Writing Strands: Beginning 2 (Download)

Writing Strands: Beginning 2 (Download)


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Writing Strands Beginning 2 (Download) will help your junior high student learn how to effectively master using sentences and paragraphs, main and supporting ideas, process of rewriting, point of view, and creating characters. This language arts curriculum is ideal for a 5-8 grade level.

SKU K019-2
Manufacturer Master Books
Weight (in lbs) 0.00
Title Writing Strands: Beginning 2 (Download)
Series Writing Strands
Contributors Dave Marks
Publisher New Leaf Publishing Group, LLC

Explore Language Arts Through Creative Writing!

Writing Strands Beginning 2 (Download) explores the art of writing effectively—and creatively! In this comprehensive course, students will discover how to create engaging sentences, craft vivid descriptions, introduce characters within a story, identify cultural aspects of literature, and so much more!

Through interactive, guided exercises students will learn how to:

  • Follow written directions
  • Structure sentences & paragraphs
  • Create character thoughts
  • Organize information
  • Design relateable characters
  • and so much more!

A Comprehensive Approach

Writing Strands Beginning 2 takes a comprehensive approach to language arts, teaching students how to construct effective sentences, present a logical sequence of events, and structure paragraphs while also developing the student's reading, writing, and speaking skills. Students will learn how to read and evaluate literature, practice spelling, analyze worldview, and write a story!

Fully Updated for a New Generation!

With over a 30 year history, Writing Strands has proven itself to be a solid, powerful tool for teaching students to write and communicate clearly. Writing Strands Beginning 2 includes a convenient daily schedule and has now been fully updated, clarified, and simplified for ease of use.

Writing Strands Beginning 2 is a hybrid course that combines Reading Strands and Writing Strands Level 3 into one course. Worksheets are now provided to add structure to reading assignments chosen by the teacher.

Students will rotate writing and reading assignments each week—thus also learning to write through literature because good readers make good writers! Additionally, the Bible is now used as the literature base for teaching how story setting can be used to form captivating pieces of literature.

Writing Strands Beginning 2 (Download) Features:

  • Suggested Daily Schedule—saving you time!
  • Student Worksheets
  • New literature component

Course Features:

  • 30-45 minutes per lesson, 5x per week
  • Recommended Grade Level: 5 - 8
  • Self-Directed
  • Equivalent to Writing Strands Level 3
Beautiful approach to writing,
Review by Kari
I was looking for a new approach to writing that would be effective and yet help my kids become excited overwriting. This is when I found writing strands. This program did exactly that for us. We look forward to walking through all the levels. My daughter worked through this level quickly and she loves this approach.
Love the step by step approach
Review by Melissa
My daughter really likes how her assignments are step by step and very clear. She is slowly learning how to improve her writing.
Successful user
Review by Karen F
I am so happy Master Books has made this wonderful writing curriculum easier to use. My favorite feature is that it combines the great writing lessons with reading. It has the student read and analyze scripture as well as a book assigned by the parent. It is so flexible. I have wanted a writing/reading curriculum like this for years and now it, it's here!

The daily schedule is great and so very helpful. I love how the writing lessons start with building one sentence then throughout the year you cover paragraphs, and descriptive stories and more. It does it in a way that does not overwhelm with easy to follow instructions. Plus, the instructions are written in a light and conversational manner.

My 5th grader used this course and before he started, he hated writing. He was stuck in the “I can’t do it” mindset, but with Writing Strands, he found himself to be capable! He no longer cringes at the thought of having to write a paragraph. Now, he can bust out several paragraphs! Amazing!

For the reading portions, I love how it has the reader examine passages from the Bible. It discusses plot, setting and asks the student what you can learn from the given passage as well as with an assigned book. It's so versatile. I do suggest to get the Teaching Companion book. It gives guidance on vocabulary, spelling, literary concepts and other teaching tips.
Full Language Arts Curriculum
Review by Heather
Structured for use with 4th through 8th graders, Writing Strands 2 focuses on effective sentence and paragraph formation through planning, processing, and practicing. A one-year course in writing, students will learn to organize sentences for grammatical accuracy and reader understanding.

