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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

History Writing Lessons

This book is advertised as being intended for those who have done the IEW training; but in a Montessori home or school, with a child studying ancient history (they also have options for Australian, Medieval, and US History, but we've not seen them yet), it is a great resource for the child to use himself (it is written to the child).

The first two lessons are on poetry; from there it goes into Sumerians, Rome and Greece and more, with essays, summaries, narratives, critiques, research reports, writing from pictures and creative writing. I personally love the Appendix - there is a list of "banned words" such as good/bad and lists of "alternate words" to replace those bland, banned words.

A good deal of language arts rules are taught and reinforced, with a variety of writing styles, all tied into an intense interest of most elementary children.

The guide can be used by most Montessori elementary children who are confidently reading, are ready to write more than a grocery list at a sitting, and perhaps have already done a lot of historical studies - this can be used a follow-up later, as review. I would suggest age 8 and above; and it is written to accommodate up to middle school. It is likely too simplistic for a typical 15-18 year old (although struggling writers of that age might like it as a boost into writing skills!).

The children read and do the lesson themselves, then bring their writing to the adult for review; they then create a second or final draft and add illustrations.

In a Montessori fashion - a lesson a week or a lesson every two weeks could be included in the work plan, with adult-child developed modifications when/where/if needed. Or the child could run through several of them in a week, depending on how much time and interest there is.

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