Language Arts: Writing
Melamed Academy’s writing curriculum is varied and extensive – with the goal of creating lifelong writers with the power to express thoughts on paper. Starting in the early grades, every writing genre is taught at age appropriate levels. The purpose is to develop an ease with writing, and familiarity with its varied forms.
Sometimes, students can find writing challenging because it involves a multi-staged process. Every written work must first be created in the mind before being transmitted to paper.
At Melamed Academy, we break down the writing process into stages – giving the students valuable support throughout each stage. Writing prompts include take-offs from literature, debate topics, and subjects about which students feel passion to share their opinions.
Graphic organizers provide students with a frame in which to plan their writing. Templates break down the writing process into bite-size chunks, giving the student a frame in which to sequence the writing process by sequentially following the writing stages until the finished product is complete.
Good writing is displayed as models and analyzed by students. Also, students proofread incorrect writing and point out the errors! In this way, students perfect their form by constantly reviewing the rules.
Writing is a daily exercise at Melamed Academy. Speed writing drills provide good motor practice, and also loosen students’ habits to encourage brainstorming. Also, students participate in the Story Factory weekly contests in which they all create stories based on the weekly theme, read others’ stories, vote, and compete to win First Place.
Students in elementary grades generally write on paper and submit scanned or faxed copies of their work. Students in upper elementary grades are also encouraged to develop typing skills, with our step-by-step typing curriculum.
Major Elementary School projects include:
- My Picture Dictionary
- Mini Books
- Comic Books
- “All About Me” Autobiography
- Time Capsule
- Recipe Book
- “My Day” Clock with Pictures of My Day
- Book Reports
- Take-Offs on a Book
- Writing a Newspaper
- Interview with my Grandparent
- Letter to Editor
- Letter to Congressman
- “Choose Your Own Adventure” Book with Flowcharting
- Class Poetry Book
- Advertisements for Toys and Food
Writing Traits studied include:
- Ideas – Students learn to construct a main message, build a main theme, enrich with content, and develop a clear flow. By pointing out interesting details that are unusual, unique, or often overlooked, the student learns to engage the reader.
- Organization – Students develop a clear thought process and practice writing conventions and patterns, including: compare-contrast, point-by-point, chronological history, connections, transitions, and sequences with conclusions.
- Conventions – Students study grammar and usage, learning and practicing the language conventions necessary for good writing, including: spelling, punctuation, capitalization, grammar, sentence structure, and paragraphing.
- Fluency – Students practice rhythm and flow by hearing stories read aloud and studying the sounds of word patterns, structure, and style. They write to create a scene, depict a character, or build suspense in writing exercises.
- Word Choice – Students expand their vocabulary on a weekly basis, and also practice selecting the rich, colorful, or precise language that can enhance the quality of their writing. Exercises include show me writing, figurative language, imagery, move the reader, and clarifying ideas.
- Voice – Students learn how to inject their writing with heart and soul, to display wit, life, and breadth – sharing their personal engagement with the subject to ignite their readers’ interest.
Additional Areas Covered include:
- Note Taking
- About Plagiarism
- Respecting Copyrights
- Research Skills
- Visiting Libraries
- Stages of Book Production
- Purpose of Newspapers, Magazines, and Media
- Power of the Written Word
- Ethics in Writing
- Fun with Writing: Humor, Idioms, Puns, Jokes