Classical Composition I: Fable Stage DVD

Classical Composition I: Fable Stage DVD

# 055900

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Item #: 055900
ISBN: 9781615382361
Grades: 4-6

Product Description:

DVD set features an instructor who teaches each lesson thoroughly. Lessons cover outlines, variations and paraphrasing using fables as short, narrative examples. The goal is to learn how to use words to so engage the imagination that the idea is believed by the audience. 105 pgs, pb.

Category Description for Fable Stage: Book I:

We might have predicted two things: 1) Memoria Press would add a series on composition to their curriculum offerings; 2) Memoria's composition program would follow the progymnasmata (series of fourteen skill steps in classical composition established by the long ago Greeks). In the typical user-friendly manner that is Memoria's trademark, that's what they've done and the first courses in the series are impressive.

A successful composition program should reflect and accomplish three goals: 1) demonstrate a basic knowledge of grammar rules; 2) hone the ability to think through a problem in such a way as to bring us to truth; and 3) communicate with an elegance of style that will persuade others that we have something important to say. Modern composition theory based on four types of writing - descriptive, narrative, argumentative and expository - has devolved from the progymnasmata but is not producing good writers. Returning to the classical progymnasmata model (Memoria uses exercises developed by Aphthonius in the late fourth or early fifth century A.D.) produces writers well-prepared for classical rhetoric.

To give you an idea of how user-friendly these courses are: Each lesson in the Fable Stage starts with reading the fable, determining the three plot components, and discovering synonyms for selected words leading to writing sentences in a varied way. The fable is then outlined and two paraphrases are written incorporating specific suggestions. Instructions for each step are provided.

What about when the instruction becomes more involved? In the Refutation/Confirmation Book, the student is led step-by-step (credit or discredit, clarity, plausibility, possibility/impossibility, consistency, propriety, expediency, and epilogue) through the process of either refuting or confirming a published position. If those steps sound scary to you, keep in mind that the student has been incrementally trained to be ready for them in the three proceeding courses. Likewise, the student is led through each of these steps with questions, written answers, and dilemmas (discussions), culminating in a rough draft directly applicable to that particular step.

The Teacher Guide for each book includes an introduction to the material to be covered, guidelines for instruction, definition of terms (important because many of the terms are unfamiliar), and lightly scripted lesson plans in a wraparound format (reduced copies of the student pages w/ answers). Appendices in some provide additional definitional and illustrative information pertinent to the course. For instance, the appendices in the Chreia/Maxim Stage Teacher's Guide provide an advanced rubric and figures of description with examples.

The Student Books provide space to complete most assignments (although some final drafts are to be completed on separate paper). Starting with Book IV (also true of the Combo Books), some brief teaching guidelines are included with the Student Book.

DVD sets (where available) feature an instructor who teaches each lesson thoroughly.

Lesson Plans (where available) provide a week-by-week daily checklist for the course lesson assignments.

Each course is both this year's work and planned review for future years. About ¾ of each course's lessons are to be completed in that year and the remainder saved to be used for review. The suggested scope and sequence for this program when completed will be:

  • Grades 4-6 - Fables, Narratives, Chreia/Maxim
  • Grades 6-8 - Chreia/Maxim, Refutation/Confirmation, Common Topic
  • Grades 9-12 - Encomium/Invective/Comparison, Characterization, Description, and Thesis/Law
  • For students beginning the program later than 4th grade, see Memoria Press' site for a full scope and sequence. Regardless of grade level, all students entering the program will start at the Fable stage, but students older than 8th grade will do each course in a semester, not a year.

    Compared to other classical writing programs we carry, this one seems more do-able. Lessons are straightforward with good explanation and illustration. ~ Janice


    20 lessons that teach outlines, variations and paraphrasing using fables as short, narrative examples. The goal is to learn how to use words to so engage the imagination that the idea is believed by the audience. 105 pgs, pb.



    Category Description for Classical Composition:

    We might have predicted two things: 1) Memoria Press would add a series on composition to their curriculum offerings; 2) Memoria's composition program would follow the progymnasmata (series of fourteen skill steps in classical composition established by the long ago Greeks). In the typical user-friendly manner that is Memoria's trademark, that's what they've done and the first courses in the series are impressive.

    A successful composition program should reflect and accomplish three goals: 1) demonstrate a basic knowledge of grammar rules; 2) hone the ability to think through a problem in such a way as to bring us to truth; and 3) communicate with an elegance of style that will persuade others that we have something important to say. Modern composition theory based on four types of writing - descriptive, narrative, argumentative and expository - has devolved from the progymnasmata but is not producing good writers. Returning to the classical progymnasmata model (Memoria uses exercises developed by Aphthonius in the late fourth or early fifth century A.D.) produces writers well-prepared for classical rhetoric.

