Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Lost Tools of Writing Lesson 2 -- Arrangement, Part 1

I was happy to see that the students were successful in completing their Invention homework from the week before. Each arrived with 30 items in their ANI columns, and a much better understanding of how the topic questions help to feed the ANI chart.

I began the class by talking to the students briefly about the Art of Rhetoric, and that the writing tools they were learning about come from the discipline of Rhetoric. I informed them that Rhetoric also includes speaking -- not just writing -- and introduced the other two canons that apply to speaking: Memory and Delivery.

With that introduction, I asked them to apply these ideas to their delivery of the Opening Verse that we have been saying each week.

I then read them a poem by James Kavanaugh entitled Will You Be My Friend? I chose this poem because it seems to reveal much of what young people go through at this age. . . and in the many years of their youth.

Our new task was to sort all of the items in the ANI chart. This task is similar to sorting anything they might collect such as legos, socks or silverware. Although it is a fairly simple concept, it did take us nearly the entire class period. In addition to the methods outlined in the text (placing the same symbol next to "like" items, such as a *, ! or &), I suggested that using colored pencils may be helpful. Color is simply easier to see when you have a mixed group.

After the main lesson portion of our time together, I informed the students that we would be preparing a *surprise* for our homeschool group annual Christmas Party. But I didn't tell them what the surprise would be! And that they had to practice keeping quiet about it.

We finished the class with a brief game of charades. . . unbeknownst to them, it was an introduction to the surprise!

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