pull; pear → pale; sun → bun; pig → pit; tell → fell
Today we learned that when we change around the sounds in a word, we get another word.
Words are made up of sounds. We can take apart the words to the separate sounds in them, and
we can put the sounds together to get words.
We will learn something new with sounds in words. We will use the same markers as
yesterday. Each marker stands for a sound. When we put the sounds together, we get a word.
Here are three markers: red is for /r/, blue is for /oo/ and black is for /t/.
Now, this yellow marker is for the sound /f/. Let’s put it in front of the other sounds and see
what they make.
Let’s do the same with these words. We will add a sound here and there, and figure out
what the new word is. (The tutor points out what sounds the markers stand for in the original
word, the pupil telescopes the sounds to say the word. The tutor then gives the sound for the
added marker and puts the marker in the proper place. The pupil then telescopes the sounds and
says the new word.)
lip → slip; room → broom; bed
fit → fist; ball → bald; cook →
tool → stool; late → plate; mug
top → stop; fame → frame; seat
→ bread; say → stay; may → maid; fat → fast;
crook; poke → pork; wet → west; ride → pride;
→ mugs; fog → frog; rain → train; shoe → shoot;
→ sweet; far → farm; foam → form; die → dry
We learned about how sounds that make up words, and we added sounds into words to make
We are going to do something similar to what we did yesterday. We will play some more
with sounds that make up words. Each marker stands for a sound and as we change the sounds,
you tell what words they make. (The tutor does the same as the day before, names the markers
for the sounds they stand for and arranges them in the sequence of their standing in words. The
pupil telescopes the sounds to produce words. The tutor takes away and adds sounds and the
pupil telescopes the new combination of sounds into words. The tutor should ask the pupil if he
knows the meaning of the words, and explain if he does not. The idea is that we must make sure
we understand the meanings of words when we read.)
pit → spit → sit; scar → car → cart; small → mall → malt; sore → store → story;
war → warm → swarm; spool → pool → pools; lamp → lamb → slam;
fleet → feet → feast; keep → creep → creeps; or → for → form;
sill → spill → pill; rip → trip → strip; hold → old → fold; art → mart → smart;
flip → lip → slip; bad → band → brand; vet → vent → event;
Now we know a lot about speaking. We know that when we speak we are saying our
thoughts. We know that our thoughts are expressed in sentences. We also learned that sentences
are made up of words, and that words are made up of sounds. We know that when we change
around the sounds in the words, we get different words.
We are smart enough now with all these things that we can start learning how to read.
Tomorrow we will begin to learn to read.
LEARNING TO READ
Six letters and six sounds are introduced. The letters are those most frequently used in the
language. Each corresponds to a sound: a total of five consonant sounds and one short vowel
sound. Examples of the sounds are given as the first sound of each word.
/a/ as in arrow
/b/ as in book
/d/ as in door
/t/ as in table
/g/ as in glove
/n/ as in needle
Make sure the relationship between the letters and the sounds are understood and remembered, then have the pupil read the words going from letter to letter, left-to-right, without pausing
between the sounds which make up the words. This manner of reading is very important. The
words must be said fluently, smoothly, in one breath, without pausing between sounds. This is
probably the hardest concept in learning to read, but once the pupil understands that uttering the
individual sounds without pauses results in spoken words, he is halfway there to reading. It is
better to spend extra time on this than to rush forward and have difficulties later. Once more:
Do not let your pupil get into the habit of uttering individual sounds when sounding out words.
It is strongly recommended to get your pupil write down the words in the word lists. It is
much easier to remember words we have written down than those we have read only. It is a
good idea also to have him write a few words by dictation. It doesn't matter if at first he makes
mistakes. When he writes something wrong, ask him to read what he actually wrote, then ask
him to try again, carefully pronouncing the word to be written.
Five letters are introduced standing for four consonant sounds and one short vowel sound.
I /i/ as in Indian
P /p/ as in pot
M /m/ as in mushroom
L /l/ as in lamp
S /s/ as in sock
The same goes in this STEP as in the one before. Have your pupil go slowly, from letter to
letter, left-to-right, saying the sounds smoothly and confluently.
There are pairs of words at the top of the page 3, showing how to form the plural of nouns
and the third person form of verbs.
Below them are three dots. These are examples of the punctuation mark period. Explain
that a sentence is a group of words expressing a statement, question, command or exclamation.
We communicate in sentences. A written sentence begins with a capital letter and ends with an
end mark, which in most cases is a period. The STEP ends with six simple sentences.
Five additional letters and the corresponding four consonant sounds and one short vowel
sound are introduced. They are:
U /u/ as in umbrella
H /h/ as in hammer
F /f/ as in fish
R /r/ as in ring
J /j/ as in jug
Let's emphasize it one last time: Reading at this stage of learning is still letter-by-letter, leftto-right, uttering the sounds smoothly and confluently to form spoken words. This is a complicated mental process and it goes slowly at first, just like learning to dance does. It must be
done slowly but enough number of times, until it becomes a habit. Be patient with your pupil
and helpful and tactful. It is hard mental work learning to read, no matter how rewarding it is.
