Remember Dick, Jane, and Spot?

If you are of a “certain age” and learned to read between the 1940s and the early 1960s, chances are good that you read “Dick and Jane” books.  A big part of those narratives was “Spot,” who in early books was a terrier, but later became a Cocker Spaniel, possibly because it was such a popular breed.

Spot, Dick and Jane were part of a reading method of teaching known as the “whole word” or “look-say” method of reading. It taught kids to look at each word as a whole unit, and not try to sound it out. The method was created by Williams S. Gray and Zerna Sharp, who believed that the “whole word” method was the ideal way to teach reading.

Kate Kelly does a marvelous job of sharing the story of these early readers which you can read here.

6 thoughts on “Remember Dick, Jane, and Spot?”

  1. This was my first dog — a B&W Parti Cocker in 1948 when I was 3. Looked a lot different than the American Cockers today. He also had a lot of hunting instinct.

  2. I guess the Dick and Jane books worked fine for most children, but oh my goodness, they were extremely boring to me!

    My Brother, who was 10 years older than me, had already taught me to read. I could read Archie comic books before I even started first grade. Compared to the adventures of Archie, Betty, Jughead, etc: “Run Spot Run” just didn’t cut it.

    The boredom got me in trouble, as at recess, I would leave school and head for the creek to go catch crawdads.

    As the foregoing proves, I did finally decide that I needed to learn to write as well as to read.

    • You bring back memories, Charlotte! We were big fans of Betty and Veronica, though Jughead irritated us, lol. Still, we do remember the “Spot” books in school with fondness, probably only because in retrospect, those were such gentler times….

  3. I went through all of “Dick and Jane” then I remember reading Abraham Lincoln; The Prairie Years. I spent a lot of time at home with ear infections back then. My parents weren’t dog friendly.

    • Oh Carol, you poor thing! Possibly the only good thing about aging (aside from gaining wisdom) is being able to make our own choices, and that includes dogs in the family!

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