It's a sad fact that many college students these days can't write a decent paper because they've never been taught how. If you want your kids to learn the principles of creative writing long before they even hit high school, you should consider Nancy Sanders' WriteShop Primary series, of which WriteShop Primary C is the third and last level (before the course moves on to WriteShop Junior). Kids are taught how to compose stories, reports, and descriptive essays with skill and precision in an incremental style that is far from overwhelming.
How Does This Work?
WriteShop Primary C follows the same pattern as the two previous books. Parents can choose to complete the 10-lesson course in 30, 20, or 10 weeks using athree-week, two-week, or one-week per lesson schedule, respectively. Each lesson is divided into eight parts: activity set worksheets, pre-writing activities, brainstorming, the writing project itself, writing and revising, publishing the project, and evaluating the child's work (as well as optional extra activities).
Each lesson is teacher-directed, scripted and outlined in the teacher's guide, with every activity fully explained. The only components you need are the teacher's guide and the Activity Set Worksheet Pack, a set of 20 activity pages to be used during the first stage of each lesson. WriteShop Primary C can be used with a variety of age levels (students between 7 and 11 are the target range); it's possible to begin with this level, though because the concepts covered here are introduced in the other two books, we suggest completing levels A and B first.
At this level, kids begin to learn the specific composition skills that will benefit them for the rest of their academic lives. Story-planning and writing a mystery are covered early, but from there kids delve into self-editing, journaling, descriptive writing (covered in three lessons), and report-writing. The final lesson covers research reports, presenting invaluable information on gathering information and organizing it into a paper. While this sounds like pretty advanced material, it's kept at a level young students can understand.
Our Honest Opinion:
This final book in the WriteShop Primary series solidifies many of the elements introduced in the first two, and enables students to move on to the more challenging material of WriteShop Junior. Due to the nature of instruction (incremental and progressive), we don't suggest moving out of, or switching to, this program from another. You'll need to use all the WriteShop Primary books, or none of them. If you're looking to introduce an older elementary student to the principles of creative writing, you could get through these pretty fast (as quickly as a year for all three).
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