Writing & Rhetoric Book 4: Chreia & Proverb Student Edition

Writing & Rhetoric Book 4: Chreia & Proverb Student Edition

# 007941

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Item #: 007941
ISBN: 9781600512421
Grades: 4-6

Product Description:

Publisher Description:

A Creative Approach to the Classical Progymnasmata. Think of the progymnasmata as a step-by-step apprenticeship in the art of writing and rhetoric. What is an apprentice? It is a young person who is learning a skill from a master teacher. Our students will serve as apprentices to the great writers and great stories of history.

Students are often expected to write with no clear model before them. Modern composition scolds traditional writing instruction as rote and unimaginative. It takes imitation to task for a lack of freedom and personal expression. And yet, effective communication from writer to reader always requires some sort of form and structure. Many of history's greatest writers learned by imitation. In other words, writing takes the same kind of determined study as ballet or diving. Creativity uses conventional form as a stage or a springboard from which to launch grand jets and somersaults. Too often students are expected to tackle complex writing assignments without learning the necessary intermediate steps. The assumption is that because most everyone can speak English well enough to be understood, and form letters with a pencil, that everyone should be able to write well. Yet how many of us would expect a child to sit at a piano, without piano lessons, and play a concerto? Writing is never automatic.

The Writing & Rhetoric series method employs fluent reading, careful listening, models for imitation, and progressive steps. It assumes that students learn best by reading excellent, whole-story examples of literature and by growing their skills through imitation. Each exercise is intended to impart a skill (or tool) that can be employed in all kinds of writing and speaking. The exercises are arranged from simple to more complex. What's more, the exercises are cumulative, meaning that later exercises incorporate the skills acquired in preceding exercises. This series is a step-by-step apprenticeship in the art of writing and rhetoric.

The word chreia (cray-ă) comes from the Greek word chreiodes (cray-o-dees), which means "useful. It is a short essay or remembrance that praises the author of a saying or proverb and shows why the saying is useful. This book employs all the skills of the preceding books in the series and teaches students how to write a six-paragraph essay on the basis of a saying or an action. The thinking and exercises occur within the framework of the stories which, in this book, include wonderful historical figures such as King Arthur, King Alfred, Lady Godiva, King Canute, Omar Khayyam, and more.

The six-paragraph essay using the five Ws (who, what, when, where, why) is arranged this way:

  • Praise the person or saying of your chreia or proverb
  • Restate the saying in your own words
  • Explain why this is useful
  • Contrast your example with another person in history
  • Compare your example with another similar example in history
  • Epilogue concludes your essay

Includes 12 lessons, 9 of which are chreia (short essays or remembrance that praises the author of a saying and shows why the saying is useful) based on sayings (proverbs) from historical figures: King Solomon, King Arthur, King Alfred the Great, King Canute, Two Medieval Poets, Francis of Assisi, Queen Elizabeth I, Lady Godiva, and King Richard III plus 3 introductory lessons detailing the process of writing a chreia. Utilizes skills learned in previous books and teaches the six-paragraph essay.

Category Description for Writing & Rhetoric:

What! Another writing program? It's easy to imagine such a question popping up since we do have a number of excellent writing programs already available. This one is a worthy addition. First of all, it follows the classical model for teaching writing (and rhetoric) skills. What exactly does that mean? It means a program that is, in essence, a step-by-step apprenticeship in the art of writing and rhetoric. It's a program that believes that imitation is the foundation for learning writing and at the same time provides an easy to use framework for starting with models of good writing, building a "conversation in the head" (in other words, content through discussion and writing exercises), and for following the persuasive writing system developed by the ancient Romans. This system - the progymnasmata (progym, for short) - takes the student from simple retelling skills through the more and more complex skills of reporting, narrating, praising, comparison, persuasion, and defense. Modern writing borrows heavily from these skills, but the underlying methodology is distinctly different. Modern writing courses emphasize mastering the writing process and gaining experience with the different forms of writing. Accordingly, they often start with a blank sheet of paper and a brainstorming session. The progym, on the other hand, starts with well-known and excellent writing models (also known as classic literature).

Secondly, this program is user-friendly with virtually no teacher prep needed and the possibility of a minimum of teacher-student interaction (although interaction is always a plus). The publisher is the same one who has given us Latin for Children and Latin Alive! They know how to do user-friendly (and appealing). Even if you had no inkling of the meaning of a classical writing program, this would be an excellent choice. The Student Books provide instruction and examples with plenty of space to write. The Teacher Books have identical pages to the student books but add grey boxes which provide additional info, writing samples, answers and talking points. The two books are designed to be used together, and I think it would be unwise and difficult to try to use one without the other. Packages are available for most levels.

