Scotch Twins - Lucy F. Perkins

Suggestions to Teachers

This story can be read without much preparation by any fifth or sixth grade pupils. In the fifth grade it may be well to have the children read the story first in a study period in order to work out the pronunciation of the more difficult words and to get sufficient command of the Scotch dialect, which, however, is not used to so great an extent that it will be difficult for American children to understand. The teacher should explain the use of the glossary in this connection. In the sixth grade the children will usually be able to read the story at sight except so far as reference to the glossary is necessary to the understanding of Scottish words and phrases.

As in all the Twins readers, the possibilities in this story for dramatization will be immediately apparent. The numerous outdoor adventures, the discovery of the cave, and the fishing will probably be the scenes that will make the most immediate appeal to boys who are beginning to show the Boy Scout spirit; and other phases of outdoor life, no less than the touches of housework, will appeal to members of the Girl Scout and the Girls' Camp Fire organization. The illustrations in the book show hints for simple costuming which may be followed when desired.

Mrs. Perkins's illustrations can be used in other ways also. Children will enjoy sketching many of them, since their simple style makes them especially available in this way. An excellent oral exercise would be for the children after they have read the story to take turns in telling it from the illustrations; and a good composition exercise would be for each pupil to select the illustration that he would like to write upon, to make a copy of it, and then to tell its story in his own way.

During the reading, the teacher should tell the children something about Scotland, geographically and historically. A file of the National Geographic Magazine, which is accessible in most public libraries, will be found to contain many illustrated articles which will be invaluable in this connection. Teachers should refer also to Tomlinson's "Young Americans in the British Isles," Kate Douglas Wiggin's "Penelope's Progress," the volumes devoted to Scotland in Longfellow's series, "Poems of Places," and to Bradley's "The Gateway of Scotland." Other references are Hunnewell's "Lands of Scott" and Olcott's "The Country of Sir Walter Scott." (Consult the indexes for references to Rob Roy, The Lady of the Lake, etc. Also of course Scott's novels and poems and Burns's poems contain much material that can be drawn upon.) Particularly to be recommended are the selections published in the Riverside Literature Series and in Webster and Coe's "Tales and Verse from Sir Walter Scott."

Just at the present time when the tercentenary of the landing at Plymouth occupies all our attention, it is particularly timely to recall the potent influences of the Scottish people upon the Puritans in old England and the Pilgrims who founded New England. Scott's "Tales of a Grandfather" and Dickens's "Child's History of England," also Tappan's "England's Story" will give an account of how the Scotch rose in revolt against kings and prelates, and how they were the first nation in Europe to establish in their country the underlying principles of democracy. The Scottish systems of land tenure—which may be said to be the theme of The Scotch Twins—are discussed in Beaton's "Highlands of Scotland." Of particular bearing is his comment upon conditions resulting from the withdrawal of soil for purposes of sport, the poaching that followed, etc.

The spirit of Scottish history is epitomized in Burns's poem, "A Man's a Man for a' That," and the ingenious teacher will need no further prompting as to the ways in which this poem and the movement for which it stands are related to the history of our own country. A further debt to Scotland lies in the character of the Scotch immigrants to the United States and their descendants; Griffis's "Bonnie Scotland and What We Owe Her" will show how to apply this suggestion and others which will come to mind from these paragraphs.