Student Reading Texts in America from 1607 - 1965

Timeline Purpose

Purpose of Timeline

1601

This timeline includes all the student reading texts in Nina Banton Smith’s book “American Reading Instruction” (2002) along with a few other ones mentioned in our supplemental readings.

I wanted to create a timeline that showed the progression of reading texts from 1607 – 1965 and have it be succinct enough to be reviewed quickly.

Three out of the four readings I chose in Module 6 for my connections paper spoke eloquently about why knowing the history of reading education is of utmost importance for those who wish to shape the future of this subject.

Patrick Shannon (2000) on page 93 of “What’s My Name” advocated for the examination of the past and the present in order to envision what the future will be in the United States.

On page 305 of “A Tale of 3 P's-Penmanship, Product, and Process: 100 Years of Elementary Writing Instruction” Hawkins and Razali (2012) explained how the past defines or redefines the future by stating “The instructional practices we use to teach writing have histories of their own. This history influences not only the practices themselves, but the ways in which we each engage with and enact these practices in our classrooms. Understanding this past allows us to step back and see ourselves and our teaching as residing within a larger story. Through such knowledge, we are better equipped to critically reflect on our own individual instructional stories and make purposeful decisions when planning for future instruction.”

In “An Historical Exploration of Content Area Reading Instruction”, on page 420, Moore, Readence, and Rickelman (1983) sum up why it is not only important for teachers to know the history of reading education but also for curriculum developers and researchers.

“Curriculum histories clarify the origin and development of instructional practices in order to define the conditions which educators inherit. Such histories deepen understandings of the knowledge base underlying the teaching profession. Furthermore, history makes evident the gaps in knowledge which a field possesses. Identifying gaps supplies researchers and curriculum developers a point of departure into present-day concerns for which the past provides little guidance. Thus, new knowledge can be constructed.”

The Period of Religious Emphasis in Reading Instruction 1607 - 1776

The Period of Religious Emphasis in Reading Instruction 1607 - 1776

1607 - 1776

As the English Protestants settled the new land in America they brought with them the idea that school was the main site for the religious education of children (Smith, 2002).

“The colonial child began with the hornbook and then moved into a primer. After completing the primer, he or she would read the psalter (book of psalms), New Testament, and then the entire Bible. The Bible was considered the apex of the reading curriculum, at which all the earlier texts aimed” (Monaghan & Barry, 1999, pg. 5).

During this period the method of teaching reading was referred to as the Alphabet Method. “In the alphabet method, children first identified the letters by name, then spelled aloud the (mostly nonsense) syllables in the syllabary: 'Ay, bee, Ab; ee bee, eb; eye bee, ib.' Next they spelled out words, beginning with one syllable and progressing up to eight syllables. 'Tables' of syllables were interspersed with 'lessons' of connected reading material” (Monaghan & Barry, 1999, pg. 5).

The Primer, The Psalter and the Bible

1607

The Primer, The Psalter and the Bible come with immigrants from England to be used as teaching material in America. English Protestants considered one of the most pressing oft heir national duties to be that of providing school training which would give children a thorough grounding in their religious faith and such reading ability as would enable them to read the word of God for themselves (Smith, 2002, p. 11).

“The word Primer originally meant a book of prayers for the laity and was perhaps related to the monastic service of Prime. It came to mean an introduction to reading and later an introduction to any subject” (Monaghan Collection on the History of Reading, 2002, no page number).

The Horn Book

1678

The Horn Book is first mentioned as being used in America (Smith, 2002, pg. 14 ).

“Really not a book at all, the hornbook usually consisted of a single sheet of paper containing the alphabet, a shortened syllabary, the invocation, and the Lord's Prayer. It was pasted to a board or stiff card and covered with a translucent layer of horn (or varnished) to protect it. It was the child's first literary introduction to Christianity” (Monaghan Collection on the History of Reading, 2002, no page number).

“Hornbooks were at times made of wood, iron, pewter, ivory, silver (or even gingerbread) and covered with a sheet of translucent horn” (Monaghan & Barry, 1999, pg. 6).

A gingerbread hornbook mold

The New England Tutor

1683

The New England Tutor is the first reading textbook designed for America (Smith, 2002, pg. 17).

The Protestant Tutor

1685

The Protestant Tutor is the first reading text to be printed in America (Smith, 2002, pg. 16).

Instructions for Right Spelling

1702

Instructions for Right Spelling is the first American printed spelling textbook (Smith, 2002, pg. 24).

England’s Perfect School-Master Speller

1710

England’s Perfect School-Master speller is printed in America (Smith, 2002, pg. 24).

The New England Primer

1727

"First reading book designed specifically for the American colonies, contained alphabet verses with religious and moral messages, .Bible passages,the Lord's prayer, and the Apostles' Creed" (Martinez & McGee, 2000, pgs. 156-157).

Every edition of the New-England Primer contained a poem written by John Rogers, a Protestant martyr, for his family “a few days before he was burned at the stake by the Catholic Queen Mary in 1554…GIVE Ear my Children to my Words whom God hath dearly bought, Lay up his Laws within your Heart, and print them in your thought.” (Monaghan Collection on the History of Reading, 2002, no page number).