The lessons follow a pattern. The teacher reads through the text followed by a subsequent reading by the student (in upper levels, the student reads through the text examples). Narration (Tell It Back), discussion (Talk About It), and comprehension (Go Deeper) are all part of this initial look at the source material. Then starts the writing exercises (Write & Discuss). To give you an example of these, from one lesson in Book 2, copywork, dictation, sentence play, copiousness (using synonyms), and amplification (rewriting). Later in the lesson there is a time for reading/presenting the lesson's written work and separate Speak It exercises. It's suggested that this writing series would alternate with a grammar program (although no recommendations are made).

Each book is a semester's worth of writing instruction, with a total of twelve books planned. In a perfect world, a student would start in 3rd grade and complete the series in 8th grade. If your world isn't quite perfect, this series could be started anytime up to 5th or even 6th grade (in my opinion). Students beginning this program should know how to identify and create a complete sentence. It is possible to enter the program at upper levels but requires careful evaluation of the student's writing experience and the scope of the level. Some familiarity with the Progym series would also be helpful. You may wonder how this series interfaces with Common Core. The publishers note that their program "covers a host of these standards." But they further note that "while these goals are worthwhile, the Progym derive their strength from the incremental and thorough development of each form of writing. The Writing & Rhetoric series does not skip from form to form and leave the others behind, but rather builds a solid foundation of mastery by blending the forms."

Optional MP3 audio files are available for some volumes from the publisher's website. These feature Dr. Christopher Perrin, his wife, Christine Perrin and/or others, reading the fables, myths, historical narratives and other source material used in the books aloud, to either add an auditory dynamic to your lesson or help auditory learners enhance their understanding of the material. ~ Janice

Category Description for COMPLETE ENGLISH PROGRAMS:

These materials offer complete coverage of both writing and grammar.

