Writing Like Writers

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  • Reviewed on Wednesday, September 21, 2005
  • Grades Used: 3 and up
  • Dates used: current
This is a book I heard such great things about from various sources that I just had to buy it. We were using Writing Strands, which my dd loathed, and looking for something that wouldn't stifle her creativity but still guide her to expand and improve her existing skills, and this program seemed to be it.


+Not just a collection of writing assignments or prompts--instead it +focuses on teaching strategies for improving the childs creative +writing in general (I will include a list at the bottom of topics +covered)

+Appropriate for a wide range of abilities, it says **elementary** but +as you will see from the list of topic this program would be a boon to +any young writer.

+includes blackline masters, literature suggestions, teaching +strategies

+teaches *real* writing skills, such as what might be taught at a +introductory fiction writing course at college, or what is available in +many how-to write a novel books aimed at adults

++very adaptable for different levels--could be used with a homeschool ++family mixed ability group, you could teach the strategies just once ++to all of them and their level of application would naturally ++differentiate


-not very user friendly, requires planning and tweaking by the teacher

-do not expect to hand the book to a child of any age or ability and have them complete the assignments, it doesn't work that way. It is more of a teacher resource. Expect to teach the strategies

-not geared specifically for homeschool, so it includes some classroom management stuff that is irrelevent

-it is not very sequential (it won't tell you, day one do this, day two this...you have to decide that within their framework)

Overall I like it, and would definately recommend it for homeschool parents who...

-don't mind a bit of planning and enjoy actually presenting lessons sometimes

-have creative students who write fairly well and enjoy it on their own, but dislike other "writing" programs that stifle their creativity, but still need their skills and abilities developed


preparation-- the how to do it, these sections have the most classroom-type stuff in it

writing process--prewriting, drafting, conferring, revising, editing,publishing

strategies--read like a writer, show don't tell, 5 senses, Zoom!(focus and detail)

elements of story structure--character, plot, POV, setting, theme

teaching the craft--
dialogue, endings, leads, precise words, repeated words, sound words, titles, transitions, visual imagery, voice

and a chapter on assessment, a bibliography etc.