I love that biblical passages and literature are incorporated into this program. This isn't "just" a writing program: it's a language arts program. Throughout the year, parent-selected books are read by the student (and parent) with the goal of using literature to shape the following week's writing lessons. Purposeful writing is taught by reading and studying the intent of the passages read. In addition to basic skills, Writing Strands 2 expands students' writing skills through creative and descriptive expression.

As with most Master Books curriculi, Writing Strands is set up in such a way that the instructions are articulated to both parent/teacher and student with no "prep time" required. Another book, Writing Strands Teaching Companion, is available that provides extra direction to further expound on the reading portion of this program. It's recommended, but not required.
Good for beginner writers
Review by April
I have been using this with my fourth grader, but I feel like it could easily be used with older children. She very much enjoys that the lessons alternate between reading and writing lessons. It really does help the curriculum from becoming stagnant or boring. It is fairly easy to use as a self-directed program but could be used as with assistance as well. My daughter's writing has drastically improved since using this program. It covers a large amount of information but isn't overwhelming in its approach. The instruction and guidance are clear and easy to understand. There is an expectation of basic grammar knowledge going into the course, but it definitely builds on and gives practical applications for grammar practice. It has a suggested schedule included, which is incredibly useful for planning out your lessons and school year. Overall, we are very pleased with this curriculum and will likely continue to the next level when we have completed this one.
Freedom and Creativity for Both Student & Teacher/Parent
Review by Nikki
More so than any other subject, writing seems to be the area in which we have struggled the most to find a curriculum that fits us best. Last year, I stumbled upon Writing Strands. We used Writing Strands: Beginning 1 last year and have been given the opportunity to review Writing Strands: Beginning 2.

About us: My student is at the top end of the age range suggested - 7th grade. Last year, prior to purchasing Beginning 1, I had her take the placement test. Although we could have comfortably started our journey with Writings Strands in the Intermediate level, we opted to start at the beginning - primarily for the literary analysis aspect.

Writings Strands alternates writing and reading lessons weekly.

What we love about Writings Strands: Beginning 2:

The approach is gentle. Writing is often a confidence game. Taking a simple, yet thorough, approach from the start allows the student to shore up basic skills while building confidence in his/her writing ability.

The lessons are kept short and sweet. Unless you have an avid writer on your hands (lucky you!), nothing induces the moan and groan like a writing lesson. The short lessons help keep a less-than-enthusiastic writer from being overwhelmed and shutting down.

Each writing lesson ends with a Progress Report to be completed by the student. Self-analysis is critical in ultimately learning to proofread larger works later.

The reading lessons cover basic skills for literary analysis. These skills are practiced using a passage from the Bible and then practiced again using literature chosen by the parent. The reading lessons provide an excellent opportunity for Biblical discussions between student and parent.

What you should know:

The Teacher's Guide is imperative. It is a PDF download available through Master Books.

If you're looking for an open-and-go with little work on the part of the teacher and answers provided, this will not be a good fit for you. This curriculum is a bit open-ended and allows for a good deal of freedom and creativity for both student and teacher/parent.

You may need a supplemental grammar curriculum. This course does not teach syntax or grammar concepts. This course develops writing skill.

The course places an emphasis on creative writing and narration.

Overall, we have been quite happy with Writing Strands. It is an excellent fit for a young writer that enjoys creativity and story-telling. As always, I enjoy the strong Biblical approach taken by Master Books. This is a truly Christian curriculum - not curriculum with Bible verses sprinkled throughout. I definitely recommend this curriculum for the parent/teacher that likes to dive in with his/her student. It makes for wonderful discussion - particularly during the reading lessons.
Sound program with a few tweaks
Review by April S
I have copies of the older versions of Writing Strands that e put down for a season because my kids didn’t find them visually appealing. I adore the new updated layouts in this version. As a teacher, the built in progress reports and checklists make my job pretty effortless in regards to tracking my child’s progress.

