Write With the Best Vol. 2/Model Great Author
This second volume follows the same thorough format as the original but has some enhancements as well. It has a larger answer key and contains proofreading checklists for each genre. Eight separate units cover twelve writing categories, with examples from great writers:
Daily steps, which are concise, clear, and follow the same general format as the first volume, teach students how to write in these genres and how to become proficient in proofreading and literary analysis. ~ Rachel S.
Category Description for Skills for Literary Analysis
This course is intended for use in middle school or the Freshman level of high school. Although it used to be a 15 week course, it has been expanded upon and now contains 35 weeks of lessons. It can be used stand-alone or in conjunction with its companion volume, Rhetoric: A Classical Writing and Speaking Course (see English). As with its sister upper-level courses, Literary Analysis has a strong written component as the student is required to compose an essay for each lesson. In this same vein, your child will need a copy of the Writer’s Inc. Handbook which is used as a reference in almost every assignment.
Each of the lessons focuses on a specific literary construct as students read through full-length novels or excerpts of larger works. In some cases, the author provides significant portions (or the entire work) in the text. After reading Call of the Wild, lessons refer to that novel for studies on setting, narration, and theme. Lessons 5 and 6 study characterization and plot through reading of the Joseph Narrative (excerpt from Scripture provided in text). Humor is analyzed in the context of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. A large portion of Idylls of the King (by Tennyson) is included in the text for lessons 8-9 which look at allegory and characterization. Students also read Treasure Island (plot and tone), How Green Was My Valley (narration), Alice in Wonderland (theme and parody), Oracle of the Dog (dialogue), Screwtape Letters (humor vs. satire), Uncle Tom’s Cabin (propaganda and allegory), Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl (character development and setting), Silas Marner (coincidence, irony/sentimentality, and theme), The Religious Life of the Negro (precis), Anne of Green Gables (characterization and theme), Ivanhoe (world views exemplified in characters), Shane (suspense and internal conflict), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (drama), Letters (letters), The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere (poetry), and a short story, “Lady or the Tiger”. Each lesson includes an explanation of the literary term (often accompanied by reference to Writer’s, Inc.), the Assignment (a literary analysis essay), a Writing Style component, Peer Evaluation (have a sibling evaluate one of your essays), Vocabulary (consisting of student making/keeping index cards of unknown words), Journal Writing (following a format supplied in the appendix - really more a Bible study/devotion), Biblical Application discussion/question, and usually a Challenge Question. The last lesson is a final project in which students write an essay on a book not included in the course.
Another substantial revision is in the teacher’s edition, which used to be just a partial solution manual to help evaluate responses. Now weighing in at over 375 pages, the teacher book contains lesson plans, teacher helps, suggested weekly schedules, student lesson assignments (with answers), literature excerpts, appendices, and a DVD with additional information from the author. The student book is smaller and includes suggested weekly schedules, lesson assignments, literature excerpts and appendices.
Not only does this teach kids how to write (it follows a "formula" for writing that even my third grader could follow and end up with a well written paper), but it also teaches grammar! Children are given an example and then asked to write their own. There is a dictation exercise in which the child finds another example to copy and parts of speech are covered in each lesson. It is an entire English program in one. The literature selections are from well known and respected works and the originals (or versions edited for age) can be found and used for a literature study. My kids have actually started to enjoy writing and their writing has vastly improved. There is very little teacher prep - it is almost scripted. There is a section containing ideas for presentation to different learning styles which was helpful and not too overwhelming. Best of all, the program can be re-used for several years utilizing different literature selections (example for each lesson are included). An excellent program for the money!
I used this program with my 16 year old son, a young man who loves to read and hates to write. He liked it because he loves literature, and each unit begins with a wonderful excerpt to analyze. It is also incremental, and just gives the student a small piece of writing to do each time. They may just list some descriptive words one day, then write a few sentences the next day, then put them in a paragraph the following day. I liked it because there was no advance preparation for the teacher. Doing a little bit every day worked better for us than doing a big project once a week--my son knew we would do it, and that it would be short. His projects turned out very imaginative, and he made some good progress in writing this year. For a child who hates the physical act of writing, I would recommend his typing his projects on the computer. This also makes editing a lot less painful. Great program that I highly recommend!
Wow! What can I say? This book has been so much fun for all of us with AMAZING results! My oldest (now 7th grade) has always struggled with writing assignments. We have tried a variety of programs that have always ended with little success. This has frustrated me, especially since I am an English teacher! By the time we finished the first unit, my 7th & 4th graders were hooked. They felt excited by producing well written assignments and I was amazed by the quality of their finished work. Even more amazing was the zeal with which they threw themselves into the poetry unit - and their poems impressed the grandparents. I have loved how easy this has been to teach and grade. Preparation was only a few minutes and teaching time would range from 2-20 minutes. Somehow the lessons work the students through the steps of writing in a subtle and painless way, yet the results are natural and do not sound like formula writing. The compositions were usually half written before the actual writing assignment was given. As we approached the end of the school year we had 2 units left. I gave my kids the choice of fable, ballad, or just saying we were done. They instantly chose ballad and are eagerly planning this out - even asking if they can do 2 assignments a day! I never would have believed that writing could become a favorite subject let alone so well done. We are all looking forward to working through this book again next year and improving our writing even more.