248 THE DISCOVERY OF THE CHILD Then I set this girl to work at Froebel's weaving exercise which consists in threading a roll of paper transversely through vertical rods also of paper, feed at the top and the bottom. I was led to think of the analogy between the two kinds of work, and was greatly interested in my observations. When she had become skilful in FroebeFs weaving I put her back to her sewing and was pleased to see that she succeeded in executing the needlework. I considered that the necessary movement of the hand had been prepared for the sewing -without sewing, and that really it is necessary to find out the way to teach before having it done. Especially is this true when it is a question of preparing movements which might be stimulated and also limited by repeated exercises, outside the direct work for which they are preparing. In this way it would be possible to be able to carry out the work when they attack it, without having yet put a hand to it directly and to Accomplish it perfectly at the first attempt. I thought that this idea might usefully be applied to writing. The thought interested me intensely and I wondered at its simpli- city. I was surprised that I had not thought at first of the plan which the observation of the girl who could not sew had sug- gested to me. Since I had made the children touch the outlines of the geometrical figures, in the plane insets, there remained only to make them trace with their fingers the shapes of the letters of the alphabet. I had made for me a splendid alphabet, the letters being in the form of cursive script, the body of the writing 8 cms. high, the rest in proportion. The letters were made of wood, J cm. thick, in coloured enamel, red for the consonants and blue for the vowels, except underneath where there was a very elegant brass cover fixed by small studs. To correspond with the alphabet (of which there was only one example) cards were made on which were painted the letters of the alphabet in the same colours and of the same size as the movable letters, and grouped according to contrasts and similarities of shape.