Day 19 Teaching of Reading – Literature

Read aloud poem: Matilda by Hilaire Belloc:

Matilda (1907)

Matilda told such Dreadful Lies,
It made one Gasp and Stretch one’s Eyes;
Her Aunt, who, from her Earliest Youth,
Had kept a Strict Regard for Truth,
Attempted to Believe Matilda:
The effort very nearly killed her,
And would have done so, had not She
Discovered this Infirmity.
For once, towards the Close of Day,
Matilda, growing tired of play,
And finding she was left alone,
Went tiptoe to the Telephone
And summoned the Immediate Aid
Of London’s Noble Fire-Brigade.
Within an hour the Gallant Band
Were pouring in on every hand,
From Putney, Hackney Downs, and Bow
With Courage high and Hearts a-glow
They galloped, roaring through the Town
‘Matilda’s House is Burning Down!’
Inspired by British Cheers and Loud
Proceeding from the Frenzied Crowd,
They ran their ladders through a score
Of windows on the Ball Room Floor;
And took Peculiar Pains to Souse
The Pictures up and down the House,
Until Matilda’s Aunt succeeded
In showing them they were not needed;
And even then she had to pay
To get the Men to go away!

It happened that a few Weeks later
Her Aunt was off to the Theatre
To see that Interesting Play
The Second Mrs Tanqueray.
She had refused to take her Niece
To hear this Entertaining Piece:
A Deprivation Just and Wise
To Punish her for Telling Lies.
That Night a Fire did break out-
You should have heard Matilda Shout!
You should have heard her Scream and Bawl,
And throw the window up and call
To People passing in the Street-
(The rapidly increasing Heat
Encouraging her to obtain
Their confidence)-but all in vain!
For every time She shouted ‘Fire!’
They only answered ‘Little Liar’!
And therefore when her Aunt returned,
Matilda, and the House, were Burned.

We were encouraged to write with children in mind and make the stories believable.  Where illustrations are used they must strengthen the story to help the reader absorb the language;

Sister underscored the importance of exposing children to ‘classics’ as required reading.

We looked at the different genres of writing:

  1. Historical Fiction – set in a period at least 30 years in the past.  Though the setting may e imaginary the facts must be accurate to connect the reader to their heritage
  2. Traditional Literature – fairy tales, Aesop’s Fables, Legends (monster stories), Realistic Tales, Beast Tales (where animals are characters), myths
  3.  Modern Fantasy – time travel; magical things with believable characters
  4. Picture Books – counting books; wordless
  5. Picture Story Books
  6. Contemporary Realistic Fiction
  7. Biographies – complete; simplified; autobiography
  8. Informational Books – texts (accurate about things in the universe; material that is verifiable)
  9. Poetry – Narrative, Limerick, Haiku, Free Verse

The following Book Report format was shared:

  • Title
  • Publisher
  • Illustrator
  • Genre/ Format
  • Teaching Ideas



Love to write & share experiences...

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