ESSAY WRITING (GRADES 3-8)
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SUMMER COURSES

CREATIVE WRITING I & II (Gr. 3-5)

Over the course of the summer, students in this course will be working on their creative writing skills through fiction writing prompts. These prompts will ask students to explore their identities and important historical time periods through creative writing. Through “quickwrites'', students will develop their creative writing by writing at least one paragraph each class. By doing so, students will grow to understand the structure of a paragraph in an essay while writing about their own life experiences. At the end of this until, students will write a short memoir in proper essay format, telling their audience about one important moment in their life that shaped them significantly. For the second half of the summer, students will incorporate their nonfiction writing skills in our creative writing unit by writing historical fiction essays. Students will pick one moment in history, either past or present, to explore from a first person perspective, even picking a historical figure to write about in first person. Using their creative writing skills from the beginning of the summer, students will build from their paragraphs and write a complete historical fiction essay to create a full story about another time period! At the end of the summer, students will showcase their work in an Open Microphone performance, reading their carefully constructed writing to their classmates.

 

CREATIVE WRITING III (Gr. 6-8)

Over the course of the summer, students in Middle School will learn how to master the 5 paragraph essay structure through creative nonfiction, a genre that asks students to use their fiction, nonfiction, and poetry skills. To start the summer, students will be writing poetry about nature. By learning about stanzas and rhyme schemes, students will reflect on the connection between nature, song, and poetry in a paragraph reflection. This unit leads to our next unit on nonfiction, where students will pick their own topic upon answering the question “What are you most passionate about and why is your passion important for others to know?”. By learning how to construct argumentative essays, students can use their creative writing skills and skills related to the power of words in poetry to construct formal essays. Finally, students will end the summer by writing their own short memoirs in essay format. By writing a story on an event in their lives that most influences who they are today, students can connect creative writing to their identities, forming stories that follow the shape of an essay, yet read like novels. At the end of the summer, students will showcase their work in an Open Microphone performance, reading their carefully constructed writing to their classmates.

 
SCHOOL YEAR (SEPTEMBER to JUNE) COURSES
ESSAY WRITING I (Gr. 3-5)

This course introduces elementary school students to longer forms of writing. It prepares students for writing well structured essays by teaching them tools and techniques to write clearly and effectively, using complete paragraphs, transitional sentences, and a theme throughout the composition. Students begin by learning how to write various types of paragraphs, applying the RACER model.  Once they master the skill of paragraph writing, students will proceed to learning essential skills and techniques of writing three main types of the essays: narrative (personal and story), informative/explanatory and opinion.  Students will learn the 5 steps of writing a successful essay: Brainstorming, Drafting, Revising, Editing, and Publishing. They will expand  their knowledge of grammar, spelling, and punctuation. The culminating activity of the course is writing a three paragraph narrative essay. Our interactive lessons are designed to be engaging, challenging, and customized to meet each student's academic needs. In a fun, rewarding, and encouraging environment, students learn how to communicate through writing, while exploring their imagination and creativity!

 
ESSAY WRITING II (Gr. 4-6)

In this course, students will refine and build upon previously learned knowledge and skills to write increasingly complex, multiple-paragraph essays. We will focus on writing three main types of essays: narrative, explanatory and persuasive. They will also try their hand at creative (free form) writing.  They will master writing essays that contain formal introductions, ample supporting evidence, and conclusions. Students will learn more advanced writing techniques to express their thoughts clearly and precisely to make writing come alive.  They will experiment with various types of essay leads (e.g., an astonishing fact, a dramatic scene). They discover how to evaluate writing and conduct research.  As they learn different techniques and write for different purposes, their writing will take on their individual style and voice.

* This course is a direct continuation of our Essay Writing I course and is recommended for students who took Essay Writing I in the previous school year or for students who are ready for more advanced level of essay writing.

 
ESSAY WRITING III (Gr. 6-8)

This course prepares students to write five-paragraph essays that meet standards set for middle school as well as high school entrance exams (e.g., ISEE and HSPT).  Provided with step-by-step instruction, students will master the skill of argumentative, narrative, and informative/explanatory writing. While honing their brainstorming, formatting, and editing skills, students will learn to make their writing come alive through detailed imagery, using descriptive adjectives and other parts of speech. The instructor will guide students in using various sentence structures, transitions, and literary devices, including similes and metaphors. All lessons are designed to be both challenging and attainable for each student. In a fun, rewarding, and encouraging environment, students progress at an accelerated pace—building new skills, creativity, and confidence.

 
THE ART of PERSUASION (Gr. 4-6, 7-9) - not currently offered

Young minds need skills that help them effectively reason and communicate.  These analytical abilities are perhaps more necessary now than ever.  Many of the communication skills adults take for granted need to be taught to today’s children.  In the Art of Persuasion your child will be given tools that will help her/him be a better listener, thinker, and communicator.  We will explore certain logical fallacies that children and adults make, and we will learn why they should be avoided.  We will be introduced to strategies designed to strengthen our arguments and that help us persuade others into seeing our perspective. Throughout all of our lessons, your child will participate in interactive games designed to help her/him laugh and learn.