Teaching creative writing has always been an area that I found very vague. How does one teach creativity, after all? I may not have been gifted with the ability to guide my students in learning to write creatively, but the authors of Sparkling Bits of Writing from Creative Word Studio certainly are!
Author Jennifer Yoder has provided two well-thought-out creative writing courses that will take students from writing simple sentences to complete descriptive essays. The skills are broken down into easy-to-understand lessons that remove the “blank page” obstacle and get students focused on creativity and thoughtfulness in their writing.
It is clear that the author has a love for writing that has been cultivated over many years. She shares in the book introduction:
I began noticing how people write when I was in sixth grade. I read reports that other people had written and thought, “surely this doesn’t have to be so boring! Why does everyone write the same old way?”
Writing is not confined to stodgy blank pages and reports for science. Writing is observation and creativity . . . It makes you start looking at life through a new lens. When you write creatively, you try to write with interest, pop, and reality. The mundane can become fascinating depending on how we portray it.
Both workbooks are spiral bound with professionally printed and laminated front and back covers. The pages are black and white, printed on good quality paper that doesn’t bleed through when written on with pen or pencil. There is some black and white art sprinkled throughout as well. A table of contents is located at the front of the book which lists all of the lessons in the book, the title of each, and the page it can be found on.
Each of the two available books contains 75 lessons. The books can be used independently by the students or in a class setting, but the authors do suggest that the parent/teacher offer continual feedback and encouragement on the student’s writing if possible. Grading is not required or recommended; however, each book does include a rubric inside the back cover to guide the parent/teacher in the evaluation process. The author also provides a list of 10 writing tips inside the back cover.
Each book guides students in thinking creatively about the world around them and applying their observations to writing assignments. Students learn through three types of lessons:
- Free Writing
In these lessons, the student spends a few minutes writing whatever comes to mind on a given topic. The author suggests that students try to stay with the topic, but they also have the freedom to free write on their own topic if they would like to.
- Reading Responses
These lessons allow the student to think critically about and analyze the writings of other authors. Formulating thoughts and opinions about great literature and poetry, and writing them down, is a great way to develop critical thinking and writing skills.
These lessons are fun writing activities where students can be creative while applying all the skills they are learning.
Book 1 provides beginner-level lessons suited for grades 5–7 while Book 2 provides intermediate-level lessons suited for grades 7–9. Both books and all lessons, literature excerpts, poems, and writing topics are from a Christian perspective and are meant to teach students about and glorify God.
No matter if you have a reluctant writer or a budding young author, the Sparkling Bits of Writing books from Creative Word Studio may be a perfect fit for your family.
Thank you to Michelle W @ Life in the Nerddom
for this introductory article.
Be sure to read all the reviews about the Sparkling Bits of Writing workbooks from the members of the Homeschool Review Crew who had the opportunity to use them in their homes over the past few weeks.