Our fall is always a little hectic and over committed, so we have been getting a head start on a few of the subjects that we don’t want to rush through when life picks up. Persuasive Writing and Classical Rhetoric is one of those subjects that we are working through this summer. This is a full 36 week language arts curriculum for students in grades 9-12 from Silverdale Press LLC.
Zoe has taken writing at our co-op since she was in 3rd grade, but I was drawn to this specific curriculum because of the title alone: Persuasive Writing and Classical Rhetoric Practicing the Habits of Great Writers.
Persuasive Writing is not a style that we have spent much time writing about extensively in the past and rhetoric was completely unfamiliar to her. I love how this curriculum uses the writings of really great world influencers as the spring board to teach great writing.
“Students will read classic works by Patrick Henry, Daniel Webster, Rachel Carson, William Wilberforce, Antonin Scalia, Ida Tarbell, Ronald Reagan, Winston Churchill, Dorothy Sayers, Thomas Clarkson, William Strunk, Jane Austen, Augustine, Abraham Lincoln, Alexander Hamilton, John Locke, and more!”
Each weekly lesson introduces students to a speech or a writing of a great writer then students work through questions about the writing, practice reading comprehension, formulate ideas, do research, take notes, and then write a persuasive essay.
I really like how each lesson builds on the previous one with skills that they learn. Students aren’t expected to just jump right into a great persuasive writing piece. The questions and the activities show them how to think, and give them actionable steps to be successful in their lessons with little tips along the way. In lesson 2 it tells them to think about their ideal writing space, it asks them when do they feel the most creative and then it tells them to set up this writing place and to make a writing appointment with them themselves.
I’m not going to lie, the writings are a little difficult. There were a few lessons that we had to read together and discuss the meaning of the authors words. But while the readings are challenging, I appreciate the exposure to such a wide range of writings, and it gives us the opportunity to use the dictionary and discuss different figures of speech.
Zoe is already a decent writer but I have enjoyed watching her work through these lessons and have to really think and consider her choice of words, her responses and decide whether or not they are logical and relevant.
This Curriculum package includes:
- Lesson Book (235 pages)
- Workbook (consumable, 202 pages)
- Reader (111 pages)
- Answer Key (68 pages)
When you purchase the curriculum you are purchasing a digital project. This is actually my least favorite thing about the program. It is nice to always have access to the curriculum and something that isn’t going to take up more space on my bookshelf, but I’m a little old school and kind of like to have the book in hand. I printed out each lesson and kept them in a folder. If you wanted to save paper, you could easily not print out the writings and just read them from your computer.
Silverdale has so many great products! This one is just one of many. To see some other great ones, check out their website and see what other crew members thought of some of the other unit type lessons they have to offer.