    To give you an idea of how user-friendly these courses are: Each lesson in the Fable Stage starts with reading the fable, determining the three plot components, and discovering synonyms for selected words leading to writing sentences in a varied way. The fable is then outlined and two paraphrases are written incorporating specific suggestions. Instructions for each step are provided.

    What about when the instruction becomes more involved? In the Refutation/Confirmation Book, the student is led step-by-step (credit or discredit, clarity, plausibility, possibility/impossibility, consistency, propriety, expediency, and epilogue) through the process of either refuting or confirming a published position. If those steps sound scary to you, keep in mind that the student has been incrementally trained to be ready for them in the three proceeding courses. Likewise, the student is led through each of these steps with questions, written answers, and dilemmas (discussions), culminating in a rough draft directly applicable to that particular step.

    The Teacher Guide for each book includes an introduction to the material to be covered, guidelines for instruction, definition of terms (important because many of the terms are unfamiliar), and lightly scripted lesson plans in a wraparound format (reduced copies of the student pages w/ answers). Appendices in some provide additional definitional and illustrative information pertinent to the course. For instance, the appendices in the Chreia/Maxim Stage Teacher's Guide provide an advanced rubric and figures of description with examples.

    The Student Books provide space to complete most assignments (although some final drafts are to be completed on separate paper). Starting with Book IV (also true of the Combo Books), some brief teaching guidelines are included with the Student Book.

    DVD sets (where available) feature an instructor who teaches each lesson thoroughly. Some courses may have streaming videos as an option.

    Lesson Plans (where available) provide a week-by-week daily checklist for the course lesson assignments.

    Each course is both this year's work and planned review for future years. About ¾ of each course's lessons are to be completed in that year and the remainder saved to be used for review. The scope and sequence for this program:

    • Grades 4-6 - Fables, Narratives, Chreia/Maxim
    • Grades 6-8 - Chreia/Maxim, Refutation/Confirmation, Common Topic
    • Grades 9-12 - Encomium/Invective/Comparison, Characterization, Description, and Thesis/Law

    For students beginning the program later than 4th grade, see Memoria Press' site for a full scope and sequence. Regardless of grade level, all students entering the program will start at the Fable stage, but students older than 8th grade will do each course in a semester, not a year.

    Compared to other classical writing programs we carry, this one seems more do-able. Lessons are straightforward with good explanation and illustration. ~ Janice


    Category Description for COMPLETE ENGLISH PROGRAMS:

    These materials offer complete coverage of both writing and grammar.


    Primary Subject
    English/Writing
    Grade Start
    4
    Grade End
    6
    ISBN
    9781615382361
    Author
    Brett Vaden
    Format
    Other
    Brand Name
    Memoria Press
    Weight
    0.0 (lbs.)
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    Why did you choose this?
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    For my classroom
    Karla M on Oct 17, 2016
    I felt this was the best writing curriculum to help my soon to be high schooler become a better writer.
    Candece S on Feb 19, 2016
    For my classroom
    Karla M on Oct 17, 2016
    Low price easy checkout.
    Kristin C on Jul 19, 2016
    I felt this was the best writing curriculum to help my soon to be high schooler become a better writer.
    Candece S on Feb 19, 2016
    We are following Memoria Press curriculum.
    Kristi C on Oct 19, 2015
    Low price easy checkout.
    Kristin C on Jul 19, 2016
    We are following Memoria Press curriculum.
    Kristi C on Oct 19, 2015
    how important is it to have the dvd?
    Carey on Aug 23, 2016
    BEST ANSWER: The DVD really helped my daughter and I a lot. We tried the initial lesson without the DVD but had so many questions about how to teach the material and what we should really focus on (versus that which we should just "move through" together, and what I should be looking for in her written work. After the first week without the DVD I just decided to buy the DVD and see if it might help. I watched all of the first few lessons with my child to get the hang of what the teaching style and the expected assignment was, and then turned the DVD watching over to my daughter to complete on her own for the rest of the lessons. She handled it just fine, liked the teacher, and we have really enjoyed the course. It was an extra expense, but it facilitated the "lesson" portion of our writing time, so my daughter could watch the lesson (while I worked with one of our other kids) and then we could begin the written work right away. The teacher on the DVD is excellent and goes over the lesson. If memory recalls, he doesn't cover every single detail of each lesson, but goes over quite a bit of it, all in very precise order (following the student's order of assignments). He gives enough information, and more importantly (in my opinion) enough examples of what he wants from the student, to make the expectations clear and the directions understandable. Now I've heard that quite a few moms didn't feel the DVD was necessary for their child at this level, and truthfully we could have done this course without it, but it certainly was a huge help for us in that it helped me become familiarized with the way Memoria intended for the course to be taught, and in my understanding of the expectations (what I should be focusing on in each lesson, and looking for in my child's written assignments). It could be done without the DVD but I felt it was money well-invested and am ordering the DVD for the next level this year.
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