Thursday, April 12, 2012

Write with WORLD

Write with WORLD
God's World Publications
$95 for one year or $165 for both years
Grades: about Middle School

Write with WORLD is a brand new writing curriculum for middle school students from the publishers of God's World News and WORLD Magazine.

"Write with WORLD is the middle school writing curriculum developed by education and media professionals. Use it to inspire and train your students to become proficient communicators who can meet educational requirements and navigate today's growing new media and conflicting worldviews.

Write with WORLD exposes students to:

reading and critical thinking that develop discernment

contemporary subjects and professional guidance to pique interest

flexible exercises to build confidence and skill for using today's new media

a thoughtful and meaningful Christian worldview"

We have STRUGGLED with writing programs like nothing we have seen with any other subject. The main problem with most of what we have done is that it does not have a purpose. Why write about some made up creature or last summer's vacation...there are much better ways to spend time in the minds of most of my children.

I was excited to receive a pilot edition of the first year of Write with WORLD (we received a teacher's edition and student textbook)...the new writing curriculum from God's World News...a children's news publication that we have enjoyed over the years. I was sold after reading the introduction to the student book...I will post some of my favorite thoughts here...but the WHOLE introduction had me...
* We think the best way to learn writing is from people who are actually doing it.
* Real, professional writers will be sharing what they have to say with you.
* From the very first lesson, we're going to treat you like real writers.
* We've looked at a lot of writing programs for students...We don't blame you if you're not good at this type of writing. It's an exercise. It doesn't really ask you to think.
* Real Writers get interesting assignments with purpose
* They write with the expectation that their writing will be published.
* We believe that Christians should be the best writers.

Are you hooked yet?

Before I move on, I would like to point you to a few places on the Write with WORLD website:
Intro to the Teacher's Edition-Be sure to read the Distinctives toward the bottom of this link!
Sample Lesson
Article about Write with WORLD in February World Magazine

Ok, I think that's it...for now at least!

Write with WORLD is broken into 4 Units...each unit has 4 lessons and each lesson has 5 capsules...this makes scheduling VERY capsule per Lesson per week. This course is designed to take about 16 weeks. In the beginning, this is very easy to do. As you get towards the end of the book, you may want to slow the pace down a little to keep the lessons down to a shorter time period. I think this is one aspect that makes this program work so well. It is not over taxing on the reluctant writer.

The lessons begin with images in the first lesson. Taking a look at them and asking questions about them. Then writing some possible answers to those questions to form a paragraph. Reading the image and thinking about it. By the fourth unit, students are led down the path to create narratives. It is a step by step process that does not only involve crafting good sentences, but engaging the brain in a critical way to create better writing.

Our copy of Write with WORLD got lost in the mail (Customer Service was PHENOMENAL by the way!), so we are a little behind where I would have liked to be in this book to review it, but overall, it has been an excellent fit. The books are Non-consumable...ONE BOOK FOR ALL CHILDREN...yes, I knew you would be excited about that! Students need something to journal in, a dictionary, thesaurus and a writing utensil and occasionally an additional resource or a magazine article, balls, a highlighter and a favorite book. Things that are commonly found in most homes. We received a pilot version, so I am not sure what the final edition would look like, but I hope there will be a complete listing of materials needed in the front of the book...or the back...but just all together would be helpful.

Prep time was VERY MINIMAL...since the book is broken up as it is, my 8th grade son knew exactly what was expected. Lessons were very short...most were able to be completed in about 30 minutes or so. I will say, one place where I fell down on this was in participating with him through the lessons. He pretty much did the work on his own up to this point. I was able to work with him on a few lessons, but look forward to connecting with him more as we continue on. Looking back through his work, I found places where working together would have helped.

One aspect I am VERY excited about, but didn't get to try was the Web site (Sept. 2011). This will be a place for updated examples, writing prompts, published student work, and helpful teacher forum. Oh my...that sounds too good for words and I cannot WAIT to see that!

Another aspect I liked about Write with WORLD were the side by side comparisons of examples of good writing and bad writing...such as: A fascinated blonde toddler or A cherubic, blonde-haired, blue-eyed, purple-clad female toddler. The professor's desk goes on to explain what makes the second phrase not so good..."The writer uses eight-yes eight-adjectives to describe a child. When people talk, they use adjectives, but rarely do they use eight. This writer is forcing adjectives into this part of her sentence and, as a result, creates a phrase that is forced. Too many adjectives will cause your audience to stop listening before they ever finish reading the sentence." That is very practical help for young writers to help them think about what they are writing. In the 3 weeks we have been using this program, I have already seen an improvement in my son's writing.

I must say, I am very impressed with Write with WORLD.

Pre-orders can be made here
See what my fellow crew mates have to say about Write with WORLD here
Disclaimer: I received this item for the purpose of writing a fair and honest review. I received no other compensation. All the opinions expressed are my own.

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