The only complaint I have is the reading assignments that alternate weekly with the writing assignments. We personally chose to read a book over a two week period beginning the book on the weeks we focused on writing. This allowed my child time to enjoy the characters and story line a little more before we studied the reading assignments sections. So just a minor tweak—but I love that this program allows for flexibility. I used this with one child but I could definitely see where this would work with multiple students working with a single level.
Clear and easy to follow instructions
Review by JW
I am very pleased with this book. The instructions are clear and easy to follow. One of my favorite things about it is the scripture throughout the lessons. Not only does it help with writing skills, but it helps with learning to study scripture for yourself as well. I would definitely recommend this book!
Developing creative writers in easy steps
Review by Stephane
Review of Writing Strands: Beginning 2 by Dave Marks (Master Books)
A recommended Language Arts Curriculum for Advanced Elementary or Middle School learners you must consider.
Up to now, we used other Language Arts curriculum because when I studied samples of the previous version of Writing Strands and I didn’t feel it would fit our learning style. It was not until I did this in-depth review of the new version now published by Master Books that I have decided to use Writing Strands for our Middle School learner. Being familiar with the well-coordinated Student Texts and Teacher Guides available from Master Books, I cannot wait for him to start his new year of Language Arts.
What will you achieve when using Writing Strands: Beginning 2?
Your student will learn to make use of sentences and paragraphs effectively, to be able to express his / her thoughts through the writing of a short story. They will be able to identify the mood and setting of a story, the use of symbolism and other aspects used in storytelling. They will apply their knowledge to create characters but also recognise how setting clues can tell more about a character. The writing exercises focus on four specific areas of skill development namely: basic, creative, organisational, and descriptive. Writing Strands: Beginning 2 therefor lay the foundational skills needed to give the student confidence in their writing as an extension of expression of thought. By use of simple writing exercises rising in difficulty learners progress into young authors who find value in any mistakes made along the way.
The structure of the course:
The course alternate from week to week between writing and reading exercises. Through the study of the Literature of the Bible, Classical and Contemporary books learners focus on settings in all stories read. Students realise that not everyone has the same viewpoint and to communicate positively one must learn the correct techniques.
The parent or educator will provide suitable literature for reading which the learner must discuss or write their own opinions about when completed. These discussions can lead to valuable life lessons when talking about a books’ viewpoint or a character. This type of narration helps to develop critical thinking patterns to be able to prove or disapprove a point.

What I loved, that changed my mind:
The fact that it is a biblically based course which includes scripture along with the easy-to-follow schedule which makes planning easier was the first reason we switched curriculum. Secondly, the gentle approach to teaching logic in language arts, without the demands of teaching grammar, composition, spelling, vocabulary and literature as separate units. Take note that grammar is not part of teaching but with the use of the Writing Strands Teaching Companion you can address areas such as spelling and grammar in the writing exercises. Thirdly the ability to choose the books for reading makes it a flexible choice when your learner might have different levels of progress in writing and reading. The wide variety of literature one can include allows you to use books a learner will need to read for another course, may it be history or even science to be incorporated. It can be a lifesaver for learners who previously have not read much or a learner who has to read optional books in other courses and feels overwhelmed by the amount of reading to be done.

Who can use this level?
The recommended level is grade 4 but students between grade 3 and grade 7 can all benefit from this level. I do suggest using the placement guide to determine the level best suited to your student's skill level. The basics should, however, be in place, like writing a short paragraph, understand basic grammar and be able to understand, comprehend and analyse text at minimum grade 4 level.

What will you need to get going?
You will need the course text, a three-ring binder with dividers, extra notepaper and the books chosen on par with the learners reading level. The reading books can be e-books with no restriction to the physical book. A great feature to remember when purchasing Master Books curriculum is the availability of curriculum as Pdf’s. If you are travelling homeschoolers, or have limited space or for some reason, you just don’t love the feel of a physical book; you can buy the Pdf and fill the worksheets on the Pdf and save it to your device or cloud service.

Go ahead and see for yourself, find this resource and more from Master Books here.
I received a complimentary copy of this curriculum from Master Books for review purposes.
Excellent for Narration, Creative Writing, and Reading Comprehension
Review by Theresa
I purchased some of the older Writing Strands editions a couple years ago, and largely did not care for them; so my review of this material began from a place of skepticism and curiosity.

I am very impressed with multiple components of this resource, and am planning to use it with at least one of my kids, when he is ready.

