Monday, June 16, 2014

The Power in Your Hands Writing Nonfiction in High School

     Year after year I am on the prowl for a better writing curriculum; it is definitely the weak link in my teaching repertoire. I was thrilled to be offered the opportunity to review Sharon Watson's The Power in Your Hands - Writing Nonfiction in High School which is designed for those in grades 9-12. This writing program comes with both a large Student Text and a Teacher's Guide. The text provides the instruction as if the instructor were talking directly to the student. Some assignments can be completed in the text but a 3 ring binder with plenty of loose-leaf would be helpful to keep assignments organized.
     I spent quite a few hours reading through many lessons to be sure this would be worth attempting in the new school year and much to my daughter's dismay, Theresa will be using this program for the upcoming school year. This program doesn't spend time working on sentence writing but we focused a good deal on that this past year so now we can turn our efforts to more essay writing from a variety of persuasive essays to compare/contrast. I love that some more practical aspects of writing are included such as condolence and thank you letters while at the same time providing college prep writing experiences such as a position paper and literary analysis.
     The Teacher's Guide shows more clearly to the parent the major writing assignments of which there are twenty-one which might be more than one needs for an academic year but that leaves one free to leave out those that are least beneficial to the individual student. For instance, we will probably skip learning how to write a devotional and a testimony as those are not as academically focused nor something that would interest my daughter. There are over 30 pages devoted to assisting the parent in grading writing assignments; included are various evaluation forms, examples of A-F essays, and practical info about editing, proofreading and reluctant writers.
    Want to see more for yourself? There are samples available from both the Student's Book and the Teacher's Guide. Not only is this a top notch program it's reasonably priced at under $60 for both volumes (or under $50 if you buy from a discount curriculum company).

Product Info Summary:
The Power in Your Hands Writing Nonfiction in High School @
$39.98 Student Book & $14.98 Teacher's Guide

You can read more reviews of this product as well as those of a middle school writing curriculum and fiction writing curriculum here.


Christy said...

My two students didn't think they would enjoy the non-fiction aspect. Once they got in there; they really enjoyed the creativity they could express even with non-fiction material!

Kimberly said...

Will definitely be procuring this for my writers...Thanks!

Sharon Watson said...

Thanks for your review, Renee, and my apologies to Theresa, who will be shouldering her way through The Power in Your Hands next year! ;)

Sharon Watson said...
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