Fable is the beginning step of the ancient Greek writing exercises known as the progymnasmata. For this exercise we have chosen Aesop, whose name has become synonymous with fables, as our mascot for the introductory level of Classical Writing. Aesop gives beginning writers a gentle introduction to basic grammar, sentence structure, and analysis and imitation of short narratives. Our aim is retelling those short narratives accurately and with good writing mechanics. The models in Aesop are chosen from Aesop's fables, fairy tales, well-written historical narratives, Bible stories, and fairy tales.Aesop
is designed to be used during the first two years of writing instruction, typically third to fourth grade. The skills learned in Aesop
are a necessary foundation for all that follows in Classical Writing. Even your older students need to master these skills. Usually they can do so in far less time. The Older Beginners
series of workbooks guide older students quickly through Aesop
and the next level, Homer
All the grammar needed at this level is taught in the Aesop text. Using a gentle, sequential approach, your students will cover capitalization and punctuation, sentence classification, and direct and indirect quotations. They will be introduced to the parts of speech and learn the elementary rules of correct usage.
Analysis and Imitation
In Aesop, we teach a four day routine for analysis and imitation. Each day we work with the weekly model (a fable or story) practice writing.
Day 1 ~ Reading and Comprehension
Day 2 ~ Spelling and VocabularyDay 3 ~GrammarDay 4 ~ Copywork and Dictation
One of our main goals in using this method is to help your students begin to develop copia—a variety of ways to express the same thought.
Practice (Writing Projects)
Each week, students will write a retelling of the weekly model. They will learn to retell a story in chronological order, and to amplify it by adding dialogue and descriptive details. From the beginning, they will learn that writing is a process, and that editing is part of that process. Editing routines are taught step-by-step to make this process easy. Our student workbooks include editing checklists for each week's writing project. These lists also help teachers evaluate their students' progress.
The Aesop series of books:
Aesop is the non-consumable teacher text for the Aesop program. For a student starting in the 3rd grade, this book provides two years of instruction. In order to make Aesop a "pick up and go" curriculum, our non-consumable Instructor's Guides have models, daily lesson plans, and teaching helps included in the text, all designed to keep you on track. The accompanying consumable Student Workbooks include a copy of the model for the student to mark up, space to do most of the exercises for each week, and editing checklists for each week's writing project.
Each level of the Student Workbooks and Instructor's Guides is divided into eighteen weeks, for a total of 36 weeks. This provides plenty of writing instruction for 3rd and 4th graders, with ample time in the school year to apply skills learned in Classical Writing to other subjects. We include additional forms to aid in this.Although we highly recommend that you use the Instructor's Guides and Student Workbooks, you may plan and schedule your own lessons using just the Aesop
text. The optional Traditional Tales
may be a help to you in this case. It contains models (fables, fairy tales, short historical accounts, and Bible stories). You can use these to build your own lessons. Do not purchase this book if you use the Student Workbooks.
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