As part of The Schoolhouse Review Crew I received The Power in Your Hands: Writing Non-Fiction in High School from Writing with Sharon Watson to review. Writing with Sharon has three courses for 5th grade through 12th grade students. I received The Power in Your Hands: Writing Non-Fiction in High School, which is for 9th through 12th graders. This writing curriculum can be completed in one year. There are options for using it for two or even three years. You choose the pace you want to set for your student. You will find links to sample pages of the student book, as well as the teachers edition, on the website linked above. The Power in Your Hands: Writing Non-Fiction in High School is over 400 pages long and contains 23 chapters with over 100 daily lessons, as well as a reference section in the back. It covers everything they will need to know in high school, as well as what they will need to know about writing for college. There is no spelling or grammar included in this book, but it does teach the different paragraph types. This course is all about the different styles of writing, how to write them, how to edit your own writing. Each lesson is broken down into steps that are easy for even the beginner to follow by themselves. I really liked that the Bible was included in some of the assignments. For example one assignment was to read the verses listed and write which type of paragraph it is. Devise your own topic sentence. Paraphrase the verses freely. Not every chapter uses the Bible, but there is a whole chapter on writing a devotional. If you didn’t want to include the Bible as part of the course, that could be easily accomplished, as well. The Power in Your Hands: Writing Non-Fiction in High School is a self guided course. Very little teacher involvement is necessary. There is a teachers edition available that is a great asset. It contains all the answers for the students daily lessons. A huge time saver for the teacher. I liked the practical advice that it gives for grading your students writing. Grading writing is hard, especially when where grading our own children’s writing. The teachers addition even includes sample essays to help guide you in your grading. The sample essays are graded, from A to F, so you can see clearly how to grade. This course can also be used in a co-op setting, where I’m sure the teachers manual would be a necessity. I used The Power in Your Hands: Writing Non-Fiction in High School with my 17 year old, 12th grade daughter. She tells me she plans on continuing working her way through the book. Not because she needs the high school credit, but because she liked learning what this course is teaching. Here is a quote from her: “I liked it. It was very helpful. It went in-depth for intermediate and advanced writers, and stuck to the basics for beginners. I liked that.” She brought up a good point. Many of the assignments are broken down for beginners, intermediate, and advanced writers. For example, the essays will assign a certain word count for beginners, with a different one for intermediate, and advanced writers. Students aren’t expected to be expert writers from the very beginning of the book. If you have a reluctant writer, this book will gently guide them into being great writers. Advanced writers will learn how to hone their writing. The Power in Your Hands: Writing Non-Fiction in High School student workbook retails for $39.98 and the teacher’s guide retails for $14.98.
Writing with Sharon Watson- Writing Non-Fiction in High School- Review
April 30, 2013 by 2 Comments