Meaningful Composition 5 is a two-semester writing curriculum for 5th graders. Comprised of two spiral-bound books with lesson plans for the teacher and student (the text is written to the student) as well as workbook pages for the student, it has everything you need for a solid writing program.
The first semester book, Writing for Real focuses on formal writing: outlines, paragraphs, multi-paragraph reports, a compare/contrast paragraph, and thank you letters. It also covers research skills, such as citing quotes, using the encyclopedia "as an overview source," and writing a thesis statement.
The second semester book, Creative and Clever, emphasizes creative writing: finishing a given story or poem, setting details, finishing a greeting card, writing a personal timeline, writing a personal essay, and writing poetry. It also covers style tips, such as avoiding redundancy and using strong descriptors and verbs. These figures of speech are also taught: similes, metaphors, personification, onomatopoeia, and alliteration.
Some distinctives of the Meaningful Composition curriculum are the Key Word Outline, which teaches students how to take notes from written material without copying, and Checklist Challenges, which provide thorough editing suggestions.
Several types of simple graphic organizers and places to make notes and organize sentences are found throughout the books. At the back of each book are five appendices: proofreading marks, a 14-week lesson plan for groups, Key Word Outlines and Plagiarism, More Key Word Outline help, and tips for using Meaningful
Composition in a co-op or small group setting.
Although designed for 5th graders, assignment "Extension Options" add a second level to the basic curriculum, making the program flexible enough to use for slightly younger or older students as the situation warrants. Bible stories and character topics give evidence that this is written for Christian educators.
What didn't I like about Meaningful Composition 5? Only two things bothered me: the fable of The
Country Mouse and The City Mouse is included in the text and used as a model for a creative re-writing assignment; however, no credit is given to Aesop. Also, the French interjection "Voila!" is misspelled as "Walha."
The paragraph is the foundation for all writing, and the essay in its various forms is an essential skill for students to master. The content of Meaningful
Composition 5 reflects this and is therefore a highly recommended resource for teaching writing.