Monday, May 24

Creating Sparkling Bits of Writing {Review}

 Disclaimer: I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew

One of my favorite parts of summer is that the kids have the opportunity to explore rabbit trails....this includes creative writing!  We recently had the chance to explore Creative Word Studio's Sparkling Bits of Writing (Book 2), and it opened up a world of words....

Creative World Studio is a home-based, Christian company that started out designing products for their local schools and homes.  With the Sparkling Bits of Writing line, which includes two books, students are encouraged to think outside the box and develop their writing naturally.  Book One is for 5th and 6th grades; Book Two is for 7th and 8th grades.  However, as with most homeschool products, you can tailor up or down to your child's needs.
Sparkling Bits of Writing Book 2 is recommended for middle school or struggling high school students.  The book is spiral-bound and comes with 75 lessons of varying length and a lot of diversity!  Activities include free writing, mini writing exercises, reading response, and revision practice.  As a parent, I also appreciate the laminated back page that includes a grading rubric and writing tips.

The book is designed to be a supplement, rather than a full writing curriculum.  As such, if used during the school year, you might assign your student a couple of lessons each week.  It would be a boost to students struggling with getting started or finding ideas.  Our student struggles with remembering the things he has learned during the school year, so we do reading, writing, and math - just a little bit each day - all through the summer.  When used over the summer, parents might want to have a writing practice lesson each day.

Writing Assignment Types

Free Writing
Free writing exercises are like brain warm-ups.  Students write for about ten minutes on whatever comes to mind.  There are responses, but they are fairly open, such as this one from Lesson 37.  "If you could, would you push a pause button, rewind button, or fast forward button for your life.  Describe in detail the reasons why you would push a certain button."

Mini Writing
The mini-writing exercises focus on things like making lists, similes, metaphors, writing a menu....all kinds of ways that we use writing everyday without realizing it.  Think about advertising -- it's a form of creative writing!

Reading Response
Using classic and clean literature, such as Treasures in the Snow or Swiss Family Robinson, students are asked to write reader responses to questions posited after a passage.  The passages are printed in the workbook, so there is no need to dig up actual books.

Revision Practice
Included with the mini-writing exercises, but deserving of a spot on its own, revision practice exercises are sprinkled throughout the workbook.  In one instance, students are provided an essay and six steps on how to make it better.  The steps are broken into manageable bits and in such a way that they are easy to apply to further writing experiences.

Gold Pieces & Friends
There are two symbols that occasionally pop up in the workbook, indicating Gold Piece or Friend activities.  The friend symbol shows that students are to grab a friend and work on it together.  Being homeschooled, our student didn't have a friend to grab, so he completed it alone, and there were no issues with that (other than missing the fun).  That symbol probably works better in a co-op setting.

The Gold Piece symbol indicates that students should polish and perfect this particular piece of writing so that it can be saved and graded.  In the back of the book, the authors have provided a rubric for grading.

See what others are saying about Creative Word Studio at the Homeschool Review Crew.

Creative Word Studio Reviews

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