In each class of these upbeat, fun, and creative classes, learners will work on sentence construction, sentence combining, syntax (putting grammar knowledge to work), and developing a piece of writing at the elementary school level. They will learn elements of various genres as they write short pieces of writing each week, including essays, summaries, narratives, memoirs, descriptive pieces, biographies, fables, and poetry. This helps them understand how to write differently for various purposes and audiences. Class time will be devoted to direct, explicit instruction in grammar and writing, which includes teacher modeling, guided practice, and students independently writing. Students will enjoy each writing task, learning more about various genres, how to construct sentences and paragraphs with variety, powerful words, and personality. Reading passages are integrated as we look at examples. These classes double as reading classes as they view example pieces of writing, learning about various genres and their component parts.
?? The teacher will provide each student with a Google Doc. Students can either use this Google Doc, or they can take a picture of their writing and upload it to the classroom. Please note that writing on a Google Doc gives us a way to give more detailed feedback. It is perfectly fine for a parent to type it up! Students finish their piece of writing after class and then send a message to the teacher. The price of this class includes teacher feedback throughout the week on student writing.
?? To see the profile videos of teachers teaching this class, visit the links. Each section lists which person is teaching. https://outschool.com/teachers/Karen-Lemons?usid=0BAnv5zn&signup=true&authTrigger=follow_teacher&utm_campaign=share_leader_link
?? SCHEDULE: This course can be used as an entire year of writing if you’d like.
Week of Oct 16: Descriptive Writing: Developing a Setting. These are not your average, every day, 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!
Week of Oct 23: 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.
Week of Oct 30: 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.
Week of Nov 6: 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.
Week of Nov 13: 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!
Week of Nov 20: NO CLASS
Week of Nov 27: 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.
Week of Dec 4: 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!
Week of Dec 11: 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!
Week of Dec 18 & 25 & Jan 1: NO CLASS
Week of Jan 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 the poetic elements and to 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.
Week of Jan 15: The “New Animal” Poem. Again, poetry does not have to be scary! It’s fun to bend language, learn to rhyme, develop and maintain a rhythm. Again, lifelong poets are born in this lesson.
Week of Jan 22: 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!
Week of Jan 29: The Elevator Summary. This class is a combo of literary analysis, critical thinking, and writing. After learning about the important plot elements in a story, students analyze Pixar Shorts, analyzing them for exposition, conflict, rising action, climax, and resolution. Then they use those plot elements to write what we call an “elevator summary.” You only have the time it takes to ride from the 1st to the 2nd floor of an elevator to summarize all those important parts. Students learn to be concise!
Week of Feb 5: Another Elevator Summary. This class is a combo of literary analysis, critical thinking, and writing. After learning about the important plot elements in a story, students analyze Pixar Shorts, analyzing them for exposition, conflict, rising action, climax, and resolution. Then they use those plot elements to write what we call an “elevator summary.” You only have the time it takes to ride from the 1st to the 2nd floor of an elevator to summarize all those important parts. Students learn to be concise!
Week of Feb 12: The TEE-it UP Opinion Piece. 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.
Week of Feb 19: Another TEE-it UP Opinion Piece. 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.
Week of Feb 26: The Literary Analysis Argument Piece. Easy as A-B-C. Here we go! We are working on argument writing and how to support arguments with details from narratives.
Week of Mar 5: Another Literary Analysis Argument Piece. Easy as A-B-C. Here we go! We are working on argument writing and how to support arguments with details from narratives.
Week of Mar 12: 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. 😉
**The classes from early fall restart**
Week of March 19: 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! 🙂
Week of March 26: The Informational Piece. A building block of upper elementary and middle school writing in the informational piece! Scholars will write about their favorite person while learning to use elaboration techniques, descriptive writing, and more.
Week of Apr 2: 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 writing skills.
Week of Apr 9: 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.