This article is in collaboration with Essentials in Writing.
Essentials in Writing
is a complete language arts curriculum with a primary focus on composition. It was founded and created by Matthew Stephens, a former middle school English teacher. Students will learn to become confident, effective writers by watching Mr. Stephens present brief lessons in a step-by-step fashion and completing worksheets and assignments after each lesson.
Members of the crew reviewed Essentials in Writing curriculum for grades 3-11, and grade1. Each reviewer was sent one of the following products:
In first grade students will learn basic grammar, capitalization and punctuation rules, and how to write complete sentences. They will also learn about paragraph structure, writing personal letters, and more.
In third grade students will learn additional grammar, capitalization and punctuation rules, and alphabetization. They will also learn how to use the writing process to compose narrative and description paragraphs while including details and a variety of sentence structure, and more.
In fourth grade students will continue to expound on grammar, capitalization, punctuation, and paragraph writing. They will also learn how to write expository paragraphs, use effective writing skills such as transitions, beginning/middle/end concept, figurative language, and more.
In fifth grade students will continue covering grammar, capitalization, and punctuation rules. They will continue to improve writing skills including writing formal paragraphs. Other forms of communications such as diary entries, invitations, lists, etc. will be covered. They will also learn how to choose the appropriate form of writing and more.
In sixth grade students will continue learning all of the above plus types of sentence errors, dependent and independent clauses, appositives, and prepositional phrases. They will also learn how to effectively incorporate dialogue, use more types of figurative language such as simile, metaphor, and personification, and more.
In seventh grade students will begin to focus more on composition while grammar becomes supplemental. Students will learn how to write different types of essays, a business letter, a research project, and more.
In eighth grade students will learn the mechanics of dialogue and purposeful dialogue, and new writing skills such as hyperbole, imagery, and vivid language. Grammar will be supplemental, but they will continue building upon all the writing skills learned up to this point. Students will also complete a research paper.
In ninth grade students will focus on in depth study of sentence structure, formal paragraph, the writing process, essays, and research paper.
In tenth grade students will focus on in depth study of each part of the writing process, write a cause/effect research paper, and continue to review sentence structure and paragraph composition.
In eleventh grade students will review all of the above plus learn to write response to literature essays and 60-minute essays in preparation for college. They will also write an expository research paper on career study.
The Table of Contents, a sample video lesson, and a sample worksheet are provided for each grade level on the website.
A big thank you to Brandi Tesreau of Autumnfawn Lane for writing this introductory article.