The Child’s New Plaything

1744

The Child’s New Plaything first printed. Advocates reading should be taught as a diversion and not a task (Smith, 2002, pg. 26).

A New Guide to the English Tongue

1747

A New Guide to the English Tongue is printed in America by Benjamin Franklin. It is the first school book containing secular content including 12 fables (Smith, 2002, pg. 25).

The Child’s New Plaything Updated

1750

The Child’s New Plaything is updated to include a heavy secular bent including three real stories and riddles (Smith, 2002, pg. 26).

"Included what we would consider children's literature today, and only three such stories were included at that - 'Earl of Warwick, "St. George and the Dragon', and Reynard the Fox'" (Martinez & McGee, 2000, pg. 157).

Spelling Books Make First Appearance

1755

Two of the first “Spellers” were:
1755 The Universal Spelling-Book, which included moral and religious lessons (Smith, 2002, pg. 27).

1798 The American Spelling Book by Noah Webster became “One of the most widely used texts of the period….of the 158 pages…only four were devoted to fables, four pages to realistic stories, and half a page to poetry” (Martinez & McGee 2000, pg. 157).

“Spelling books, known colloquially as “spellers,” were in use in England by the late 1500s but were first introduced into the colonies in quantity at the turn of the 18th century. They were therefore relative newcomers to the field of education when compared to the time-honored status of hornbooks and primers. They were also, in a sense, misnamed since their instructional objective was to teach not only spelling but reading, religion, and morality” (Monaghan & Barry, 1999, pg. 9).

The Only Sure Guide to the English Tongue

1755

Included moral and religious lessons (Smith, 2002, pg. 27).

Period of Nationalistic-Moralistic Emphasis in Reading Instruction 1776 - 1839

Period of Nationalistic-Moralistic Emphasis in Reading Instruction 1776 - 1839

1776 - 1839

Reading content changes to reflect American societies desire to create a nation of good patriotic citizens united in language, traditions, and morals (Smith, 2002).

Notable Instructional Readers of the period were:
Caleb Bingham’s Readers (Smith, 2002, pg. 46).
Lyman Cobb’s Readers (Smith, 2002, pgs. 49-50).
George Hillard’s Readers (Smith, 2002, pg. 52).
Lindley Murray’s Readers (Smith, 2002, pg. 54).

“In these early years, it was the speller that introduced a child to reading. A schoolbook called a “reader” was, until the 1830’s, a book designed for children who could already read. Readers such as those by Noah Webster (the third part of his Grammatical Institute, published in 1785) or by Caleb Bingham consisted of a compilation of essays originally written for adults on a variety of subjects” (Monaghan Collection on the History of Reading, 2002, no page number).

Lyman Cobb’s Readers published 1776

1777

Cobb's Juvenile Reader No. 3. Included “factual materials, such as short accounts of chocolate, opium, printing, and the porcupine” (Monaghan Collection on the History of Reading, 2002, no page number).

The English Reader by Lindley Murray published 1776

1777

“The most widely-used of these readers in our country was one titled the English Reader, which did not contain a single work by an American author. It did, however, reflect ideas of liberty and equality. Abraham Lincoln called the English Reader "the best schoolbook ever put in the hands of an American youth"(Monaghan Collection on the History of Reading, 2002, no page number).

“Murray’s reader became a best-seller, with some six million copies sold by 1850, and Murray himself became the largest-selling author of literacy textbooks in the first four decades of the 19th century” (Monaghan & Barry, 1999, pg. 13).

A Grammatical Institute of the English Language by Webster

1782

A Grammatical Institute of the English Language, a three sectioned reader, published by Noah Webster. In the books he replaced the previously popular religious catechism with a moral catechism and a farmer’s catechism. It also contained the first geographical and historical information about the American country (Smith, 2002, pg. 40).

The full title was - A Grammatical Institute of the English Language: Comprising a Easy, Concise, and Systematic Method of Education, Designed for the Use of English Schools in America. In Three Parts, Part II Containing a Plain and Comprehensive Grammar, Grounded on the True Principles and Idioms of the Language. “Webster spent his own money to pay for the publication of his speller. He claimed that he would teach the country a uniform system of pronunciation that would unify the new nation” (Monaghan Collection on the History of Reading, 2002, no page number).

The American Spelling Book by Webster

1787

Noah Webster reissues his book. “Criticized for the cumbersome title of the 1783 version, Webster revised and reissued his book in 1787 under its new title, The American Spelling Book. Webster's American Spelling Book was the undisputed best seller of introductory reading textbooks in the United States until the 1820s, when it began to look old-fashioned” (Monaghan Collection on the History of Reading, 2002, no page number).

Surge in Publication of Spelling Books 1798 - 1836

1798

“Spelling books continued their role as introductions to reading for many years, focusing their efforts on what we now call decoding” (Monaghan Collection on the History of Reading, 2002, no page number).

Notable Spelling Books of the period whose teaching content was largely moral in nature:
1798 The Child’s Spelling Book by Caleb ALexander (Smith, 2002, pg. 60).

