About Writing Tales

    Writing Tales was born out of the authorís experience teaching a writing class to 3rd and 4th grade students in a classical co-operative.  A desire to teach writing from the classical approach led to a need to make the subject more accessible and enjoyable, and a curriculum was born.

    The curriculum for both levels is built on a 30 lesson structure.  One story is studied for two lessons; each lesson is about one week long.  In the first lesson, the story is introduced.  The structure of the story is studied - who wrote it?  Who are the main characters?  What is their problem and how do they resolve it?  The student practices copywork using a passage of the story, and defines vocabulary words from the story.  A specific grammar concept is learned using examples from the story.  In Level Two, the student practices outlining the story, and finding synonyms for certain words.  Finally, the student re-writes the story in his own words.

    In the second lesson, the student practices spelling with words that were mis-spelled in her first written story.  More grammar practice is included.  Finally, instructions are given for re-writing the story a second time.  It is here that a small deviation from the strict classical approach is included, and bears some explanation.

    The strict classical approach to writing calls for a strict re-telling of the original fable or fairy tale by the student and nothing else.  It is in this way, by re-telling a well-written story, that the student learns how to craft words into well-written sentences and well-told plots.  But it was the authorís experience that the student did not find much enjoyment in this process.  When the student was encouraged to add small details of his own to his final story, the student took much more pride in the finished product!  Therefore, in the second re-telling of the story, the student is instructed to write the story again and add minor details of his own design, details that will not change the basic plot of the story, but details that will make the story the studentís own, nonetheless.  For example, sometimes they are encouraged to give names to the characters (frequently Aesopís characters do not have names).  They may be encouraged to branch out and add a scene or two (Why was a certain character found to be in a certain situation, for example?  What led him or her to be there?).   When this minor change to the writing process was added, the difference in the students' excitement about their writing projects was tremendous.    

    Along the way, plenty of games are included to make the study of grammar and writing fun!  The Teacherís Guide is written with ease of teaching in mind;  the Appendix has almost everything needed right at hand. 

    At the end of the 30 lessons, the student that finishes Writing Tales will have a treasure chest of fifteen well-written fables and fairy tales of their very own.



Trigger Memory Systems:
Education Through Imagination!




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