Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Elegant Essays

The following is a description of a class I'll be offering to homeschoolers this spring at the Huckleberry Center for Creative Learning in Valencia, California.  All classes for the spring semester begin the week of  February 7, 2011 and end June 2, 2011.  If you have questions regarding registration, please visit:  Huck is a vendor for several area charter schools.  

This class will be on Wednesdays from 2-3:30pm.

Ages:  10-12
This is a class for students who already write paragraphs well and are ready to move on to longer essays.  Knowing how to structure and develop a multi-paragraph essay is an essential skill to master.  Students who can organize their ideas and analyze well have a huge educational advantage.  This class will take students step by step through the process of creating a strong essay.  Students will begin with shorter, three paragraph essay structures, move on to the five paragraph essay format and then expand their ideas with even longer essays.  We’ll begin at the beginning, by learning how to create an engaging introduction that clarifies the overall topic and provides a strong and focused thesis.  We’ll then create body paragraphs that develop specific topic sentences and provide details to support our arguments.  We’ll work on how to transition between different points and then create a thoughtful conclusion that ties it all together.  This class will use engaging, “kid friendly,” fun topics to show students how to expand and structure their ideas into expository and persuasive essays.  Students will gain valuable experience planning, drafting and revising their essays and we’ll use many of the worksheets and building blocks for analytical writing detailed in the IEW (Institute for Excellence in Writing) handbook The Elegant Essay Writing Lessons.  By the end of the semester, each student will have completed a special “writing project portfolio” containing their polished essays.  Students will definitely work hard in this class and do a lot of writing.  There will be weekly homework assignments, in addition to our in class work, to provide students with lots of opportunities to hone their skills.  Everyone will need access to a word processing program to aid with the revision process, so students who don’t have strong typing skills may also wish to participate in the Keyboarding Class this semester.

Homework:  Writing (approx.) 2 hours/week
Materials Fees:  $20
Tuition:  $240 (For details see

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