Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Fun Writing Curriculum for 4th/5th Graders

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After my oldest son and I reviewed The Astonishing Journey of Teddy Bodain by Melissa Forney 6 years ago, I couldn't wait to pass it down to my other two children. Well, that time has come and gone! My youngest finished it last year while she was in fourth grade.

One of the main reasons I liked this curriculum is that my kids approached writing with much more enthusiasm than they did before "Teddy", as we call it. It's a HUGE deal when your kids actually get a little excited about writing. :)

*You can click the above link to read my original review, but I will highlight a few things here as well.

The Astonishing Journey of Teddy Bodain is a historical novel told through 130 letters of a 10-year-old girl. In her letters to her friend, Martha, she shares her many exciting and sometimes sad adventures of traveling in a wagon train from the Old South to Florida in 1892. That may sound like a lot of letters, but your child only reads one letter per day throughout the school year. The curriculum can be completed in about 8 months following a one-letter-per-day schedule.

Each letter corresponds to a daily assignment such as a writing prompt, language arts questions, or comprehension questions. Language arts questions are multiple choice while the comprehension questions require short or long written answers depending on the assignment. Writing prompts will cover 3 types of writing styles: personal narratives, expository writing, and persuasive writing. Recipes to foods that Teddy ate on her journey are included in the back of the book. We made Johnny Cakes and Essie Mae's Pound Cake, however, I can't seem to find the pictures I took. :(

There are answers provided for the language arts questions but not for the comprehension questions. It's not that difficult to scan the letters for the answers, though. 

The complimentary books, Razzle Dazzle Writing and Writing Superstars, will help you teach the writing skills necessary to help your child complete the writing prompts and become a better writer. I didn't follow a particular order with these books but taught different skills as needed. Very helpful in my opinion!

My kids read one letter per day on their own. They read straight from the Teacher's Edition.  After reading a letter, they'd complete that day's corresponding assignment. Also, as needed, I taught skills from the other books mentioned in the previous paragraph. I would choose to focus on certain writing skills, usually one at a time, so as not to overwhelm my kids. It was neat to see their writing improve as we moved along.

I used this curriculum in addition to our normal grammar/writing program. I chose not to go as heavy with literature during the year my kids worked on The Astonishing Journey of Teddy Bodain. We read out loud and discussed books, and my kids have also always read for pleasure on their own. I wasn't too worried about the lighter literature load. :)

I loved this curriculum, and so did my kids. Read more on Amazon, and if you decide to purchase, thank you for using my affiliate link! (Now, there is also an additional companion book, Teddy Bodain's Adventure Quest, that you can check out. We've never used that one, though.)

Linked to Hip Homeschool Hop, WFMW, A Little Bird Told Me


Joanne said...

This sounds great! I've been looking for a fun writing curriculum for my boys. They are very reluctant writers and I hadn't found anything that seemed doable with just small increments each day.

Brandi said...

Oh, good! Hope your kids like it. :)


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