Play in Education (1916)

Directions: Read the following excerpt from Play in Education (1916) by Joseph Lee and answer the questions that follow in two or three sentences each. Use evidence from the passage to support your answers.

“The seriousness of play is shown in the standard of effort and achievement that it holds up. The strictest schoolmaster of the old nose-to-the-grindstone school never secured the whole-hearted effort that is seen on the ball field every afternoon. A small boy throws a ball so as to curve in a way which a few years ago was thought to be impossible, another hits it with a round stick, while a third urchin in the distance runs as fast as he can and catches it. When you consider how little of the course of the ball the third boy saw before he started to run, and take into account—or better still experience—the other difficulties involved in the whole performance, you will realize that such feats, though seen every day on every ball field, are somewhat remarkable. At least things equally difficult done by boys in their arithmetic lessons would be considered so.”

  1. What tone would be most effective in convincing the audience to agree with the author’s claim? Why?
  2. What effect does the author’s diction have in this passage? How and for what purpose is this effect created?
  3. How does the imagery in the passage create tone?
  4. How does the theme of this passage help develop the author’s tone?
  5. How does the author’s overall tone support his argument that play is an essential part of education? Be sure to identify or name the tone specifically. Use what you have uncovered in your analysis of D.I.T.S. to help you.
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