March 2, 2012

It's Read Across America Day

So Let's Have Fun with Dick and Jane . . . . and Gracie, too!Photobucket

There are a lot of us out there in Bloggerland who learned to read using the famous Dick and Jane series. Although the series has been highly criticized by numerous educational groups (citing repetitious language, its famously manicured lawns, and an all-white cast of characters), it's obvious that Fun with Dick and Jane has left a favorable mark on millions of Americans. Nearly a thousand eBay listings for Dick and Jane memorabilia, museum exhibitions, and the present popularity of The Retro Look help to maintain the nostalgia.

I not only learned to read using these books (I'm holding a 1952 edition in the picture on the left.), but went on to teach, using old 1960 editions. (My school district saved everything!)




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When my oldest grandchild was about to enter kindergarten, I went about creating a personalized Dick and Jane Reader. After taking hundreds of pictures of my grandchildren in different situations, I made up little stories based on the vocabulary and sing-songy text found in the first pre-primer, We Look and See.

All three of my oldest grandchildren have been introduced to the printed word using this book.

ComicLife software was used to design the pages. The Apple iPhoto Store printed the final copy. The book is hardbound with 8½" by 11" pages.

Some of the opening stories are reproduced below.




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Visit Common Ground for Vintage Inspiration Friday.


7 comments:

  1. What a wonderful idea! I love this and will remember it when (if) I'm blessed to be a grandma some day.

    I, too, learned with a primer. As a teacher, I know the criticism. I have always thought it a bit ironic that the generation of "experts" who criticized that mode so vociferously are the same ones who gave us the greatest statistical drop in reading scores recorded. Things that make you go hmmm...

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    1. "are the same ones who gave us the greatest statistical drop in reading scores recorded"

      No kidding!!!

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  2. Wonderful! Love it! Love the combo of the past w/the future (book & readers!) You are very artistic ...love the photos! TFS! Jeanne S.

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  3. That is a wonderful beautiful project of love. Your grandchildren are blessed to have you in their lives.

    Marylee

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    1. That's such a nice thing for you to say. Thank you. But I'm the one who's truly blessed.

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  4. What a wonderful, personal reader you created for the grandkids! You know you'd better get more copies made, they will all want one for their own kids someday. I loved Dick and Jane and Sally. Didn't realize they had caused so much controversy, I think most of us thought their adventures were fun and were excited to learn the words! Kay

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  5. I am a retired elementary teacher and I simply loved reading your post. What a wonderful treasure you have created for your grandchildren---Steven has stolen my heart.

    When I began first grade (1949-50) my school taught the Harper&Row reading series which was Alice, Jerry and Jip (the dog). When I came back to my home school as a teacher, I found in a book room, the large teaching posters from that series. The pictures were colorful and had beautiful outdoor scenes with ducks, etc. An exciting find that my co-workers and I enjoyed. I'm retired now after thirty years but many times I have missed teaching. I taught so many children who enriched my life for having known them.

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