We are past the halfway mark in learning the letters of the alphabet. In this STEP we take
three more letters: two standing for consonant sounds and one for a short vowel sound.
E /e/ as in elephant
W /w/ as in wallet
Y /y/ as in yarn
The sentences at the top of page 7 show the formation of the third person singular of verbs,
the plural of nouns and the use of the apostrophe ( ‘ ) and the letter s in forming the possessive
case of nouns both in singular and plural.
Two more punctuation marks are introduced. They are the comma ( , ) and the quotation
mark ( " ). The comma is used inside sentences to indicate slight separation of sentence
elements. Quotation marks are used to indicate that the words enclosed by them are verbatim
quotes, such as somebody's spoken words. Dialogs are always shown in writing between
In this STEP we finish learning the letters of the alphabet. First of all, we learn three letters
standing for two consonant sounds and one short vowel sound.
O /o/ as in ostrich
V /v/ as in vase
Z /z/ as in zebra
The word “of” is an irregular one, because it is pronounced /ov/, rather than /of/. But this
word is so often used and is so important that it is introduced here. Its pronunciation needs to be
At the end of this STEP the four remaining letters of the alphabet are shown even though we
will deal with them only later on.
Two lower case printed forms of the letters G and A are shown in this STEP. Even though
they greatly differ in looks, they are, nevertheless, the same letters.
Twenty-four irregular words are listed here. In the linguistic system or reading these words
would be introduced at the appropriate irregular spelling sections, but we need to deviate from
the strictures of the system so that we can make sentences that are not awkward. These words
need to be learned, but since they are the most commonly used words in the language anyway,
this should not create a problem. In addition of their introduction in this STEP, they will be dealt
with again at the appropriate places.
The question mark ( ? ) is introduced here. It is used to indicate that the sentence is a
All 26 letters of the alphabet have been introduced, but so far only the five short vowel
sounds and 17 consonant sounds were covered. This leaves all of the 14 long vowel sounds plus
nine consonant sounds to learn.
A new sound is introduced in this STEP:
/k/ as in cat and king
The sound is written with the letters C, K, and CK.
Except for some of the irregular words in STEP 6, the words that have appeared so far are of
the consonant-vowel-consonant combination type. Some ended with an extra S for the plural of
nouns, the third person form of verbs, or the possessive case of nouns. Now an additional
consonant sound at the end of the words is introduced. This underlines the importance of
reading all of the letters, left-to-right, smoothly.
The first pair of lines illustrates how new words are made when one more sound is added at
Many pupils have difficulty pronouncing consonants when they are side by side with no
vowel in-between, even though they use consonant pairs in the speech without giving it a
thought. However, when they see them in writing, sometimes they get scared. There is no reason
for this, but they may be unfamiliar with the situation. If your pupil hesitates with consonant
pairs, take out the index cards with the letters and make up pairs of consonants for the pupil to
The second pair of lines contains words that sound quite similarly but have different
meanings and spellings. The purpose of the listing is to point out the need to differentiate.
Two new consonant sounds are introduced. One is
/sh/ as in shop and shell
and is regularly written with the letters SH. The other is
/ch/ as in chess and chick
and is regularly written with the letters CH, or sometimes TCH at the end of words.
A second group of double consonants is introduced in this STEP, this one at the beginning
of words. Two double lines of words are shown to give examples.
The first group of words contains two new consonant sounds:
/nk/ as in monk and drink
/ng/ as in bring and long
Next, the letter group th is introduced. These letters are pronounced in two ways. The first
line shows words which are pronounced with hard /th/ sound.
The last group of words are pronounced with soft /th/ sound.
By the way, there is no way of telling when the th is pronounced with a hard /th/or soft /th/
sound. Fortunately, we all know when to use one and when the other.
A new punctuation mark is shown on page 21: the exclamation point ( ! ). It is used after a
written word or sentence to express surprise, strong emotion, determination, etc.
The usage of two letters and a new sound are introduced in this STEP. The letters are rather
strange ones, since the letter X stands for a combination of two sounds, the /k/ and /s/:
X = /ks/ as in six and wax
The letter Q is always followed by U. They are pronounced together with a double sound,
the /k/ and /w/:
QU = /kw/ as in quick and quilt
The new sound in this STEP is written with the letter combination WH, and is pronounced
/hw/ as in when and which
Finally, mostly for reference, the eight punctuation marks we have learned to this point are
All the words we have learned to read up to this point are single syllable worlds. A syllable
is a word or part of a word that is pronounced with a single, uninterrupted sounding of the voice.
When two single-syllable words are put together, sometimes a two-syllable word is made.
Multi-syllable words are read in the same way as single-syllable ones, namely, reading all the
letters left-to-right, smoothly, confluently, in one breath. There are no pauses between syllables.
