Questions about outlining and program expectations

This board is for discussion of Classical Writing - Aesop. CW Aesop teaches writing through rewriting of shorter stories, like fables.

Questions about outlining and program expectations

Postby rafgaf4 » Sat Mar 20, 2010 7:27 am

I am currently using Aesop A for two of my sons. I have a couple of questions that I can't seem to figure out. My sons definitely need an outline to help them keep an order to the story. I read in the core text that the student should count up how many sentences are in the model, and then number his outline accordingly. The problem is, some models have 20+ sentences. Just numbering his paper and writing 3-4 keywords from each sentence discourages him before he even starts writing. Am I doing this right or should outlining be simpler? Also, when he writes his paper from the outline it is basically a copy of the original model. He may change some adjectives and adverbs, but leaves pretty much the rest of the verbage as is. Is this correct or should I be expecting him to be more creative? I have to admit, that I am a little confused about what I should be expecting from him using this program. I really like the concept of Classical Writing and want to love it, however I am struggling implementing this program. Maybe he is doing exactly what he should be doing at this level, I am just unsure and would appreciate any help and advice that you could give me.

Thanks,
Tammy
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Re: Questions about outlining and program expectations

Postby admin » Sat Mar 20, 2010 11:04 am

If making one outline point per sentence is too much, then definitely trim it down. You could help him come up with a sequence of events, and have one point per event. If the physical act of writing is the issue, then let him dictate the outline.

It's fine to retell the story quite close to the original. That's helping him develop a good memory for what he reads. Later in the series, he'll learn about how to retell it using different words and phrases, and even with a different sequence of events.

:) Carolyn
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Re: Questions about outlining and program expectations

Postby robsiew » Wed Apr 07, 2010 12:11 pm

FWIW... I'm using Aesop A with my 9 y/o. He is somewhat of a reluctant writer, although he's getting less writing phobic! He also wants the outline and would be overwhelmed by all the writing. He dictates to me and I write the outline for him. That seems to go very well. Then he has enough energy the next day for his rough draft. I have him then type his final draft. This seems to be a good routine for us right now. Eventually I will move him to writing his own outline... probably with him writing every other line with me filling in the lines he doesn't do.

He also will tend to write his draft very close to the original. I'm okay with that. If you think about it, you start with copy work, then move to dictation... the next logical step in writing would be to remember and rewrite a story that's already written (kind of glorified dictation). It would be expected that it would be close to the original and an appropriate next step in my mind... :)
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Re: Questions about outlining and program expectations

Postby aefriedl » Thu Nov 04, 2010 6:57 pm

admin wrote:It's fine to retell the story quite close to the original. That's helping him develop a good memory for what he reads. Later in the series, he'll learn about how to retell it using different words and phrases, and even with a different sequence of events.
:) Carolyn


Please help....

We had our first week of Writing Project this week after spending a week in the Analysis & Imitation phase last week (which, we loved, thanks for a great program). However, by the time we finished with the A&I, my ds12 and dd9 had "The Hare and the Tortoise" memorized verbatim. Retelling the story any other way then verbatim was perplexing to them. Because I knew they could not handle writing the story including the dialogue - they could never navigate the quotes and commas, I had them instead condense the story into 4 sentences (with my help on our whiteboard) using our outline of the 9 sentances from the previous day. Then they copied their work into their folders. It was all I could think of to do!!

This was productive in its own way but I do wonder about it. The condensed story copied from the white board is technically their "first draft" but I don't have the faintest idea of where to go on to tomorrow with regard to the revisions and the final draft. Since I was guiding the process at the whiteboard, there are not many mechanical errors, comprehension errors or sentence errors to work with that I know of! I was focused on getting them out of their memorized mold, if you kwim.

Should I just move on to the next model instead of grappling any further with this model? Or do you have another suggestion? The A&I section of this program is so meaty. Since this was our first model, I stuck to the lower skill level in the "daily routine" suggestions, but certainly I'm looking forward to the challenges of the higher skill levels. But the WP felt a bit like a fizzle this week due to the circumstances I've just mentioned.

I'm looking ahead and think that they may also memorize everything up to but not including "The Top and the Ball". I'm lost as to where I could/should put my focus when dealing with kids who memorize in these circumstances with regard to the WP....any suggestions appreciated.....much thanks.
In Christ,
Amie
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Re: Questions about outlining and program expectations

Postby KathyWeitz » Mon Nov 08, 2010 8:30 pm

Amie,

I would not worry a bit if they memorize the story. Let them write it as they wish, and then deal with the ensuing grammar errors sparingly for these first few projects. It's fine to take what they have written and just show them in a very matter-of-fact way where they might need basic punctuation. Don't even be afraid of leaving a few errors uncorrected. Later, when you have covered some of the grammar points that they may struggle with now, bring this project back out and have them correct it.

If they have truly memorized the story, I would also just skip the outlining step, and let them write the story as they remember it. The outlining at this point is just to have them keep the chronology and important details in order.

I would probably just go ahead and move on to the next story if they have mastered the A&I lessons for this one.

Hope this helps.

Kathy
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Re: Questions about outlining and program expectations

Postby aefriedl » Wed Nov 10, 2010 1:21 pm

Kathy,
Thanks for your suggestions - gives me some perspective to work with! You comments are quite helpful.

My follow up question is: Does CW eventually teach a more formal method to outlining? I would imagine such a thing exists - though I can't personally ever remember being taught to outline. I think I've just picked it up over time. So I was at a loss when I sat and considered what it meant to teach my children do any outlining of these first fables. You said:
The outlining at this point is just to have them keep the chronology and important details in order.


So you made me wonder by the words "at this point" if more formal outlining instruction was yet to come in the CW program, perhaps in Homer? I hope so!

Thanks in advance.
Amie
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Re: Questions about outlining and program expectations

Postby KathyWeitz » Sat Nov 13, 2010 7:57 am

Amie, yes, we do teach more formal outlining in Homer, and then it is reinforced throughout the rest of Classical Writing. In Homer, we teach students to think in terms of acts and scenes in order to outline their narratives. In the following books, outlining is organized around paragraph content.

Kathy
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