Sharpening Writing Skills is a multimedia series of six lessons designed to build technical and creative writing skills for students in grades 4 through 12.
Each lesson in the program consists of audio media and student activity sheets. The audio combines expert instruction in writing skills with themes that are relevant to the interests of students. The program concentrates on parts of speech, punctuation, and correct sentence and paragraph structure.
Every effort has been made to make all elements of the program enjoyable and meaningful. All lessons are self-directing and self-correcting. This allows students to work through the lessons at an independent rate and to evaluate their performances privately.
USING THE PROGRAM
The lessons in Sharpening Writing Skills employ a variety of motivational techniques designed to capture and hold the interest of students. Each audio medium begins with music, special audio effects, or a short vignette played out by characters. The students are then carefully guided through the entire lesson by a professional narrator who uses a friendly, positive approach to writing instruction.
Timed pauses are included to allow the students to complete brief responses on the activity sheets. However, when more than a few seconds are needed to complete a response or to read over specific material, an electronic tone signals the students to stop the player. Students should be reminded that they may stop the player whenever additional response time is needed, or to reverse the audio to replay any material they may wish to hear.
The use of headsets is recommended to avoid distracting other students in the classroom and to reinforce the interaction between student and narrator.
The running times of the audio media average approximately 15 minutes each. The average working time of each lesson is about 25 minutes. It should be remembered that this time is only an approximation. Since the student stops and starts the player several times during the course of each lesson to read material or to complete exercises, the actual time needed will depend on the student's working speed.
NOTE: Because of the nature of the content, lessons may differ in length.
THE ACTIVITY SHEETS
Three illustrated activity sheets are used in each lesson of the program. Activities are completed as the presentation progresses. The responses for these activities are checked and corrected by the student through answers given by the narrator. The activity sheets offer a variety of skill-building games and enjoy- able written activities to increase the student's writing ability. All exercises are closely correlated with the instructions.
THE TEACHER'S GUIDE
This guide contains individual summaries of the six lessons in the program. Each summary gives a concise description of each written activity, and is presented with reproductions of all student activities, with answers over- printed.
Included in the final pages of this guide is an extra creative writing activity for each lesson. These activities may be used with small groups of students to reinforce the skills taught in a lesson.