I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew.
My daughter will eagerly write letters to friends and can pen the silliest creative stories. When she’s assigned to write a book report or complete any language arts assignment, she struggles to demonstrate a positive attitude. When I suggested a fun new creative writing book, she was skeptical.
About the curriculum:
This book is a Christian based creative writing workbook. It is for 5-7th grade students and intended to be used as a supplement 2-4 days per week.
The book is spiral bound with laminated heavy front and back cover. It contains an introduction letter to the student and instructions for the assignments. The workbook is consumable and contains 75 lessons using three different type of writing exercises. Each lesson is clearly noted of the type of exercise.
Students can write whatever they want during the free-writing lessons. The assignments include a writing prompt in the form of a picture, question, or poem. Students are expected to write for a set amount of time without stopping. Even rambling phrases are encouraged until creative words flow.
Using excerpts from quality literature, students write a response to what they have read. Questions and prompts are provided to encourage critical thinking.
These lessons are intended to be fun, with some assignments covering the mechanics and grammar of writing. Some activities include making an acrostic with the student’s name, writing striking concrete nouns, using a thesaurus to find interesting words, creating with poetry, and more.
Some assignments contain symbols by the lesson number. The instructions explain a picture of two people working together indicates the student should work with a friend. The goal is to work together to brainstorm ideas.
Some mini lessons are labeled with a start symbol and are considered a “gold piece.” The student should edit and polish the written piece until they are satisfied they had done their best. These assignments can be used for the teacher to grade. A grading rubric is included on the inside of the back cover.
How we used the workbook:
Johanna completed 2-3 lessons per week. She did not want to like the assignments, but I could tell she enjoyed some. The mini-lessons practicing concrete nouns and using a thesaurus showed her how to be more expressive in her creative writing.
I had expected the free-writing lessons to be Johanna’s favorite. The writing prompts did help her formulate ideas to get started. She struggled with writing nonstop when words did not flow. She tried to write the suggested phrase “what shall I write next,” but she only became frustrated. I am familiar with this technique and have personally felt frustrated when trying it, but I have seen others use it successfully. When it was apparent the lesson was being hindered, I suggested other options. Johanna continued the free-writing assignments and she did better by pausing quietly to ponder her words.
Johanna is an avid reader and found it amusing that a reading response lesson used an excerpt from a book she had read. The writing prompt questions did encourage critical thinking skills, but she would have preferred to discuss her answers over writing them out.
The gold piece grading system is a nice tool to encourage my reluctant writer. I have never assigned grades in our homeschool, but I do use a point system for attitude, work quality, etc. My kids use their points toward the purchase of books, a special outing, or other parent-approved privileges. Johanna has special goals using the gold piece grading system to keep her motivated.
Johanna hopes to enjoy writing more and wants to continue with this curriculum. She likes the writing prompts for the lessons and feels they provide her with more ideas to use in what she is writing.
Click on the image below to see how other members of the review crew used creative writing workbooks from Creative Word Studio.