The battledore was a more complex type of horn book printed on thick paper folded in three parts containing enlarged text with word to object illustrations for each of the capital letters bordering the four sides. The letter-word associations provide insight into eighteenth century religious and sociocultural priorities. Tuer's Royal Battledore illustrated the lower case alphabet letters with a for Apple; j, k, q, and x for Judge, King, Queen and Xerxes; m for Mouse and z for Zany jester. In fact, some battledores' upper and lower borders contained this rhyme:.
There is evidence of a gradual shift to more secular topics for general reading instruction from predominantly religious material. Experienced with both hornbooks and battledores, children graduated on to the modern concept of a small book, multiple paper pages covered with a thick, protective layer. Early reading booklets or religious primers contained both the alphabet and increasingly complicated lists of alphabetized syllables along with selected excerpts from the Bible. From tablet to booklet, the ABC format served as the most common framework for additional reading materials.
Originally imported from England, children's reading textbooks aligned with the educational emphasis on the alphabet.
While students were first trained to recite the alphabet, moralistic readings were framed around the letters of the alphabet. Dating back to , the New England Primer contained rhyming couplets for each letter of the alphabet. These patterned rhymes were often supported by gloomy woodcut illustrations.
The content of these paired lines varied from overwhelmingly religious to somewhat secular depending upon the particular version of the New England Primer. The standard Primer beginning 'In Adam 's fall, we sinned all' remained consistent throughout the numerous published texts; however, rhymes were occasionally edited for religious or political purposes, as demonstrated by the edition of the New England Primer. The alphabet letters were used to teach the moral code aspired by society and religion. Clearly, the immensely popular New England Primer continued to influence educational practice even beyond the revolutionary period.
Of parallel longevity, the battledore continued to be published well into the 18th century.
Believed to be the inventor of battledores in , Benjamin Collins actually printed , copies between and . Sensitive to a youthful audience, the anonymous author introduced the alphabet with a lettered story about an appetizing apple pie. Today there are many diverse kinds of alphabet books that captivate a reader's interest through alliteration , onomatopoeia , creative narratives , poetry of all kinds, clever three-dimensional illusions , mysterious visual treasure hunts , humor , and curiosity. Electronic alphabet books are now on the market, with various animations and audio features.
However, educators have criticised alphabet books for focusing on teaching the names of the letters, which often sound different from the sounds they produce, as interfering with the process of learning to read.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Main article: Primer textbook. A Apple-Pye. The Nutcracker.
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