Friday, April 6, 2012

Write with World TOS Review


Write with World is a brand new writing instruction program for junior high students from World magazine.


Write with World contains 4 units of 4 lessons. Each lesson is organized with 5 sublessons each. Each sublesson contains a lesson or teaching section and then a short practice or application exercise.

Unit 1 gives students the opportunity to study various images and think about the meaning behind them. Students review basic grammar while continuing to examine several images and looking at the differences and interest communicated by using different types of words. Then students apply this same skill and comparison to paragraphs. The unit concludes with helping the student put together strong, interesting sentences and fashioning them in to paragraphs which are also strong and interesting. A sample lesson (Unit 1 Lesson 1) is available in the top orange bar at Write with World.

Unit 2 provides practice for writing more complex sentences as well as writing topic sentences and organizing paragraphs. The fourth lesson focuses on taking the skills learned for writing an interesting paragraph and applying them to longer written pieces as well.

Learning and writing about themselves is the focus of Unit 3. Students reflect about themselves and various aspects of their lives. They are then guided to write a piece about themselves and a significant event.

In Unit 4 the student practices several new concepts. The focus is on writing from second and third person points of view, the difference between showing and telling in writing, and determining a clear purpose for writing before beginning the process. This unit concludes with the student writing the autobiographical narrative they have been planning. The student will also work on revision in this unit.

The course focuses on helping beginning writers make their writing interesting and strong through clear expression of their thoughts. They also encourage the student to read and write with a critical and questioning mind.To this end many writers and editors are quoted in the text and students use these passages as examples and guides for their own work. Additionally, students are given the opportunity to examine and compare multiple samples of work to learn what techniques and styles make reading more pleasant.

The teachers manual is an exact copy of the student book, but contains additional teaching/ guidance notes. These are in the margins of the teacher text, giving the teacher an exact copy of the student work as well.

There are currently two years of Write with World available. These are designed for a junior high level. Each year costs $95 for the teacher book, online access, and the student book. If purchased together, both years materials sell for $165.  Ordering is available from the God's World News subscription page. 

According to the publisher, there are plans to develop a site which will give students an opportunity to publish their work as well as provide material to supplement what is in the text. Access for this site is available with purchase of the books.

The course does require a separate writing journal or notebook for the student to record their work in .

My Thoughts

I have been impressed with this program. It takes the often intimidating task of writing a piece and breaks it down in to smaller more manageable steps and provides plenty of guidance in the process.The example paragraphs are interesting and engaging and they clearly demonstrate the point being taught.

I like how grammar is incorporated with writing. This way the student is given a purpose for knowing all that "boring stuff" and they don't have as much of an opportunity to forget.Students are also given several new words over the course of a lesson which they need to look up in a dictionary and learn meanings of. These words are used in the context of the text so they are meaningful to the student, not just random words.

While the introductory material says it is not necessary to be familiar with World magazine or have copies of it in order to use this course, there are several exercises throughout the course which use the magazine. Because I do not have the magazine, I needed to come up with a substitute resource for those activities. At times this was challenging as I do not know the "voice" or style of World magazine.  Write with World is a fully independent writing course;  none of the benefits or instruction of Write with World is lost if the magazine is not available at the same time the course is used.

I appreciate having the full student text in the teacher book, as that way we can take turns reading it aloud and following along as well. I can also help my daughter even if I am not right next to her. The teachers notes are generally reminders about writing mechanics to reinforce or make sure the student thoroughly understands.  Other notes share guidelines for "grading" or reviewing students work. I found these to be helpful as writing proficiency is challenging to grade.

 I like having a "hard copy" teacher guide in comparison to an ebook. It is so much easier to get a good overview of the course as well as helpful for referring to previous lessons and looking ahead. I also find having physical copies of books is easier as computer equipment is shared and not portable. It is not as easy to gather around a computer as it is to share a book even.

I used this course with my newly 11 year old daughter and have found it to be quite beneficial for her. She has had previous writing instruction, but still finds writing challenging. As previously mentioned, she has found Writing with World interesting and relative to her. The lessons are not overly long so they maintain her interest and attention. While she has a history of trying to do as little writing as possible she has not protested too much about having to write for these exercises. Additionally some of the questions we have done orally, so as to save the act of writing for those exercises which need to be written.

The introduction discusses the publishers reasons for designing this course with one of them helping students to develop a Christian world view in their writing. I appreciate the way this is worked out in the course; they are not politically correct with sources or texts used, yet at the same time they do not promote one Christian belief over another.

Our pace with Write with World has generally been about 5 days per lesson, one day per capsule, with each lesson generally taking 30 -45 minutes. As we progress I know this will slow down as the writing assignments become more complex.

Read what other TOS Crew Members had to say about Write with World at the Crew Blog.


Disclaimer: As a member of the TOS Crew I received gratis copies of this product  to use to enable me to write this review. I have not been compensated in any other manner and all opinions expressed are solely my own.

1 comment:

  1. Hey, Martha! I am Dana Adams, a fellow Crewmate. I enjoyed reading your review. I have followed you too! :-) If you would like to follow me my blog is

    I look forward to reading more of your posts!