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Sharon WatsonWant homeschool writing tips? Encouragement? Help grading those essays? Practical advice for your homeschool writing class? Insights into literature? Free writing prompts and tutorials?

Whether your student is reluctant or brimming with excitement, you’ll find solid, proven ideas here that will make your teaching life easier. And take advantage of the many writing prompts and tutorials posted here.

Subscribe to Writing with Sharon Watson and receive three FREE writing lessons. Just use the subscription form in the column to the right.

Be sure and browse the weekly writing prompts for middle schoolers and high schoolers.

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7 Quotations to Ponder

Posted by on Nov 5, 2017 in High School Prompts, Middle School Prompts, Sharon's Blog | Comments Off on 7 Quotations to Ponder

7 Quotations to Ponder

SHARON’S BLOG

Quotations are rich wells in which to dip our pens. Give your 7th – 12th graders something to ponder with these intriguing, thought-provoking quotations. Most of these quotations come from famous people and are accompanied by more than one writing prompt, so your students have many options open to them.

Opinions are the easiest paragraphs and essays to write, and your students have loads of opinions. Let them organize their thoughts and write some opinions based on any of the following quotations.

Dig in! (more…)

What Is Your Theory of Happiness?

Posted by on Oct 30, 2017 in High School Prompts, Middle School Prompts, Sharon's Blog, Writing Prompts | Comments Off on What Is Your Theory of Happiness?

What Is Your Theory of Happiness?

SHARON’S BLOG

Would any of your sentences ever sell for $1.56 million? That’s what happened recently with Albert Einstein’s one-sentence “Theory of Happiness.”

The story, according to USA TODAY, is that Einstein was visiting Japan to receive his Nobel Prize in physics in 1922 when he did not have enough money to tip a messenger. What did he do?

He wrote down one sentence and signed it, saying that it would be worth a lot of money someday. Looks like he was right! (more…)

Intro to Writing, Part 7: Introductions and Conclusions

Posted by on Oct 22, 2017 in Sharon's Blog, Writing/Teaching Tips | Comments Off on Intro to Writing, Part 7: Introductions and Conclusions

Intro to Writing, Part 7: Introductions and Conclusions

SHARON’S BLOG

Get a writing assignment. Look at a blank piece of paper for hours. Cry.

Is this what happens with your students?

No need for weeping. In this week’s Intro to Writing, your students will learn what ingredients to put into their introductions and conclusions. In addition, they will grade other students’ work and then write their own credible introduction and conclusion.

If you have been following along with the Intro to Writing tutorials on Writing with Sharon Watson, you likely have noticed something weird. (more…)

Intro to Writing, Part 6: Easily Develop Thesis Statements

Posted by on Oct 15, 2017 in High School Prompts, Middle School Prompts, Sharon's Blog, Writing/Teaching Tips | Comments Off on Intro to Writing, Part 6: Easily Develop Thesis Statements

Intro to Writing, Part 6: Easily Develop Thesis Statements

SHARON’S BLOG

Thesis Statements

A guy walks in to your living room and blurts out, “Pizza.”

You look at him and wonder what he means. Well, you know the subject matter—pizza—but you don’t know where he’s going with this. He could take it in any of these directions:

“I want pizza.”
“Pizza is bad for you and here’s why.”
“Eat more pizza; it contains all the food groups.”
“I know how to get bigger tips working as a pizza delivery person.”
“This is how to build the perfect pizza.”
“The pizza you buy here is very different from the pizza you can get in Italy.”
“With six hundred dollars borrowed from their mother, two brothers began one humble Pizza Hut, now an international chain.”

Or, of course, he could mean, “Here’s the pizza you ordered. Now give me a tip so I can get out of here.”

When you write an essay, writing about the subject matter is only the beginning. Readers need to know what direction you are taking your subject. That way, they will keep reading and will understand what you are doing. For instance, if your introduction looks like you are going to write about the founder of Amazon but you end up writing about all the cool stuff you can find there, your readers will be confused.

What’s your main idea? What’s the one thought you want to convey to your readers? Everything you write about your subject matter is going to be gathered around one statement, one main idea, so that people reading your essay know what direction you are taking your subject.

This main idea is called a thesis statement. (more…)