McGuffey’s Eclectic Spelling Book

Students from all over the country have been practicing spelling words to compete in the finals of the 2018 Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, DC. The competition began in 1925 when the Louisville Courier-Journal organized the first national spelling bee. But did you know that William McGuffey, a professor in the nineteenth century with a passion for education and the Bible, wrote McGuffey’s Newly Revised Eclectic Spelling Book? Millions of his McGuffey Readers, a series of textbooks focusing on spelling, grammar, and oration for primary school students, were sold between the years 1836 and 1960. McGuffey’s Readers included selections from the Bible, including stories about Joseph and King Solomon, and Paul’s speech on Mars Hill. They influenced generations of American children. Some are still used today!

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