Before College Comes Craft (level 3) Scope-and-Sequence
This is a mastery-learning program, structured so that it may be finished within a single year. With a mastery-learning approach, students do not move on to the next lesson until they have shown sufficient mastery of the previous lesson. This means that they receive constructive feedback and revise low-grade assignments until this mastery is achieved. The final grade for every lesson should therefore be an average to high grade. With a mastery-learning approach, students can fail only if they do not follow instructions or make an effort to improve.
Because this is an advanced course, students should be at least 14 years old and working at a 9th-grade level. Their writing skills must be assessed and approved before registration can be finalized, or they must have completed Before Epics Come Essays (level 2). Students will have 12 months to complete their course. After their end date, students will no longer receive teacher services. If students fall behind and do not complete all of their lessons within the year, they will receive the remaining lessons to complete independently.
The format of this course is similar toBefore Epics Come Essays; however, it covers skills and concepts that are often overlooked in other writing courses but that are valued by professional writers. In addition, like Before Epics Come Essays it includes a literary component that requires students to read and lightly analyze critically-acclaimed essays from The Seagull Reader: Essays, by Joseph Kelly. Below is a scope-and-sequence for this course.
A note about upperclassmen:Most junior and senior students have little time to spare before they face college entrance exams and the more complex writing required in some high school courses. Although Before College Comes Craft is more advanced than levels 1 and 2, it may not be advanced enough for college-bound seniors. This is because it does not teach logic, critical thinking, or higher-level analytical skills. Level 3 is best for high school students in grades 9-11 and seniors who are not college-bound. Seniors who are college-bound but who need to improve in the skills that Before College Comes Craft teaches may want to instead choose a la carte lessons that target their weaknesses.
Juniors who intend to take a college entrance exam should begin this course as soon as they are ready and accelerate it as much as possible, so that they can complete the course by their test date. If they are unable to do so, juniors may want to instead choose a la carte lessons that target their weaknesses, especially the timed essay workshop (if their college entrance exam will require one).
SCOPE-AND-SEQUENCE OF Before College Comes Craft: An Advanced Writing Course (level 3):
(Prerequisite for all levels) Introductory Unit: Page One--The Very Beginning This introductory unit is designed to lay a solid foundation for the study of writing. I have learned over the years, both in my experience as a student and as a teacher, that it is helpful for students to understand why they are asked to learn what we require of them. It is my hope that students who complete this preparatory unit will better understand the why's behind the how's of writing. This unit also covers important preliminary concepts such as how to use a writing notebook.
1 -- Picking Up the Pen: The Academic Writing Notebook 2 -- Elbow Grease and Black Berets: The Dual Nature of Writing (sample) 3 -- Why Writing Well Matters in the Real World (2 parts) 4 -- Good vs. Bad Writing: What's the Difference? (3 parts) 5 -- Understanding the Writing Process (or How to Write a Building in Six Steps)
Unit 1: Learn to Write Like a Writer This unit will move students away from the basic rules and techniques of writing to focus on more holistic, advanced writing concepts that reflect the common habits of serious writers and published authors. We will also begin reading critically-acclaimed published essays in this unit, using The Seagull Reader: Essays, by Joseph Kelly.
1 -- Observing Like a Writer: The Writer's Notebook and Active Reading 2 -- Analyzing Like a Writer: Close Reading and Imitation (sample) 3 -- Finding Your Way Like a Writer: The Discovery Draft 4 –- Gathering Details Like a Writer: The Cornell Notetaking System 5 –- Finding the Facts Like a Writer: The Formal Research Paper (3-part lesson; 6-8 weeks)
Unit 2: Pursuing Excellence Like a Writer This unit explores the fundamental traits of writing that is truly "good." The first three are also the final steps of the prewriting process that students begin studying in level 1. Because younger students typically struggle to master these three steps, they are reserved for level 3. Students who master all six traits, grammar and mechanics, and the complex, analytical thinking skills taught in higher-level courses will finish high school as excellent writers who are ready for any college or business task.
6 –- The Six Traits of Excellent Writing: Audience 7 -- The Six Traits of Excellent Writing: Purpose 8 -- The Six Traits of Excellent Writing: Tone 9 -- The Six Traits of Excellent Writing: Voice (sample) 10–- The Six Traits of Excellent Writing: Beauty and Truth Workshop—Working with the Six Traits
Unit 3: Workshops on Essay Variations (optional, priced separately) These final workshops take students deeper into research, analysis, and college exam preparation. Workshop 1 -- The Timed Exam Essay (plus a spotlight on the Rule of Three) Workshop 2 -- The Argumentative Essay (plus a spotlight on reliable sources) Workshop 3 -- The Problem-Solution Research Paper (plus a spotlight on MLA formatting)