What do you think of when the word ‘classical’ comes to mind? I think of Memoria Press as my go-to for classical educational materials! I choose the Classical Composition I: Fable Set to review with my 13-year old daughter since she enjoys fables.
Before digging into the meat of the product, here are some expectations of the Classical Composition I: Fable Set. Each set includes a Student Book, Teacher Guide, and Instructional DVDs. It’s geared for grades 4 to 12.
Your student will read a single story from Aesop’s Fables and then learn how to transform words into a compelling story. Using figures of description, they build upon these structures of ideas to create a narrative. Students are also taught to revamp the same story into another one using facts.
Ancient writers created a disciplined way of teaching writing known as the progymnasmata. Did you know that William Shakespeare and Benjamin Franklin were taught using this method? I had never heard of this method before until this program. Your student will learn how to make their stories intriguing and appealing to any audience!
Classical Composition I: Fable Set is laid out in an easy-to-read format for students and teachers as well.
Here are a few examples of what your child will learn.
First, each lesson begins with a read aloud using one of the Aesop’s Fables. Any difficult words along with their meanings are listed in the Teacher’s Guide. This is a great tool to use once your student has read the material, ensuring they understand it.
Your student will be asked to write down examples of three types of recognition using stories. The first is recognition, or when a familiar situation is brought to mind. The second one is reversal. This occurs when either the mighty are brought low, or the low and humble are elevated. The third and final type is suffering. This happens when a character experiences discomfort physically or emotionally.
In addition, your students will be trained to use two basic levels: words and sentences to change the structure of a story. Words are simply paraphrased by other familiar words, whereas, sentences will contain words that can be replaced.
Your students will also learn how to write a plot in the form of an outline. My daughter had never been educated this way and I’m happy to report it was easy for her to implement.
Narration is also part of classical teaching. They will be required to retell the story using their outline.
Here’s some insight into my daughter’s background. My middle school daughter has always struggled with reading and spelling. Concerned this may be a bit over her head, I hesitated to review it. However, she did a great job and am pleased with the results. She had previously used Memoria Press’s Latin program this year and you can read my post all about it here.
My daughter is an auditory learner, so she preferred listening to the DVD over just reading the textbook. I noticed she used it quite often when struggling to find an answer for the workbook. Because of the instructions in the DVD, she was able to write the answers independently with little help from me.
If you do have an auditory learner, don’t hesitate to buy the DVD. It is worth the investment. Consider it as having a tutor right there to guide your student through any difficulties. They can fast forward or go back at any time when struggling to fill out the questions.
The Teacher’s Guide to Classical Composition I: Fable Set does an excellent job of taking parents through the process, step by step. It was easy for me to follow and determine whether my daughter was understanding the questions. As I mentioned, the DVD helped my daughter tremendously when I was unavailable to help her.
You can buy the entire set of Classical Composition I: Fable Set, for $85. Or, you can buy all 3 products separately. The DVD is $45, Teacher’s Guide is $29.95 and Student Book is $19.95. Another option to consider is purchasing editable lesson plans digitally.
Take a look at the second one in the series called Classical Composition II: Narrative Set where students continue to build invention skills. In addition, they’ll learn how to intrigue the imagination of an audience.
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