Course Details:

The teacher will provide all materials. Students will need to use Google Docs.

A Taste of Things to Come: 5th Grade Core Writing for Middle School Success

$19.00 / week

Engaging, creative curriculum! Explicit instruction! Authentic feedback! Happy learners! Students work to build a solid foundation of writing, so they are ready and raring to go for middle school English.

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Description

🏁 🏎️ Ready? Set! Go! As elementary school concludes, it’s time to gear up for the writing challenges awaiting students in middle school English language arts. As a secondary teacher, Mrs. Lemons crafted a purposeful curriculum tailored for upper elementary learners, ensuring a seamless transition into the intricacies of middle school writing. This class aims to equip students with an understanding of diverse writing genres, guiding them in adapting their writing style according to purpose and audience. Explicit grammar instruction, with a focus on sentence combining and punctuation, fosters sophistication in written expression.

🌺 𝙒𝙝𝙖𝙩 π™ˆπ™–π™ π™šπ™¨ π™π™π™žπ™¨ π˜Ύπ™‘π™–π™¨π™¨ π™Žπ™₯π™šπ™˜π™žπ™–π™‘?
Your learner benefits from explicit instruction, modeling, and the addition of authentic, thoughtful, and constructive feedback from the instructor. Each week, learners engage with various writing genresβ€”creative, expository, argumentative, research-driven, poetic, technical, scientific, historical, and more. Utilizing Google Docs enhances their digital writing skills, promoting proficiency in typing and formatting, mirroring practices in upper-grade levels.

🀝 π™‹π™–π™§π™šπ™£π™©π™¨, π™’π™š 𝙂𝙀𝙩 𝙔𝙀π™ͺ!
Although parents are equipped and have wise feedback for their children, students often take constructive criticism from a teacher with less resistance. Recognizing this familiar dynamic, our teachers integrate feedback and evaluation into live class interactions and homework submissions. This alleviates the burden on parents who may find it challenging to provide constructive criticism. By optimizing teachers’ time on this crucial task, we ensure that students receive valuable input from a supportive and skilled perspective so students benefit from the feedback/revision process.

🚨 GOOD NEWS–We had parent requests to extend the number of classes, and we listened to you! So, we developed more curricula, and this course covers a year’s worth of writing! We have a comprehensive curriculum for 49 weeks! Note: classes that begin in September are easier than the classes at the end of the summer. There is a comprehensive scope and sequence. Additionally, the classes stand-alone each week, so you can pop in and out as you like!

⛳️ 𝐌𝐒𝐝𝐝π₯𝐞 π’πœπ‘π¨π¨π₯ 𝐄𝐧𝐠π₯𝐒𝐬𝐑 𝐰𝐒𝐭𝐑 π‹πžπ¦π¨π§π¬-𝐀𝐒𝐝 π‹πžπšπ«π§π’π§π 
We have a number of offerings that are good for learners with different needs! To see a comparison chart of our middle school English language arts offerings, click the link: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1C4kPDI-gpxZD1Lap7vwqW9QwWsqQSwZ0/view?usp=sharing

Lesson Schedule:

✭⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯✭
😎 SUMMER CAMP ⛱️
You can jump in any time!

βœ… The week starting Jun 2: The Personal Narrative. What is the meaning of life? We probably won’t discover the answer to that question, but students will think of a significant memory in their own lives and pull out the deeper meaning, reflecting, thinking, remembering, and then will write a memoir, a personal narrative. While doing this, they learn to blend important narrative elements such as dialogue, thoughts, feelings, action, and descriptive writing.

βœ… The week starting Jun 9: Response to Literature. Writing a response to a piece of literature is more than just saying whether it was good or not. Students will read a piece of literature and learn to use textual evidence to answer a question. This forms a foundation of argument writing and literary analysis, and the practice of this genre of writing prepares students for the most difficult writing they will do in secondary English classes. I break this down for students so they understand the difference between an argument, evidence, and analysis, but in age-appropriate terms.

βœ… The week starting Jun 16: The Travel Blog. Based on a real-life travel experience or on a virtual field trip, students become travel bloggers, detailed, casual, and with great personalities. We explore the genre of the blog and how different it is from formal pieces of writing. Students learn to write to a specific audience and how to modify their writing stylistically so that their blog is informal and interesting to read. This opinion writing teaches students to use specific details in their writing as well. I always travel to Bermuda, my favorite place on the planet, in my mind and in my model blog, and students can go anywhere they want virtually!

βœ… The week starting Jun 23: Elaboration Techniques in an Expository Paragraph. Have your kiddos ever said, “I don’t know what to write?” They stare at a blank page or a blinking cursor on the computer as their mind draws a blank. They need to be taught how to elaborate, or write more, much more. Students will use information and data to write a well-developed, fully elaborated main idea paragraph. They will learn how to ask themselves elaboration questions to guide their thinking and writing so that they have rich, specific details, descriptions, and reasoning in their paragraphs.

βœ… The week starting Jun 30: Create it! Write it! Sell it! Learners become inventors and advertising executives as they develop their own product and then write ad copy to sell it. While doing so, students will learn elements of persuasive writing and create an advertisement with convincing techniques. Will they create a magical mini-dinosaur that does their homework? Or will they create flying shoes that will take them through the air to a friend’s house? Their imaginations can run wild!

βœ… The week starting Jul 7: A Roadrunner Story–Exposition & Conflict. Roadrunner Story-a Setting, Characters & Conflict. Inspired by Wile E Coyote and the Roadrunner, students will learn to establish a setting, develop characters, and design a conflict in narrative writing. We use video clips for inspiration and practice painting pictures with words. Beep! Beep!

βœ… The week starting Jul 14: A Roadrunner Story–The Main Event. A Roadrunner Story–Narrative Writing. Inspired by Wile E Coyote and the Roadrunner, students will write a very short main event of a story, blending narrative elements. They practice writing action, dialogue, descriptive writing, and other narrative elements. You do not need to have attended last week’s class.

