For elementary/pre-intermediate English language students, suitable for teenagers and adults.
For free sample unit (with answer) click below.
Starting with a basic writing activity, each unit steadily progresses students’ writing ability.
There are 20 units (17 regular and 3 review). Each unit practices a different genre of writing; some units can take as little as about 30 minutes whereas others may take roughly 1 or 2 hours, depending how thoroughly they are conducted.
On every page is a writing activity, exercise, puzzle or quiz, so students are continually engaging and interacting with new language.
New writing is introduced systematically, and is blended with recycled language and vocabulary.
This is a stand-alone study-book, combining both textbook and resource book. There is no teacher’s manual (a concise teacher’s guide is provided below), no supplementary workbook, no media, and no need for photocopying. Just walk into class, and start teaching.
There is a steady progression through the book and, as well as a great variety of writing activities and tasks, there are many varied exercises related to the writing skill, for example: punctuation, capitalization, similes, adjectival word order, link words and cursive writing.
ANSWER KEY – This is password protected (to prevent students from copying). Click the link on the homepage to receive the password, and gain access to all answers.
PHOTOS – In addition are a number of photos which can be used to further illustrate some of the locations and events referred to. Hover and click over a photo to get a larger version, which can easily be projected to a classroom screen, enabling students to gain a deeper insight, and perhaps prompting a little more classroom discussion (these are available for each unit from the dropdown menu on the homepage).
LINKS – Lastly are some links to other websites which afford much greater detail of each topic, both for students and teacher. Many links are for wikipedia pages and, whilst some wiki information needs to be treated with caution, it is a rich source of accessible data. Plus wikipedia has links to multiple languages which may well be of use to students. There are also some links to live webcams from around the world. These can add a ‘real-time flavor’ to the classroom (these are available for each unit from the dropdown menu on the homepage).
There is no fixed pattern for each unit, though most units follow a broadly similar path.
Warm-up – an exercise/puzzle which gently introduces the unit’s writing task.
Having spent a few seconds considering the title to the unit, and the writing genre to be covered, students need little instruction on how to complete the Warm-up activity. I find “Warm-up. (Just) do it!” is generally enough. Feedback can be carried out in a conventional manner, nominating random students, or by raised hands. But it can also be conducted by projecting the answer key to a classroom screen from this website. This can save quite a bit of time, as students focus on their individual answers, and frees up the teacher to monitor and offer targeted assistance and explanation.
Text – An example text of the genre to be practiced, along with a task, so students actively engage and interact with the text.
Writing task – Gradual coaching into the creative writing process, introducing the concepts of note-taking, rough draft, and final draft, editing and improving to build a piece of coherent and interesting writing.
A checklist is provided to further prod students to improve their writing accuracy.
Exercise – To raise awareness and practice discrete elements related to the writing skill. This also affords students a change of pace and a little respite from the struggle of creative writing. Student collaboration is to be encouraged.
Post-reading – Having only one person (ie the teacher) read students pieces of writing seems scant reward for all their toil and endeavor. Peer-to-peer reading not only provides a wider readership, it also affords students multiple chances to learn from their peers’ approach to the skill of writing.
Record – Finally a record (on the final page) is kept of each piece of writing. At a glance students can gauge their progress, and teachers can conveniently make a course assessment.
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