1799 The Young Ladies’ and Gentleman’s Spelling Book (Smith, 2002, pg. 60).

1803 The New England Spelling Book by Watts (Smith, 2002, pg. 61).

1806 A New Spelling Book by Comly (Smith, 2002, pg. 61).

1823 Analytical Spelling Book by Jones (Smith, 2002, pg. 61).

1828 The National-Spelling Book, and Pronouncing Tutor by Emerson Monaghan & Barry, 1999, History of Literacy, Retrieved from http://www.historyliteracy.org/download/Book5.pdf, pg. 12).

1831 Spelling Book by Bolles (Smith, 2002, pg. 61 ).

1834 The Young Tyro’s Instructor (Smith, 2002, pg. 61).

1836 Analytical Spelling Book by Parson (Smith, 2002, pg. 61).

The Readers by Samuel Worcester 1828 - 1848

1828

The Readers by Samuel Worcester are published. They are the first to advocate the word method of teaching (Smith, 2002, pg. 60).

The Elementary Spelling Book (aka Blue-Back Speller) by Webster

1829

When the 1820 version began to stop selling because of its outdated look “Webster revised his book in 1829…called The Elementary Spelling Book (but soon dubbed the "Blue-back speller" because of its blue covers) the new version became another success (Monaghan Collection on the History of Reading, 2002, no page number).

New Style of Readers Introduced

1830

“The old spelling books, with long lists of incomprehensible words accompanied by long essays, came under criticism. In response, educators created a series of books, also called "readers," which graded material according to its difficulty. Additionally, the readers included instructions to the teacher: prereading activities, comprehension questions, stories that were interesting for children, and the suggestion that teachers teach complete words before analyzing them. The best known series from this genre of new readers was the Eclectic series of William Holmes McGuffey (first published in 1836). Total sales of the McGuffey Readers are estimated at 120 million” (Monaghan Collection on the History of Reading, 2002, no page number).

McGuffey's Readers, Complete Set 1836-1844

1836

McGuffey's Readers appear in a complete set (Smith, 2002, pg. 97).

The Period of Emphasis on Education for Intelligent Citizenship 1840 - 1880

The Period of Emphasis on Education for Intelligent Citizenship 1840 - 1880

1839 - 1880

The span of this period is less clearly defined than the previous because the "new" ideas had slowly been developing over the past quart of the century. This period lasted about 40 years. (Smith, 2002, pg. 69)

Primer, Gradual Readers, Intellectual Algebra by Towers 1840 - 1880

1840

David Tower produces several Readers including: Gradual Readers, a series of grammar, and his Intellectual Algebra plus a primer - The Child's First Step Taken in the Right Place (Smith, 2002, pgs. 102-103).

Numerous publishing houses begin to sell Graded Series Readers 1840-1860

1840

Graded Series Readers are first published by numerous publishing houses including: "Worcester, McGuffey, Swan, Russell, Towers, Sanders, Town and Holbrook, Hillard, Parker and Watson" (Smith, 2002, pg. 78). With the advent of grader readers the graded classroom also began to evolve (Smith, 2002, pg. 78).

ABC Method books gradually fall out of favor 1840 - 1850

1840

ABC Method books fall out of favor due to the German Pestalozzean methods advocated by Horace Mann giving rise to the Word Method and the Alphabet-Phonetic Method (Smith, 2002, pgs. 69-107).

My Little Primer - First Reader based entirely on Word Method

1840

My Little Primer by John Bumstead is the first reader based entirely on word method (Smith, 2002, pg. 81).

“The word method began in reaction to the alphabetic method….In this early phase of the word method, it was used to introduce children to their first reading, in primers. However, instruction soon reverted to traditional approaches, telling children to spell out words placed before a story prior to reading them in the story” (Monaghan & Barry, 1999, pg. 19).

The Gradual Speller and Complete Enunciator by Towers

1845

David B. Towers included in his book not only spelling of a word but also the pronunciation of the word (Monaghan Collection on the History of Reading, 2002, no page number).

The New Word Method Primer by J. Webb

1846

The New Word Method Primer published by John Russell Webb (Smith, 2002, pg. 82).

“In the word method, words are learned as wholes, by sight. Children are asked to link a printed word to a word already in their speaking vocabulary. There is no sounding and blending: instant recognition is the goal” (Monaghan & Barry, 1999, pg.18).

John's First Book (aka The Child's First Reader) by J. Webb

1846

John's First Book, also known as The Child's First Reader, was written by Webb and published by Joel Greene (Smith, 2002, pg. 84).

Normal Readers published as a complete set by Webb

1855

John Webb published a complete set of Normal Readers converting his first book John's First Book into Webb's Normal Reader, No. 1 (Smith, 2002, pg. 88).

School & Family Series - first to specialize in scientific content

1860

The School and Family series published by Marcius Wilson were the first to specialize in scientific content (Smith, 2002, pg. 107).

The German Reading Book (Deutsches Lesebuch) reprinted for use in Philadelphia

1867

Deutsches Lesebuch, (The German Reading Book) reprinted in Philadelphia, PA (Smith, 2002, pg. 74).