βœ… The week starting Jul 21: A Roadrunner Story–The Climax & Resolution. A Roadrunner Story–Students write the climax and resolution of a roadrunner story. They will “Blend, Baby, Blend!” Students learn to blend all elements of narrative writing into a story of their own. They do not need to have attended last week’s class.

βœ… The week starting Jul 28: Intermediate Research Writing–Writing about Historial People–The Who. We are preparing them for historical research and writing, but we’re breaking it down! This week, students learn how to look at a historical figure, take notes, then paraphrase the notes in a biographical piece we call the VIP Sketch.

βœ… The week starting Aug 4: Intermediate Research Writing–Writing about Historial Events–The What & the How. We are preparing them for historical research and writing, but we’re breaking it down! This week, students learn how to look at a historical event, take notes, then paraphrase the notes in an expository piece informing the reader of a historical event.

βœ… The week starting Aug 11: Intermediate Research Writing–Writing about Historial Place (part of context)–The Where. We are preparing them for historical research and writing, but we’re breaking it down! This week, students learn how to look at a map and its key and make sense of the importance of geography in historical research. Then they write an informational piece describing the place and why it was important to an event.

βœ… The week starting Aug 18: Intermediate Research Writing–Writing about Historial Times (part of context)–The When. We are preparing them for historical research and writing, but we’re breaking it down! This week, students learn how to look at a timeline, take notes, then describe what happened led up to the main historical event, the timing of the main event, and what happened after the main event.

βœ… The week starting Aug 25: Intro to Argument Research Writing–Writing about the Historial Significance–The Why or “So What?” We are preparing them for historical research and writing, but we’re breaking it down! This week, students think about the significance of the historical event by doing a little more reading, taking notes, and then paraphrasing their notes in an argumentative piece about the significance of a historical event. This is an introduction to argumentative research writing.

βœ… The week starting Sept 1: Into to the Middle School Recurring Class SMART COOKIE – Writing Suspense. We all know the tense feeling of reading or watching something suspenseful. The tension builds, and we start to feel more and more uncomfortable! Crafty authors know how to to this, relieving the tension at the right time, making the reading experience enjoyable. Students will learn how to do this and will write their own suspenseful passages.

 

✭⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯✭
🚌 𝕋ℍ𝔼 𝟚𝟘𝟚𝟜-𝟚𝟘𝟚𝟝 π•Šβ„‚β„π•†π•†π•ƒ 𝕐𝔼𝔸ℝ π”Ήπ”Όπ”Ύπ•€β„•π•Š ✏️
You can jump in any time, but this is a good place to start!

βœ… The week starting Sept 8: The How-to Piece. This is a technical piece of writing that forces writers to break down a simple process into its component parts. It takes some thinking and then organizing before they put their pens to paper. Just a heads-up to parents–this class will make your learners hungry! πŸ™‚

βœ… The week starting Sept 15: The Informational Essay. A building block of upper elementary and middle school writing is the informational essay! Scholars will write about their favorite person while learning to use elaboration techniques, descriptive writing, and more.

βœ… The week starting Sept 22: The Simple Summary. Is this a literature lesson or a writing lesson? It’s both! Students will learn two different types of narratives and observe important characters, places, and objects, all in preparation for writing a simple summary. This requires analysis and concise writing skills.

βœ… The week starting Sept 29: Descriptive Writing: an Object. Students will learn all sorts of things and it will be so super great. They’ll do awesome work. Ack! What did I just write? General, no-good words! Learners will understand why specific, clear, and strong language is important as they practice writing descriptively so that their readers develop a sharp, detailed picture in their minds.

βœ… The week starting Oct 6: Descriptive Writing: Developing a Setting. These are not your average, everyday, boring places. The settings our writers will describe are unusual and other-worldly. They will have to use their descriptive writing tools to paint these word pictures!

βœ… The week starting Oct 13: Descriptive Writing: Developing a Character. It’s alive! Students will turn inanimate objects into walking, talking, and maybe even flying characters with detailed external and internal traits. They are authors creating their own unique characters.

βœ… The week starting Oct 20: Descriptive Writing: Feelings. It’s hard to describe a feeling! But students will do it! They will write short passages using descriptive writing to SHOW a character with a feeling rather than just TELL us what a character is feeling.

βœ… The week starting Oct 27: The Problem Story: a Focus on Conflict. We do not live in a perfect world, with perfect people, with perfect lives! The human story is one of conflict. In this lesson, learners will analyze the conflict in a Pixar Short, which takes some critical thinking. The conflict is not so easy to discern without looking a little deeper. They will use this lesson to create a conflict between two characters. They can be characters they have developed on their own, or they can use well-known characters but in a different conflict.

βœ… The week starting Nov 3: The Problem Story: Blend, Baby, Blend. The grammar and punctuation of using dialogue is tricky! But using dialogue in a narrative is a lot more than just what people say! Students learn to give their characters voices by writing dialogue while blending other important narrative elements. They learn to BLEND, BABY, BLEND!

βœ… The week starting Nov 10: The Memory Story: a Personal Narrative. Learners should come to class with a very special object for show-and-tell. The object should be meaningful and be associated with a memory. If they forget to bring one, they will be able to run off from class and grab something. It usually just takes a few seconds. This will be the inspiration for writing a memoir, or the “memory-story” we’re calling it at this age. In class, we will read an example memoir for even more inspiration.

βœ… The week starting Nov 17: The Biographical Sketch. This mini-biography will bring our little writers closer to someone they know. They will learn about a favorite adult through an interview, then they will write the true story about that life. Of course, this will come after they read a sample biographical sketch!

NOV 24 – 30: NO CLASS

βœ… The week starting Dec 1: The Fable. We all know those memorable characters we meet in fables. Fables are different from other stories, and that’s not just because they teach a moral. They are written with certain characteristics. Our scholars will read fables to understand the genre, then they will write their own!

