Wordsmith Apprentice (3rd Edition)
This is the junior version of the Wordsmith program. Grades 4-6 are an ideal time to teach your kids the "tools" of writing. Of course, at that age, if it isn't fun, kids don't want to learn. Wordsmith does a great job of introducing vital writing skills in a fun and enthusiastic way. Throughout this workbook, students pretend to be writers for the local newspaper. Fun comics are interspersed throughout the book to "instruct" your child on the concept they are learning. The lessons will cover sentence review, paragraph writing, reporting, creative writing, and expressing opinions. These skills are covered in three different sections of the book. Part one introduces nouns, verbs, and basic sentence structure to your children. Some of the projects in this section have your child write an invitation, a thank you note, haiku poetry, and four-sentence captions - just to name a few. Part two focuses on modifiers and more complex sentences. Here your child will create some advertising, work on editing, and write a book review. Part three moves on to organizing sentences in a logical fashion and reporting skills. Some of the projects your child will do include writing sports stories, giving household hints, composing a news article, and creating a comics column. Detailed instructions are given at the beginning of every project to help them complete it independently. Answers are printed in the back to help you correct their work. This spiral-bound workbook has black-and-white text and illustrations. 85 pgs, pb.
Written by a homeschooling mom, the presentation of topics and skills in this book is outstanding! Instructions are directed to the student and interesting assignments encourage even reluctant writers. Lessons build from focusing on interesting word usage to sentence construction, to scene-setting, characterization, and well-written dialogue, and culminate in the writing of a short story at the end. Students can complete the course in about a year, but you might want to alternate lessons with grammar instruction, other technical skills instruction, or other types of writing and "stretch out" the use of Wordsmith over a longer time period. The book allows ample room to write exercises in, but students can also use regular paper so that you can re-use with several children. This book has also been revised, and the new edition features additional exercises and examples, an expanded section on writing short stories, additional explanation and examples of revision, and review/practice quizzes. An inexpensive teacher's guide is available for parents who want the extra help in teaching creative writing and includes answers, lesson plans, teaching suggestions, and ideas for expanding the lessons. This guide has also been revised, and includes more explanation of the "philosophy" of writing, further tips on revising, and more ideas for additional writing assignments.
These materials contain both instruction and writing assignments but are not as broad in scope (types of writing) as the comprehensive programs.
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