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An experience of ten years in helping boys and girls to present scenes from small plays has given me convincing evidence that the dramatic instinct is strong in children, and an experience of more than ten years of teaching has made it clear that the ordinary school material and school work do little to satisfy and develop that instinct. Then, too, every teacher knows how rare is the child who reads with natural intonation and emphasis. As soon as he begins to read he begins to be artificial. But this artificiality is always less evident when children lose themselves in pretending to be some one else. Then they show spontaneity, natural tones, and expression, and then there are few in the little school audience whose wits have gone woolgathering
I hope that this book will help both to satisfy the child's appetite and develop better oral reading.
These dialogues are not "plays”; they are not intended for action, but for reading. In the adaptation of narrative material, the process has been mainly that of elimination, the purpose having been to alter the original material as little as possible.