Wordsmith Apprentice – Timberdoodle Review by Weiser Academy
Review by Weiser Academy
We have been having so much fun reviewing great curriculums for this school year and Timberdoodle has sent us a wonderful writing curriculum to share with you today called Wordsmith Apprentice.
Wordsmith Apprentice is a writing workbook that is fun and engaging for students ages 9-12. It is produced by Write Shop, a publishing company with great writing curriculums for kids of all ages. I wrote a previous review about the Write Shop Primary for younger students, and this next in the series of Write Shop products does not dissapoint!
Wordsmith Apprentice is a spiral bound student workbook and has 120 pages, including an answer key at the back. It retails for $16.00 and is on sale at Timberdoodle for $14.50
Wordsmith Apprentice encourages students in 4th, 5th, and 6th grades in the tools of writing: words, sentences, and paragraphs. It encourages the students creativity in writing too. The workbook is basically divided into three sections:
- Section one covers nouns, verbs, and basic sentence structure.
- Section two covers modifiers, and complete sentences.
- Section three covers organizing and reporting.
My sons, ages 9 and 12, are working through these fun workbooks. Would you like to take a sneak peak at what have they been learning?
In this workbook, the student becomes a newspaper editor and goes through lots of simulated life situations in the process. They write their way through the journey. For example, before becoming a newspaper editor, they fill out a job application. That’s right! (or That’s WRITE!) They actually filled out an entire job application for the position they are applying for in the newspaper!
What Genius! My boys were hooked right from the start. To play out a scenario that appeals to boys is a successful approach to get them interested in writing. They do lots of tasks through out the workbook that break down the process in small fun assignments instead of a big overwhelming task. Dispersed throughout the workbook are comics which also enhances the attractiveness of this workbook for this age group. This workbook is totally fun and hands on all the way through.
My oldest son cracks up every time he opens the workbook. It is full of humor and he “gets it”. He is rather humorous himself. The other day he told me he was a “Super Journalist” in disguise, “just like Superman”. He must hide his true identity while working as a Wordsmith Apprentice so his “nemesis doesn’t find out.” He loves the Lois and Clark New Adventures of Superman series.
We are half way through our Wordsmith Apprentice workbooks. This has been an honest to goodness terrific addition to our homeschool curriculum for my 4th grader and 6th grader. Both boys do not like to write! But they are eagerly getting out their workbooks to complete the next assignment three days a week (Monday, Wednesday, and Friday).
My 12 year old son loves to draw, and enjoys writing comics. He will write out phrases in comic style to pictures he draws, but he does not like to write stories, letters, or spelling words. I keep hoping it will grow on him and he will pick up a love for writing.
My 9 year old son will write out answers to questions, but he does not like to sit and write stories either. He would much rather build a project. He enjoys coloring and painting. But writing is not his favorite subject.
Whether you love writing, or hate writing, it is something “we all have to do” from time to time. This is what I tell my kids. I find it challenging to encourage both of my sons to write. And they are the oldest two, I still have four more kids right behind them to encourage in their writing skills too. I am glad a product like this came along to help breath life into our writing, and take some of the pressure off as I find it exhausting at times trying to accomplish the writing aspect of our homeschool learning.
Through activities in Wordsmith Apprentice, they are becoming a newspaper editor.
First they took a “tour” of the newspaper. They learned a little about different areas of the paper that editors work. Then they completed a job application and requested 3 editorial jobs at the paper they are most interested in. The 6th grader was most interested in comics, world news, and travel. The 4thgrader was the most interested in being an Editor for local news, movie reviews, and sports.
Next they learned to identify proper nouns and common nouns to describe things in everyday life. They learned to go from writing simple descriptions with nouns to more specific nouns. For example describing a picture, a portrait of a woman, a portrait, and a Mona Lisa. By learning to change the noun from common to specific they can convey a better description to their reading audience.
Next they learned to write classified ads. They were operating on a limited advertising budget and had to come up with three advertisements under 20 words.
One of the ads by the 6th grader “Pirate Catering Service, If You Don’t Like The Service, You Can Walk The Plank! Call 828-555-1212” Hey this mama was proud! He is writing, and laughing, and enjoying his assignments!
The next assignment was writing poetry, cinquain-type. Through a series of four poem exercises and two challenge exercises they learned to write a poem about any subject.
Then they learned about verbs: action, helping, linkng, etc. The verbs took them through 4 or 5 pages of fun exercises as they learned to use them appropriately in their job as a Newspaper Editor.
Next they learned to write sentences and use different kinds of sentences to convey different kinds of meanings and emotions.
Next they learned about adjectives, adverbs, and modifiers. They learned to write an editorial, a cross word puzzle, a news story, and a descriptive story about weather change.
They are learning to read a real newspaper, work at a pretend newspaper, use a dictionary, and a thesarus. The oldest has also learned to use the dictionary on my phone too. They are brainstorming ideas. They are thinking through sequences. They are putting it down on paper. They are WRITING! YEAH!
And we are only ½ of the way through the assignments. To complete their learning they will go on to write editorials, edit (or modify) them using different nouns, verbs, adverbs, adjectives, paraphrase, use prepositional phrases, and create dynamic advertising. They will become an investigator and investigate the details of a story they will write for their newspaper.
I am thrilled that they are excited to write in this notebook on a regular basis each week. Somehow, Wordsmith Apprentice has enticed them with comics, humor, role play, and suspense, and they look forward to the next assignment.
I think this is a great product and I recommend it for homeschool, afterschool, tutoring, and coop writing and acting classes. I can just imagine teaching this in a coop writing class. As they learn and write in their notebooks, I would have all the kids act out what they are learning with silly skits along the way. Perhaps a writing coop class could actually publish a newspaper showing off the work of the students at the end.
If you are in need of homeschool curriculum, then head over to Timberdoodle and take a look. They understand the needs of homeschool families. Timberdoodle is an educational supply company and it has a lot of resources for your homeschool needs. You can also request a free curriculum catalog from Timberdoodle. You can also follow Timberdoodle on Facebook.
You might also want to check out Timberdoodle’s review blog called “Because Mom Said”. You will find all sorts of helpful information about curriculum, homeschool helps, and product reviews. This is a terrific FREE resource to help you in your homeschooling journey.
Disclosure: As a member of Timberdoodle’s Blogger Review Team I received a free copy of Wordsmith Apprentice in exchange for an honest review.