Education: First-Grade for First Grade

Most first-grade readers are dull because the authors, uninventive to begin with, are unable to surmount the limitation of "controlled vocabulary"—a controversial theory that beginning readers must stick to a few bite-size words and repeat them often. Whatever the ultimate solution, a sensible first step is hiring real writers who can make even a few words dance.

Manhattan's Crowell-Collier Press is now persuading well-known and imaginative poets, playwrights and novelists to accept the handicap of a 798-word vocabulary and still write primers that six-year-olds can read for themselves with all the delight they...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!