Review of “Cover Story” Middle School Writing Curriculum



I am so excited to share about my new favorite curriculum: Cover Story!  Have you ever heard of the One Year Adventure Novel curriculum for high schoolers?  I have been waiting for years to use that, but my kids still aren’t old enough.  So, when I found out that the same writer wrote a curriculum for middle school students I just had to check it out!

Cover Story is written by Daniel Schwabauer.


What you get when you order it is:

1.  A Set of 7 DVDs (72 writing lessons and 12 optional grammar lessons)

2. Student Book (272 pages)

3.  Teacher Guide (147 pages)

4. Hardback Journal (219 pages)


How to use the curriculum:

Cover Story is for middle school, grades 6th-9th, ages 11-15. It is meant to be a full-year curriculum and is DVD-Teacher led.  Parents will only be needed to check the student’s work once a month (for about 1-2 hours at a time, using all the helps in the Teacher’s Guide).  Kids will watch 3 DVD lessons per week, do the corresponding workbook assignments, and write in the journal 5 days a week for 24 weeks.

What will be accomplished:

Students will be guided through learning to write a wide variety of genres–short stories, different types of poems, reviews, letters, blog posts, non-fiction articles, etc.  The units are constantly changing, and this along with short lessons and daily writing helps kids stay motivated and see progress!  All of these different types of writing will be related to a theme of the student’s own choosing and will be combined together at the end of the school-year into their very own magazine!


Why I liked it:

Daniel Schwabauer knows how to get and keep kids of middle school age engaged.  He’s funny, as well as smart, and the DVD lessons contain a variety of scene changes, including clips from movies!  Daniel also often wears different costumes, especially related to the theme of steampunk.  If you don’t know what that is, you’ll have to watch it!

I also like that he teaches it instead of me.  Teaching writing is not a skill I have, so it’s important to have a good writing teacher teach my kids.

I’m really excited about using Cover Story because I’m pretty confident both of my boys will like it.  They did not do well with another well-known curriculum we tried using this year.

How we will be using it:

We will be using this curriculum next year (starting in September) with my two oldest boys in 7th and 8th grade.  We are also considering doing it with our homeschool co-op.

More Details:

The optional Grammar DVD is also taught by Daniel in a fun manner.  There are 12 lessons on one DVD which cover topics such as subjects and predicates, run ons and fragments, commas, and apostrophes.  This is extremely helpful for those who haven’t mastered important grammar concepts before.  However, they are optional if you don’t need them.

The Journal is entitled The Remarkable Journal of Professor Gunther von Steuben.  It’s not just a blank journal where the kids have to come up with their own ideas of what to write each day, but it has a running storyline through it to help the kids write.

Cover Story 001


Cover Story 002


Watch 3 sample DVD lessons and download the written student pages here!


(Disclosure: I received a complimentary set of Cover Story, as well as monetary compensation in order to write this honest review.)

Linked to Living and Learning at Home


  1. This sounds really great! I’m glad you have found something you think will suit your family well. Thanks for sharing! (I’ll keep it in mind for when my kids are a few years older =)

  2. Ticia
    Twitter: TiciaAIM

    This does look good! My kids aren’t there yet, but it looks like an interesting idea.
    Ticia recently posted..Lemming Mafia reviewMy Profile

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