Teach Your Child the Keys to Writing Essays From Multiple Sources
In this episode of The Classical Scholar Mom’s Course Teaching Workshop, I’m having a conversation with homeschooling parents, Alexis and Todd, about one of my systematic strategies for improving writing skills: teaching your child how to write a nonfiction multi-source essay. (As a bonus perk, this Mom’s workshop will also help your child with reading and critical thinking skills as you shepherd your kid in learning how to read a book closely, how to take good notes, and how to research a topic.)
These writing techniques date back to ancient Greece and the classical rhetoric of Aristotle who taught the five canons and three appeals which are still used today. Your child needs to learn how to read and listen closely so that he can find quality evidence to support his argument in an organized, effective manner.
In terms of homeschool writing skills progression, your child will move from (1) the simple three-point, one-topic expository essay to the (2) more complicated multiple-point, one topic persuasive essay to the (3) complex multiple point, multiple topic super-essay or research paper.
Ultimately what we’re trying to accomplish in teaching this writing and public speaking skill is not only an educated child (remember, an educated child is one who knows how to use his native language to reason critically to communicate effectively), but also a young adult who has a platform for winsomely and persuasively influencing culture. Never forget that the one who controls the ideas also controls the culture. You want to raise a classical scholar who can persuasively engage about life’s most meaningful ideas.
Before watching today’s workshop, download the notes so that you can add any new insights. Don’t worry about catching all the website addresses; all the links mentioned in the recording are listed below under “Teaching Resources.”
Don’t forget to follow my Writing Strategies Pinterest Board for more creative teaching resources.
In This Homeschool Moms Workshop, You’ll Learn:
- the five canons and three appeals of classical rhetoric
- what prerequisites your child needs to have mastered before tackling this skill
- the two basic types of nonfiction essays and their purposes
- the difference between a topic sentence and a thesis statement
- where to find your multiple sources
- types of evidence to support your argument
- five common examples of the opening hook
- how often to include a multiple source essay in your homeschool curriculum
- a fantastic online database for jump-starting your arguments
and much more!
You can teach essay writing in one of two ways: integrate this skill with the content that you’re already teaching; for example, if you’re studying butterflies, write a simple three-point expository essay, then pick 3-5 more sources from your library or online to supplement and enrich that simple essay. Or you can dedicate several weeks to writing immersion and practice writing the multiple-source essay on a variety of topics. Have fun!
Essay Teaching Resources
Here are the links to the homeschool teaching resources that we discussed in today’s writing workshop:
- 5MLP 003: Homeschool Lesson Plan | Writing Skills | OUTLINING Key Ideas
- 5MLP 004: Homeschool Lesson Plan | Writing Skills | MULTI-SOURCE ESSAY
- BLANK 3 Point Essay Grid (notes grid + essay outline)
- Cite-It Right, 3rd ed., Tom Fox
- Opposing Viewpoints Online Database (access through your local library)
- Classical Rhetoric for the Modern Student, 4th ed., Edward Corbett
- 12 Grammar Facts Every Teacher Should Know
- How Narrating From Note-Taking Improves Study Skills
What other creative ideas do you have for teaching writing? I’d love to be inspired, bright mom! Leave your comments below.