βœ… The week starting Dec 8: The “If I Were…” Poem. Just like artists use tracing paper to learn different strokes and artistic techniques, authors can mimic beloved poetry to learn poetic elements and stretch their creative muscles. Writers will write the “If I Were…” poem this week. I will warn you though. This lesson, along with the next one, has been known to develop passionate poets! You have been warned.

βœ… The week starting Dec 15: The “New Animal” Poem. Again, poetry does not have to be scary! It’s fun to bend language, learn to rhyme, and develop and maintain a rhythm. Again, lifelong poets are born in this lesson.

Dec 22 – Jan 4: NO CLASS

βœ… The week starting Jan 5: The Pet Essay. Do you have ferrets? Parakeets? A pet stuffy? Students will learn the aspects of expository writing as they write a three-paragraph essay on what it’s like to own a pet. They will especially learn to organize and how to elaborate. No easy tasks! But, they will do it and do it well!

βœ… The week starting Jan 12: Writing about Conflict. This class is a combo of literary analysis, critical thinking, and writing. Students watch Pixar Shorts, analyzing a character for his external and internal traits. This teaches them to look closely at a narrative, evaluate a character, and analyze the author’s craft of character development.

βœ… The week starting Jan 19: Writing about a Literary Character. This class is a combo of literary analysis, critical thinking, and writing. Students watch Pixar Shorts, analyzing a character for his external and internal traits. This teaches them to look closely at a narrative, evaluate a character, and analyze the author’s craft of character development.

βœ… The week starting Jan 26: The TEE-it UP Opinion Essay. Using fairy tales and fables, students learn to discern an issue, what side of the issue is presented in the literature, and then respond to that literature with their own opinion. Opinion writing is a type of argument writing and this lesson starts to build a foundation of writing and supporting arguments.

βœ… The week starting Feb 2: Another TEE-it UP Opinion Essay. Using fairy tales and fables, students learn to discern an issue, what side of the issue is presented in the literature, and then respond to that literature with their own opinion. Opinion writing is a type of argument writing and this lesson starts to build a foundation of writing and supporting arguments.

βœ… The week starting Feb 9: The Literary Analysis Argument Essay. Easy as A-B-C. Here we go! We are working on argument writing and how to support arguments with details from narratives.

βœ… The week starting Feb 16: Another Literary Analysis Argument Essay. Easy as A-B-C. Here we go! We are working on argument writing and how to support arguments with details from narratives.

βœ… The week starting Feb 23: The Gift of Poetry. It’s all about the verbs in this poetry lesson. We won’t rhyme, but we’ll segment poetic parts and create a couple of poems that can be given as gifts. Parents might want to wait to watch this recording for a couple of weeks. πŸ˜‰

βœ… The week starting Mar 2: The Imitation Poem. Have you ever placed a piece of tracing paper over a picture to learn how to draw something? This is sort of what we’re doing in these two classes. Students will study classic poems while learning about poetic devices (metaphor, personification, & rhyme). Then we place that tracing paper, or rather, we imitate the poems but use new ideas. This helps students look deeply and analytically at a poem while trying their pen at using the same poetic devices and techniques.

βœ… The week starting Mar 9: The Imitation Poem, Again. Have you ever placed a piece of tracing paper over a picture to learn how to draw something? This is sort of what we’re doing in these two classes. Students will study classic poems while learning about poetic devices (metaphor, personification, & rhyme). Then we place that tracing paper, or rather, we imitate the poems but use new ideas. This helps students look deeply and analytically at a poem while trying their pen at using the same poetic devices and techniques.

βœ… The week starting Mar 16: The Argumentative Piece. It’s time to stake your claim! This is the beginning of argument writing. After brainstorming two sides to an issue, students stake their own claim and then support it. Elaborating by asking three important questions help learners generate ideas. Additionally, they learn how to consider the alternate side of an issue and then how to refute that argument.

βœ… The week starting Mar 23: The Literary Analysis Piece. We will use short sketches, which students love, to learn literary terms, then we will write an analytical paragraph as a class. They will practice doing it themselves for homework.

βœ… The week starting Mar 30: The Literary Analysis Piece. Is it a reading class or a writing class? It’s both! Learners will read a piece of literature, learn a couple of literary terms, then write an analytical paragraph as a class. They will practice doing it themselves for homework.

βœ… The week starting Apr 6: The Elevator Summary. After learning the important plot points in a narrative such as exposition, inciting incident, rising action, etc., students will learn how to succinctly write a summary of a narrative without rambling, giving away too many details, and missing the main idea. I call this the elevator summary because it has to be short enough that you could say it in the time it takes to ride the elevator up one floor! This is a literature and writing combo class.

βœ… The week starting Apr 13: The Elevator Summary, Again. It’s tough, so we need to practice some more! It’s okay if students missed last week because we teach it again. If students attended last week, they need the repetition! After learning the important plot points in a narrative such as exposition, inciting incident, rising action, etc., students will learn how to succinctly write a summary of a narrative without rambling, giving away too many details, and missing the main idea. I call this the elevator summary because it has to be short enough that you could say it in the time it takes to ride the elevator up one floor! This is a literature and writing combo class.

βœ… The week starting Apr 20: Just the Facts! The Straight News Article. Students will learn the elements of a straight news article, read examples, and sort details according to how important they are. Then they grab their reporter’s notebook and watch a surprise event unfold. Their job will be to write their own straight news article with organized and sorted facts and without any bias.

βœ… The week starting Apr 27: The Op-Ed. After reading examples, they jump right in as editorial journalists. They learn how to see both sides of an issue, introduce facts and evidence, and refute the opposing argument in their own opinion article. The topic is high-interest and many students have passionate opinions!

βœ… The week starting May 4: Email Etiquette. Is email a dying form of communication? Certainly not, especially in education and business. Students learn email etiquette, such as having the right attitude, using professional words, choosing the correct style, and including the proper parts of a professional email. Keeping their audience and purpose in mind, students learn how to deal with a problem by addressing it head-on in a polite email.