REGENTS OF THE DESERET UNIVERSITY – Mormon Speller

1868

“Several 19th-century educators believed that the only logical and scientific way to begin instruction to reading was with an alphabet that had a one-to-one correspondence of letter to sound. There are several explanations for the introduction of the 36-character Deseret alphabet to Utah in 1852. The Mormons wanted to make it simpler for children to learn to read and spell; they wished to address the needs of converts converging on Salt Lake City from many different countries; and Brigham Young, the Mormon leader, was reportedly a terrible speller (Monaghan Collection on the History of Reading, 2001, no page number).

Page 5:
"Lesson II. The Pen.
We rit with a pen. The pen iz ov grat yioos. We kan mak non owr thawts, bi th yioos ov the pen. Hwen we wish too tawk with our frendz hoo liv far awa, we ma sit at hom, and tawk with them bi menz ov the pen, and tel them al we wish them to no. Hwen we hav lurnd to red, we shud also lern to rit” (Monaghan Collection on the History of Reading, 2001, no page number).

A MEMBER OF THE ORDER OF THE HOLY CROSS

1873

Reader specifically designed for use in the Catholic school system.” Readers designed for these children differed in content, but not in methodology, from the mainstream texts” (Monaghan Collection on the History of Reading, 2002, no page number).

The Period of Emphasis on Reading as a Cultural Asset 1880 - 1909

The Period of Emphasis on Reading as a Cultural Asset 1880 - 1909

1880 - 1909

A concern for the cultural development of children became the priority during this period. Reading was viewed as "a medium for awakening a permanent interest in literary material that would be a cultural asset to the individual in adult life" (Smith, 2002, pg. 108).

Around 1889 Herbartianism began gaining popularity and with it the Word Method began to flourish. Three notable books produced: The Essentials of Method in 1889 by Charles DeGarmo, General Method in 1892 by Charles McMurry, and the Method of the Recitation in 1897 by Charles & Frank McMurry (Smith, 2002, pg. 111).

“In the word method, words are learned as wholes, by sight. Children are asked to link a printed word to a word already in their speaking vocabulary. There is no sounding and blending: instant recognition is the goal” (Monaghan & Barry, 1999, pg. 18).

Word Primer by Swinton

1883

The Primer stated: “The first month of the school year was to be spent learning useful ‘sight’ words such as parts of the head. In the second month children were asked to pronounce and spell words on the basis of their phonic similarity” (Monaghan Collection on the History of Reading, 2001, no page number).

Swinton's book used the early Word Method: “In this early phase of the word method, it was used to introduce children to their first reading, in primers. However, instruction soon reverted to traditional approaches, telling children to spell out words placed before a story prior to reading them in the story” (Monaghan & Barry, 1999, pg. 19).

Sentence and Story Method Readers Appear 1883-1925

1883

"By the 1880's, educators had become concerned with emphasizing understanding in beginning reading instruction. They were convinced that this could only occur by using sentential text in silent reading activities. In response, 'sentence' and 'story method' readers appeared" (Monaghan Collection on the History of Reading, 2001, no page number).

The Essentials of Method by Charles DeGarmo

1889

Sentence and Story Method Reader (Smith, 2002, pg. 111).

General Method by Charles McMurry

1892

Sentence and Story Method Reader (Smith, 2002, pg. 111).

Synthetic Speller by Pollard

1894

Rebecca S. Pollard’s series used a Synthetic Phonics Approach: “The readers in this category contain the set sequence that was in place by the end of the 19th century for teaching beginning reading. The sequence was: (a) teach the letter names and their sounds, usually with pictures and/or a teacher-contrived “sound experience”; (b) sound out and blend words as soon as a few letter-sounds are learned; and (c) orally read sentences and stories containing words with the letter sounds learned” (Monaghan & Barry, 1999, pg. 24).

This approach was designed for the child to be “ taught all the sounds of the letters before moving into text” (Monaghan Collection on the History of Reading, 2001, no page number).

Ward Rational Method in Reading by Edward Ward

1894

Ward Rational Method in Reading developed by Edward Ward. It included a primer and six readers. Also included first colored pictures. Ward tried to reconcile the word method and the phonetic method in his primer (Smith, 2002, pg. 127).

Ward used diacritical markings on the traditional alphabet: “diacritical marks were used in the child’s text to make the pronunciation of any particular letter unambiguous” (Monaghan & Barry, 1999, pg. 22).

Ward believed that “if diacritical marks were used in the child’s text to make the pronunciation of any particular letter unambiguous” there was no need to use either the Word or Phonics Method (Monaghan & Barry, 1999, pgs. 22-23).

Method of the Recitation by Charles & Frank McMurry

1897

Method of the Recitation by Charles & Frank McMurry (Smith, 2002, pg. 111)

Stepping Stones to Literature - First Reader to use Word Method

1897

Stepping Stones to Literature by Louise Arnold and Charles Gilbert is the first Reader published that uses George Farnham's concepts of teaching children by use of the Word Method "A method that made use of entire sentences or even whole stories as a starting point offered a happy opportunity to introducecumulative folktales from literature into readers fo beginners" (Smith, 2002, pgs. 133-134).

"Pioneer literary readers...which contained nursery rhymes like 'Jack and Jill' and Baa, Baa, Black Sheep.' and old tales like 'The Tortoise and the Hare'" (Martinez, & McGee, 2000, p.157).

