The definitive text for
Teaching Writing: Structure & Style
, this text covers the nine units in depth using the blended sight-sound method. For all grade levels, this manual includes creative writing, essay writing, and writing that can be transferred to other subjects and units. Modeling writing is stressed, as well as practical application by the student through continual writing exercises. Units covered include Note Making, Summaries from Notes, Story summaries, Summarizing references, stories from pictures, research reports, creative writing, essays and critiques. 306 pages, paperback, spiral-bound.
Blended Structure and Style in Composition
An affordable introduction of IEW methods
A few weeks ago I ordered Institute for Excellence in WritingÃ¢ÂÂs Teaching Writing Structure & Style. I didnÃ¢ÂÂt realize that is was based on Blended Structure & Style in Composition until after viewing the seminar. I came away with the feeling that I wanted more than what TWSS had given me. I was very interested in reading the original ideas of James Webster for myself. When I received the syllabus in the mail I descended upon it like bees to field of flowers. Although the syllabus is speaking directly to classroom teachers at times, it was easy to see how this could be applied to a homeschool setting.
The book also contains student examples and all the unit models similar to the ones included in TWSS. I believe that you could pair the book with the Structure and Style Overview DVD to implement the program. The TWSS program comes with a three ring binder full of handouts that I will probably never even use. In substitute of that I would have preferred the Portable Wall, which would be more useful in my opinion. The Portable Wall contains all the unit models. It makes a good reference for the teacher and student, but is particularly helpful in the homeschooling environment, because you donÃ¢ÂÂt have to create the wall charts suggested by Webster in Blended Structure and Style in Composition.
In chapter three there is a technique discussed on skills of limiting in note making, IÃ¢ÂÂm assuming this would be advanced note making skills. I do not remember hearing this discussed on the TWSS DVDÃ¢ÂÂs. I also gleaned a better picture of how the syllabus progresses from grade one up to college level. He discusses the correlation of other subjects within the syllabus. If you want to use the program within your curriculum, without the theme-based workbooks as a guide, this book is a valuable reference. Just add the decoration and styles as the student becomes comfortable with the last one, progressing with the students own pace. You could essentially disguise writing lessons within favorite subjects, while gradually adding in new models, decorations, and style.
One of my main goals for reading this book was to understand his philosophy on creative writing. There are many discussions on this topic at homeschooling forums. If you are interested this information can be on page 77. He states, Ã¢ÂÂCreative writing cannot be taught. It must be caught. It must come from you. It must well up from within the child.Ã¢ÂÂ He goes on to speak about the goals of the narrative unit. Reading that chapter greatly clarified questions I had about the unit.
In short I believe that you can skip TWSS, with the Overview DVD and this book. You would be perfectly capable of using one of the theme-based workbooks to hand hold you through the syllabus at least once, or spend the money you save on the Student Writing Intensive program or the Continuation Courses.
I have two complaints about the book. The printer at IEW is terrible. The bottom paragraph of every page is lighter than the rest of the pages. The content contained in this book is fantastic, and it should be available as an eBook.
February 3, 2013