I remember this one writing curriculum we used in my high school my sophomore year. It started out fun with lots of thought provoking activities to get you started writing and then projects. Fun projects. I loved that book. The next year they switched books and I actually went to my English teacher and asked if I could have one of the books they were throwing away. Sadly at that point the books had already been taken to the dump.
That book is what Writers in Residence from Apologia brings to mind.
I loved using Writers in Residence this past year with my thirteen-year-old daughter. The book is perfectly organized to draw out all of the information (from a student’s mind) needed to make writing excellent — without any struggle. In addition, the projects were fun and Anna was forever telling me about whatever cool thing she was investigating for her current writing project. Another wonderful benefit to Writers In Residence is the built-in grammar lessons and information.
I’m not sure I explained what I mean about drawing out all the information needed so I want to give you an example. When a student has trouble getting words onto paper it is often a result of poor preparation. Writer’s In Residence organizes all of that preparation for the student. For example. In one of the lessons Anna had to finish a sentence with twenty different endings about her favorite memory from childhood. When I was young at Neena’s house, ________________. (The prompt was your favorite memory so student’s got to choose that part).
“When I was young at Neena’s house, I played dress-up with Dayanna and Cara.”
Then the next section walked her through adding descriptive words, changing the order, and making it all interesting for her readers. By the end of that exercise Anna had a well-formed and well-rounded paragraph about visiting at Grandma’s house and what made those visits so special.
Here are some thoughts Anna wanted to share about Writers In Residence.
“I liked the little side notes about definitions and grammar words. Everything had examples and that was good. The projects were fun. I thought it wasn’t necessarily easy but it was fun and they did a good job of incorporating the fun stuff with the teaching parts.” Anna – age 13
Writer’s In Residence is a complete stand alone student text and workbook for $80. It is listed for Grades 4-8. We used it for seventh grade and will use volume 2 in 8th grade and found it to be just about perfect for that age.
Here is another short example of writing Anna did in a lesson where she had to investigate the meaning and significance of her name.
My name Anna means Grace. It is so cool that both my grandmother and my great-grandmother were named Anna. My middle name is Danae, which is a female version of Daniel after my Dad. It means “She who judges.” Alas, nothing is known about the meaning of my last name.
My Bottom Line: When I think about Writer’s In Residence I love how well-thought out the curriculum is and how much is accomplished one brick at a time. I’m looking forward to the second book in the series, and I know Anna is too.
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