Classical Composition I: Fable Stage Student Book

Classical Composition I: Fable Stage Student Book

# 052953

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Item #: 052953
ISBN: 9781615381517
Grades: 4-6

Product Description:

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. The Student Book provides space to complete most assignments (although some final drafts are to be completed on separate paper). 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.

    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




    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
    9781615381517
    Author
    James Selby
    Format
    Softcover Book
    Brand Name
    Memoria Press
    Weight
    0.55 (lbs.)
    Dimensions
    11.0" x 8.5" x 0.25"
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    Why did you choose this?
    Rainbow Resource Center Store
    cheapest option and quickest delivery
    Meredith H on Aug 28, 2019
    for class
    Eunice Y on Aug 10, 2018
    cheapest option and quickest delivery
    Meredith H on Aug 28, 2019
    I have the set with the DVD, but forgot to get 2nd book. (placed this order just for this book, got the rest to get to the free shipping)
    User on Jun 18, 2019
    for class
    Eunice Y on Aug 10, 2018
    This looks like a good fit for us, and we wanted a classical approach.
    Robert M on Jul 9, 2018
    required
    Amy O on Sep 26, 2017
    Curriculum for Highlands Latin School Houston
    Tracy S on Aug 15, 2017
    classical method for writing that came recommended
    Jill B on Jul 9, 2017
    "This is looks to be a great program that will lead them through step-by-step the writing process. So even though my children are all in high school we will be going through this program and gain as much benefit as we can. Wish we would have seen it earlier."
    Jenny E on May 22, 2017
    Son, who is very intelligent and doing well in math, isn't doing well in english. Plan to give him supplemental help at home.
    Andrea V on Mar 20, 2017
    For the children
    Karla M on Oct 17, 2016
    It seemed like a great program to teach my children how to become good writers.
    Andrea B on Jun 14, 2016
    An excellent classical approach to the mechanics of rhetoric.
    Jesse J on Apr 26, 2016
    I have the set with the DVD, but forgot to get 2nd book. (placed this order just for this book, got the rest to get to the free shipping)
    User on Jun 18, 2019
    This looks like a good fit for us, and we wanted a classical approach.
    Robert M on Jul 9, 2018
    5.0 / 5.0
    1 Review
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    I am so glad that I took a chance and ordered these books My kids do not naturally tend to be creative writers which is why I hesitated for a while before purchasing this program Imagine my surprise when I began using the Fable stage with my fourth grader and every day he makes emphatic comments of "This is great! I love this!" etc I never would have guessed he would have reacted that way over a composition program Not only that but his progress has been fantastic We have taken the time to really learn the terms and figure out the devices they are teaching and it has turned into one of my favorite parts of his school day To that end I highly recommend getting the Teacher's Guide Since this is not the way most of us learned to write having the example responses available to you is a great help to really becoming familiar with the process and the terminology The examples the guide provides are very helpful and offer you as the teacher a good beginning My preparation time is minimal as I simply review what we are going to do in my guide during the time he is fidgeting around to get himself ready (!) Great work Jim Selby and kudos to Memoria Press for putting it into such a fantastic format!
    December 6, 2012


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