Thursday, 4 April 2013

Horn Books and Literacy


Although many of the surviving examples have frames of wood or metal its thought that at one stage cattle horn was used either for the frames or board in the frame.

These horn books are actually literacy primers. Notice the ABC followed by the Lord's Prayer. The idea was that children could copy the letters of the Abc and then since the Lord's Prayer was something they heard frequent in home or church they would be learning to read something they frequent HEARD.

The visual signs were matched to audio signals! Early Phonics?

The only examples I have seen come from England or the USA.

From the 18th century they were progressively replaced by printed versions "PRIMERS" which might include the ABC in upper and lower case  the Lord's Prayer and Numbers at the least.