When we think about teaching literature or language arts, we often think of the many aspects of language arts.
One workbook / lesson plan for grammar?
One workbook / lesson plan for handwriting?
One workbook / lesson plan for spelling?
One workbook / lesson plan for Literature Study?
One workbook / lesson plan for creative writing?
Bit by bit, we can load our kids with workbooks, worksheets and things to do because we are so anxious that our kids are missing out! I know the feeling.
We want the best for our kids and we certainly want them to love literature and love learning.... but by adding more and more to the workload - we end up with an overly complicated to-do list.
Is there a better, simpler approach?
Yes, I believe so!
The word we're looking for is : Integration!
Using The Hobbit Unit Study, you can easily integrate a number of language arts lesson plans all into one study. This way you integrate handwriting, grammar, spelling, literature, reading and creative writing all into the one unity study based on The Hobbit and the writing techniques of J.R.R.Tolkein.
Modeling the Classics (Teaching The Hobbit Unit Study) is a simple, integrated language arts approach using literature as the basis of language arts lesson plans - one book for multi-ages covering all the language arts! One E-book with 200+ pages!
It is not a fill-in-the-blanks workbook or a time-filler. It is designed to enrich the child's literary appreciation of an excellent author, by studying the author's writing techniques and using them as a model for their own writing.
Modeling the Classics Unit Study is based around "The Hobbit" by J.R.R.Tolkien, as this is a model of excellent literature; The Hobbit models what good writing should look like; it models depth of character; it models exciting plots and the author use a range of interesting literary devices. For this reason, the classic books are an excellent starting point for any and every author. (At this stage, only Modeling the Classics - The Hobbit is available.)
Modeling the Classics - The Hobbit Unit Study aims to encourage children to model their own writing, on styles of authors which they already love. Before any writing begins, the whole book should be read aloud to the children. All of these books are loved by children because of their characters, warmth, descriptions, creative plots and the beauty of the literary style. Through each lesson, the children are to be keen observers of the classic author, explore the techniques which the author uses and then use the passage as a model for their own writing.
Learning in the company of the great authors will inspire your children to imitate the techniques that these masters have used. What techniques did Mr Tolkien use to make that description so powerful? - Let's do that too!
Why reinvent the wheel? To learn to paint well, we view and study the great Masters of the Renaissance; To write well, we view and study and imitate the great authors. This is the basis of these language arts lesson plans.
There are five lessons in Modeling the Classics, The Hobbit Unit Study. This ebook contains lesson plans based on The Hobbit covering all language arts for ages 7-15.
Each lesson progresses through a ten day pattern. We begin with copying, then focus on the spelling and grammar of the passage, followed by dictation; next we turn our attention to the the writing techniques used by the author, then outline the model, work creatively with our own words, re-write and lastly, present the final copy. There is enough material in each lesson to be done over a 2 week period. However, there is no hurry. If your child needs more time take it; the program is very flexible.
Is it written for the student to do on his/her own?
No. It is written in a way that you as a teacher would have it on your lap and teach directly from it, as you and your students enjoy, examine, learn from the passage together and model your writing on it.
Is it a new approach?
No. Copying, Dictation, learning spelling and grammar in context are techniques you will read about in the Charlotte Mason approach to learning. Also, I have gleaned wisdom from Ruth Beechick's wonderful writings. It's not a new approach; it is an approach that works because it is a natural way to learn.
What ages does it cover?
It is written across a wide age range from 7-15. There are 4 levels of spelling included. As a teacher, you would choose which level(s) the child would need to learn. The spelling is taken out of the passage being studied and the levels focus on different word families, phonograms and rules. The series covers a number of books, and so the vocabulary level differs accordingly.
The Grammar being studied in context also covers a wide age range. The Grammar lesson is a progressive lesson which begins with easier concepts at first (such as nouns) and then becomes more difficult adding on other parts of speech. It is fine if your younger children join in the first part of the grammar lesson, and leave the rest for the older children. Be discerning and be happy to say, "This bit is too hard right now."
When it was too hard for my seven year old, she happily cut out some hobbit's clothes and added to her Writing Treasure!
The best creative writing my children have ever done has always come from the integrated language arts lessons by modeling. By doing this, they examine a wide range of writing styles, learn and apply various writing techniques such as descriptive writing, writing poetry, adding dialogue, examining a plot and creating their own story line. They are not burdened with a lack of writing ideas because their inspiration is in the story they have just loved listening to. They are bursting to use some of the techniques that one of their favourite authors also used.
My reluctant writer jumps excitedly when I say it is time for them to write their story - it started out as a story and now they are writing a book!
What about the child who hates to hold a pen?
Remember.... where do all the ideas begin? In our minds and hearts. Do they love listening to a great book? Do they snuggle up and crave for more to be read? Do they shout out, "Don't stop now! You just can't stop now!"?
If the mechanics are difficult right now for your child, step in and ask them to dictate their writing to you. Type it out for them, or work in partnership with them.- they write, then you write and so on.
I'd urge you not to make the mechanics the stumbling block for writing. It will come....in time...