The language arts books from Royal Fireworks Press have been painstakingly designed to appeal not only to your student's brain, but also to their emotions, their aesthetic sense, etc. The approach is a traditional teacher guide/student worktext setup, but the methods employed are genuinely unique, and will keep even the most gifted students challenged and working hard. We don't carry these new as they are constantly being tweaked by the publisher, but when we get used ones, we'll post them here.
Grammar Island, Grammar Town, and Grammar Voyage by Michael Clay Thompson provide a comprehensible yet sophisticated introduction to grammar for the elementary grades. They ignore the low limits traditional at this level and include content often withheld until middle school or even high school.
The student books are compact and intended for use in the early part of the school year so students can get the benefits throughout the year.
Books in this series
This series is the precursor to the series: The Magic Lens, the grammar curriculum at the secondary level.
Writing is the summative skill that combines what is learned in grammar, vocabulary, and poetics as part of producing a finished piece of writing.
Home educators find the grammar, vocabulary, and poetics programs incredibly useful, successful and illuminating. This writing series should be used in conjunction with the rest of the program to teach children formal essay writing.
The Elementary Level Series, which begins with Sentence Island and finishes with Essay Voyage, is stunningly illustrated with original drawings from the art of noted American artist, Milton N. Kemnitz.
The Secondary Level Series is illustrated by actual research papers and Michael Thompson's grading comments. It consists of Advanced Academic Writing and OPUS 40.
Michael Clay Thompson says, “When we do advanced academic writing…we must learn not only to accept but to enjoy the relaxed pace of research, the meticulous construction of sentences, the gradual architecture of essays. The advanced process must be accompanied by an advanced attitude because so long as we resist enjoying advanced competence, we will be unable to achieve it.”
Gifted students need to be able to write academic English. This involves knowing how to formulate papers, how to write according to the MLA rules, how to avoid grammatical and punctuation errors, and how to structure their papers to achieve in any subject.
Books in this series
- 1. Sentence Island: Student Book
- 2. Sentence Island: Teacher Manual
- 3. Paragraph Town: Student Book
- 4. Paragraph Town: Teacher Manual
- 5. Essay Voyage: Student Book
- 6. Essay Voyage: Teacher Manual
- 7. Advanced Academic Writing I: Student Book
- 8. Advanced Academic Writing I: Teacher Manual
- 9. Advanced Academic Writing II: Student Book
- 10. Advanced Academic Writing II: Teacher Manual
- 11. Advanced Academic Writing III: Student Book
- 12. Advanced Academic Writing III: Teacher Manual
- 13. OPUS 40: A Resource for Grading Academic Writing
Michael Clay Thompson: Poetics Program
This wonderful program is designed to enable students to understand poetry on a far higher plane than has been previously possible.
Students are taught in increasing detail about the elements of poems, including patterns of sound, meter, stanza, figures of speech, poetic techniques, and meaning.
Michael Clay Thompson shows how meticulously a poet plans and crafts poems. Students gain an appreciation of both the rigorous intellectual discipline and the complex creativity that a poet must bring together to make a poem.
With books that are beautiful, creative, engaging, and unusual, the series positively soars.
The Companion Poetry Anthologies include, in their entirety, all the poems studied in the poetics books and cover the elementary level in Volume One and the upper, secondary level in Volume Two. These books are listed at the end of the series.
A key method of Michael Clay Thompson in teaching poetics is to get students to vocalize the sounds of letters and words. Watch a video clip of him showing teachers how to do this.
For a complete overview, go to the Michael Clay Thompson Language Arts Curriculum page.
Books in the Series:
1. Music of the Hemispheres
2. Building Poems
3. World of Poetry
4. Poetry of Literature
5. Poetry and Humanity
6. Poetry, Plato, and the Problem of Beauty
7. Poetry, Plato, and the Problem of Truth
8. A Companion Anthology Level 1
9. A Companion Anthology Level 2
10. Romeo & Juliet: The Poetry of Prologue
Michael Clay Thompson: Vocabulary, Elementary Program
Michael Clay Thompson’s Building Language and Caesar's English I and II can be used as stand-alones or as part of a vocabulary program for young students. They also set the stage as preparatory complements to the more advanced The Word Within The Word Vocabulary program.
Enhanced, classical education editions of Caesar’s English I and Caesar's English II give an enriched learning experience. They are longer than the originals, the student manual in two separately-bound parts, containing new material, new activities, and new photographs. The Implementation (Teacher) Manual is also enhanced with a great deal more helpful instructional material. This edition is particularly appropriate for those pursuing a classical education, expanding the material devoted to the Roman context, including a score of maps, biographical sections on Caesar, and a series of poems by Michael Clay Thompson. It also contains essays by Thomas Milton Kemnitz on Roman architecture and construction methods and roads and buildings. The new sections are buttressed by more than a hundred photographs of the world that was Rome. The language arts features in the enhanced edition extend to more word searches, more activities, a more disciplined and focused attention to grammar and the grammatical context of vocabulary, and more poetry.
Read more about the classical editions.
Building Language and Caesar's English:
- reveal the age of the English language with its Roman beginnings
- teach students the most prevalent Latin stems, providing an intellectual key for young students to understand that big words aren't necessarily hard
- discard the specious confines of teaching age-graded vocabulary, on the observation that even little children can give the species names of dinosaurs—a clear proof that they can learn and understand bigger words than they are usually asked to learn
- aim to sow the seeds of intellectuality by introducing students to the drama and romance of ancient Rome, to the names of its thinkers, and to some of the fascinating facts of its history
- show Latin-English-Spanish connections
- develop a sense of anticipation about reading classic literature in the future. In all three volumes the authors have chosen examples of the use of words and their stems in the best sentences they could find—even if a sentence was from books to be more likely read in high school rather than in elementary school. Included are children's authors such as Sir Walter Scott, Frances Hodgson Burnett, Kenneth Grahame, and Robert Louis Stevenson, but also the Brontës, Jane Austen, Defoe, Milton, Morrison, and Shelley
For a complete overview, go to the Michael Clay Thompson Language Arts Curriculum page. See a video clip of a keynote presentation the author gave about teaching Vocabulary.
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