βœ… The week starting May 11: The Better Book Review. Book reviews are everywhere, and students read them a lot! They read them on amazon.com, on other websites, they hear from friends, and they have to decide if they want to read the book. We will look at various book reviews from different places to see which book reviews are good and which ones are not; students will come up with a list and outline for writing their own book reviews.

βœ… The week starting May 18: It’s Greek to Me! The Drama. It’s time to break out the Greek mythology! Students will read a short drama, learning how dramas are written. They will rewrite the ending to one drama, practicing with the unique structure.

βœ… The week starting May 25: Technical Writing, Simplified. Have you ever heard of Wikipedia Simple? While focusing on technical writing, integrating precise instructions, content-specific vocabulary, and a clear process, students will write a Wikipedia Simple page explaining how to do something they’re good at: mounting a horse? Tap dancing? Shooting a hockey puck? Playing a video game? It’s a hard genre of writing but they will learn to break down a sequenced process and communicate in writing.

βœ… The week starting Jun 1: The Personal Narrative. What is the meaning of life? We probably won’t discover the answer to that question, but students will think of a significant memory in their own lives and pull out the deeper meaning, reflecting, thinking, remembering, and then will write a memoir, a personal narrative. While doing this, they learn to blend important narrative elements such as dialogue, thoughts, feelings, action, and descriptive writing.

βœ… The week starting Jun 8: Response to Literature. Writing a response to a piece of literature is more than just saying whether it was good or not. Students will read a piece of literature and learn to use textual evidence to answer a question. This forms a foundation of argument writing and literary analysis, and the practice of this genre of writing prepares students for the most difficult writing they will do in secondary English classes. I break this down for students so they understand the difference between an argument, evidence, and analysis, but in age-appropriate terms.

βœ… The week starting Jun 15: The Travel Blog. Based on a real-life travel experience or on a virtual field trip, students become travel bloggers, detailed, casual, and with great personalities. We explore the genre of the blog and how different it is from formal pieces of writing. Students learn to write to a specific audience and how to modify their writing stylistically so that their blog is informal and interesting to read. This opinion writing teaches students to use specific details in their writing as well. I always travel to Bermuda, my favorite place on the planet, in my mind and in my model blog, and students can go anywhere they want virtually!

βœ… The week starting Jun 22: Elaboration Techniques in an Expository Paragraph. Have your kiddos ever said, “I don’t know what to write?” They stare at a blank page or a blinking cursor on the computer as their mind draws a blank. They need to be taught how to elaborate, or write more, much more. Students will use information and data to write a well-developed, fully elaborated main idea paragraph. They will learn how to ask themselves elaboration questions to guide their thinking and writing so that they have rich, specific details, descriptions, and reasoning in their paragraphs.

βœ… The week starting Jun 29: Create it! Write it! Sell it! Learners become inventors and advertising executives as they develop their own product and then write ad copy to sell it. While doing so, students will learn elements of persuasive writing and create an advertisement with convincing techniques. Will they create a magical mini-dinosaur that does their homework? Or will they create flying shoes that will take them through the air to a friend’s house? Their imaginations can run wild!

βœ… The week starting Jul 6: A Roadrunner Story–Exposition & Conflict. Roadrunner Story-a Setting, Characters & Conflict. Inspired by Wile E Coyote and the Roadrunner, students will learn to establish a setting, develop characters, and design a conflict in narrative writing. We use video clips for inspiration and practice painting pictures with words. Beep! Beep!

βœ… The week starting Jul 13: A Roadrunner Story–The Main Event. A Roadrunner Story–Narrative Writing. Inspired by Wile E Coyote and the Roadrunner, students will write a very short main event of a story, blending narrative elements. They practice writing action, dialogue, descriptive writing, and other narrative elements. You do not need to have attended last week’s class.

βœ… The week starting Jul 20: A Roadrunner Story–The Climax & Resolution. A Roadrunner Story–Students write the climax and resolution of a roadrunner story. They will “Blend, Baby, Blend!” Students learn to blend all elements of narrative writing into a story of their own. They do not need to have attended last week’s class.

βœ… The week starting Jul 27: Intermediate Research Writing–Writing about Historial People–The Who. We are preparing them for historical research and writing, but we’re breaking it down! This week, students learn how to look at a historical figure, take notes, then paraphrase the notes in a biographical piece we call the VIP Sketch.

βœ… The week starting Aug 3: Intermediate Research Writing–Writing about Historial Events–The What & the How. We are preparing them for historical research and writing, but we’re breaking it down! This week, students learn how to look at a historical event, take notes, then paraphrase the notes in an expository piece informing the reader of a historical event.

βœ… The week starting Aug 10: Intermediate Research Writing–Writing about Historial Place (part of context)–The Where. We are preparing them for historical research and writing, but we’re breaking it down! This week, students learn how to look at a map and its key and make sense of the importance of geography in historical research. Then they write an informational piece describing the place and why it was important to an event.

βœ… The week starting Aug 17: Intermediate Research Writing–Writing about Historial Times (part of context)–The When. We are preparing them for historical research and writing, but we’re breaking it down! This week, students learn how to look at a timeline, take notes, then describe what happened led up to the main historical event, the timing of the main event, and what happened after the main event.

βœ… The week starting Aug 24: Intro to Argument Research Writing–Writing about the Historial Significance–The Why or “So What?” We are preparing them for historical research and writing, but we’re breaking it down! This week, students think about the significance of the historical event by doing a little more reading, taking notes, and then paraphrasing their notes in an argumentative piece about the significance of a historical event.Β This is an introduction to argumentative research writing.

βœ… The week starting Aug 31: Into to the Middle School Recurring Class SMART COOKIE – Writing Suspense. We all know the tense feeling of reading or watching something suspenseful. The tension builds, and we start to feel more and more uncomfortable! Crafty authors know how to to this, relieving the tension at the right time, making the reading experience enjoyable. Students will learn how to do this and will write their own suspenseful passages.