The Children's First Reader (aka Cyr Readers)

1898

Ellen M. “Cyr used a synthetic phonics approach, marking the new words diacritically before each story. She was the first woman to have a major series marketed under her own name. The Children’s Readers were soon retitled the Cyr Readers”
(Monaghan Collection on the History of Reading, 2001, no page number).

Graded Literature, based on Word Method

1899

Graded Literature making use of the Word Method is published (Smith, 2002, pg. 134).

The Arnold Primer

1901

Sarah Louise Arnold, in her primer, stated specifically how the teacher was to use the sentence approach method. A picture (a red apple) is presented to the class for discussion, followed by a printed statement on the blackboard: “‘This is a red apple." Sentences are then examined by words (apple, see), then examined by letters (a, s)”’ (Monaghan Collection on the History of Reading, 2001, no page number).

Wheeler's Graded Readers: A First Reader

1901

Gail Calmerton and William Wheeler state specifically on page 3 of their book: ‘"This little book . . . is to be read by the children and not to them by the teacher"’ (Monaghan Collection on the History of Reading, 2001, no page number).

The Heart of Oak Books: First Book

1902

Charles Eliot “Norton was convinced that selection of content, not methodology, was the primary solution in teaching beginning reading” (Monaghan Collection on the History of Reading, 2001, no page number).

Adline Readers

1907

Adline Readers by Catherine Bryce and Frank Spaulding include a primer and five readers. They are the first to use decorative end papers. The primer and first readers content is based on rhymes while the advanced readers include primarily stories from literature. It was the first reader to use rhymes. (Smith, 2002, pgs. 139 -140).

“The story method undergirds this work, but it is one of the first readers to feature a "vocabulary" of words at the end of the book - to be learned as sight words. There are no longer any vocabulary restrictions” (Monaghan Collection on the History of Reading, 2001, no page number).

The Progressive Road to Reading Series

1909

This series by George Burchill, William L. Ettinger and Edgar Dubs Shimer “invoked the progressive educational movement in its title while using the ‘classics of childhood’ as its texts” (Monaghan Collection on the History of Reading, 2001, no page number).

Elson Readers - first time stories geared to children's interests 1909-1914

1909

Elson Readers by William Elson feature for the first time stories geared to children's interests (Smith, 2002, pg. 144).

William H. Elson and Christine Keck created the Elson Grammar School Reader for publication by the Scott Foresman Company. The “series contained a blend of traditional stories (to elevate taste and judgment) along with the civic concerns of the Progressives. (Monaghan Collection on the History of Reading, 2001, no page number).

The Period of Emphasis on Scientific Investigation in Reading 1910 - 1925

The Period of Emphasis on Scientific Investigation in Reading 1910 - 1925

1909 - 1925

"With the advent of instruments of measurement, it was possible for the first time to obtain scientific information about the effectiveness of reading methods and materials....As a result, more innovations in reading instruction issued forth during this period than in all the past centuries (Smith, 2002, pgs. 148-149).

Also during this period supplemental silent Readers are published to be used in conjunction with the basal system. Following the World War “many supplemental readers [were] of a patriotic character” (Smith, 2002, pg. 161)

Rise of informational, factual & patriotic supplemental stories

1910

The transition from oral to silent reading occurred producing several new series of Readers and a public school society obsessed with silent reading (Smith, 2002, pgs. 149-154). Also during this time there was a marked the rise in informational, factual and patriotic supplemental stories (Smith, 2002, pg. 161).

Informational Readers begin to be published
Readers containing only material considered to be informational began to be published (Smith, 2002, pg. 161).

Some of the notable Information Readers mentioned in Smith’s book (2002) are:
Home Life Around the World by George Mirick (pg. 161)
Little American History Plays for Little Americans by Eleanor Hubbard (pg. 162)
Twins Series by Lucy Fitch Perkins (pg. 161)

Several new series of Readers focused on silent reading

1910

The transition from oral to silent reading occurred producing several new series of Readers and a public school society obsessed with silent reading (Smith, 2002, pgs. 149-154) with an “exaggerated and…almost exclusive emphasis on silent reading procedures” (Smith, 2002, pg. 150).

The Boys and Girls Readers by Emma Bolenius and The Silent Readers by Lewis & Rowlands were the first to use silent reading techniques (Smith, 2002, pg. 165).

The Silent Readers by Lewis and Lindsay were the “first complete set of readers devoted to silent reading” (Smith, 2002, pg. 165). On page one “they begin the book by instructing their young readers: ‘The book which you are now beginning has been specially prepared for you to read to yourselves silently, because that is the way you will have to read most often when you grow up. You must even try not to move your lips as you read’” (Monaghan & Barry, 1999, pg. 37).

Other Notable Silent Readers of Period included:
The Progressive Road to Silent Reading by Ettinger, Shinier, et al.,
The Silent Reading Hour by Buswell & Wheeler,
Lippincott’s Silent Reading for Beginners by Watkins,
The Learn to Study Readers by Horn & Sheilds
(Smith, 2002, pg. 165)

Elson Readers - first to use stories geared to children 1909-1914

1910

Elson Readers by William Elson feature for the first time stories geared to children's interests (Smith, 2002, pg. 144).

