WriteShop: An Incremental Writing Program (6-10)
Designed for those who want a comprehensive program for foundational writing, WriteShop offers an easy-to-use, teacher-student interactive course. Not sure of your ability to teach writing? WriteShop provides detailed daily lesson plans and instructions for teachers plus student workbooks with instructional content, worksheets, and forms. Teacher prep is minimal since the program materials are so well constructed and organized.
Lessons build incrementally, covering sentence and paragraph construction skills and style in Part I before the longer essay assignments in Part II. Lessons build on each other and should be done in order without any skipping. The writing process is taught throughout the program with Part I focused on descriptive, informative, and narrative writing. Part II continues with persuasive writing. Program components include the Teacher Manual (for Parts I & II) and a Student Workbook for each Part.
Detailed lessons are provided along with weekly schedules – but there is flexibility. Assuming a target audience of 7th to 9th grades, lessons are covered with eight days of activities (two weeks with Fridays off). But an alternative one-week schedule is also provided – possibly for high school students who need a quicker pace. The program could be used with motivated younger students as well. The thing to remember is that the skills covered are what would typically be considered foundational writing skills that prepare a student for the more demanding academic writing of high school. Also, not all types of writing (for instance, poetry) are covered.
The spiral-bound Teacher Manual covers all 30 lessons of both Parts I & II and provides lesson plans and schedules plus a wealth of resource material as indicated by tabbed sections such as editing/evaluating, writing samples, answer keys, and common problems of mechanics. There’s even a section that lists “positive & encouraging comments.” Lessons include pre-writing, copying brainstorming (mind-maps), skill-builders (usually grammatical concepts), sloppy copy (rough drafts), dictation, revising (lots of helps for this), and crafting the final draft.
The Student Workbook - Parts I & II now come as softcover, paperback books. Each lesson includes instructional content, student writing samples, and writing process helps which vary with the lesson but might pertain to any part of the writing process. Also included are planning and skill-builder worksheets. Checklists and an evaluation form aid in that process.
Copying and Dictation Exercises are incorporated into each lesson in Part I. These are strongly encouraged and tend to strengthen both writing and listening skills when done consistently. A book with these exercises is available as a separate purchase.
Written by Christians, previous editions did include some biblical references but this latest 2020 edition no longer includes biblical/Christian content.
Overall, this is an excellent writing program and a wonderful, comprehensive resource for parents teaching one or more children at home or teachers in a co-op or class setting. ~ Janice