Here, There be a Writer

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Retro Vision: Old Elementary Text Books

Did you even think that you would revisit old text that you used back in 3rd and 5thgrade? I never thought that…But recently I visited 1 of 3 Salvation Army stores in my area and discovered a couple of books from my elementary school days.

Back then it was called language arts. Not even sure why it was called that. It was more like reading comprehension, spelling, and phonics. It was kind of English class before you got to Middle and High school. When I was in school, we used these books. They were filled with stories, poems, and articles about a wide range of topics that went with a corresponding workbook.


I purchased 2 books from a series called series R: Macmillan Reading circa 1983/86 for 49 cents a piece. It’s a cute little trip down nostalgic lane, which includes a short play that my 3rd grade reading class performed. I have discovered the FIRST play I was ever in! “The Mixing Stick” adapted by Eleanore Leuser is a story of a poor family that only has onions for their Christmas dinner, but a peddler proves that a ‘magical’ stick can make any food into a delicious meal with a the help of their neighbours.

After flipping through both books  I found a great many wonderful things, so of them I actually reading reading by then. I realized that I was well read in school, with reading material presented in the books. Granted maybe of the topics were written with 8 year olds in mind, but it's no wonder that I love reading, literature, mythology, and learning new stuff. Here are a few examples from the "Secrets and Surprises" book and a one or two from "Full Circle" book.

The Little Green Man - in 2 parts
A child's version of Thor's Hammer
Fun fact and colourful art

An article about Marcel Marceau

The classic story of the ducklings

A colourful story

I also found a few years ago for a 1.00 an Addison Wesley math book circa 1987 that I used when I was in 5th grade. Man, I wish I could go back and only have to worry what 9 + 4 = _____.  The answer is 13!


  1. I do remember using those '87 Addison Wesley math books when I was in elementary and middle school in Puerto Rico; from 4th to 8th grade.

  2. Thank you so much for posting this! Which book were the Marcel Marceau and Harlequin stories from? Also, do you know for what grade those books were labeled?


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