Many Popular Readers begin to use the Word Method

1910

Several popular Readers embrace the word method during this period including:
The Aldine Readers by Bryce and Spaulding
Elson Readers published by Scott Foresman
Everyday Classics by Baker and Thorndike
The Horace Mann Readers by Hervey and Hix
Language Readers by Baker and Carpenter
The Merrill Readers by Dyer and Brady
The Progressive Road to Reading by Burchill, Ettinger, and Shimmer
Reading Literature by Free and Treadwell
Story Hour Readers by Coe and Christie
(Smith, 2002, pg. 134)

Reading Literature Series - first to use only folktales for beginning readers

1910

Reading Literature Series by Margaret Free and Harriette Taylor Treadwell is the first Primer to use only folktale adaptions for beginning readers (Smith, 2002, pg. 141).

Reading with Expression: First Reader

1911

James Baldwin and Ida. C. Bender series “ makes early use of full color for many of its illustrations” (Monaghan Collection on the History of Reading, 2001, no page number).

Beacon Series - first highly systematized method of phonetics 1912-1913

1912

James Fassett produces the Beacon Series, a highly systematized method of phonetics (Smith, 2002, pg. 130).

Elson-Runkel Primer

1914

William H. Elson and Lura E. Runkel Co-authored this primer for the Scott Foresman Company. “A word list is included in the back of the book, and the teacher's guide contains scripted lesson plans that include telling a story, dramatizing the story, and developing words and sentences. ‘Phonetics’ consists of linking sounds to letters. Spot first appears as a cat (Monaghan Collection on the History of Reading, 2001, no page number).

The See and Say Series by Arnold, Bonney and Southworth

1920

A classic example of the sentence and story method reader. Written by Sarah Louise Arnold, Elizabeth C. Bonney and E.F. Southworth (Monaghan Collection on the History of Reading, 2001, no page number).

The subtitle of the See and Say series was “A Picture Book Teaching the Letters and Their Sounds with Lessons in Word Building” (Monaghan & Barry,1999, pg. 32).

The Lincoln Readers - first to include testable information 1922-1926

1922

The Lincoln Readers by Isobel Davidson and Charles Anderson were published and consisted of eight readers and a primer designed to include information that was testable (Smith, 2002, pg. 169).

The Winston Companion Readers: Primer

1922

Ethel H. Maltby and Sydney G. Firman’s primer is entirely based on the story method approach. “There are no children in this… primer. All the stories feature talking animals. The stories are rhythmic and repetitive” (Monaghan Collection on the History of Reading, 2001, no page number).

The Period of Intensive Research and Application 1925 - 1935

The Period of Intensive Research and Application 1925 - 1935

1924 - 1935

During this period "The Twenty-Fourth Yearbook of the National Society for the Study of Education, Part 1....exerted an influence of great magnitude in changing [the] reading practice" (Smith, 2002, pg. 185).

Also an abundant and varied supply of Supplemental Reading books appear during this period (Smith, 2002, pg. 197).

Supplemental Readers with realistic stories appear during this period

1925

Two of the popular Supplemental Readers that contained Realistic Stories were: Billy Gene and His Friends by Maude Dutton Lynch and Shug, the Pup by F.M. Reynolds (Smith, 2002, pg. 197).

Preprimer invented during this period

1925

Preprimers were used with children learning to read and had only a limited amount of words. “Some…were planned as specific preparation for a series of readers that they [accompanied]…and others were designed for use independently” (Smith, 2001, pg. 201).

Supplemental Readers with informational content appear during this period

1925

Popular Supplemental Readers with informational content were: Science Readers by William & Stella Nida and the Busy Carpenters by James S. Tippett (Smith, 2002, pg. 197).

Supplemental Readers with fanciful tales appear during this period

1925

Popular Supplemental Readers with fanciful tales began to appear. Some of the more popular ones included: Timothy Crunchit and The Calico Bunny by Martha Jane Hall, Millions of Cats by Wanda Gag, and The Magic Boat by Lula Wright (Smith, 2002, pg. 197).

The Children's Own Readers by Mary Pennell

1925

Notable feature of the series was the fact that all the content included was "the result of an extensive investigation of Children's interest and teachers' judgement" (Smith, 2002, pg. 214).

The Work-Play Book by Arthur Gates introduced a new concept in reading 1925-1935

1925

"The work-play idea is that of dividing the program into two parts, one being that of definite hard work in acquiring skills, and the other being the play or enjoyment in natural reading of every kind of literature." (Smith, 2002, pg. 209). Also these books were the first ones ever to put designs on the back covers (Smith, 2002, pg. 209).

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The Child's Own Way Series by Marjorie Hardy

1925

The books in this series were the first books in a series to each be given a separate title. This idea was quickly adopted by other publishers. Other notable features include a "profusely" illustrated primer and first reader along with content drawn primarily from the field of social studies (Smith, 2002, pg. 212).

Small book sets for Supplemental Readers appear during this period

1925

This new type of supplemental reader was a set of small books on the same general subject but each contained different stories. Popular sets included: Social Science Readers, Little Folks Library, The Happy Hour Books and Little Color Classics (Smith, 2002, pg. 197-198).

