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READING                                   295

The child can, after having taken a drawer from the chest,
take out the objects himself, apply the label to each one, and,
having finished the work, replace it in the chest. He can then
take another drawer, and so on. In this way he studies some of
the difficulties relative to spelling and pronunciation.


The practical advantages of such exercises have suggested
another application, and so, reversing the object of these, there
have been grouped together objects which have educational value;
they are accompanied by labels on which their names are written.
Whilst in the first exercise the objects were known and the diffi-
culties of learning were connected with words, here one starts from
a knowledge of words which is sufficient to teach the names of the
objects which are grouped together for various educational pur-
poses. In religious education, for example, prepared in mini a.-
ture are various objects relating to the altar, the priest*s vest-
ments, the objects necessary for the Mass, etc. The development
of this exercise has been extended to teaching the words relating
to many parts of the material, as for example, the names of
materials, of fastenings, of polygons, etc. Finally another appli-
cation has been made to models of animals and plants, together
with scientific terms relating to their classification, written on
separate labels which must be placed on the objects when

These last applications, however, have carried us along a path
different from that in which we are interested hereŚlearning to
read. Instead of that, they form an application of reading used
as it is done by botanists and gardeners when they show the names
of various plants on labels.


As soon as some visitors to the Children's Houses in San
Lorenzo saw that the children were reading printed characters they
sent us gifts of splendidly illustrated books, which formed the first