Darlene Mannix is a very experienced educator for children with special needs. Developing writing skills in our children, who have difficulty with organizing and expressing their thoughts in writing, can be tough, but with this book, you have a road map for developing this very essential skill. There are 136 lessons in this book and 269 illustrated worksheets.
This book is divided into four main sections with a total of 136 lessons. The earlier lessons begin with copying skills and then progress through more complex writing skills. Section I is Writing Words. It contains 41 lessons that focus on the task of writing at the “word” level. There are four parts – Part 1, Beginning Writing and Part 2, Writing High-Frequency Words and Phrases, teaches students how to remember to spell “tricky” words that are very commonly used. Part 3, Increasing Vocabulary Words, deals with common words that are found in everyday life (days, months, colors, etc.) as well as words that are important to understand in one’s vocabulary (opposites, synonyms, etc.). In Part 4, Editing Words, students are given practice in the very simplest of editing tasks i,.e., changing only one word in a sentence to make an improvement.
The next section – Writing Sentences, provides 41 lessons that take students past the word stage into a higher level of writing. In this section, students manipulate words to form sentences. This section also has 4 parts. Part 1, Writing a Basic Sentence, shows students how to recognize and write a complete sentence. In Part 2, Writing Sentences for a Specific Purpose, the student must write a sentence that specifically serves a purpose (answering a question, describing something, etc.). Part 3, Varying Sentences, demonstrates ways that students can write much more interesting sentences by adding phrases, adjusting the length, using different words, and paraphrasing. The final part, Part 4, is Proof reading and Editing Sentences. Editing is more challenging in this part, as students are taught to edit for punctuation, spelling, meaning, and interest.
The third section is Writing Paragraphs, it includes 20 lessons that require students to organize
sentences into a comprehensive paragraph. This section has 3 parts. Part 1, The “Sandwich” Model for Paragraphs, lays the foundation for how to organize a basic paragraph (topic sentence, details, conclusion). Part 2, Types of Paragraphs, provides practice in writing different types of paragraphs
(descriptive, narrative, etc.). Finally, in Part 3, Multiple Paragraphs, the students are given examples of how to organize pieces of writing that are longer and require more than one paragraph to convey the information.
The fourth section is – Other Types of Writing Activities, which concludes with 34 lessons that cover many other writing tasks. This section has 4 parts. Part 1, Writing a Story, is given quite a bit of attention since this skill covers many other skills. Part 2, Writing for School Projects, is a collection of exercises that deal with typical school-related writing assignments (keeping a journal, writing a letter, answering an essay question, writing definitions, etc.). Part 3, Practical Writing Activities, attempts to bridge the gap between school and real-life with activities such as taking a phone message, writing notes on a calendar, and completing forms. The last portion of this section,
Part 4, is Creative-Writing Activities. In this part there are activities that tap into a student’s creative thinking.
I hope by now you have pretty clear picture of how helpful this book is for our children on the autism spectrum as well as for children with special needs and learning disabilities. A very comprehensive and thorough book of 500+ pages! You can purchase the book HERE.
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