 

 

 

 

Lesson Schedule

✭⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯✭
🚌 𝕋ℍ𝔼 𝟚𝟘𝟚𝟜-𝟚𝟘𝟚𝟝 π•Šβ„‚β„π•†π•†π•ƒ 𝕐𝔼𝔸ℝ π”Ήπ”Όπ”Ύπ•€β„•π•Š ✏️
You can jump in any time, but this is a good place to start!

βœ… The week starting Sept 8: The How-to Piece. This is a technical piece of writing that forces writers to break down a simple process into its component parts. It takes some thinking and then organizing before they put their pens to paper. Just a heads-up to parents–this class will make your learners hungry! πŸ™‚

βœ… The week starting Sept 15: The Informational Essay. A building block of upper elementary and middle school writing is the informational essay! Scholars will write about their favorite person while learning to use elaboration techniques, descriptive writing, and more.

βœ… The week starting Sept 22: The Simple Summary. Is this a literature lesson or a writing lesson? It’s both! Students will learn two different types of narratives and observe important characters, places, and objects, all in preparation for writing a simple summary. This requires analysis and concise writing skills.

βœ… The week starting Sept 29: Descriptive Writing: an Object. Students will learn all sorts of things and it will be so super great. They’ll do awesome work. Ack! What did I just write? General, no-good words! Learners will understand why specific, clear, and strong language is important as they practice writing descriptively so that their readers develop a sharp, detailed picture in their minds.

βœ… The week starting Oct 6: Descriptive Writing: Developing a Setting. These are not your average, everyday, boring places. The settings our writers will describe are unusual and other-worldly. They will have to use their descriptive writing tools to paint these word pictures!

βœ… The week starting Oct 13: Descriptive Writing: Developing a Character. It’s alive! Students will turn inanimate objects into walking, talking, and maybe even flying characters with detailed external and internal traits. They are authors creating their own unique characters.

βœ… The week starting Oct 20: Descriptive Writing: Feelings. It’s hard to describe a feeling! But students will do it! They will write short passages using descriptive writing to SHOW a character with a feeling rather than just TELL us what a character is feeling.

βœ… The week starting Oct 27: The Problem Story: a Focus on Conflict. We do not live in a perfect world, with perfect people, with perfect lives! The human story is one of conflict. In this lesson, learners will analyze the conflict in a Pixar Short, which takes some critical thinking. The conflict is not so easy to discern without looking a little deeper. They will use this lesson to create a conflict between two characters. They can be characters they have developed on their own, or they can use well-known characters but in a different conflict.

βœ… The week starting Nov 3: The Problem Story: Blend, Baby, Blend. The grammar and punctuation of using dialogue is tricky! But using dialogue in a narrative is a lot more than just what people say! Students learn to give their characters voices by writing dialogue while blending other important narrative elements. They learn to BLEND, BABY, BLEND!

βœ… The week starting Nov 10: The Memory Story: a Personal Narrative. Learners should come to class with a very special object for show-and-tell. The object should be meaningful and be associated with a memory. If they forget to bring one, they will be able to run off from class and grab something. It usually just takes a few seconds. This will be the inspiration for writing a memoir, or the “memory-story” we’re calling it at this age. In class, we will read an example memoir for even more inspiration.

βœ… The week starting Nov 17: The Biographical Sketch. This mini-biography will bring our little writers closer to someone they know. They will learn about a favorite adult through an interview, then they will write the true story about that life. Of course, this will come after they read a sample biographical sketch!

NOV 24 – 30: NO CLASS

βœ… The week starting Dec 1: The Fable. We all know those memorable characters we meet in fables. Fables are different from other stories, and that’s not just because they teach a moral. They are written with certain characteristics. Our scholars will read fables to understand the genre, then they will write their own!

βœ… The week starting Dec 8: The “If I Were…” Poem. Just like artists use tracing paper to learn different strokes and artistic techniques, authors can mimic beloved poetry to learn poetic elements and stretch their creative muscles. Writers will write the “If I Were…” poem this week. I will warn you though. This lesson, along with the next one, has been known to develop passionate poets! You have been warned.

βœ… The week starting Dec 15: The “New Animal” Poem. Again, poetry does not have to be scary! It’s fun to bend language, learn to rhyme, and develop and maintain a rhythm. Again, lifelong poets are born in this lesson.

Dec 22 – Jan 4: NO CLASS

βœ… The week starting Jan 5: The Pet Essay. Do you have ferrets? Parakeets? A pet stuffy? Students will learn the aspects of expository writing as they write a three-paragraph essay on what it’s like to own a pet. They will especially learn to organize and how to elaborate. No easy tasks! But, they will do it and do it well!

βœ… The week starting Jan 12: Writing about Conflict. This class is a combo of literary analysis, critical thinking, and writing. Students watch Pixar Shorts, analyzing a character for his external and internal traits. This teaches them to look closely at a narrative, evaluate a character, and analyze the author’s craft of character development.

βœ… The week starting Jan 19: Writing about a Literary Character. This class is a combo of literary analysis, critical thinking, and writing. Students watch Pixar Shorts, analyzing a character for his external and internal traits. This teaches them to look closely at a narrative, evaluate a character, and analyze the author’s craft of character development.

βœ… The week starting Jan 26: The TEE-it UP Opinion Essay. Using fairy tales and fables, students learn to discern an issue, what side of the issue is presented in the literature, and then respond to that literature with their own opinion. Opinion writing is a type of argument writing and this lesson starts to build a foundation of writing and supporting arguments.

βœ… The week starting Feb 2: Another TEE-it UP Opinion Essay. Using fairy tales and fables, students learn to discern an issue, what side of the issue is presented in the literature, and then respond to that literature with their own opinion. Opinion writing is a type of argument writing and this lesson starts to build a foundation of writing and supporting arguments.

