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Thursday, April 12, 2012

Write with WORLD


WORLD Magazine, known by many to be the foremost conservative Christian news magazine, both online and in print, is branching out! They have taken what they do best—write—and have built upon it in a brand new curriculum aptly titled, Write with WORLD.

Designed for middle school students, grades 6-9, this full year curriculum set comes with a teacher book and a student book. The HomeschoolCrew reviewed the pilot program that only included the books, but come September, all future programs will include Learn with WORLD website access. 

Howard Brinkman, Publisher of God’s World News (a wonderful publication for students in all age ranges) shares what will be included with the website access:

There will be three primary content sections:
  1. It will complement and freshen the curriculum by providing additional writing subjects/prompts, particularly subjects found in current events or essays published in God's World News or WORLD Magazine during the school year. This goes with the curriculum's goal to train not just writing skills but critical thinking and discernment in reading as well.  (A user does not have to be a subscriber to any of their other publications to use this service. They will provide any excerpts needed for the student.)
  2. It will also be the place where selected student writing will be published based on submissions we receive during the year. We'll provide instructions on the website for how to submit student writing for review.
  3. And, it will provide a forum for homeschoolers and teachers using the curriculum so they'll have a place to network and discuss, as well as a means to provide feedback to us.
And that is all without the books! Let’s talk about those.

I opened up the student book and showed it to my not-so-enthusiastic-about-writing-middle-schooler and it actually drew him in! This was the first “plus” to me. I thought, hmmm, we might have something here…

Written in a Unit/Lesson/Capsule format, we begin with Unit 1, Lesson 1, Capsule 1. There are multiple Lessons within each Unit and multiple Capsules within each Lesson. My student completes a capsule each time he writes.  Unit 1 starts the student off with a focus on images. Our society is pretty inundated with images and this entire unit helps the student to evaluate them and think through what they are seeing--in written format. This is one of the goals of this curriculum—helping students think about what they see,  read, and in turn, what they write.

The distinctives of this curriculum are several:

* Students belong to a community of writers and have an audience.
* Students see the curriculum as a living, up-to-date conversation.
* Students have access to multiple assignments to choose from in many lessons.
* Students who learn to read with critical eyes are more likely to become strong writers.
* Students will examine models—both strong and weak—to improve their writing.
* Students learn style in the context of their own writing.
* Students learn to write with a worldview.
* Writing teachers need ideas and support.

Each of these distinctives are fleshed out in the teacher book. Along with a full copy of the student book, there are notes to the teacher and suggestions for expanding the capsule in use. This Table of Contents gives you a breakdown of the Unit/Lessons, but does not include individual Capsule titles:

UNIT #1: DEVELOPING CRITICAL READERS

Lesson 1: Reading Images and Advertisements
Lesson 2: Comparative Reading: Sentences
Lesson 3: Comparative and Critical Reading: Paragraphs
Lesson 4: Critical Reading: Essays

UNIT#2: DEVELOPING WRITERS: BUILDING BLOCKS AND BIOGRAPHY

Lesson 1: The Paragraph
Lesson 2: Composing and Linking Sentences
Lesson 3: Creating Focus and Arranging Ideas
Lesson 4: Linking Paragraphs: Transitions and Logic

UNIT #3: WRITING AUTOBIOGRAPHY

Lesson 1: Reporting Facts
Lesson 2: Creating Character
Lesson 3: Developing Ideas with Specificity
Lesson 4: Writing Autobiography

UNIT #4: CRAFTING NARRATIVES

Lesson 1: Developing a Point of View
Lesson 2: Showing vs. Telling
Lesson 3: Narrative with a Purpose
Lesson 4: Writing a Fictional Narrative

By using a journaling method, your student will build upon what they are learning slowly, so writing is not a scary thing to those students that might have a fear or distaste of it. It is a fascinating and profitable way to learn. My son is not hesitant to write (well, any more than a normal 13 year-old boy is anyway!) and his sentences have more form and style. He is not doubtful of his own ability as the expectations of the assignments are clearly indicated. He actually said he would recommend this curriculum to his friends. 

Writing can be an intimidating thing and Write with WORLD makes it much less so. Created by “…nationally recognized journalists and writers, award-winning college professors, and the resources of God’s World News and WORLD Magazine…” this is a prime curriculum for homeschool families that want to give their student access to these kinds of people to help their child learn to write.

The price for a student book, teacher book, and annual web access is $95 per year or $165 if you purchase both year one and two together. This would be four books and two years of web access.

I encourage you to check out their website. Look at the sample lessons online, and see if this sounds like it would work for your students. I am thrilled it is working for mine! You can also see what the other members of the TOS Homeschool Crew had to say about it here.


Disclaimer: As a member of the TOS Crew, I received this product, at no cost to me, in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions are mine. 

2 comments:

Dana Adams said...

Hey, Kate!!!! This is Dana Adams! I am now following your blog! Love ya! Oh...BTW, I LOVEDDDD reading your review!

Under the Sky said...

Thanks, Dana! I follow yours too. I appreciate the kind compliment! :)

I sure appreciate you!

Warmly,
Kate