Writing - Group 1 (Grades 1-4)

This positive, creative and engaging class will be an inspiring boost for either the fledgling or advanced writer.  Students explore many writing topics, purposes, audiences, genres, forms, and techniques.  Types of writing depends on the students’ writing levels, and include paragraph writing and/or short essay writing, memoir, short fiction, poetry, research, literary essay/book report, and speech projects. Students also compile their writing pieces into a final “published” book. Students learn to become “first responders” (editors) to their writing, and also listen to, ask questions about, and comment constructively on other’s writing.  Parents help their children make final grammar/spelling corrections, and help edit for the writing crafts that have been taught. 

This course draws heavily from Writing Fabulous Sentences and Paragraphs by Evan-Moor, Getting Started with the Traits by Culham & Coutu, Mentor Texts by Dorfman & Cappelli, and Mini-Lessons for Teaching Writing by Fiderer.  (This is the curriculum used in class, so families do NOT purchase these books.)  There is a required grammar book that families purchase. 

In addition to the grammar book, students must have a blank writing journal for a writer’s notebook, a three-ring binder notebook, set of dividers, wide-lined paper, pencils, red pen for editing, and highlighters.  There is an additional supply fee for the curriculum and for numerous weekly handouts.  Plan on 3 hours of work outside of class per week.  Appropriate for Grades 1-3.

Writing - Group 2 (Grades 4-8)

Students in Group II will be creatively engaged in a variety of writing assignments, such as Memoir, Persuasive Essay, Research Report, Poetry, Short Fiction, Literary Essay, Speech, Responding to Literature, and Analysis of Writing Crafts.  Students will examine texts to see writing crafts in action.  We will explore reading & thinking like a writer, keeping a Writer’s Notebook, speaking, editing, developing writing crafts, and grammar.  Students also compile their writing pieces into a final “published” book.  Students develop skills to take on the role of first editor.  They also listen to, ask questions about, and comment constructively on other’s writing.  Parents discuss remaining grammar and spelling errors with their children, and help edit for writing crafts that have been taught.

The curriculum used is Teaching Writing through Differentiated Instruction with Leveled Graphic Organizers by Witherell & Mc Mackin, Mentor Texts by Dorfman & Cappelli, and Graphic Organizers & Strategy Sheets by Robb, Prompted to Write by Pike-Baky, A Writer’s Notebook by Ralph Fletcher, and In the Middle by Nancy Atwell.  (This is the curriculum used in class so families do NOT purchase these texts.)  There is a required grammar text that families purchase. 

 Student must have a three-ring binder notebook, set of dividers, notebook paper, pencils, colored pen for editing, a highlighter, and a blank writing journal to be a writer’s notebook (or your prior writer’s notebook if you were previously in this course).  There will be a supply fee for this course to cover the cost of curriculum and the numerous weekly handouts.  Plan on 4 hours of work outside of class per week.  Appropriate for Grades 4-8.  

Writing - Group 3 (Grades 7-12)

This dynamic, interactive course draws from Sonlight’s American Historical Literature 130.  Each literature piece studied will include individual and small group literature analysis, class discussion, vocabulary development, and individual writing assignments with self-editing, peer-editing, parent-editing, and teacher-editing components. 

Literature studied includes but is not limited to:  Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse,  To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee,  The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain,  A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle, Elijah of Buxton by Christopher Paul Curtis,  A Treasury of Poetry for Young People, and other book selections based on students‘ needs.  Writing assignments accompany the books studied and include but are not limited to:  Response Essays, Character Descriptions,  Analysis of Writing Crafts (Hooks, Conflict, Point of View, Setting), Poetry Responses, Research Project, etc. 

The time to complete the reading and writing tasks outside of class will vary from student to student, but plan on around 6 hours outside of class.  Students should plan to be the first editor of their writing pieces.  Parents should plan to sit with their child before each writing piece is due to make final grammar/spelling corrections and to look for the writing crafts that have been taught.  Student must have the Sonlight Literature 130 Student Guide ($27.99 on the Sonlight web-site), a three-ring binder notebook, set of dividers, notebook paper, a spiral notebook, pencils, a highlighter, and a copy of all assigned books (also available on the Sonlight web-site).  There is an additional supply fee for copies.  There is no pre-requisite for this class.  Appropriate for Grades 7-12.