Date of Award


Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Degree Discipline

Arts and Science


Origin of Problem - The evolution in the subject natter of primary reading is a very interesting study, though only a very brief account of it can be given. The early readers were distinctly A, B, C books containing letters, syllables and certain extracts of a religious nature. The present day movement started with the reformation. In this period, the books were distinctly religious in character, consisting of the Lord's Prayer, The Commandments and other scriptural selections. This religious element held sway until the eighteenth century, though other material was beginning to creep in. It then gave way to material about things to eat, moral tales end the like. Many methods of teaching reading have been exploited. One of the first used is that known as the "Alphabet method". In this method the child first learned the letters of the alphabet, then these were joined into syllables and the syllables into words. The learner was then ready to read sentences. This method was found to be very slow and uninteresting. The first effort at relieving the drudgery of the alphabet method by phonics was made by Ickelsamer In 1534. In the phonetic method, the child was taught the sound of the letters followed by the use of this knowledge in tasking out new words. After acquiring a number of words he was ready to begin reading. Another method which found great favor was the "word method". The child was first taught isolated words and these words were joined into sentences. This was more interesting and less mechanical than the phonetic or alphabetical methods. The method known as the sentence method was a contribution by Oliver. By this method the child was taught to read by whole sentences. This was more rapid and much more interesting but it did not give the child the power to make out new words for himself. From these early methods have evolved what is known as the "combination method". This is a combination of the best features of the phonetic, word, and sentence methods, which is the method used today but generally called the story rhyme or conversational method.

Committee Chair/Advisor

A. L. Sheffield


Prairie View State Normal and Industrial College


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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

Date of Digitization


Contributing Institution

John B Coleman Library

City of Publication

Prairie View




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