Elson Readers updated and republished to reflect new reading research 1929-1932

1929

Elson Readers are updated by William Gray to reflect new reading developments in the field (Smith, 2002, pg. 145).

First time Basal Readers are not used for reading curriculum

1930

In 1930 "several schools dared to dispense with a basal reader throughout the grades, and to organize their reading instruction entirely around the needs and activities of the children" (Smith, 2002, pg. 229).

The Scott Foresman Reading Program combines two popular readers

1930

William Gray, along with several collaborators, revised the Elson-Gray series and then combined it with The Curriculum Foundation Series to create The Scott Foresman Reading Program (Smith, 2002, pg. 211).

The Period of International Conflict 1935 -1950

The Period of International Conflict 1935 -1950

1934 - 1950

1935 - 1950 mark the beginning of international unrest with Hiltler's aggression. In 1939 World War II begins and the United States join the fight in December of 1941. After the war ended in 1945 many problems associated with it still plagued the United States but were resolved by 1950 (Smith, 2002).

Reduction in output of research and educational materials

1935

"The most obvious effect of this period was a reduction in output of research and instructional materials (Smith, 2002, pg. 248). After 1945 the number began to steadily increase again.

Publication of new Basal Reader Series drastically reduced

1935

Four new series were published before the war and only 2 after compared to the 16 new series published between 1925 - 1935 (Smith, 2002, pg. 249).

Basal Series highlight innovations gleaned during the previous period

1935

Basal Reader changes included: Providing more preprimers due to wide acceptance of reading readiness concepts,Picture placement and arrangements begin to change, sentances and paragraphs adopt the regular paragraph style instead of the hanging indentation due to eye movement studies, trend of reducing vocabularies in beginning readers continues (Smith, 2002, pgs. 258-260).

Elson-Gray Basic Readers

1936

William H. Elson and William S. Gray.join together to create this series for the Scott Foreman Company. It was considered “ a totally packaged basal reading program” (Monaghan Collection on the History of Reading, 2001, no page number).

Curriculum Foundation Series with Dick and Jane

1936

Scott Foresman Company publishes William H. Elson and William S. Gray’s notable characters debut.
(Monaghan Collection on the History of Reading, 2001, no page number).

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Curriculum Foundation Series updated 1937-1940

1937

This series was updated to incorporate many of the new trends in reading and added several new books to its series. The most notable addition though was in their teachers guides where they coined the term "structural analysis to identify the skills belonging to [the] word-recognition technique" (Smith, 2002, pg. 267).

Reading for Interest Series by Paul Witty

1940

(Smith, 2002, pg. 261)

Learning to Read Program by Dr. Nila Banton Smith published from 1940-1945

1940

The features of this new series included stories "written by well-known authors of children's literature....[and] it was first to provide social studies and science content designed to accompany curricular topics in this area" (Smith, 2002, pgs. 262-263).

Basic Readers: Curriculum and Foundation Program: Streets and Roads

1946

Publisher Scott Foresman had William S. Gray and MayHill Arbuthnot create this new reader for them (Monaghan Collection on the History of Reading, 2001, no page number).

Curriculum Foundation Series: We Work and Play

1946

The Curriculum Foundation Series was produced for the Scott Foresman Company by William S. Gray, Dorothy Baruch and Elizabeth Rider. It “led the way for many of the postwar generation of readers. These series contained teachers' guides, workbooks, and related and supplementary texts” (Monaghan Collection on the History of Reading, 2001, no page number).

Ginn Basic Readers by Dr. David Russell et al.

1948

The Ginn Basic Readers introduced the concept of "vertical arrangement. According to this plan the program is planned not only horizontally in grade levels but also vertically across grade lines to ensure continuity in skill development" (Smith, 2002, pg. 265).

The Betts Basic Readers by Dr. Emmett Betts and Carolyn Welch

1948

"One distinctive feature of this program...was the integration of reading skills and techniques in curricular settings. A second distinctive feature was the built-in-program providing for utilizing interrelationships with the other language arts....The Betts Basic Readers program was one part of a larger program under the general caption 'Language Arts Series'" (Smith, 2002, pg. 267).

Reading Foundation Series: Here & There

1956

Full title: The New Alice and Jerry Books Basic Readers, Reading Foundation Series: Here and There. Scott Foresman asked Mabel O'Donnell to write this new series “since the basal reader market was a lucrative one…. Few demonstrated the mass appeal and consistent strength of the Scott, Foresman series" (Monaghan Collection on the History of Reading, 2001, no page number).

The Period of Expanding Knowledge and Technological Revolution 1950 - 1965

The Period of Expanding Knowledge and Technological Revolution 1950 - 1965

1935 - 1960

Influencing reading instruction during this period were: expanding knowledge, technological innovation/revolution and a "deep concern for the survival of democracy' (Smith, 2002, pg. 287) through an increase in literacy.

The Developmental Reading Program

1950

This curriculum first became available in 1950 and the series was completed by 1958 however it was significantly revised and republished in 1962. The revisions included extending the program through the eighth grade and creating a simplified versions of each grades reader that looked exactly the same as the regular one except for the amount of new words (Smith, 2002, pg. 313).

The Open Highways Program

1960

Created for the below average reader to help "reawaken [their] interest in reading" (Smith, 2002, pg. 321).

