Ben and I are excited to bring our readers a review of Writing Tales, a comprehensive writing and grammar curriculum in the classical style. Based on the first level of the ancient progymnasmata writing exercises used by the Greeks, Writing Tales teaches grammar level students (grades 3-5 those of you who are not so classical) how to write by studying and rewriting classic tales and fables. Writing Tales come in two Levels, Level One for 3rd-4th grade, and Level Two for 4th-5th grade. We received both for review, but only used Level One.
Being one of those “not so classical” homeschools, I wasn’t sure if we would enjoy this curriculum, but I’m pleased to announce that we LOVED it!
Write Tales is divided into 30 lessons, five days per lesson. Fifteen fables and fairy tales are studied, copied, and rewritten. At the same time, 15 grammar lessons are taught based on these stories. In Level One, some of the stories include: The Town Mouse & the Country Mouse, The Princess & the Pea, and William Tell. Some of the grammar lessons include: 4 kinds of sentences, rules of capitalization, parts of speech, and conjunctions.
Your students will also learn vocabulary, spelling, and dictionary skills during these lessons, truly making this a complete language arts program.
Ben was familiar with many of the fairy tales and fables used in Level One, which I believe added to his interest level. He really enjoyed retelling the stories in his own words. He wasn’t as fond of the copywork–handwriting just is not his favorite thing–so I sometimes allowed him to use the computer to write his final draft.
While some of the lessons are taught through the act of copywork and rewriting the stories, there is also plenty of practice with games and written exercises. Available are both a Student Workbook and Teacher’s Guide for each of the two levels. The Teacher’s Guide is sold separately, but I highly recommend purchasing both the student workbook and the teacher’s guide.
The Teacher’s Guide contains lesson plans for both homeschools and co-ops. In fact, if you are using Writing Tales with several children, it’s suggested you use the co-op lesson plans because of the addition of group games and activities.
We usually use more of a Charlotte Mason approach to language arts, based on books read with our unit studies. I found that this curriculum was not much different from that method. And it was refreshing to use some familiar and not-so-familiar fairy tales and fables. We haven’t spent nearly enough time with this type of literature!
Writing Tales is currently on sale 20% off with FREE shipping through May 9!
See what other members of the TOS Crew thought about this curriculum.