Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Write Like Dickens

Would you like your students to be able to write like Jules Verne, Charles Dickens, or Robert Louis Stevenson? Or, maybe you’d just like them to be able to write a complete paragraph. “Write With the Best” is a two volume writing curriculum from Educational Diagnostic Prescriptive Services (EDUDPS). It is designed for students in 3rd through 12th grades who already have a basic understanding of the parts of speech. Each volume is designed to last about 18 weeks or one semester.

I started Volume I with my 5th grader. It is broken up into 9 units with 10 short daily lessons each. The lessons are designed to take from 15 to 45 minutes, depending on the student. Each unit starts with reading an excerpt from classic literature. Unit One is about descriptive paragraphs. They used an excerpt from Jules Verne’s “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea”. It was a paragraph that describes the undersea creature. If you know anything about boys, you’ll have an idea about how excited my son was to read about a monster. Then for the next nine days, it helps the students break apart the paragraph and learn how to create one on their own. I think that for the right student it would be a great curriculum. For mine, it really has showed me some gaps in his language arts skills. So I am going to back up and go over some of the basics with him again. After I do that, we will definitely be finishing this curriculum, and probably continuing on to Volume II.

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