DD#1 is using Writing Tales I this year to help her with her writing skills. It gently works on grammar, spelling, and dictionary skills while helping the student learn how to rewrite a story in their own words. This isn’t a creative writing program since the writing is all re-telling. It helps them work on their actual writing skills without having to come up with their own material.
My oldest is “pencil phobic” and hates to write. The next child in line loves to write (the actual process of putting words on paper as well as the creativity necessary to come up with stories) and will write and illustrate her own stories all day long.
In Writing Tales, at the end of the first week of studying a new story & some grammar, the student writes a rough draft. Over the course of the next week, while reviewing the grammar concept, the student revises the retelling and on the final day recopies it.
I will share my oldest’s rough draft first. She frequently will write the minimum she thinks she needs to in order to finish the lesson. In an effort to get her to flesh out her story, I asked her a series of questions she needed to answer in her rewrite. At the bottom is her final draft. This is from Chapter 23/24 of a 30 chapter program. In the original story, the doll is named Ching. My daughter frequently renames the characters and retitles the work.
I would say she is behind grade level in both spelling and grammar, but she is catching up. All punctuation and spelling mistakes are hers in both her rough and final drafts. All paragraph breaks and sentence fragments are hers as well.
Cho was a doll nicely made A little girl wanted Cho so badly. But she didn’t have the money so a rich man bough Cho. And sent Cho down a montain, down a river, acrosed a ocean, to America and to a little rich girl. The rich girl did not want Cho. So she sat Cho on a terrese. Cho fell off.
An old man found Cho and did not want him so he went to a man who gave him to his cook. The cook thew him in the trash.
The trash man sold him to a landry man who cleaned him up sent him, Acosed an ocean, up a river, up a mountain to a little Chines girl. This girl, Lee loved Cho.
Lee said, “I am so glad to have you back.”
Cho seemed to say, “I’m glad your hear.”
Lee said, “I’m so happy I could dance.”
Lee hated dancing.
Questions I asked her to answer in her final draft
- Why did the rich man buy Cho? Who is the little rich girl?
- Why did the little rich girl not want Cho?
- How did Cho fall off the terrace?
- Where did Cho fall?
- How long did Cho stay there before he was found (original story said the whole winter)?
- Describe his time there or the place where he fell.
- How did the laundry man find and purchase Cho?
- Why did the man buy him?
- What did he think of Cho?
- What three things did the laundry man do to clean up the doll?
- Before he packaged up the doll, what did he say outloud?
- What did the little girl say when Cho arrived?
China Doll Travels
Cho was a nicely-made doll. A little girl wanted Cho, but she did not have the money. A rich man bought Cho for his sister in America.
The rich man sent Cho down a mountain, down a river, across the ocean to his rich sister.
The young sister did not want Cho. She had a lot of other dolls. She sat Cho on a terrace. Cho fell off.
He fell in a big gust of wind. Cho fell in a snowy garden. Cho was there for a day. His multicolored shirt was easy to spot on the snow.
An old man found Cho, but he did not want Cho because he was too old to play with dolls. So, the old man gave the wet doll to his cook. The cook did not want Cho to clutter up the kitchen so she threw him in the rubbish pile.
The rubbish man found Cho and stuck him in a separate place, because Cho was not rags or bones.
Che was very dirty. He is covered with mud. Cho smells like rubbish, mud, and rotten veggies.
A laundry man was looking for something to wash. He came upon Cho. The man said, ‘This will be a very fine doll when he is washed.’ The man wanted to send Cho to his niece for her birthday was coming up. The man bought Cho.
The man, Sam stuck Cho in some water, scrubbed and dried him. He put Cho in a box. Sam said, “take care of So Lee.”
So Sam sent Cho across an ocean up a river up a mountain to a little China girl. This girl, So Lee loved Cho. So Lee said,” I’m so glad to have you back.
He seemed to say, ”I am glad you’re here.”
So Lee said,”I am so happy I could dance.”
So Lee hated dancing.