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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

TOS Review Writing Tales

I am so excited to post about this review!  We have had such a great time using this curriculum that the kids don't want to stop using it for the summer.  This one is a keeper for sure!


Writing Tales is the curricula I am talking about.  It is a writing curricula based on the Classical model used by the Greeks.  To be honest, I had never even heard of the Progymnasmata before receiving Writing Tales and I'm still not sure I know too much about it. Thankfully, I didn't have to know about it to use this program and get the most out of it.  You can read more about the company and the Classical Approach on this page of their website. 

From the website:
Writing Tales was born out of the author’s experience teaching a writing class to 3rd and 4th grade students in a classical co-operative.  A desire to teach writing from the classical approach led to a need to make the subject more accessible and enjoyable, and a curriculum was born.  The curriculum for both levels is built on a 30 lesson structure.  One story is studied for two lessons; each lesson is about one week long.
 To read more, check out this page on their website.

Let me tell you what we thought about Writing Tales.

We received both Levels 1 and 2 to review and as soon as we pulled them out of the box, we were hooked.  The student books are spiral bound and the teacher books have a regular binding.  Both books are in black and white with an easy to read print.  There are a few black and white pictures scattered through out the book but do not distract from the text.  Right after opening the books we were able to start using them.  The Lesson Plans are easy to understand and easy to implement.  We had no problem just opening the book and going.

On the first day the student reads the story/fable and then answers questions like "Who are the Main Characters?"  "What is the Conflict and Resolution?"  and then one other exercise is assigned for the first day.  The daily assignments are separated by days in the Teacher's Book so that it is easy to see what assignments are due which days.  Each day's lessons are completely laid out so that there is no guess work as to what to assign for that day. There are also notes for the teacher to explain the concepts being learned that day.  There are also game suggestions to back up what the student is learning.  Each lesson has taken around 15 minutes to complete with a few needing a little more than that.  There are 30 lessons in each book.

The Writing Tales Curriculum is set up to cover one story every two weeks.  The story is introduced on the first day and then every day there after, the student covers different aspects of grammar, writing, spelling, vocabulary, etc. based on the story they read at the beginning.  During the course of the two weeks the student is also required to re-write the story/fable two times.  The first time is a rough draft and should be exactly as originally written.  Then the second re-write the student is allowed to add in some details of their own like names for the characters.  Each story is copied in their best handwriting so that by the end of the book the student has 15 stories to display.

PhotobucketWe have really enjoyed using this program.  Level 1 was used by my 9 yo and Level 2 was used by my 11yo.  The website indicates that Level 1 is for third or fourth graders and Level 2 is for fourth or fifth graders.  However, I have found that with my 11yo's eye teaming problems that this has been a wonderful solution to getting her to write and study grammar with little to no resistance.  I can not wait for Level 3 to come out so that we can get that one as well!

Level 1 Student workbook can be purchased for $19.95 and the Teacher Book for $24.95.  Level 2 Student workbook is $24.95 and the Teacher Book is $32.95.  But starting on May 2nd thru May 9th Writing Tales is having their Annual Sale and you can get 20% off orders plus free shipping!  Woohoo!

  If you have any other questions the FAQ page is a great place to start.  You can also get a sample of this program here.  There is also a Scope & Sequence to check out if you are curious what's covered in this program. 

If you want to see what the other Crew members thought of this program, head on over to The Crew blog and check them out.

**I received both Levels of Writing Tales through The Crew in exchange for my honest review.

1 comment:

Erin said...

Great review! We really enjoyed Writing Tales, as well!