One Year Adventure Novel High School Writing Curriculum Review
Posted Mar 22 2009 3:54pm
I have fallen in love! Yes, it's true! I have fallen in love with a writing curriculum that I received in the mail to review. You are going to love this curriculum. Your high school teens are going to love this curriculum too.
Daniel Schwabauer, an award winning novelist and playwright, has created an amazing one year writing course for high school students. After completing the course, your child will have theirr very own adventure novel. This is a practical course on fiction writing. It covers all the basics and provides strong parameters and boundaries for novel writing. The finished production is an adventure novel. So, along with teaching about plot, setting, characterization,and proper writing technique, this course teaches your budding novelist how to build suspense in his/her novel. Your child will be writing a Heroic Quest. What an exciting way to spend a year of writing! But, the best thing about this course is that it is written from a Biblical worldview and upholds our Christian values.
The One Year Adventure Novel kit comes with a textbook, The Compass, a workbook, The Map, and a set of DVDs. I love the DVDs! Each video segment opens with an Indiana Jones-type intro complete with action music and clips from old adventure movies! Three questions are asked, "What makes a story a story?" Why do we look for truth in books?" "Could it be that our thirst for story and our search for meaning are somehow related?" and "What if purpose just be another word for adventure?" Then we move to a beautiful study filled with lovely old books where our author begins to teach the lesson. There are 78 lessons on 7 DVDs.
The complete homeschool writing curriculum package includes The Compass, The Map, 7 DVDs, a teacher's guide, and a copy of the novel, The Prisoner of Zenda. There is also a bonus DVD disk with 26 quizzes and 14 classic adventure novels ( Huckleberry Finn, Treasure Island, The Jungle Book, The Blood Ship, Captain's Courageous, Black Rock, Tarzan, Rupert of Hentzau, King Solomon's Mines, Wulf the Saxon, Peter Pan and more). The cost is $199.00 for the entire package. You can order from their website: The One Year Novel.
Daniel tells us in the beginning of the course that there are three basic plot types in novels: the romance, the character change, and the heroic quest where the the protagonist must overcome trials and adversity to achieve the "story goal." In lesson 3, we learn how to write a synopsis that has two parts, a situation and a question. The situation in our synopsis is the way things are ( the Context ), someone to care about ( the Hero ), and something to want ( the Story Goal ). The question in our synopsis is something to dread ( the Villain ), something to suffer ( the price paid ), and something to learn ( the Theme ). Throughout the wholebook we read excerpts of good books, classic adventure stories, that illustrate what Daniel is teaching us. I'm so excited about this curriculum!
In homeschooling my high school children, I teach speech and essays freshman year, research writing sophomore year, fiction writing junior year, and delight-directed writing senior year. I have used, and been very happy with, Writing the Novel Way from Konos for fiction writing. I will continue to use and point people to Writing the Novel Way, but this fiction writing curriculum, One Year Adventure Novel, stands alone, apart from other writing curricula. If you use this curriculum, your child will learn about writing in a more in-depth way than I have seen in other writing curricula. I am very impressed.
My friends, Laura and Karen, and I are going to use the One Year Adventure Novel curriculum next year with our high schoolers--a senior, two juniors, two freshman--, and two seventh graders. Now, we will have to adapt things for our seventh graders! But all of the children are excited about taking this course after a sneak preview of the DVD lessons. I've never had all of my children excited about a writing class. Did I mention that I want to be part of the class too?
You can learn more about One Year Adventure Novel curriculum at their website, One Year Novelor visit the author's publishing company, Clear Water Press. On the One Year Adventure Novel website, there is a showcase for student novels. You and your child could take a look at those completed works to see what the year ahead will hold should you choose to use this amazing fiction writing curriculum.
We serve a God who is also an amazing Story Teller. Sometimes His stories (parables) made people mad. But, Jesus revealed the heart of God through His stories. What joy to be able to touch people's hearts with true through a well-crafted story. That is my dream for my children. I hope it is yours too.