Articles in Category: Melanie Brake

Teaching Writing Through Literature IEW

Melanie Brake

CLASS DESCRIPTION: Teaching Writing through Literature/IEW   In this year-long course, students will develop the skills they need to become confident writers and careful readers. Using the principles established by the Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW), students will delve into selections of literature from the first three novels of The Chronicles of Narnia series (The Magician's Nephew, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, and The Horse and His Boy) and selections from several classic, award-winning novels (TBD—titles will be posted by July 1). The class will incorporate lessons from Structure and Style for Students and the companion theme-based text Following Narnia: The Lion’s Song: Writing Lessons in Structure and Style. Additionally, students will read two novels in their entirety, one per semester (TBD—titles posted by July 1) and engage in thoughtful conversation and study of each.    The class format will include lecture, discussion and reading, audio/visual teaching aids, and peer interaction/feedback. A year-long syllabus will be provided to ensure open communication and clear expectations between all parties: student/parents/tutor.    Curriculum Required: Following Narnia: The Lion’s Song: Writing Lessons in Structure and Style ($35; available from and The two novels (titles forthcoming) will also need to be purchased (approx. $5) or borrowed. Supplies fee includes classroom binder and classwork copies.   Contact Melanie Brake at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with questions or to be placed on the Temporary Class Roster   Target Grades: 7-8 (younger and older students are welcome—please contact me to discuss if you have questions)       “IEW's unique approach provides the structure that students need to develop confidence in the writing process, while gradually guiding them toward greater independence and creativity. They will learn nine structural models (note taking, writing paragraphs, stories, simple reports, writing from pictures, research reports, creative writing, essays, and critiques) to help them organize any type of composition. Additionally, stylistic techniques (strong verbs, quality adjectives, sentence openers, and more) are taught incrementally to gently move students from the basics into more sophisticated writing” ( 

  • When: Thursdays, Period One, 8:00 a.m. - 9:20 a.m.
  • Cost: Cost: $435 + $40 HERC fee + $25 Supplies fee = $500
  • Minimum Number of Students: 5
  • Prerequisite: Prerequisite: reading level @ ~6th grade or higher