Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Beyond the Book Report from Analytical Grammar: A TOS Crew Review

Analytical Grammar Review

Analytical Grammar Review


Beyond the Book Report from Analytical Grammar
For grades 6th-8th (Seasons 1 and 2)
Season 3 - grades 8th-10th

Season 1:
  • The Basic Book Report
  • The Pamphlet Book Report
  • The News Article Book Report

Season 2:
  • The Poetry Book Report
  • The Drama Book Report

Season 3:
  • The Oral Book Report
  • The Essay
  • The Research Paper
Cost: $24.95 per season, or get all 3 Seasons for $69.95 - may be used with multiple children in a family.


One of my favorite language arts curriculums - Beyond the Book Report from Analytical Grammar will breathe new life into your middle/high school student's writing!  

Each Season contains a Teacher Packet and DVD.  The DVD features video instructions from the authors -Robin Finley and Erin Karl  (a mother/daughter team).  In addition to the videos, the DVDs also contain step-by-step schedules, printable PDF student handouts, rubrics, examples and all activities.

This program is ideal for your middle school students, and Robin Finley is a middle school expert, having taught language arts for 34 years.  Her daughter, Erin Karl joins her in teaching this program.  Several different schedules are outlined for you.  If you have a 6th-7th grade student - you can cover this material over 3 years.  8th - 9th grade students can complete in 2 years, and older high school students can complete in a 1 year course. You can see the schedules here.   I love that it is so customizable!

The Bentz Test Laboratory testers are a 8th grader, and a 9th grader.  Both boys ;-)  They jumped right in with Season 1.   

In this season there are 3 main assignments.  The Basic Book Report teaches:  following a rubic, literary terms of conflict, point of view, climax, protagonist, antagonist as well as, paraphrasing and summarizing. 
 
My testers are both Analytical Grammar students, so the author is a familiar figure for them, and Beyond the Book Report combines perfectly to provide a complete language arts program. The videos are very simply done - just one of the authors on their laptop at the kitchen table.  (feels like home!)  The DVD includes printable slides for them to follow along and have plenty of space for note taking, a focus of this program.  I love how active listening is included throughout these Seasons. The rubrics make it easy for you to objectively grade your students writing.   

In the Pamphlet Book Report, new literary terms of elements of the plot, mood and tone, setting,genre are introduced. My testers created a pamphlet from their chosen book. One of the best features of this program is that your student can choose their book. My testers appreciated the freedom to pick the book they wanted to read and write with, and had much more enthusiasm toward writing as a result.


The News Article Book Report introduces concepts of headline, byline, dateline, inverted pyramid, lead, objectivity, bias, objective point of view. Definitely my testers favorite! Their final assignment was to create their own news article on favorite scene from their book, and then to also write opposite bias news article from that same scene.

This program is much more than your run-of-the-mill, fill-in-the-blank type of program.  It will challenge your student to think critically about what they have read, and then write clearly in response.  

Season 2 features the Poetry Book Report and the Drama Book Report. Concepts covered in Poetry Book Report section include: Figures of speech: alliteration, metaphor, hyperbole, simile, personification, etc.Terms: stanza, rhyme scheme, verse, etc. and Types: sonnet, haiku, limerick, etc. I hate to admit this, but poetry is not my middle school tester's favorite topic! Writing their own limerick was quite the patience trying experience... but, we managed. Middle school boys have a sense of humor - how many words can you think of to rhyme with "Bart"? See what I mean! :-) The author doesn't try to push them into the deep end of poetry - but, gives them the encouragement to give it a try.

The Drama Book Report introduces literary terms: dialogue, monologue, 4th wall, cast,props, staging, aside, blocking, etc and Genres: comedy, drama, farce, melodrama. Yeah - after the poetry melt-down, this subject hit a home run. One of my tester's is a HUGE Shakespeare fan (I don't know where he got it, he just is...) The final project of dramatizing a scene from  A Midsummer Night’s Dream definitely took the learning way beyond the average book report!  

Season 3 dives into important concepts from giving an oral presentation, writing personal, literary, and
“issues” (SAT) essays, and the basics of writing a research paper on a famous author.  I'm looking forward to slowing down and really digging deep into this season as we progress into high school.

I feel like this program is perfectly paced.  The videos are short enough to hold attention spans, but are filled with proven instruction.  It's very important  to engage your children in language arts learning.  Learning is much more than just completing a page and moving on.  I believe that Analytical Grammar does one of the best jobs making it both memorable and fun that I've seen. 

Be sure to check out the other great products the Crew took a look at: Analytical GrammarJunior Analytical Grammar, & The Eternal Argument.


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1 comment:

  1. Thank you for your post! The description on the AG site said the students use their own books to write book reports in season 1. Would it be difficult to combine a sixth and seventh grade students, each using their own level books?

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