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Review by Bonnie Rose
For hundreds of years, students learned how to read and write by studying the Bible. What could be better than teaching them academic skills at the same you are sharing truths that will build their character and shape their faith? The Institute for Excellence in Writing has taken that time-tested practice and combined it with engaging writing exercises, fun games, easy-to-follow instructions, and simplified retellings of key Bible stories.
I recently had the chance to review a special set of books by the Institute for Excellence in Writing. This was my first introduction to IEW’s material, and I found the material clear and expertly organized. In Bible Heroes Writing Lessons in Structure and Style, first or second graders* can learn to write exciting stories, reports, and creative essays.
Unit 1 spends two weeks teaching key word outlining while discussing God, Enoch, and Noah. Unit 2 helps students write from the key word outlines they are creating and shares the story of Abraham, Joseph, Moses, and Joshua. Unit 3 moves students into writing narrative stories through the stories of David, Solomon, Elijah, and Daniel. Unit 4 introduces writing reports with the stories of John, Mary, and Jesus. Unit 5 teaches writing from pictures with the retelling of three of Jesus’ stories. The final unit gently encourages students to try writing without a source text.
If this sounds intimidating, there’s no need to worry. The 27-week curriculum is filled with games and activities to make the material accessible and fun for the students, and the Teacher’s Manual gives you the step-by-step information you need to teach the class, even if writing wasn’t your favorite subject in school!
My favorite feature of this curriculum is how it naturally builds on what has been taught previously. Students aren’t forced to stare at a blank page and figure out what to write. Each step is clearly explained and thoroughly practiced so that each step naturally follows the one before. Grammar rules and concepts are introduced alongside the material so they aren’t random rules learned separately but a logical part of learning to write well.
I highly recommend IEW’s Bible Heroes Writing Lessons in Structure and Style as one of the best writing programs I’ve seen for this age. Check out the Teacher’s Manual and Student Book today!
*Instructions are provided for how to adapt the material for older students.
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of IEW’s Bible Heroes Writing Lessons in Structure and Style Student Book and Teacher’s Manual in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.