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FLEX Homeschool Writing Portfolio Part 1: Semester Long Writing Course

5th/6th Literature & Writing Composition: English Language Arts (2nd Semester Year 1)

Melissa L. - Registered IEW Instructor
Average rating:5.0Number of reviews:(320)
In this 16-week semester-long course, students will continue the basics of literary analysis, participate in weekly Socratic discussions focused on the five elements of a story, and learn the writing methods of IEW's "Structure and Style".

Class experience

US Grade 5 - 6
Writing Goals:
*IEW Unit 5 - Students will learn how to write paragraphs using pictures as their guide. Being able to look at an image and then describing what they "think" is happening in story form trains students in the art of event description. This helps significantly increase their ability to write narratives, research papers, essays, and journalism.
*IEW Unit 6 - Students will be able to organize their work into easy to understand outlines from multiple types of texts. (We will be using our fictional novels for this unit.) This semester we will be focusing on one, two, and three paragraph references and outlines.
*IEW Unit 7 - What better way to end the year than with a bit of fun creative writing! In this unit, students will take what they've learned throughout the year and apply it to writing about topics that they already know about and enjoy. 

Reading Goals:
*Create a love, or at least an appreciation, for reading literature.
*Students should be able to recognize, analyze, and understand the five basic elements of a story: conflict, plot, setting, character, and theme.
*Students will be able to present and communicate their ideas regarding the books they've read and share their opinions in a Socratic seminar.
As a lifelong learner, I too am always striving for growth. After years of using the IEW curriculum, I decided I wanted to share what I had learned with others and became a registered instructor with IEW. (Link for verification: I have also been a tutor (teacher) for a local classical co-op, studied through literature seminars, and attended practicums to enhance my own reading and writing knowledge. 
I am also a certified TESOL/TEFL/EYL teacher, professional writer, beta reader, proofreader, editor, and homeschool mom. I have a love for the English language (I have the BA in English to prove it), the smell of new books, and transferring ideas from mind to paper. My goal is to promote a love of learning while offering a safe and fun environment. I truly have a passion for reading and writing and would love to share my knowledge and experience with your children.  
Homework Offered
Because this is a semester-long course, students will have homework every week. This could include reading and/or writing practice. Worksheets, handouts, and links to outside programs (such as Kahoots or Quizlet) for homework will be posted on the classroom page.
2 - 4 hours per week outside of class
Assessments Offered
There are two comprehensive writing checkpoints during the course: week 6 and week 14. Writing will also be assessed throughout the course through submitted homework. Reading comprehension will be assessed weekly based on the student's participation and comprehension of the week's literary analysis topics. There may also be homework assigned for our literature study (varies depending on the reading for the week).
Grades Offered
 1 file available upon enrollment
Paper, writing utensils, and access at least one form of a writing application (Google Docs or MS Word). All worksheets, handouts, and/or links will be sent via the classroom page as needed. Now about the books... As a homeschooling mom myself, I understand the importance of finding books that won't break the bank. That's why I made it a priority to choose books that have multiple options or discounted versions (usually e-reader). Some books may even be downloaded for free online via Project Gutenberg ( or via the Internet Archive, a non-profit online library ( Most of the books can be found at your local library. You can also reach out to your local librarian about setting up Libby or Overdrive to read free digital books on your e-reader. Please make sure that you choose the version that is best for you and your child. With many versions and translations being made from the older works we will be covering there may be slight differences in the text but not in the overall theme or discussion. The goal isn't to create a library full of books that your child only reads once. Instead, it's more important that your child is able to ask questions, ponder new ideas, and form their own intelligent theories about the works that they read. With that said, if they do fall in love with a book be sure to get them a copy that they can read again and again. Booklist for 5th/6th Grade (2nd Semester) Book 1: The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien Book 2: The Bad Beginning: A Series of Unfortunate Events, Book 1 by Lemony Snicket Book 3: Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O'Brien (updated 11.15.2020 - was originally Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte) Book 4: Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls Book 5: The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart (Please see PG statements in the Parental Guidance section below from Common Sense Media before signing up for this course.)
In addition to the Outschool classroom, this class uses:
At this age, it is common for students to still need help and direction at home for writing. That's okay! In this class, I encourage parental guidance when students are working at home. Some students may struggle at the beginning with balancing the concepts of class and the physical act of writing. Please know that it is perfectly fine if your child wants to dictate to you as they learn. The goal at this age is to understand the concepts. Mastery comes with continuous practice and patience as each child moves at his/her own pace. If at any point during the class you feel that your child is falling behind or needs additional help, please feel free to reach out to me directly so we can work out a plan.

Reading should be done regularly so that your child does not feel overwhelmed with having to read large amounts during one or two sittings. I will post the chapters to read in the classroom based on what I feel is a manageable amount for this age group. If your child struggles reading on his/her own or needs extra encouragement when reading, I suggest reading the books together or listening to an audiobook while following along.

Booklist for 5th/6th Grade (2nd Semester)
Book 1: The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien -
Book 2: The Bad Beginning: A Series of Unfortunate Events, Book 1 by Lemony Snicket 
Book 3: Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O'Brien
Book 4: Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls
Book 5: The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart

This class uses Kahoot, Blooket (, and Gimkit for gameplay as well as Google Suite tools such as Docs, Forms, and Slides. For gameplay, an account is not needed as learners will be given a code to play directly with the educator. Google Suite tools may require an email address, however, this information is not collected by the educator and meets Outschool's COPPA compliance requirements. YouTube clips for informational purposes only may be used on occasion and embedded in the slides.

Meet the teacher

Average rating:5.0Number of reviews:(320)

***NEW to Outschool? Try a class (it doesn't even have to be one of mine) using this code MELISSA2020 and save $20 if your child is a first time Outschooler.***

My name is Melissa. I am an IEW Registered Instructor, a certified... 
Group Class


for 32 classes
2x per week, 16 weeks
50 min

Average rating:5.0Number of reviews:(9)
Completed by 46 learners
Live video meetings
Ages 10-12
3-14 learners per class

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