Reasoning & Writing is a developmental Direct Instruction language series that teaches students everything they need to know to express themselves clearly and effectively in speaking and writing. Students who progress through the programs receive a solid foundation in critical thinking, and they master strategies for analyzing situations, employing logic and writing with great precision and clarity. These earliest levels of Reasoning & Writing set the stage for the increasingly sophisticated skill tracks of the upper elementary levels involving expository writing and higher-order thinking. All levels of the program can be supplemented with the Reasoning and Writing Extensions, which provide additional opportunities for students to develop their writing skills.
Level A, primarily for grade 1, focuses on foundational thinking skills as the building blocks for reading comprehension and writing. Concepts are integrated into a series of entertaining stories (read by the teacher) with predictable structures and memorable, recurring characters. Students recognize problems, anticipate characters’ future actions based on known past traits, and predict outcomes. Students also engage in deductive logic, simple sentence writing, cooperative activities, and writing and acting projects.
Level B, usually for students in grade 2, is an expansion of the thinking skills and story grammars taught in level A. It also introduces students to writing sentences, completing deductions, using facts and clues to solve problems, and learning to write clear and organized stories.
Level C emphasizes narrative paragraph writing. Students are systematically taught to plan, draft, revise, and edit independently for content, mechanics, grammar, and clarity. Students, generally in late grade 2 and above, also work on sophisticated logical thinking activities.
Level D focuses on expository writing and higher-order thinking. Students analyze problems and write summaries, directions, comparisons, analyses, arguments, critiques, and business letters.
Students in Level E and F further develop their thinking skills via four major skill tracks – alternative explanations, parallelism, general vs. specific information, and the relationship between a large population and a sample of members (a foundation in the scientific method). They also engage in extensions of what they learned in earlier levels about parts of speech, grammar, writing with clarity, and writing for a variety of purposes. All levels of the program can be supplemented with the Reasoning and Writing Extensions, which provide additional opportunities for students to develop their writing skills.