Archive for the ‘Language Arts’ Category

2019-2020 Arrow & Boomerang Book Reveal: May 31

2019-20 Arrow Boomerang Book Reveal

It’s that time of year when our families get a little nutty enthusiastic. They’re excited for good reason! 

Each year at the end of May, I announce the new book titles for the coming academic year for our Arrow and Boomerang programs. These programs are designed to teach your kids the mechanics of writing through living literature!

The big reveal is exciting because these are:

  • Books your family will read aloud together and treasure all year. 
  • Books that naturally teach writing mechanics and introduce literary elements

Here at Brave Writer, we take the selection of these 20 book titles Very Seriously! All year, we read, discuss, and delight in the year’s latest fiction as well as relishing the classics.

We aim for diversity of authorship and protagonists.

We incorporate a variety of genres: fantasy to the classics.

We carefully orchestrate the sequence of the books.

  • We balance book length against the holiday demands of a given month.
  • We alternate moving, poignant books with silly, lighthearted books.
  • We launch the year with a sure-fire winner and end with a warmhearted one.

By the time we’ve settled on a book list, we’re chomping at the bit to share it with you!

This year’s Arrow list is all brand new, and the Boomerang list features only two re-boots. You can expect a lively, inspired reading journey!

Come to the live reveal! It’s always a blast!

Be sure to have your kids tune in too—they love it!

Some families get together and throw a community party for the big book reveal. 

We’ve got new surprises in store for this year’s books and subscriptions to the Arrow and Boomerang too, which we’ll share on book reveal day.

So are you IN? I hope so!

This year we are hosting the webinar on Zoom (our live webinar platform). You don’t need to register to participate. Just click the link below on May 31.

Date: Friday, May 31, 2019
Time: 11:30 am EDT
Zoom Link: https://zoom.us/j/111145777

We’ll also simulcast on Facebook Live.

See you soon!

Learn more about Brave Writer products

Science-Themed Language Arts

Science-Themed Language Arts

The Arrow is the monthly digital product that features copywork and dictation passages from a specific read aloud novel. It’s designed for children ages 8-11 and is an indispensable tool for parents who want to teach language arts in a natural, literature-bathed context.


A mom on Braveschoolers asked about Science-Themed Arrows and here are ones that were recommended:

Blood and Guts

This is a book to help you explore the amazing territory that is inside the bag you live in that you call your skin. It will show you experiments to try, tests to take, and the tools to make that will help you see and feel and hear what is going on inside. You’ll amaze yourself.—From the back cover

Carry On, Mr. Bowditch

Readers today are still fascinated by “Nat,” an eighteenth-century nautical wonder and mathematical wizard. Nathaniel Bowditch grew up in a sailor’s world—Salem in the early days, when tall-masted ships from foreign ports crowded the wharves. But Nat didn’t promise to have the makings of a sailor; he was too physically small. Nat may have been slight of build, but no one guessed that he had the persistence and determination to master sea navigation in the days when men sailed only by “log, lead, and lookout.”—Amazon

Galen and the History of Medicine

When Endemus recovered, suddenly people all over Rome wanted Galen to be their doctor…Galen gave lectures to explain his ideas…In one demonstration, Galen wanted to prove that speech came from the brain, not the heart, even though sound seems to come from the chest.—From the book

Nim’s Island

A girl. An iguana. An island. And e-mail. Meet Nim–a modern-day Robinson Crusoe! She can chop down bananas with a machete, climb tall palm trees, and start a fire with a piece of glass. So she’s not afraid when her scientist dad sails off to study plankton for three days, leaving her alone on their island. Besides, it’s not as if no one’s looking after her–she’s got a sea lion to mother her and an iguana for comic relief. She also has an interesting new e-mail pal. But when her father’s cell-phone calls stop coming and disaster seems near, Nim has to be stronger and braver than she’s ever been before.—Amazon

Science Verse

What if a boring lesson about the food chain becomes a sing-aloud celebration about predators and prey? A twinkle-twinkle little star transforms into a twinkle-less, sunshine-eating-and rhyming Black Hole? What if amoebas, combustion, metamorphosis, viruses, the creation of the universe are all irresistible, laugh-out-loud poetry? Well, you’re thinking in science verse, that’s what. And if you can’t stop the rhymes . . . the atomic joke is on you. Only the amazing talents of Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith, the team who created Math Curse, could make science so much fun.—Amazon

Nature Study

Charlotte’s Web (FREE!)
Mr. Popper’s Penguins
Poppy
The Big Wave
Trumpet of the Swan


Brave Writer Online Class: Skip into Science

Early English Boomerang Collection

Early English Boomerang Collection

Early English Collection of Boomerangs!

From the Mead-Hall to the Drawing-Room

6 Issue Set for $59.00
(Also sold individually)

With this special collection of Boomerangs, we offer you a guided tour of history-making classics from early English literature. The Boomerang is our literature guide that uses living literature to teach both the mechanics of writing as well as the wonderful content of the literature itself!

This particular collection is meant for high school and can satisfy half a credit toward a year’s course in literature. Most high school English programs require one year of British literature, a year of American, and a year of world literature. We’re happy to offer you this set of Boomerangs to help you fulfill that requirement.

You will receive all six issues at once. Or the Boomerangs can be purchased as single issues by clicking on the individual titles themselves.

Book List (books not included)

[This post contains Amazon affiliate links. When you click on those links to make purchases,
Brave Writer receives compensation at no extra cost to you. Thank you!]

