Diana Hanbury King’s Writing Skills series falls comfortably between the two camps, acknowledging the merit of each perspective by representing both in her smart, effective plan for improving students’ writing. The Writing Skills series consists of four workbooks – Writing Skills A, 1, 2, and 3 – that focus on the process of writing*. It is recommended that students begin book A in second or third grade, but educators can pick and choose from its offerings for older students who need to strengthen their knowledge foundations. The final book in the series is intended for students in high school.
King’s research-based methods marry grammar concepts with principles of strong writing, like good organization and descriptive language. Beginning with correct sentence assembly, the lessons build on each other until students are able to compose strong essays. The books provide clear explanations in language students can understand and thoughtful skill-building drills that allow structured opportunities for creative practice. The balance and versatility of Writing Skills makes it one of the best commercially-available series of writing workbooks on the market.
*Three other books, two on writing in cursive and one on typing, are also part of the series.