Wednesday, April 27, 2011

TOS Review-Writing Tales

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My favorite subject to teach has always been English. Now that being said I did not always like the ways that were available to teach it. I despise textbooks and would much rather sit down with a good piece of literature and “borrow advice” from a good grammar text. I suppose this is why we have followed Charlotte Mason’s methods  from the beginning. You can read more about that by clicking on her name.
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While Classical in nature some things we do are not what would be strictly considered so. Language Arts is one of those areas I have never purposely tried to do in the Classical method. I get all confused by the 12 levels of the Progymnasmata from the Greeks but I realize the value and wish it was something I could put into practice.

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 Click images for samples.


Writing Tales is an answer to that prayer. Based on the first level of the ancient progymnasmata writing exercises used by the Greeks, it teaches elementary students how to write by studying and re-writing fairy tales, legends and fables. There are two levels that consist of two books each. The teacher's guides, which are perfect bound, include daily lesson plans for homeschoolers as well as lesson plans for co-operatives. The spiral bound student workbooks take your child through in-depth studies of 15 different fables and fairy tales, and guide them through the process of re-writing each story in their own words. Because of the nature of the classical approach and the thorough study and analysis done of each story, plenty of practice is included in grammar, copy work, spelling, and vocabulary, Writing Tales is a complete Language Arts curriculum.
Writing Tales Level One is recommended for third or fourth graders, while Level Two is appropriate for fourth or fifth graders.
Scope & Sequence -
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I found the layout very easy to use and lesson short and sweet which was perfect for my Aspie and my ADHDer alike. We need very specific instructions and less writing than most so this was perfect for our family. Each lesson lasts for 1 week (5 days) covering one story, copy work, vocabulary, Grammar lesson and practice, rough draft during the odd numbered lessons and spelling, more Grammar study, Final draft, Grammar review and games are done during the even numbered lessons.
Each Teacher’s Guide has an Appendix section that includes the pages that will need to be copied from but they are available online as a free download which is awesome! I was thinking “Well that’s dumb” until I was pointed to the downloads. Then of course I felt dumb for not checking the website. Maybe a note in the TM to locate those easier would be good since not everyone has access to a copier.
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My ds8 said it was really fun and he liked it a lot. This is my Aspie with Dysgraphia who hates to write. he is so proud of writing his own fable just like in the book. Until this came along we were using Primary Language Lessons and while it uses short lessons he constantly asks if he has to do it all. He didn’t ask that one single time with Writing Tales.
Level 1
  • Student Workbook $19.95
  • Teacher’s Guide $24.95                       
Level 2
  • Student Workbook $24.95
  • Teacher’s Guide $32.95
orderbuttonbl (Side note if you are outside the US you can not buy online but they do have options available for you, check their order page for more info)
Writing Tales' Annual Sale Coming Soon!  Get 20% off plus FREE Shipping from May 2nd to May 9th!!!
I think this is a great choice for anyone whether you use Classical methods or not. I can not think of a better, more gentle approach to English than by using great literature. Please visit the TOSCrew to see what other families thought.
Mandy
Disclaimer: I was provided with both levels of Writing Tales in exchange for my honest opinion on the product. I received no other compensation.

1 comment:

Renelle said...

Hi Miss Mandy!,My ds9 loves Writing Tales Lev 1 as his English programme. He finds the games fun and asks for them out of the blue and the interesting stories with their morals and short lessons are perfect for us. Great Resource.Blessings, Renelle

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