  • Beowulf translated by Seamus Heaney
  • Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer
  • Sir Gawain translated by Simon Armitage
  • Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan
  • Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
  • Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Purchase the books here.

Early English Boomerang Collection

What is the Boomerang?

The Boomerang is a digital downloadable product that features copywork and dictation passages from a specific read aloud novel. It is the indispensable tool for Brave Writer parents who want to teach language arts in a natural, literature-bathed context, using copywork and dictation. It is a language arts resource that equips you, the homeschooling parent, to fulfill your best intentions related to:

  • Spelling
  • Punctuation
  • Grammar
  • Literary elements
  • Quality living literature
  • Literary analysis

The practices of copywork and dictation teach your children the fundamentals of written communication. These practices naturally facilitate the development of accurate mechanics in the context of quality literature (the best words, in the best style, accurately edited).

Early English Boomerang Collection

Brave Writer on YouTube!

Brave Writer on YouTube

As many of you know, we had housed our Periscope videos on Katch. But when they closed their site we had the scopes transferred to YouTube. Now, each Thursday, we’ll make a new batch public!

Here are videos newly available on our YouTube page:

Real Life Grammar

Includes 5 Tips for Grammar Instruction FREE pdf download

Wacky Revision Tactics Workshop

FREE Prep Guide

6 Writing Myths Busted

Is Outlining Necessary?

This one was already public but is still helpful!

Enjoy!

Facilitating Play with Words: More Wacky Revision

More Wacky Revision

Dear Julie,

My kids and I have not had any experience with utilizing Brave Writer materials in the past, so I decided [your Wacky Revision workshop] would be a fun experiment for us all. It is always exciting to approach writing in new ways and learn new techniques for Re-Vision (I liked your word), or seeing our words through new eyes.

The kids cut and stapled their freewrites last night, and wrote new versions from those cut up lines this morning. I’ve copied them below, since the kids were excited to hear that you wanted to read their results.

Emma, age 8

Freewriting

I got out the game while my sister told me which game to get. We picked the color of our pieces and began to play. I went first and I drew a double purple. My sister went next and got a single orange. A little while later, one of my other siblings who was not playing accidentally knocked over the deck of cards. Then I got mad and chased him. When we got back to playing I was winning but I drew a card that said I had to go backward! After a few more turns, I lost.

Wacky ReVision

My sister and I picked the siblings who were not playing to knock over the deck of cards. Then I colored our pieces and began to play. I went first and I drew a double purple. Then my sister got mad and tackled me and we had a “lovely” wrestling match. After a few more turns, I lost. A little while later, one of my other sisters wanted to play…

Haha! Love that change! I’d love to see a “lovely” wrestling match! Wonder what that would look like! Have you thought about it? I’d love to read a description if you think of one. So funny! Now I’m wondering if the two of you will have a lovely wrestling match! Such a fun piece! Thanks for sending it to me! —Julie

Joshua, age 10

Freewriting

When I got the game out, I tripped over a sibling. Emma and I rolled to see who would go first. I went first so Emma placed her settlements first. When I rolled, I got an 8. After a while I had 4 victory points left. I bought 2 cities which boosted me to 8 victory points. Next turn I bought a road to make my road 5 segments long. I got the longest road card and won. Emma demanded a rematch, so we played again. We had excellent settlement placements so the game took a lot longer. Eventually I won again. We have a fun time playing Settlers of Catan.

Wacky ReVision

Emma and I rolled to see who would boost me to 8 victory points. I bought a road to make my road 5 segments long. Eventually I won. We played again. I got the longest road card. I won again. Emma demanded another rematch, so we decided who would go first. I went first so Emma placed her settlements first. When I rolled, I wanted to go again. We had excellent settlement placements so the game took a lot of time. Eventually, I had only 4 victory points, while Emma had 7. I bought 2 cities which gave me more resources. I won for the 3rd straight time. It was much closer.

Nice twist! That your opponent through a roll might boost your score! Inventive, right? And who doesn’t want to go again after rolling? Too funny! And true! Very good! Though I’m wondering now how you won with fewer points! That’s what’s funny about the scramble! Enjoyed this very much. Thanks for sharing it with me! —Julie

While this technique was delightful in a freewrite narrative format, it seems counterproductive if one had written a more logical or non-fiction piece. Is that true, or do you still use a similar wacky revision exercise? My son in particular usually likes things in their proper place and all very regimented!

Thanks again for facilitating our play with words!

Amy

Wacky Revision only teaches the technique of revision—that is, looking at the writing closely and making changes. Each of the techniques I showed you cause kids to engage in revision (to look at the words and reconsider what’s there). We are drawing with big crayons on a big sheet of paper without lines! This is the chance to explore what it feels like to look at your own writing and consider that it is not in finished form. It also allows kids to make connections they wouldn’t be able to see without the techniques. So they get to see what happens when you rearrange order, or contradict a commonly held belief, or add a new element, or change the tone of voice. All of these have real world value in more careful revision practices. But most kids don’t want to do revision! It’s too subtle and it feels like a violation of their original intent.

To help them over that hurdle, sometimes it’s good to simply play with the language and see how that feels (what new discoveries can be made!).

Then, as I shared in the workshop, you might try the serious revision practices for another piece. You might see how it goes to be intentional about adding an opening hook or expanding the writing for a couple of elements or revising a certain repeating term. You could also play with the wacky methods too and see what emerges.

Revision isn’t only about systematizing the content. It is about bringing power into the writing. Both styles of revision help to get you there. 🙂 —Julie

Free Writing Workshop: Wacky Revision