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The Beginning Writer
suggested for grades 3rd-6th
Grammar I: This course introduces students to the first three parts of speech: nouns, pronouns, and verbs. Students are also introduced to the three main verb tenses – present, past, and future – and their different forms. Finally, students use their knowledge of nouns and verbs to learn about simple sentence structure.
Grammar II: This course continues students' knowledge of the parts of speech by teaching adjectives and adverbs. With their prior knowledge of nouns, pronouns, and verbs, students also learn how to build their sentences with the use of sentence complements: predicate nominatives, predicate adjectives, direct objects, and indirect objects.
Grammar III: This course furthers students' knowledge of the parts of speech by teaching the remaining pronouns along with prepositions and conjunctions. Throughout, students also learn about phrases and clauses and how to write compound and complex sentences.
Grammar IV: This final grammar class teaches the remaining part of speech – the interjection – and reviews each part of speech. In addition, students learn about capitalization rules, punctuation (the comma,
the semi-colon, the colon, the quotation mark, and the underline), and how to use numbers in writing.
The class concludes with a brief overview of word studies.
sentence stretchers: The sentence is the foundation for all other writing, yet many beginning writers struggle with the process of constructing sentences. At first, writing a sentence can seem overwhelming or impossible. This class takes students from the grammatical foundations of a sentence (subject and verb) through the process of stretching their sentences by providing detail in various ways. By the end of the course, students will be confident in their ability to write super sentences!
Prerequisite: Grammar I & Grammar II or comparable experience.
the paragraph: This course introduces your student to the world of writing paragraphs. Students learn about topic sentences, supporting ideas, and concluding sentences. Students then practice the use of transition words/phrases and super sentence skills to create super paragraphs! Finally, they use all of these skills to learn about and write descriptive, how-to, expository, and narrative paragraphs.
the composition: In this class, students learn how to choose topics and develop main ideas for their compositions. Then, students learn how to plan their compositions, write basic introductory sentences, write the body of the composition and transition between 2-3 body paragraphs, and write basic concluding sentences. Finally, students learn about different types of composition organization and have the opportunity to write two complete practice compositions. The student must be comfortable writing a paragraph to enroll in this class.
COMPOSITION PRACTICE: This course will briefly review concepts taught in The Composition while allowing the student to practice one complete composition each week, in order to gain confidence before moving on to our other composition-based classes. This class is for students who have already completed The Composition or who have experience but need additional practice in writing basic compositions.
the summary: Good summarizing skills are beneficial to so many kinds of writing. This course introduces your student to the basics of creating a summary. Students learn how to read a text, search for details, determine the main idea, express these ideas in their own words, and finally rewrite an original in fewer words: in a summary! The student must be comfortable writing compositions of at least three paragraphs to enroll in this class.
the narrative: Narrative writing is all about telling a story: whether fictional or non-fictional. This course introduces students to the basic elements of a good narrative and offers engaging practice for narrative writing. After learning about narrative elements, students use their skills to construct personal and fictional narratives. The student must be comfortable writing compositions of at least three paragraphs to enroll in this class.
expository writing: Expository writing is all about being informative. This course introduces students to the concept of giving information through writing. Students learn how to inform readers through describing things they know and love, explaining both a familiar and unfamiliar process, writing a simple biography, writing an event report, classifying something, and comparing two things. The student must be comfortable writing compositions of at least three paragraphs to enroll in this class.
research basics: This course introduces your child to the basics of research, an incredibly practical skill for all students. Students first choose from a list of historical events. Then, students learn how to choose good research material, copy source information, take notes, create an outline, plan their writing, and write a basic three (3) to five (5) paragraph composition based on their research. The student must be comfortable writing compositions of at least three paragraphs to enroll in this class.
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