(I'm also considering using it for myself. My undergraduate and some graduate work was in English/Linguistics, and I have always wanted to engage more on the fiction and literature side. There are some excellent takeaways from the exercises in this curriculum that I believe could aid me in creative writing.)


The focus of this curriculum is on strengthening communication (including one's attentiveness to the present environment, before articulation can occur), developing unique expression, having confidence in authorship, and guiding students to recognize and refine their own observations, stories, and writing.

The structure alternates between one week of writing, then one week of reading. Students will keep a writing folder, binder, or notebook of their work, and both student and teacher will track the student's progress with the weekly Progress Report, and Writing Skills Mastery sheets.

On the writing side, the student begins with very simple exercises for the purpose of learning to follow directions. Then the material quickly shifts into the "real" stuff: learning to write complex sentences, completing prewriting exercises to organize one's thoughts, and recognizing the many aspects of strong storytelling (descriptions, mood, settings, dialog, symbolism, characters, plot development, narrative voice, and so forth). Grammar is highlighted for the means of communicating, but not in and of itself.

On the reading side, students will study Scripture (prepared with questions in the curriculum), while learning to ask important contextual and literary questions, and then being able to make comparisons and find personal applications within the Word. Students will also engage with contemporary (or other non-biblical) literature in a similar matter of asking good questions about what they have read. This material is chosen by the parent/teacher (or perhaps student), and can be broken down however is preferable--a full book per week, an assigned number of chapters, an engaging article or two, etc.

Often the writing and reading lessons complement each other nicely by working on similar themes from different perspectives.


1. It is not overwhelming: it is both easy to follow the directions and get each assignment done, and is also set at a reasonable (and consistent) pace. This does not mean there is no planning required, as the parent-teacher is responsible for creating the book list, and ideally has read the books in order to facilitate the best discussion with the student. The student must also find time to read the material in advance of the classroom time (which is a healthy habit toward personal responsibility and academic achievement).

2. The structure is gentle, while progressively becoming more challenging.

3. I love the freedom and adaptability of choosing one’s one book list, and the combination of analyzing Bible passages.

4. This format provides excellent questions to develop the logical process of reading comprehension, and general attentiveness to our world, our own feelings, and consideration of others. The skills of observation and communication are very important, and not limited to academic reading and writing.

5. Students are clearly guided through the aspects of story development by doing—not just teaching. This is a practical, and hands on curriculum, that will stir the imagination.

6. I quite enjoyed the author's candid and humorous tone throughout.


This is not a grammar-centered curriculum. Students are expected to understand the basic elements of grammar, and will strengthen these in practical usage. That is, they will be challenged to add words to strengthen their sentences, rewrite and restructure sentences, and consider whether a sentence aids the goals of the paragraph or story. However, students will not be asked how a particular word is functioning within the parts of speech; nor will there be any diagraming of sentences, or abstract discussions of language itself.

This is also not a curriculum for strengthening persuasive or expository writing styles, nor for research methodology and practice. While it does go beyond storytelling and creative writing, there is a creative feeling to the activities, with narration as the strong emphasis. No five-paragraph literary essays here! ;-)


Before beginning this curriculum, students should be able to write a 4-5 sentence paragraph, with a fundamental understanding of syntax and grammar, and be proficient in basic reading comprehension and analysis.

The inside cover suggests a wide grade range from 3rd grade through 7th grade, mentioning 4th grade as an ideal target. The official Writing Strands Placement Guide has this at 6th grade, in order to fit with the corresponding curricula. The flexibility comes from: 1) the individual level/ability of the student, and 2) the adaptability of choosing one's own reading list. A 3rd or 4th grader could potentially feel just as at home in this curriculum as a 6th or 7th grader, by using age/level appropriate reading material, so long as the other standards are met. Moreover, each student is learning to refine his/her own writing, which is always improving. This resource does well in meeting students at their own level.

Due to the nature of the material, the student may need a bit of enthusiasm toward creative writing, the imaginative process, and/or self expression. I know one of my students will thrive with this, while other students may desire a more traditional/structured approach.

I received a complimentary copy of this curriculum from Master Books.

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