βœ… The week starting Feb 9: The Literary Analysis Argument Essay. Easy as A-B-C. Here we go! We are working on argument writing and how to support arguments with details from narratives.

βœ… The week starting Feb 16: Another Literary Analysis Argument Essay. Easy as A-B-C. Here we go! We are working on argument writing and how to support arguments with details from narratives.

βœ… The week starting Feb 23: The Gift of Poetry. It’s all about the verbs in this poetry lesson. We won’t rhyme, but we’ll segment poetic parts and create a couple of poems that can be given as gifts. Parents might want to wait to watch this recording for a couple of weeks. πŸ˜‰

βœ… The week starting Mar 2: The Imitation Poem. Have you ever placed a piece of tracing paper over a picture to learn how to draw something? This is sort of what we’re doing in these two classes. Students will study classic poems while learning about poetic devices (metaphor, personification, & rhyme). Then we place that tracing paper, or rather, we imitate the poems but use new ideas. This helps students look deeply and analytically at a poem while trying their pen at using the same poetic devices and techniques.

βœ… The week starting Mar 9: The Imitation Poem, Again. Have you ever placed a piece of tracing paper over a picture to learn how to draw something? This is sort of what we’re doing in these two classes. Students will study classic poems while learning about poetic devices (metaphor, personification, & rhyme). Then we place that tracing paper, or rather, we imitate the poems but use new ideas. This helps students look deeply and analytically at a poem while trying their pen at using the same poetic devices and techniques.

βœ… The week starting Mar 16: The Argumentative Piece. It’s time to stake your claim! This is the beginning of argument writing. After brainstorming two sides to an issue, students stake their own claim and then support it. Elaborating by asking three important questions help learners generate ideas. Additionally, they learn how to consider the alternate side of an issue and then how to refute that argument.

βœ… The week starting Mar 23: The Literary Analysis Piece. We will use short sketches, which students love, to learn literary terms, then we will write an analytical paragraph as a class. They will practice doing it themselves for homework.

βœ… The week starting Mar 30: The Literary Analysis Piece. Is it a reading class or a writing class? It’s both! Learners will read a piece of literature, learn a couple of literary terms, then write an analytical paragraph as a class. They will practice doing it themselves for homework.

βœ… The week starting Apr 6: The Elevator Summary. After learning the important plot points in a narrative such as exposition, inciting incident, rising action, etc., students will learn how to succinctly write a summary of a narrative without rambling, giving away too many details, and missing the main idea. I call this the elevator summary because it has to be short enough that you could say it in the time it takes to ride the elevator up one floor! This is a literature and writing combo class.

βœ… The week starting Apr 13: The Elevator Summary, Again. It’s tough, so we need to practice some more! It’s okay if students missed last week because we teach it again. If students attended last week, they need the repetition! After learning the important plot points in a narrative such as exposition, inciting incident, rising action, etc., students will learn how to succinctly write a summary of a narrative without rambling, giving away too many details, and missing the main idea. I call this the elevator summary because it has to be short enough that you could say it in the time it takes to ride the elevator up one floor! This is a literature and writing combo class.

βœ… The week starting Apr 20: Just the Facts! The Straight News Article. Students will learn the elements of a straight news article, read examples, and sort details according to how important they are. Then they grab their reporter’s notebook and watch a surprise event unfold. Their job will be to write their own straight news article with organized and sorted facts and without any bias.

βœ… The week starting Apr 27: The Op-Ed. After reading examples, they jump right in as editorial journalists. They learn how to see both sides of an issue, introduce facts and evidence, and refute the opposing argument in their own opinion article. The topic is high-interest and many students have passionate opinions!

βœ… The week starting May 4: Email Etiquette. Is email a dying form of communication? Certainly not, especially in education and business. Students learn email etiquette, such as having the right attitude, using professional words, choosing the correct style, and including the proper parts of a professional email. Keeping their audience and purpose in mind, students learn how to deal with a problem by addressing it head-on in a polite email.

βœ… The week starting May 11: The Better Book Review. Book reviews are everywhere, and students read them a lot! They read them on amazon.com, on other websites, they hear from friends, and they have to decide if they want to read the book. We will look at various book reviews from different places to see which book reviews are good and which ones are not; students will come up with a list and outline for writing their own book reviews.

βœ… The week starting May 18: It’s Greek to Me! The Drama. It’s time to break out the Greek mythology! Students will read a short drama, learning how dramas are written. They will rewrite the ending to one drama, practicing with the unique structure.

βœ… The week starting May 25: Technical Writing, Simplified. Have you ever heard of Wikipedia Simple? While focusing on technical writing, integrating precise instructions, content-specific vocabulary, and a clear process, students will write a Wikipedia Simple page explaining how to do something they’re good at: mounting a horse? Tap dancing? Shooting a hockey puck? Playing a video game? It’s a hard genre of writing but they will learn to break down a sequenced process and communicate in writing.

βœ… The week starting Jun 1: The Personal Narrative. What is the meaning of life? We probably won’t discover the answer to that question, but students will think of a significant memory in their own lives and pull out the deeper meaning, reflecting, thinking, remembering, and then will write a memoir, a personal narrative. While doing this, they learn to blend important narrative elements such as dialogue, thoughts, feelings, action, and descriptive writing.

βœ… The week starting Jun 8: Response to Literature. Writing a response to a piece of literature is more than just saying whether it was good or not. Students will read a piece of literature and learn to use textual evidence to answer a question. This forms a foundation of argument writing and literary analysis, and the practice of this genre of writing prepares students for the most difficult writing they will do in secondary English classes. I break this down for students so they understand the difference between an argument, evidence, and analysis, but in age-appropriate terms.

