Writing with Sharon Watson-Easy-to-use Homeschool Writing and Literature Curriculum

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Compare and Contrast: 2 Solid Methods

Compare and Contrast: 2 Solid Methods

SHARON’S BLOG

Compare and Contrast: 2 Solid Methods

Have your students ever been asked to write a compare-and-contrast paragraph or essay but don’t know where to begin? Do they have trouble organizing their thoughts and information before comparing and contrasting?

Your 5th – 12th graders will learn two solid methods for compare-and-contrast writing with this free tutorial. It’s packed with two separate exercises, one for each method,  and contains  complete instructions and colorful worksheets. Your students will learn how to organize their thoughts before writing with either method, and then they’ll write two paragraphs using each method.

Students already know how to compare and contrast in real life: They do it every time they want to buy something and are torn between two choices. They go through the process mentally, and it’s likely automatic and subconscious.

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How to Fall Asleep. No, Really.

How to Fall Asleep. No, Really.

MIDDLE SCHOOL PROMPTS

You might think this writing prompt is super boring, but hold on. It’s about to get really gross.

You can’t get to sleep, so you drink some warm milk. Or maybe you count sheep. No? What about read a boring book or listen to music until you fall into unconsciousness?

According to mental_floss magazine (August 2014), some people at the end of the 1800s believed so strongly in

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Do Monsters Exist?

Do Monsters Exist?

MIDDLE SCHOOL PROMPTS

Hundreds of thousands of tourists visit a particular site in Scotland each year, hoping to see a monster. What are they looking for?

It turns out that tourists are not the only ones looking for something. Operation Groundtruth has begun a search for the Loch Ness Monster (“Nessie”), a monster some claim they have seen. They are using a marine robot equipped with sonar to search the depths of the loch.

Nessie, if she exists, is thought to be a marine reptile, perhaps a plesiosaur, left over from the age of dinosaurs.

What has Operation Groundtruth found so far? The steep sides of the loch, the deep trench of the loch, and even a World War II airplane lying on the bottom of the loch. No Nessie. Yet.

 

 

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Symbols of Easter

Symbols of Easter

MIDDLE SCHOOL PROMPTS

Eggs have long been symbols of spring and of Easter. They represent new life and new beginnings.

So does Jesus’ resurrection. Death has been conquered! There is new life in Jesus.

You are hiding Easter eggs of various sizes for young children to find.

Inside each plastic egg is a jelly bean and little objects that represent parts of the Last Supper, trial, crucifixion, and resurrection of Jesus. In other words, they stand for different parts of the Easter account, like these: events, people, food, places where the events took place, truths, and so on.

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Explore Green on St. Patrick’s Day

Explore Green on St. Patrick’s Day

MIDDLE SCHOOL PROMPTS

We celebrate St. Patrick’s Day on March 17, the day the patron saint of Ireland died.

Many like to wear green on St. Patrick’s Day, but where did the tradition of wearing green come from?

Some say that leprechauns cannot see the color green; therefore, you are invisible to them and cannot be pinched.

Others say it is because green is worn in Ireland by Catholics and orange by Protestants. Or could it be that Ireland is called the Emerald Isle? Or that green is one of the three colors in the Irish flag?

Whatever the reason, we’re going to have some fun with the color green.

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Write an Introduction: The Benefits of Owning a Pet

Write an Introduction: The Benefits of Owning a Pet

MIDDLE SCHOOL PROMPTS

What are the benefits of owning a pet?

I’m sure you could list a few benefits off the top of your head. Good. Keep those in mind as we learn about an essay’s introduction.

When you write an introduction, you’ll want to include a few key items:

1. An intriguing first sentence to capture your reader’s attention. It’s called a hook.
2. A clear idea of what the article or essay is about (its topic).
3. A sentence that is the main idea (thesis statement) that will guide the rest of the article.

Here’s an example of an introductory paragraph about the TV remote. Although it seems serious, this student is actually poking fun at the idea that the TV remote has affected society:

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Tenacity

Tenacity

MIDDLE SCHOOL PROMPTS

“Let me tell you the secret that has led me to my goal. My strength lies solely in my tenacity.”

This quote is from Louis Pasteur, a famous scientist who lived in the 1800s and proved that it was not “bad air” that caused some diseases but actually microorganisms that we categorize as germs today. He also developed a vaccine for rabies, and his name is given to a method of killing germs in milk: pasteurization.

So, his secret is his tenacity, but what is it?

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Exiled

Exiled

MIDDLE SCHOOL PROMPTS

What does Jesus’ disciple John have in common with Napoleon Bonaparte? I suppose the image below gives it away, but, yes, they were both exiled—banished from the homes and countries they loved.

John was exiled to the Isle of Patmos in AD 95 during Roman persecution of Christians. While banished to the island, John wrote the book of Revelation. Vistas of the Mediterranean Sea may be beautiful from there, but the island itself is only 30 square miles and very rocky and sterile.

Napoleon Bonaparte, the former emperor of France after the French Revolution, was actually exiled twice. The first time,

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Miracles

Miracles

MIDDLE SCHOOL PROMPTS

Mr. George McWhirter Fotheringay doesn’t believe in miracles.

At least, that’s what H. G. Wells tells us in his short story “The Man Who Could Work Miracles.” First published in 1898, it tells of a man who didn’t believe in miracles but ended up doing some anyway.

One day, Mr. Fotheringay argues his case in a local tavern. He defines a miracle as “something contrariwise to the course of nature done by the power of Will, something that couldn’t happen without being specially willed.”

While arguing against miracles, he ends up doing one.

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What Did Nelson Mandela Mean?

What Did Nelson Mandela Mean?

MIDDLE SCHOOL PROMPTS

Nelson Mandela, the first Black president of South Africa, had been imprisoned for 27 years of hard labor as a political prisoner for his beliefs and actions as he tried to end a harsh system of racism in South Africa.

The conditions in prison were rough; he was partially blinded, and he contracted tuberculosis. Yet he went on to become president.

Despite all he’d been through, he later said,

“Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.”

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