The Power in Your Hands: Writing Nonfiction in High School
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The Power in Your Hands: Writing Nonfiction in High School , 2nd Edition
Prepare your homeschool teens for college writing through a practical, incremental, and, at times, humorous course written in a conversational tone. The Power in Your Hands: Writing Nonfiction in High School teaches all four modes of nonfiction writing: exposition, persuasion, description, and narration. These are taught in one course which uses essays from real students and professionals to reinforce what your student has just learned. Your child will evaluate those essays and even learn how to be his own editor. Help your teen be better equipped to face the challenges of college writing with The Power in Your Hands.
Another outstanding component of Timberdoodle's 2018 Eleventh-Grade Curriculum Kit!
The Teacher’s Guide (sold separately) includes an easy-to-use grading grid, answers, and writing prompts.
Publication Date: January 15, 2016
Publisher: Writing with Sharon Watson
ISBN/EAN13: 1519417764 / 9781519417763
Page Count: 417
Binding Type: US Trade Paper
Trim Size: 8.5" x 11"
Typical High School Credits Earned: 1 credit composition
What’s new about the 2nd Edition?
1. Easily keep track of daily work with newly numbered lessons.
2. Teens learn common grammar mistakes (7 lessons).
3. The emotional appeal speech is shorter and easier to understand.
4. Students can look up items in the new index.
5. Grading essays just got a lot easier! Specific grading grids in the Teacher’s Guide are designed for each essay assignment. Parents have asked for this, and these grids will make grading student essays MUCH easier! Download the first one here.
6. The chapter on the old SAT essay has been removed. Find info on that essay here and here.
Are the two editions compatible?
Though much of the material has not changed, the page numbers have. In addition, the example speech for an emotional appeal has changed, along with all the work associated with it. Therefore, the two editions are not compatible.
The Power in Your Hands: Writing Nonfiction in High School is for what grade levels?
The Power in Your Hands is for students in grades 9-12. Younger students will be frustrated with the material and will be better served by Jump In, which is for grades 5 - 8.
What will my students learn in The Power in Your Hands?
High-school students will learn writing skills they can use the rest of their lives. These include brainstorming, organizing their thoughts, using appropriate point orders, citing sources, introduction and conclusion know-how, proofreading, writing for a specific audience, and much more. In addition, they'll learn how to write in all four modes of nonfiction writing: persuasion, exposition, description, and narration.
This practical textbook includes specific instructions for writing at least twenty-two essays and reports and includes focused checklists for each assignment. Some of the assignments include the logical appeal, the moral/ethical appeal, process or how-to writing, a research paper with documentation, comparison and contrast, a literary analysis, descriptive essays, and much more.
The material sounds difficult. Is The Power in Your Hands for college-bound students only?
The Power in Your Hands has been specially engineered for beginning writers and college-bound writers. How is this possible? Sharon Watson is experienced in teaching writers at all skill levels, and she brings her expertise to this curriculum. Beginning writers will quickly catch up with their age-mates and gain confidence to tackle the chapters. The incremental, conversational, practical text will equip them for school or professional writing. Experienced writers will learn new material early and be challenged by the Digging Deeper sections found throughout the text.
I've heard I can use The Power in Your Hands for more than one year. Is this true?
Absolutely. Here's how:
1. When public and private schools give a writing assignment, the students do their work at home and still have classes during the day. This schedule is not necessary in homeschools. You can assign the essay at the end of the chapter and then follow the suggested writing schedule. The daily tasks in the schedule can be done during your normal writing-class time. The book will last for two years with this schedule, and your student won't feel hurried (and neither will you)!
2. The Teacher's Guide contains a fun program called 14-Minute Writing Surges. These writing prompts cover fiction and nonfiction writing for the school year. You can use this program for a whole year before or after you use The Power in Your Hands, or you can take a break from the textbook for a few days or weeks by using the Writing Surges. It's a fun way for your student to write on an interesting topic without being evaluated on everything he or she writes.
3. If you combine numbers 1 and 2, you can use The Power in Your Hands for three years. This will give your teens a thorough knowledge of the material at a leisurely pace.
Many parents have successfully used another option. They work through the first 13 chapters in the first year, stopping the year after writing the position paper, and finish the course the next year. This seems to be a sensible pace for most families.
We don't have two years. My student is a senior (or I want to complete this in one year for any other reason). How can I use The Power in Your Hands?
Seniors definitely should know some basics about writing before being sent into the world. I suggest completing the following chapters in The Power in Your Hands as a bare minimum for your senior:
These will give your student a wonderful foundation for writing. If you have time, you can add in other chapters of interest to your student.
If your child does only the chapters listed above, he or she will want to be sure to read through the other ones, especially the Grammar Factoids and the Toolbox portions that usually appear in the beginnings of the chapters. These portions are important to writing and are referred to in later chapters and on the checklists that correspond to the assignments.
How do I grade my students' papers?
You spoke and we listened. The 2nd Edition to the Teacher’s Guide contains new, easy-to-use grading grids for every essay assignment. You can download a sample here.
Additionally, the Teacher’s Guide contains a grading section with real essays and their explanations tucked into “How to Earn an A,” “How to Earn a B,” and so forth.
I always give two grades: one for content and one for grammar/mechanics. This gives a clearer picture to students about their progress and areas of strength or weakness. You may want to adopt this method as well. All the new grading grids (except for the sample) reflect the two-grade method.
Will my student learn how to proofread his or her own work?
Yes. Be Your Own Editor, a one-page proofreading tool, teaches students how to catch their own mistakes by asking the right questions. Much time is spent in the textbook showing students how to proofread. In addition, they are asked to evaluate professional and student writing, which gives them a keener eye when evaluating their own work.
Also, in the 2nd Edition, students grapple with common grammar mistakes in a new chapter of that title.
Is The Power in Your Hands for homeschool students only?
The Power in Your Hands can be used successfully in co-ops, private schools, and homeschools.
The text uses humor, and some of the writing assignments are light-hearted. Why doesn't the curriculum teach students how to write about important issues?
Humor has been scientifically proven to alleviate fear and engage the more creative parts of the brain. The Power in Your Hands sometimes uses humor as a teaching ally. It is surprising to observe how quickly and completely students lose their fear of writing after they've written on the topic of why teachers should not give homework!
Thinking deeply about and writing about the complex political, social, environmental, religious, and other issues of our day are important. Some of the assignments reflect this need. However, making students write about issues while they struggle with the structures of writing is akin to throwing an aspiring athlete into the game before he or she has learned how to play. This textbook focuses on students learning, practicing, and perfecting the writing skills they'll need for the rest of their lives.
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