Thursday, November 16, 2017

Writing With Sharon Watson - Illuminating Literature : Characters in Crisis {TOS Review}

Writing with Sharon Watson

If you haven't tried any of the curriculum from Writing with Sharon Watson you are missing out! We have used Illuminating Literature - When Worlds Collide, and The Power In Your Hands previously so Boo was super excited to receive Illuminating Literature ~ Characters In Crisis to review. She is super impressed and will work on it for the rest of the school year!

Illuminating Literature: Characters in Crisis

We received:

Illuminating Literature : Characters in Crisis - Teacher's Guide
Illuminating Literature : Quiz and Answer Manual
Illuminating Literature: Text Book

You can also download a Novel Notebook here.

Boo loves this program. The first book covered is actually found in the text book and so it's really easy to get started with this program.

We printed The Novel Notebook as it contains extra questions and ways to get the students involved in the book. Since we have used some of Sharon Watson's programs before I knew to do this straight away. The added questions in this notebook really help the student think deeply about the book and to write their ideas down as they are going through the text.

The Teachers guide starts by giving a brief overview of the course. It gives a list of the books that your student will be studying and what publication to purchase. This may seem like a simple thing but it's really important for the student to have the correct book. Throughout the guide specific pages are referred too, so to make it easier and prevent frustration it's easier to get the actual specific text (ISBN numbers are given).

The Books and Short Works studied during this course -

"A Jury of Her Peers" by Susan Glaspell (In the textbook)
"Frankenstein" by Mary Shelley (ISBN 0-486-28211-2)
"Silas Marner" by George Eliot (ISBN 0-486-29246-0)
"Much Ado About Nothing" by William Shakespeare (ISBN 0-486-28272-4)
"A White Heron" by Sarah Orne Jewett (In the textbook)
"The Garden of Forking Paths" by Jorge Luis Borges (Link in Textbook)
"Haircut" by Ring Lardner (Link in Textbook)
"The Lady, or the Tiger?" by Frank Stockton (In the Textbook)
"Of the Passing of the First-Born" by W.E.B Du Bois (In the Textbook)
"A Child's Christmas in Wales" by Dylan Thomas (Link in Textbook)
"Sense and Sensibility" by Jane Austen (ISBN 0-486-29049-2)
Biography/Autobiography - Students Choice
"The Hobbit" by J.R.R Tolkien (ISBN 978-0-547-92822-7

The next part of the teacher guide gibes a simple grading grid and explains the recommend process, course objectives including; skills, attitude, course.

The course itself is designed to be taught/studied over nine months. The teachers guide gives instructions on how to break it down. Boo really liked this guide as she is very self motivated. This helps her stay on track and makes sure she is completing enough (or sometimes helps her from doing too much) every month.


The Text Book contains the information the student needs to work through the course. There are some places where the student can write and answer questions but most of this is done in the printable workbook. Since this course has lots of small stories included in the course they are found in this book.

The Quiz and Answer Manual contains quizzes that are to be completed after the student reads the book or story. Some of the books also contain Literary Quizzes and Opinion Surveys. The answers for the Yes, I read it, and Literary Quizzes can be found in the back of the book. The Opinion Surveys are only graded for completion not for content since they are after all opinions.

What BOO thinks-

I love how Sharon Watson writes her courses. The introduction inspired and motivated me. I had heard about simple "Character Labels" before like Protagonist and Antagonist but Sharon Watson includes so many other's that I found super interesting! I had never thought of a character being a "Shapeshifter" or a "Mentor" before. I feel like I learned so much - just by reading the introduction.

 I love the background information she gives of the authors and the novels. She makes me think about what the author felt while writing. I always wondered how people could write such intense novels; however, I realized if you learn about the authors life and the trials they have lived through you can see what inspired and influenced their stories. 

I am so excited to see where this course takes me over the next year. I am sure I will be better prepared to see the artistic values of a book. To find the issues and truths about life that are embedded in the pages and to be able to reach beyond reading to be just entertained.  

I also love quotes! I get the impression that Sharon Watson loves quotes too. I have a notebook where I wrote down my favorites!



As you can see from Boo's comments above she really likes this course. She was a little nervous about reading "Frankenstein" by Mary Shelly; however, learning about the author really helped with this and gave her an excitement to get started!

You can follow Sharon Watson on social media by clicking on her pages Facebook and Pinterest.

Check out what others on the review thought by clicking on the link below!!


Illuminating Literature: Characters in Crisis {Writing with Sharon Watson Reviews}

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1 comment:

  1. Hi, Lisa! Thank you for your kind review, and please thank your daughter for all her work for the review as well. I love her thoughts about characters.

    I also appreciate her additional reason why today's readers may not like reading older books: because the problems of yesterday may not be the same as the problems of today. Good insight.

    And just to calm her mind about Frankenstein, the information in the textbook is much more creepy than the actual book! ;-)

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