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The Tree-Dwellers

Katharine Elizabeth Dopp

Book Overview: 

Katharine E. Dopp was well-known as a teacher and writer of children’s textbooks at the turn of the 20th Century. She was among the first educators to encourage the incorporation of physical and practical activity into the elementary school curriculum at a time when such activities were becoming less commonplace in a child’s home environment. The Tree-Dwellers – The Age of Fear is the first in a series of elementary school texts written by Ms. Dopp that focus on the anthropological development of early human groups. Each lesson begins by posing a few questions for the child to think about, then factual information about these early humans is presented in story form using language a 6-7 yr old child can easily read and understand, followed by suggested activities that will help the child to experience first-hand some of the points presented in the story. The book also contains suggestions and references for teachers to aid in the successful use of the text.

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Book Excerpt: 
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“She walked out upon a strong spreading branch”

One day, though, she took a long journey.

This is the way that it came about.

She found plenty of roots and ripe blue berries.

She ate until she was satisfied.

Then she began to play among the trees.

She walked out upon a strong spreading branch.


Then she grasped a tough branch just over her head.

She swung herself into a neighboring tree.

Then she walked out on another branch.

She swung herself into another tree.

She traveled in this way for a long time.

At last she came to a dense forest.

How dark and damp it seemed!

How still it was!

She stopped her play.

She began to feel tired and hungry; so she rested a while, and then searched for food.

She found few signs of roots or berries.

There were many trees, bu. . . Read More

Community Reviews

The ideas for how kids can interact with the material are interesting- open ended questions for oral narration as well as narration by play and creating.

The material seems outdated and mixed - but I am thinking more of North America than Northern Europe.

We won't use this book in our school, but it

As a biological anthropologist, this was an interesting schoolbook story to read. I read a 1903 version that must have belonged to my grandmothers mother's family. Of course, our current knowledge of our deep human past renders many of the details in this book outdated. But, the questions posed in e