WriteShop I and II is a parent-participation writing curriculum for students in junior high and high school. This placement guide will help you choose the best starting level for your child.
TIP: Start with our new 30-second Placement Quiz. Then, come back to this page if you need help fine-tuning your choice.
Target: 6th-10th grade
General Guidelines for WriteShop I Placement
- 5th Grade: WriteShop I is not recommended for 5th graders. They should complete WriteShop Junior Book E or Book F before attempting this level.
- 6th Grade: Strong or motivated 6th graders can use WriteShop I, but it’s recommended that they complete the program in two years instead of one. Most 6th graders are advised to start with WriteShop Junior Book F.
- 7th-9th Grade: Regardless of your students’ skill level or previous writing experience, these are the ideal years to introduce them to WriteShop I.
- 10th Grade: Rising sophomores with little or no prior writing experience should start with WriteShop I. Otherwise, choose WriteShop II.
- 11th-12th Grade: Juniors and seniors with little or no prior writing experience should start with WriteShop II. That said, some 11th and 12th graders have found their footing using WriteShop I first. Consider completing both WriteShop I and II in a single school year by doing one level each semester and following the 1-Year Track.
Other Helpful Placement Tips
- 6th or 7th graders who have completed either WriteShop Junior Book E or Book F can move right into WriteShop I. (Struggling to average 6th graders who have not used WriteShop Junior may gain more confidence starting with WriteShop Junior Book F.)
- WriteShop I makes a good choice for reluctant or first-time WriteShop students who have weak sentence or paragraph skills. WriteShop I helps students pay better attention to content and grammar while teaching important elements of content and style.
- Do you have motivated or advanced writers? Even if tweens and teens love to write, it doesn’t mean they’re writing effectively. Students who already have strong writing skills can still benefit a great deal from WriteShop I, especially if they are rambling, wordy writers who go off on rabbit trails or have trouble ending a story.
- Teens with special needs often find success with WriteShop I.
Start with WriteShop I if your teen needs to learn how to:
- Generally hone writing skills
- Narrow a broad topic to a specific topic
- Brainstorm before writing
- Develop stronger, well-constructed sentences
- Write a strong paragraph
- Choose concrete words over vague, weak ones
- Improve use of punctuation
- Identify and correctly use parts of speech in writing
- Use more mature and varied sentences in writing
- Write with more detail and description
- Write to explain
- Correctly use voice and tense in narrative writing
- Understand omniscience and limited omniscience in narrative writing
- Improve self-editing techniques to correct and revise compositions
If your older teen is already experienced and confident in these areas, consider WriteShop II instead.
Target: 8th-11th grade
WriteShop II is a continuation of WriteShop I.
General Guidelines for WriteShop II Placement
- 7th Grade: WriteShop II is not recommended for 7th graders.
- 8th-9th Grade: Regardless of your students’ skill level or previous writing experience, junior high or early high school is the best time to introduce them to WriteShop I.
- 10th-12th Grade: Older high schoolers typically start with WriteShop II. However, reluctant students or those with very little previous writing experience might gain confidence starting with WriteShop I.
Other Helpful Placement Tips
- Students who have successfully completed WriteShop I can move right into WriteShop II. (Reluctant 10th graders who have not used WriteShop I may gain more confidence starting there.)
- WriteShop II is a good option for 10th-12th graders who have a solid foundation in paragraph writing and experience with descriptive, informative, and narrative writing. The first three lessons of WriteShop II review lesson concepts and skills that are introduced in WriteShop I. This makes WriteShop II a good choice for 10th, 11th, and 12th graders who have had very little writing experience.
- There are always exceptions, but students tend to do better in WriteShop II once their reasoning skills have begun maturing (age 13+). 8th graders who have completed WriteShop I will do fine in WriteShop II. (Students younger than 8th grade should always start with WriteShop I.)
Start with WriteShop II if your teen needs to learn how to:
- Write a basic but solid 5-paragraph essay in which they adequately develop several main points with details, facts, examples, and logic
- Write an effective timed essay in 30 minutes
- Experience writing different kinds of essays: opinion essays, compare/contrast essays, and essays that describe or define
- Use descriptive narration
- Use narrative voice and different points of view in their writing
- Understand propaganda in writing
- Write to persuade
- Improve use of writing vocabulary
- Improve content and build more complex sentences
- Use parallel sentence construction
- Write more concisely
- Use appositives, participial phrases, subordinating conjunctions, and other parts of speech to develop well-structured, mature-sounding sentences
Older teens who are already skilled and confident in these areas may not need WriteShop.