When the suffix -ED is added to many verbs, their past participle is produced. The new
ending is pronounced in three different ways, namely:
/ed/ /d/ or /t/
depending on the last sound in the word, as shown in the three groups of double lines.
A similar situation exists with the suffix -S. Depending on the ending sound of the word,
the S is pronounced in three different ways, namely:
/s/ /z/ or /ez/
Examples of each case are given in the three groups of words on page 27.
The first long vowel sound that is introduced is the long /è/ as in bee. It is written in six
different ways: with EE, EA and E, with or without an extra silent E at the end of the word.
Words are grouped accordingly.
The long vowel sound /à/, as in gray, is spelled in three different ways, namely with AI, AY
and A plus silent E at the end or the word, as shown in the three groups of words.
Words with the long /ì/ sound, as in pie, are listed in four groups according to the ways of
Life is getting complicated. The next long vowel sound, the long /ò/ like in road, is spelled
in six different ways, all shown in the sentence at the top of page 34.
The most unusual spelling is with O, just like the short /o/ is spelled. Fortunately, there
aren't many such words, and the most important ones are listed here.
Here is another long /ô/ like in law. Three sentences are given here to illustrate the various
ways of spelling it. This is a good place for your pupil to practice spelling after dictation. But
first it is only fair to ask him to write down the words a few times to remember them.
Two long vowel sounds are introduced in this STEP.
One is the long /ä/ like in farm.
The other one is the long /ê/ like in tear.
Two long vowel sounds are introduced in this STEP.
One is the long /û/ like in burn.
The other is the long /â/ like in chair.
With these two sounds we came to the end of the long vowel sounds associated with the
letter R and sound /r/. Unfortunately, letters preceding the R can be pronounced in many
different ways, which is rather confusing. It is therefore in order to give here a quick review of
the situation from the standpoint of how the various groups of letters are pronounced in various
words. The main purpose of this is to make the pupil aware of the following: If an unfamiliar
word contains any of the listed letter combinations and one way of pronouncing it produces a
nonsense word, then another pronunciation should be tried until the right one is found. How
should he know which is the right way? From the context of the sentence, of course.
Of the three long vowel sounds in this STEP the first one, /oo/, like in book, is the simplest,
for it is always written in the same way, with OO.
The second one, /òò/, as in blue, is written in four ways, as shown in the illustrative sentence.
The third one, /ù/, as in few, is written in three ways. Unfortunately, those three ways
happen to be the way the sound /òò/ is also written. The remedy is the same as ever: Memorize
We've reached the end of the line with the long vowel sounds.
The sound /ou/ like in cow, is spelled in two ways, with OU and OW. In STEP 18 we have
met the combination OW already, and we learned that it was pronounced /ò/ as in snow. The
present pronunciation is less frequent, and it must be memorized when is it used.
The last long vowel sound is /oi/, as in toy. It is spelled with either OI or OY, and there is
no particular irregularity problem with them.
We have learned earlier that the letter Y stands for the consonant sound /y/ as in yellow and
sometimes the long vowel sound /ì/ as in spy. It also stands for the short vowel sound /i/ as in
candy. When a noun ends with Y, the letter changes to IE when the plural is formed. Similar
change occurs with the addition of other suffixes.
The letter Y is also used as a suffix to make adjectives from nouns. Examples of this are
shown under Making new words on page 49.
When the suffix -ING is added to verbs to form their present participle, the ending consonant is doubled for words containing a short vowel sound in the last syllable. Examples are given
on pages 49 and 50.
Back to the letter C. Whenever it is followed by any of the letters E, I and Y, the pronunciation is /s/ instead of the usual /k/.
We have arrived to the subject of obscure vowels. The examples given on page 54 speak for
This STEP lists more words containing obscure vowels, with spelling different from those in
It also deals with word contractions, listing the most important ones and how the apostrophe
( ' ) is used in them.
The first group of silent consonants is the subject of this STEP. Here there are examples of
the silent G, GH, B and K.
Here we find the second installment of words with silent letters.
This STEP deals with the unusual spelling of three consonant sounds. They are, in order of
their appearance, /j/, /f/ and /z/.
We have reached the point in learning to read where we must face the truly irregular words
in the English language. There are no explanations or rules for them, they must be memorized
that is all there is to it.
More of the same as in STEP 31.
Another batch of irregular vowel sounds.
In this STEP we deal with some consonant sounds and their irregular spelling. Again,
memorizing them is the only way of handling them.
More of the same as in STEP 34.
There is nothing else to learn about the mechanics of how to read. All regular and irregular
spellings and pronunciations have been discussed. From here on your pupil should be able to
read any text and understand it, depending on his vocabulary. From now on he needs to practice
his new-found knowledge and increase his vocabulary. This STEP explains how to use a
Reading a lot and using a dictionary is the only sure way of increasing one’s vocabulary and
comprehending a wide variety of subjects.