βœ… The week starting Jun 15: The Travel Blog. Based on a real-life travel experience or on a virtual field trip, students become travel bloggers, detailed, casual, and with great personalities. We explore the genre of the blog and how different it is from formal pieces of writing. Students learn to write to a specific audience and how to modify their writing stylistically so that their blog is informal and interesting to read. This opinion writing teaches students to use specific details in their writing as well. I always travel to Bermuda, my favorite place on the planet, in my mind and in my model blog, and students can go anywhere they want virtually!

βœ… The week starting Jun 22: Elaboration Techniques in an Expository Paragraph. Have your kiddos ever said, “I don’t know what to write?” They stare at a blank page or a blinking cursor on the computer as their mind draws a blank. They need to be taught how to elaborate, or write more, much more. Students will use information and data to write a well-developed, fully elaborated main idea paragraph. They will learn how to ask themselves elaboration questions to guide their thinking and writing so that they have rich, specific details, descriptions, and reasoning in their paragraphs.

βœ… The week starting Jun 29: Create it! Write it! Sell it! Learners become inventors and advertising executives as they develop their own product and then write ad copy to sell it. While doing so, students will learn elements of persuasive writing and create an advertisement with convincing techniques. Will they create a magical mini-dinosaur that does their homework? Or will they create flying shoes that will take them through the air to a friend’s house? Their imaginations can run wild!

βœ… The week starting Jul 6: A Roadrunner Story–Exposition & Conflict. Roadrunner Story-a Setting, Characters & Conflict. Inspired by Wile E Coyote and the Roadrunner, students will learn to establish a setting, develop characters, and design a conflict in narrative writing. We use video clips for inspiration and practice painting pictures with words. Beep! Beep!

βœ… The week starting Jul 13: A Roadrunner Story–The Main Event. A Roadrunner Story–Narrative Writing. Inspired by Wile E Coyote and the Roadrunner, students will write a very short main event of a story, blending narrative elements. They practice writing action, dialogue, descriptive writing, and other narrative elements. You do not need to have attended last week’s class.

βœ… The week starting Jul 20: A Roadrunner Story–The Climax & Resolution. A Roadrunner Story–Students write the climax and resolution of a roadrunner story. They will “Blend, Baby, Blend!” Students learn to blend all elements of narrative writing into a story of their own. They do not need to have attended last week’s class.

βœ… The week starting Jul 27: Intermediate Research Writing–Writing about Historial People–The Who. We are preparing them for historical research and writing, but we’re breaking it down! This week, students learn how to look at a historical figure, take notes, then paraphrase the notes in a biographical piece we call the VIP Sketch.

βœ… The week starting Aug 3: Intermediate Research Writing–Writing about Historial Events–The What & the How. We are preparing them for historical research and writing, but we’re breaking it down! This week, students learn how to look at a historical event, take notes, then paraphrase the notes in an expository piece informing the reader of a historical event.

βœ… The week starting Aug 10: Intermediate Research Writing–Writing about Historial Place (part of context)–The Where. We are preparing them for historical research and writing, but we’re breaking it down! This week, students learn how to look at a map and its key and make sense of the importance of geography in historical research. Then they write an informational piece describing the place and why it was important to an event.

βœ… The week starting Aug 17: Intermediate Research Writing–Writing about Historial Times (part of context)–The When. We are preparing them for historical research and writing, but we’re breaking it down! This week, students learn how to look at a timeline, take notes, then describe what happened led up to the main historical event, the timing of the main event, and what happened after the main event.

βœ… The week starting Aug 24: Intro to Argument Research Writing–Writing about the Historial Significance–The Why or “So What?” We are preparing them for historical research and writing, but we’re breaking it down! This week, students think about the significance of the historical event by doing a little more reading, taking notes, and then paraphrasing their notes in an argumentative piece about the significance of a historical event.Β This is an introduction to argumentative research writing.

βœ… The week starting Aug 31: Into to the Middle School Recurring Class SMART COOKIE – Writing Suspense. We all know the tense feeling of reading or watching something suspenseful. The tension builds, and we start to feel more and more uncomfortable! Crafty authors know how to to this, relieving the tension at the right time, making the reading experience enjoyable. Students will learn how to do this and will write their own suspenseful passages.

Class Introduction Video

Coming soon…

Taught From a Christian Perspective

Our mission is to equip learners’ minds and shepherd their hearts. We want them to have saving faith in our Lord Jesus Christ and then develop a biblical worldview. This means they view their world, themselves, and God in a way that aligns with what the Bible teaches. This brings great peace and understanding to the believer because we serve a good, sovereign God. This course is taught with these goals in mind. In class, we may pray, read scripture, and discuss how to view the content from a Christian perspective.

We have adoptedΒ The Master’s Seminary Doctrinal Statement.

Learners Need Explicit Instruction!

Explicit teaching is a method of instruction students desperately need! It is the opposite of a constructivist philosophy whereby students try to construct meaning themselves.

Well…

Instead of leaving students to magically figure out how to write an essay or read or do a geometry proof, we teach explicitly, which is backed by a large body of evidence, and it’s how Mrs. Lemons teaches her undergraduate and graduate teacher candidates in college to teach! We do it this way because it’s how kids learn.

Explicit instruction is “a structured, systematic, and effective methodology for teaching academic skills. It is called explicit because it is an unambiguous and direct approach to teaching that includes both instructional design and delivery procedures. Explicit instruction is characterized by a series of supports or scaffolds, whereby students are guided through the learning process with clear statements about the purpose and rationale for learning the new skill, clear explanations and demonstrations of the instructional target, and supported practice with feedback until independent mastery has been achieved.”
-Explicit Instruction: Effective and Efficient Teaching by Anita L. Archer and Charles A. Hughes.

Anita Archer trained Mrs. Lemons in workshops, and it changed her teaching. Read a little more about the research behind explicit teaching here and here.


To read more about your teaching and learning methods, read Mrs. Lemons’ blog.