Primary Subject
Grade Start
Grade End
Paul Kortepeter
Brand Name
Classical Academic Press
1.3 (lbs.)
11.0" x 8.5" x 0.5"
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Why did you choose this?
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I have used Books 3-10 of this series and found them to be engaging, with reading selections that will appeal to boys as well as girls, and having an excellent balance between writing instruction and sparking imagination and creativity. I have taken a college level composition class and love writing. Far too many writing programs produce "excellent" writers through academic rigor that eventually loath writing due to the instruction and practice method. Not so with this, I am well pleased!
HEATHER J on Feb 1, 2022
I LOVED the Writing and Rhetoric Books 1 &2. I do recommend the Teacher's guide.
Daveena on Jul 15, 2021
I have used Books 3-10 of this series and found them to be engaging, with reading selections that will appeal to boys as well as girls, and having an excellent balance between writing instruction and sparking imagination and creativity. I have taken a college level composition class and love writing. Far too many writing programs produce "excellent" writers through academic rigor that eventually loath writing due to the instruction and practice method. Not so with this, I am well pleased!
HEATHER J on Feb 1, 2022
liked the others in the series
Melissa D on Nov 6, 2021
I LOVED the Writing and Rhetoric Books 1 &2. I do recommend the Teacher's guide.
Daveena on Jul 15, 2021
Lord, I hope my son lets me teach and review to improve his writing skills--he sure needs help.
Ann R on Jun 28, 2021
Need the next book in the series. We love this program!
Julia H on Apr 15, 2021
Michelle V on Jan 14, 2021
We love the stories and progressive approach to writing by doing copy work, dictation, summary, and creating your own writing.
Mary A on Nov 30, 2020
Starting W&R with my 6th grader
Bonnie H on Oct 11, 2020
My son needs a writing component to his LA subject and Lifepac isn't working for him.
Tanya S. on Sep 20, 2020
love this series!
Jamie H on Aug 10, 2020
Carla K on Dec 23, 2019
I am keen to use this book with my budding writer.
Gaylene J on Oct 23, 2019
We used this at our Co-op and had success with it so we are continuing on to the next two books this year. Easy to understand and work through. Stories are quality. Be aware that your child will be doing alot of writing but the pay off is great.
Amy J on Aug 30, 2019
It is the next in the series that my daughter is already working through.
Meagan S on Aug 23, 2019
We have previously used this curriculum and love it
Kristin S on Aug 6, 2019
writing program is very clear, consistent with enjoyable reading content
Beth D on Jul 5, 2018
wanted- you're a good supplier
Ali R on Feb 23, 2018
I used books 1-2 and want to continue with the program
Michelle T on Dec 20, 2017
My kids started out with Book 1 of this series and enjoyed it. We did Books 2 & 3, then moved onto another writing program. My kids didn't like it, so we can back to Writing and Rhetoric.
Cory B on May 6, 2017
My daughters, one who loves to write and one who dreads it, both love this series of writing books. They work through them together, and even though they are at different levels, both are showing progress.
Sharon P on Feb 3, 2017
The Writing and Rhetoric series has been hands down the best curriculum for my son who struggles to compose and put his thoughts on paper. I highly recommend this curriculum. The Teacher Edition is also so simple to use, this is a very open and go curriculum. Highly recommended!
User on Aug 20, 2016
homeschool group class
Janet C on Jul 18, 2016
Daughter has used the first three Writing and Rhetoric books, has enjoyed them and they are improving her writing.
Mark G on Mar 17, 2016
Next semester's writing program
Cheri W on Nov 9, 2015
liked the others in the series
Melissa D on Nov 6, 2021
Lord, I hope my son lets me teach and review to improve his writing skills--he sure needs help.
Ann R on Jun 28, 2021
5.0 / 5.0
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Rated 5 out of 5
Independent and in-depth
I have now used the Writing and Rhetoric series from Books 1 through 7 across four daughters over the past two years. (This is a review of the entire series more than for any one specific book.) Two of my children are "reluctant writers," and for that reason I am especially impressed with this series. Even those two kids have completed all the work, as expected, with minimal difficulty. The amount of writing output from my "reluctant" 9th grader, who is now is Book 7, has amazed me. She started in Book 5, and I am glad that I trusted the process and that we got to where we are today. On the other hand, my oldest daughter is a natural writer, and has been creating a flow of stories ever since she could hold a pencil. This series has been a challenge for her to learn to think logically, organize her thoughts ahead of time, and use more advanced writing techniques (hyperbole, etc). So this is in NO WAY an easy or dumbed-down course. For both those reasons, I pretty much recommend this to anyone who asks me about writing curriculum now. As to specifics, I find this series ramps up quickly in difficulty. I used Books 1 and 2 in 4th grade, 3 and 4 in 5th grade, and after that I dropped to only one book a year. I am using a history course that also requires a decent amount of writing, and plowing through two of these books a year was just too much to handle when there is also writing in another course. If you do drop to one book a year, I would also recommend skipping Book 6. It's pretty much a repeat of Book 5. Doing both in one year (as scheduled) would make for good practice, but my oldest informed me that she felt like she wasted an entire year and didn't advance with it, and I had to agree with her. The rest of my daughters will skip Book 6. My youngest child has never done any other writing course beside this one, and I am was pleased that she could begin Book 1 with no prior instruction, and it took her step-by-step through everything she needed to know from the very beginning. I also appreciated the "reading comprehension" work that is included every lesson. Good writing comes from good understanding! I personally love writing myself, and have not gotten any teacher guides to date. I would recommend the teacher's guides for those who might not love to write, as some assignments do require quite a bit of explaining on my part and deep thinking on the part of the students. Mostly the books are very independent, which I also hugely appreciate. My kids have done all the work on their own unless they get stuck on an assignment. I consider this course to be "hands off, with occasional tutoring needed." Well done! Be aware, especially at lower levels, that there is little or no instruction on writing mechanics. Punctuation, spelling, and indenting is all left up to teacher instruction. I am fine with giving a brief lesson on things like that and then expecting/correcting mistakes as I correct each assignment. But for those expecting that, it will have to be added in from other sources. The occasional grammar lessons are an added bonus. (I tried out the corresponding CAP grammar course for one year and truly loathed it. But they way they use the study of adverbs or prepositions to improve writing in these books is very useful and well thought out!)
April 22, 2021
Rated 5 out of 5
Hey Mom, want to hear the sentence I just wrote?
So far my son and I have loved the Writing and Rhetoric program. I think it is challenging without overdoing it. (Why write variations of a model sentence 20 times when 4 well crafted variations will do?) My son enjoys the stories and often asks me to listen to each....and....every....sentence he writes. He is so thrilled with his output. And he has decided that he wants to be an author someday, which is significant since he is severely dysgraphic.

I have made adaptations in this book on the major writing assignments, since it skips from short narratives in the previous book to 6 paragraph essays, and my son isn't quite ready for the writing load. His charter school teachers are thrilled with his writing.
April 28, 2016
Rated 5 out of 5
Singapore Earlybird Math really works for us My 5-year-old daughter responds well to the fun illustrations and colorful yet not cluttered pages The way it introduces concepts is excellent For example it has the child count objects to see that 2 and 2 are 4 then progresses to writing it in a number sentence of 2+2=4 My daughter easily learned addition without even realizing it! It's so much better than just forcing her to memorize the math facts When she wants to figure out a number concept in everyday life I see her using Singapore-type methods to come up with a solution She'll draw two sets of circles in a notebook to figure out an addition problem that without Singapore I'm sure would be far too hard for her at this age I've heard some say they didn't like that Singapore does not repeat the same concepts over and over or that there isn't extensive practice but my daughter has not seemed to need it In fact I'm sure she would be bored with repetition once she understands a concept So far she says math is one of her favorite subjects I appreciate that teacher's notes are at the bottom of each page While they're meant for a classroom I have had no problem easily adapting them for homeschool The notes give activity ideas to bring the math concepts to life
December 3, 2007

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