- Paperback: 300 pages
- Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (July 18, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1463582080
- ISBN-13: 978-1463582081
- Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.7 x 11 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 8 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #762,941 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Writing Fiction [in High School]: Bringing Your Stories to Life!
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About the Author
Sharon Watson, author of Apologia Press's popular middle school writing curriculum JUMP IN, loves finding ways to make difficult writing tasks easy to understand and accomplish. She believes it is time for Christians to influence the culture through meaningful and entertaining fiction. Sharon homeschooled her children for 18 years and has taught high school fiction writing, composition, and literature to local homeschool students and in all-day workshops. She has been a Christian since her youth; her textbooks reflect this worldview. She lives in Indiana with her husband, whom she met in college in upstate New York. They have three grown children and two grandchildren.
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Top customer reviews
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Sharon Watson publishes a lot of language arts curriculum. Her Writing Fiction [In High School] provides an in-depth and reader friendly series of teaching and assignments. There are two tracks - one for every student, and an additional assignment for those who are currently working on a manuscript. Watson does a good job providing solid explanations and expectations of what should be learned; of all the resources this feels the most like a school book. She writes directly to the student in an easy going manner. A teacher’s guide must be purchased separately, and there are some extra readings assigned. Based on my readings, I’d say these lessons really should be taught and experienced in a group setting.
I also previewed IEW’s How to Tell a Story by Lee Roddy. When IEW publishes something, my assumption is that it will be top-notch and student friendly. This book, however, is not designed for a student but for the teacher of a class, and there is no student manual to use. That said, the resource contains a “question and worksheet” section at the end of each lesson which would help the student and teacher evaluate whether the material was understood. The material is very useful, though dry. I would not recommend it for those who are looking for an independent resource for their homeschooled child, but it would be great in a teacher directed classroom setting.
The Creative Writer is put out by the Well Trained Mind Press, and when Susan Wise Bauer says something is good, we listen.This text is written to the student, with a helpful teacher/mentor section in the back. Each lesson is well planned and it is clear what the author is asking the student to do to demonstrate their knowledge. I appreciate that this covers both story writing and poetry (half the book is dedicated to each). Fishman asked good, leading questions and provides lots of directed writing. It requires a fair bit of the parent’s time and interaction. It also moves quickly through the material, so one gets a strong overview, but not necessarily depth. I think the format of the book is good, and while some of his references would be above my students, they would find it readable and relatable.
A Pirate’s Guide t’ th’ Grammar of Story is by far the most fun and engaging curriculum I found. The author is a story developer—which seems to mean he works in some capacity with actual novelists and filmmakers—and this book is a simplified version of the training program he uses with them. It is a stand alone workbook that does not require any additional materials or teacher guides. A student could easily do this without any parental support at all. Each lesson focuses on a single subject and because it uses an incremental approach to learning the material is easy to digest and understand. There is nothing dry about this material - within a few pages of previewing, I found myself reading this aloud to my kids, and they loved it. It somehow manages to be playful while still communicating very complex ideas and eliciting creative responses from the student. Throughout the workbook there are opportunities for review and independent writing. As for negatives, there are an awful lot of exercises in this and some students might find all this work monotonous.
In short - each of these resources provides solid direction in creative writing/story telling. Each was written by a professional in their field, and I’d recommend any of them for use in a classroom setting. For a quick, yet thorough introduction to creative writing that includes poetry, you’d have to choose The Creative Writer. If I were teaching a class of students experienced in creative writing, I recommend How to tell a Story. Using Writing Fiction [In High School] would be best if you had students who wanted to complete a manuscript during your class. If you looking for something for independent home use, or if you don't feel confident to teach creative writing (like me), I'd suggest you look into A Pirate's Guide.
I have heard it said in the past that homeschoolers typically fall short on the subject of writing. They fall short possibly because, that there not much of an emphasis placed on it in the normal homeschool family. So after I pondered over this I realized that my children would need to get more familiar with writing because college professors would hold them to a higher standard and expect more and I wanted my children to be able to exceed their expectations. So with all that being said and the fact that I myself would absolutely LOVE to become a published author one day, I jumped at the chance to review, Writing Fiction In High School by Sharon Watson.
First of all, the author has done something great here, this is the best writing curriculum for high schoolers that I have seen in a long time---that is practical yet challenging. At the start she gives you a basic break down of the facts of fiction and after so many paragraphs during the lesson she gives you a writing assignment that would show the parent/teacher what in that lesson that the student/child learned. It is in the breaking down of each point that she assigns them a task, which is a brilliant way to see what they learned now as opposed to a lengthy chapter and then we hope they got it. This is a high school writing course perfect to earn an English credit.
The author doesn't come up short in the teachers guide either. We sometimes find it difficult to "grade" writing, so to clear a lot of this up she guides the parent/teacher throughout the whole process in a question type format to see if the child was able to do as instructed. My daughter really enjoyed this process of writing it was easy for her to understand and it covers two whole semesters worth of English credit. The student text is available here for $25.05 and the teachers guide is also available, here for $9.95. The content involved is age appropriate and written conversation style to help relate to the teen more.
The curriculum allows you the parent to be as involved as you want to be and prepares your child to just learn more about the process of writing fiction or to actually get published one day. There are also free samples available to you on the authors website and posted here and here of each text---the student text and the teachers guide respectively. Writing with Sharon Watson also has many other writing curriculum's for the younger grades as well and another one written for your high school student those are available here.
**Disclosure** This curriculum was provided to me at not charge for my honest review by the author and part of my participation with Home & School Mosaics.