The Expressive Writing Program is composed of two levels, Expressive Writing 1 and Expressive Writing 2. Expressive Writing 1 consists of 50 lessons. Expressive Writing 2 consists of a ten-lesson preprogram followed by 50 regular lessons. The program can be used with students of any age who can read at third grade level or above.
Expressive Writing 1 is designed for students who haven’t mastered foundational writing skills. Students learn to construct simple sentences by reporting on what a picture shows. They learn that a sentence has two parts, the part that names and the part that tells more. Students learn to identify sentences and edit short paragraphs, indicating the part of a sentence that names and the part that tells more. Students write sentences by naming a person or thing and telling what that person or thing did. As the program develops, students learn to tell the main thing a person did and to construct paragraphs for a sequence of pictures. A process though which students first discuss a writing assignment, then write, then systematically edit for specific points becomes an integral part of the program. At the end of Expressive Writing 1, students can write a paragraph that describes a sequence of related actions using simple declarative sentences, punctuate sentences correctly, write consistently in the simple past tense, and write paragraphs that include sufficient detail and stay on topic.
Expressive Writing 2 is designed for students who can construct a basic paragraph, but who have problems with clarity, are unable to punctuate quotes and other sentence types correctly, and use a narrow variety of sentence forms. Writing exercises begin with simple one-paragraph assignments, then increase gradually to two, three and more paragraphs. Students learn to infer important detail that must have happened between pictures in a sequence. By the end of Expressive Writing 2, students can write a multi-paragraph narrative that is: written clearly (using clear pronoun referents and including details necessary for clarity) uses a variety of sentence types, and includes correctly punctuated direct quotes.