 

The Lemons-Aid Team

Lemons-Aid teachers have a few things in common.
❀️ They love their students and value each of their unique strengths and personalities that make our classes special. Our classes can be described as fun, personal, academic, challenging, and supportive.
🀩 We work to keep learners engaged, so there is always a degree of student accountability for their attention and focus, whether that be through asking them direct questions or by using the chatbox.
πŸ’­ We know all kids can learn, but sometimes things are hard! To support students, we teach them how to develop effective thinking and learning habits that will bring them success in class and in life.
🌟 Building relationships with students so they know we care about them helps us balance the high expectations we have for them regarding their effort, work quality, and behavior. Our students are encouraged, cared for, and they achieve!

π™†π˜Όπ™π™€π™‰ π™‡π™€π™ˆπ™Šπ™‰π™Ž: English Language Arts
#High-Energy #Skilled #Experienced #Relational #Fun
Karen is the Founder of Lemons-Aid. She has a bachelor’s degree in English, a minor in Education, and a master’s degree in Education Administration from Liberty University. With a teaching certificate and a principal’s license in both Washington and Colorado, she has many years of experience teaching English Language Arts and History / Social Studies at the middle school and high school levels. Additionally, she is TESOL and TEFL certified and enjoys teaching English Language Learners from all over the world. She has worked in private and public schools at every level and is currently an affiliate faculty member at Colorado Christian University, supervising teacher candidates in their undergraduate and graduate teacher education programs. She is a teacher of teachers. A homeschool mom herself, she admits that teaching other people’s kids is easier than teaching her own teenage boys! She lives in the Denver, Colorado area where she cheers on the Broncos, Avs, and the Rockies, but her favorite athletes are her own kids who play hockey and baseball!
πŸŽ₯ Karen’s Intro Video

 

𝑱𝑬𝑡𝑡 𝑹𝑰𝑨𝑳𝑬: English Language Arts
#Experienced #Knowledgeable #Empowering #Patient #Rises Above the Ordinary.
As a certified English teacher, Jenn has taught in some capacity over the course of the past twenty-five years. She has taught middle school and high school English classes in both private and public school settings, tutored international ESL students online, developed and taught literature and public speaking classes for a local homeschool co-op, and homeschooled her own two children. Jenn has a bachelor’s degree in English Education. A strong believer in lifelong learning, Jenn has also taken several graduate-level courses related to teaching. Jenn enjoys spending time with her husband, Mark, and their two teenagers. She enjoys taking day trips close to where they live in upstate New York. In her spare time, Jenn enjoys singing and performing in plays. Additionally, she enjoys curling up on the sofa to read a good book. More than likely, one of her four cats will be curled up at her feet.
πŸŽ₯ Jenn’s Intro Video

π™†π™π™„π™Žπ™π™€π™‰ π™π™π™€π™€π™ˆπ˜Όπ™‰: Elementary
#Fun #Inspiring #LoveForLearning
Kristen has a Bachelor’s Degree in Education with a minor in child psychology from Liberty University. For nearly a decade, she has worked in elementary school classrooms, as a private tutor, and as an online ELL teacher. While passionate about education in general, her favorite subjects to both study and teach are reading, grammar, and writing. She and her husband are actively involved in a church where she works as a Sunday School teacher and Children’s Ministry teacher to ages 4-6. No matter where she is teaching, Kristen tries to find ways to connect with her students and to create an exciting classroom that builds a passion for education. It is her desire to not only teach a subject but also to foster a love of learning which inspires students to want to learn more even once the class is completed. Kristen lives in Virginia with her husband, daughter, and their new baby boy! In her spare time, Kristen loves to create teaching content such as interactive lesson plans, worksheets, and more! She also enjoys doing family outings and crafting.
πŸŽ₯ Kristen’s Intro Video

π™ˆπ™π™Ž. π˜Όπ™‡π™„:
Elementary
#Engaging #Fun #Patient #Kind #Encouraging
Ali has a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education and has worked with children over the last 11 years. She taught for 6 years in public school, 2 years in Kindergarten and 4 years in First Grade. She has worked as a reading tutor and ESL teacher online for the last 4 years; she has also tutored children in-person in reading, writing, and STEM. Ali believes that every child is a natural learner; she believes that an educator’s goal is to engage each child in the way that they learn best! She is passionate about creating a safe and FUN environment that teaches the whole child. Each time she enters a classroom, whether it is in-person or online, you can find her singing, playing games, and making learning fun. Ali lives in Missouri, near St. Louis with her husband and fur-child (an 80 lb. German Shepherd who doesn’t know how big he is). In her free time she loves reading, writing, crafts, hiking, working out, and spending time with my family.
πŸŽ₯ Ali’s Intro Video

π™†π™„π™ˆπ˜½π™€π™π™‡π™” π™‹π˜Όπ™π™„π™‰π™„π™Žπ™„: English
#Energetic #Kind #Encouraging #Authentic #Enthusiastic #Guide
Kim loves life, loves people, and loves learning! She views each student as a team member with his or her own unique talents, skills and life experience to bring to the group. She loves helping students expand their knowledge and sharpen their skills to reach their greatest potential. Kim has a Bachelor’s degree from Cairn University in secondary Education with certification in English (NY and PA) and endorsement in music. Her classroom experience has focused on English, PE and Bible education, but she has tutored in a variety of areas including ESL, special ed, math, history, science and music (piano and voice). She lives in northeast PA with her wonderful family. She has homeschooled all of her seven children. The youngest five are still in school and ensure that every day is an adventure. Kim also coaches intramural and competitive sports throughout the year. She loves music, sports, reading and taking long walks up her dirt road admiring wildflowers, listening to birds and reflecting on what she is learning in life!
πŸŽ₯ Kim’s Intro Video

Christian Teachers on Outschool

We want to serve you on Lemons-Aid! For first-time learners on Lemons-Aid, you can use the coupon code Newbie20 to get $20 off your first class.

However, if the schedule doesn’t work for you, we will happily teach you on Outschool, but we can’t talk about Jesus.

Use this referral code and get $20 off your first class on Outschool: LEMONSA2020

Christian Outschool Classes

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