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

Navigation Menu

Full Steam Ahead: Steam Power in Ancient Roman Days?

Full Steam Ahead: Steam Power in Ancient Roman Days?

SHARON’S BLOG
We like to think we’re fairly intelligent today, but did you know that the ancient Greeks and Romans harnessed the power of steam and wind 2,000 years ago?

Your students will enjoy these three prompts based on history and technology as they contemplate Hero of Alexandria, an ancient Thomas Edison, and how his inventions might have changed the world.

Random fact: Did you know that Hero invented the first vending machine? Patrons put in a coin and received holy water from his machine!

This week we’ve included plenty of links so your students can dig more deeply into these topics, if they wish.

Geared for middle – high school students.

Read More

3 Powerful Persuasion Strategies that Advertisers and Politicians Use

3 Powerful Persuasion Strategies that Advertisers and Politicians Use

SHARON’S BLOG

Do you ever wonder why some ads and political campaigns are so powerful? There’s a reason for that: They use certain strategies to move their viewers.

It’s important to learn these strategies so you can see when they are being used on you!

In this tutorial, you’ll learn three powerful tactics, read examples, and then write your own ad for a product or a politician.

This tutorial is geared for students in 7th – 12th grade.

Ready? Let’s do this . . .

Read More

5 Prompts on the Reformation

5 Prompts on the Reformation

SHARON’S BLOG

To say that the Protestant Reformation had a great effect on the world is a vast understatement. Kings, kingdoms, and even everyday people felt the sting—and the freedom—this new movement brought.

Your students will be writing opinions, stories, and more while exploring some of the issues and topics associated with the Reformation.

If you’d like your students to learn more about Martin Luther in an interesting biography, check out When Lightning Struck by Danika Cooley of Thinking Kids Press.reformation-when-lightning-struck

These prompts are appropriate for students in 5th – 12th grade.

Let’s dig in . . .

 

.

Read More

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.

Read More

A 100-mile Accomplishment

A 100-mile Accomplishment

HIGH SCHOOL PROMPTS

Have you ever swum (swum?  That’s a word?) a mile?

How about two or three miles?

diana nyad

Diana Nyad

Diana Nyad, 64, made the more-than-100-mile trip from Cuba to Florida—by swimming the whole way!

Hallucinating from exhaustion and hypothermia, stung by a jellyfish, her throat closing up from the sea’s salt water, she kept on swimming for 53 hours. This was not her first try.  It was her fifth, and you can watch an inspiring interview with her on npr.org.  [Parents, you may want to check out the 15-minute video.]

Read More

5 Prompts on Current Events

5 Prompts on Current Events

HIGH SCHOOL PROMPTS

Looking for a way for your teens to think deeply about some of today’s issues?

This week’s prompts will give your teens a chance to look at current events, express their opinions, and practice persuading readers. Each one of these prompts has a link so your teens can read more about the issue.

Warning: You may want to check the sites out before your teens do. Though I am careful which links to include, inappropriate material may appear on the other sites after I’ve posted the links.

Ready? Let’s go . . .

Read More

Fun with Outlines. No, Really.

Fun with Outlines. No, Really.

SHARON’S BLOG

Could your students use a little help creating outlines? And what does a bowl of salad have to do with outlines?

My husband tells me he always made his outlines after he’d seen what he had written. I imagine this is fairly common.

But is an outline necessary? Not exactly. You can read about my sticky-note method here.

What is important, though, is organizing the material, and that is where students have trouble. They do not want to take the time to organize their thoughts, ideas, or material before they write.

Personally, I benefit from even a casual outline. That way, I don’t have to start with the introduction and work my way down to the conclusion; I have the pleasure of beginning wherever I like, where I feel the most comfortable. Then I can fill in the rest of my article later by using the organized points in my informal outline.

Whether your students use sticky notes or a more formal outline, they’ll benefit from these fun writing prompts.

Read More

Holocaust Remembrance Day

Holocaust Remembrance Day

HIGH SCHOOL PROMPTS

May 5, 2016 (April 23, 2017) is Holocaust Remembrance Day, the day we remember those people—most of them Jews—who were exterminated by the millions in World War II by the Nazis.

Maybe you’ve read The Diary of a Young Girl (or The Diary of Anne Frank), a real diary of a young girl just turned thirteen. In it, she chronicles her days of hiding out with her family and another family in an annex (an unused portion of a building, like an attic) in Amsterdam. Why are they hiding? Because if the Nazi soldiers find them, they’ll be sent to a concentration camp and likely be killed.

Read More