Here I am today showing you an outstanding language arts curriculum produced by the great IEW people with Canadian History Content!!!!! How wonderful is that eh? It is called the Canadian History-based Writing Lessons.
Okay, so I’ve heard it said that you can’t use IEW writing lessons unless you have a good grounding in how their system works. In fact their website will tell you this: These lessons are designed to be used by an instructor who has been through the Teaching Writing: Structure and Style seminar. In practice I have learned this fundamental fact, if you take your time and you follow the lesson plan, your students will learn. That said, will they learn as much as if you took the time to do the lessons and fully understand their system? I don’t know. I do know that my son is learning and I sorta took the seminar but haven’t really retained the information. I find the IEW people have been nothing less than helpful whenever I’ve called upon them for help as well.. so don’t let the instructor training part freak you out…really, don’t let it.
Trust your instincts and your ability to follow instructions and you will do just fine.
Now that that, is out of the way, let’s talk about what you get. For this review I received the teacher’s manual…wow…ever so helpful, and the student book…. lots of space to write even for my space hungry boy.
The student book sets out the scope and sequence of the course nicely. Letting you know the history topic to be covered as well as the writing lessons: style, vocabulary and structure. Very clearly laid out so you know what you are working towards.
The teacher’s manual contains copies of each of the pages, so that you know you and your student are working off the same page and lesson.
Instructions are very clearly laid out for your use. You don’t have to guess what you are to do next. Answers are provided. Allowing you to guide your children if necessary and to check their work easily.
As I mentioned earlier, there is lots of space for the student to write (you’ll need one for each student). My space hungry boy doesn’t complain about needing more room. I’m not showing you pages of completed work as my lad is (the older he becomes) less inclined to let anyone potentially see his less than perfect handwriting or work!
My son, even though he tends NOT to be a fan of writing curriculum, has been delighted to learn about Canadian history while improving his ability to write well. It solves the “but why do I have to learn THIS” struggle as all I have to say is “good to learn more about Canada eh?” He automatically agrees. 🙂 Win win eh?
Now along with these two books you get downloads from IEW.
The Student Resource Packet and Lesson Checklists. The Student Resource Packet is an invaluable part of the program and shouldn’t be neglected. Don’t forget to download it! Printing it off and getting it bound would be a great way to keep it all together easily.
The checklist is helpful to make sure you’ve covered everything you are supposed to in a given lesson. If you are inclined to grade the work, a grading system is included.
What do we think?
It’s a great curriculum to use, we’ll be putting it aside to use as our language arts program next year. It’s a lovely middle school program that will serve our needs well after we finish the writing program we are currently using.
Canadian History Based Writing Lessons
Lisa Marie Fletcher
two books plus online resources
History, writing, curriculum.
Can be purchased these Canadian Resellers.
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