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The Power in Your Hands: Writing Nonfiction in High School

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Ages: 13+
Grade Levels: 9+

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Prepare your homeschool teens for college writing through a practical, incremental, and, at times, humorous course written in a conversational tone. The Power in Your Hands: Writing Nonfiction in High School teaches all four modes of nonfiction writing: exposition, persuasion, description, and narration. These are taught in one course which uses essays from real students and professionals to reinforce what your student has just learned. Your child will evaluate those essays and even learn how to be his own editor. Help your teen be better equipped to face the challenges of college writing with The Power in Your Hands.

Another outstanding component of Timberdoodle's 2015 Eleventh-Grade Curriculum Kit!
With over 100 daily lessons and complete instructions for twenty-two essays and reports, this is an engaging course students will enjoy--or at least not dread. Plus, more good news: the course almost teaches itself. Really.

Publication Date: Jun 21 2012
ISBN/EAN13: 1477459235 / 9781477459232
Page Count: 422
Binding Type: US Trade Paper
Trim Size: 8.5" x 11"
Faith-Based: Yes

The Power in Your Hands: Writing Nonfiction in High School is for what grade levels?
The Power in Your Hands is for students in grades 9-12. Younger students will be frustrated with the material.

What will my students learn in The Power in Your Hands?
High-school students will learn writing skills they can use the rest of their lives. These include brainstorming, organizing their thoughts, using appropriate point orders, citing sources, introduction and conclusion know-how, proofreading, writing for a specific audience, and much more. In addition, they'll learn how to write in all four modes of nonfiction writing: persuasion, exposition, description, and narration.
This practical textbook includes specific instructions for writing at least twenty-two essays and reports and includes focused checklists for each assignment. Some of the assignments include the logical appeal, the moral/ethical appeal, the SAT essay, process or how-to writing, a research paper with documentation, comparison and contrast, a literary analysis, descriptive essays, and much more.

The material sounds difficult. Is The Power in Your Hands for college-bound students only?
The Power in Your Hands has been specially engineered for beginning writers and college-bound writers. How is this possible? Sharon Watson is experienced in teaching writers at all skill levels, and she brings her expertise to this curriculum. Beginning writers will quickly catch up with their age-mates and gain confidence to tackle the chapters. The incremental, conversational, practical text will equip them for school or professional writing. Experienced writers will learn new material early and be challenged by the Digging Deeper sections.

I've heard I can use The Power in Your Hands for more than one year. Is this true?
Absolutely. Here's how:
1. When public and private schools give a writing assignment, the students do their work at home and still have classes during the day. This schedule is not necessary in homeschools. You can assign the essay at the end of the chapter and then follow the suggested writing schedule. The daily tasks in the schedule can be done during your normal writing-class time. The book will last for two years with this schedule, and your student won't feel hurried (and neither will you)!
2. The Teacher's Guide contains a fun program called 14-Minute Writing Surges. These writing prompts cover fiction and nonfiction writing for the school year. You can use this program for a whole year before or after you use The Power in Your Hands, or you can take a break from the textbook for a few days or weeks by using the Writing Surges. It's a fun way for your student to write on an interesting topic without being evaluated on everything he or she writes.
3. If you combine numbers 1 and 2, you can use The Power in Your Hands for three years. This will give your teens a thorough knowledge of the material at a leisurely pace.

How do I grade my students' papers?
The teacher's guide to The Power in Your Hands contains a grading section with evaluation forms/rubrics and a very practical guide called "How to Earn an A," "How to Earn a B," and so forth. The examples there are from real papers by real students and explain exactly why the papers earned those grades. You also have a copy of each assignment's checklist in the answer key part of the teacher's guide.
Teachers may want to grade more leniently early in the school year and then use more questions from the evaluation forms as students learn the material in the workbook. If students know ahead of time what questions teachers will use to grade their papers, students have a better idea of what to aim for.

Will my student learn how to proofread his or her own work?
Yes. Be Your Own Editor, a one-page proofreading tool, teaches students how to catch their own mistakes by asking the right questions. Much time is spent in the textbook showing students how to proofread. In addition, they are asked to evaluate professional writers' and other students' work, which gives them a keener eye when evaluating their own work.

Is The Power in Your Hands for homeschool students only?
The Power in Your Hands can be used successfully in co-ops, private schools, and homeschools.

I've noticed horizontal lines in the text every few pages. What's that about?
The horizontal lines in the text indicate when that day's lesson is finished. Because The Power in Your Hands can be used as a self-guided text by students, the lines give a visual clue to student and parent as to how long each day's lesson is. No guessing or prior planning is needed.

The text uses humor, and some of the writing assignments are light-hearted. Why doesn't the curriculum teach students how to write about important issues?
Humor has been scientifically proven to alleviate fear and engage the more creative parts of the brain. The Power in Your Hands sometimes uses humor as a teaching ally. It is surprising to observe how quickly and completely students lose their fear of writing after they've written on the topic of why teachers should not give homework!
Thinking deeply about and writing about the complex political, social, environmental, religious, and other issues of our day are important. Some of the assignments reflect this need. However, making students write about issues while they struggle with the structures of writing is akin to throwing an aspiring athlete into the game before he or she has had a chance to learn, practice, and perfect the skills needed for the game. This textbook focuses on students learning, practicing, and perfecting the writing skills they'll need for the rest of their lives.

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