Bank Street Readers

1960

"The program was prepared in order to provide readers that might reflect the multicultural, multiracial, and multiarchitectural needs of a big city" (Smith, 2002, pgs. 353-354).

City Schools Reading Program

1960

Consisted of "readers that would narrate interesting situations common to multicultural backgrounds of children in a big city, and that they would contain illustrations depicting characters of different races" (Smith, 2002, pg. 352).

Reading for Interest

1960

Guides were expanded and revised to reflect new trends in reading and readers were bigger and more colorful (Smith, 2002, pg. 322).

Wide Horizons

1960

Created to be used by children who needed reading material more challenging than the basic basal reader provided (Smith, 2002, pg. 321).

A Basic Reading Series Developed Upon Linguistic Principles

1960

It was the first graded Linguistic Principles reading series (Smith, 2002, pg. 360).

The Winston Basic Readers, Communication Program

1960

By 1962 the full curriculum was in print. "The primary purpose...was to capitalize on the interrelationships of the language arts skills by providing experiences in reading, writing, speaking, and listening....The authors advocated a 'modifed approach' that makes use of teaching reading by the individualized plan as well as by the group-oriented arrangement" (Smith, 2002, pgs. 308-309).

I/T/A Early-to-Read Series

1960

Using the Initial Teaching Alphabet, which was an augmented alphabet, this reading series used "a language arts approach. From the beginning, children participate in activites involving reading; handwriting; and creative writing, spelling, and thinking" (Smith, 2002, pg. 367). The usual stories in the beginning readers were replaced with stories of of a dinosaur. (Smith, 2002, pg. 367).

Programmed Learning with Teaching Machines

1960

Several programmed reading courses became available between 1960 - 1965: The Teachall Reading course, Steps to Better Reading, The Basal Progressive Choice Reading Program,The Michigan Successive Discrimination Reading Program, and Programmed Reading Books (Smith, 2002, pgs. 369-371).

The New Basic Reading Program for the Sixties

1960

Created two editions of its basic reader - the Established & the Multi-ethnic. "The Multi-ethnic edition reflectes in its selections, illustrations and teaching procedures for 30 cultural and ethnic groups" (Smith, 2002, pg. 321).

Let's Read

1961

First reading series developed for children that used the Linguistics Principles (Smith, 2002, pg. 359).

Basic Reader

1963

This series was noted for its "highly specialized phonic approach that begins as soon as a child enters first grade" (Smith, 2002, pg. 315).

Reading for Meaning

1963

Featured a mix "of stories, old and new, poems, and plays... [and] informative articles" (Smith, 2002, pg. 323).

Betts Basic Readers, Third Edition

1963

The Third Edition was published in 1963. These readers began a new trend by including "skill-building material" and calling the readers "textbooks" (Smith, 2002, pg. 318). Also included in the options was "a special sight saving edition and a Braille edition" (Smith, 2002, pg. 317).

The Sheldon Basic Reading Series

1963

First published in 1957 and republished in 1963. The 1963 edition had several new features including Diagnostic and Achievement tests. It also provided Readers beyond sixth grade which included book-length novels featuring topics of interest to boys (Smith, 2002, pg. 306).

Reading Caravan

1964

"The content features literature and is high interest appeal...[with] exercises...designed to foster appreciation, develop skills, and to extend reading interest (Smith, 2002, pg. 322).

The Ginn Basic Reading program

1964

Updated to reflect new trends these readers included:
" ' Enrichment Readers'...excellent selections from children's literature and the classics. 'Book-Length Stories' are provided for the middle grades....[along with] song records...and...full-color film strips for teaching phonics" (Smith, 2002, pg. 320).

The Macmillan Reading Program

1965

Macmillan promoted this series by capitalizing on the need for schools to current on new methods so their children would not fall behind in this new age expanding technology (Smith, 2002, pg. 310).

The Scott Foresman Readers

1965

Also known as The Curriculum Foundation Series, it was extensively updated and revised to reflect current trends in reading (Smith, 2002, pg. 321).

References

Timeline References

1970

Martinez, M., & McGee, L. (2000). Children’s Literature and
Reading Instruction: Past, present, and future. Reading
Research Quarterly, 35(1)

Monaghan Collection on the History of Reading (2001). University
of Kansas, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, The
Department of Special Collections website. Retrieved April
2013, from http://spencer.lib.ku.edu/exhibits/monaghan/

Monaghan, E. J., & Barry, A. L. (1999). History of Literacy.
Retrieved 2013, from

http://www.historyliteracy.org/download/Book5.pd

Smith, N. (2002). American reading instruction. Newark, DE:
International Reading Association.

Timeline Purpose References

1971

Hawkins, L., & Razali, A. B. (2012). A tale of 3 P's - Penmanship, Product, and Process: 100 Year of Elementary Writing Instruction. Language Arts, 89(5), 305-317.

Moore, D., Readence, J., & Rickelman, R. (1983). An Historical exploration of Content Area Reading Instruction. Reading Research Quarterly, 18(4), 419-438.

Shannon, A. (2000). "What's My Name?": A Politics of Literacy in the Latter Half of the 20th Century in America. Reading Research Quarterly, 35(1), 90-107.