So many good books and not enough time! That is how we always feel about books, it seems. But when Progeny Press came up for review, we were pretty thrilled. A good book and a unit study workbook to go along with it from a reputable company? Bring on Sarah, Plain and Tall.
We asked the middle giggly girl (age 9) to work on this study guide from Progeny Press and read the book to go along with it. Sarah, Plain and Tall had been on the list of books we wanted her to read this year so this fell in line well. One thing that is always appealing about Progeny Press is the selection of literature. Progeny’s selections seem to be quality literature that most people agree students need to experience. They have a number of exciting selections for all age ranges – from lower elementary through high school.
Last year, we reviewed two fantastic selections: Little House on the Prairie and The Courage of Sarah Noble. You can read those reviews, as well.
So what do you get from Progeny Press? When you purchase, you are purchasing the study guide. (It does not include the actual book, but these titles should all be readily available.) This guide can be either an E-guide (digital download), which is what we used, or a study guide (a physical copy). These guides contain background information on the book, the author, the time period, and the geographic location.
There are various activities and questions in the guide. These include:
- pre-reading activities to help set the stage (Ours included finding a pen-pal, researching the time period, and learning about mail-order brides.);
- questions on characters;
- evaluation of the actions of the characters;
- application of Biblical principles to the actions and choices of the characters;
- application of Biblical principles to the life of the student; and
- post-reading activities to help synthesize learning (Ours included a crossword, a word search, a study of shells, art work, and creative writing, among others.).
As a parent, I like these study guides. They give some structure to a book unit while allowing some freedom through such a wide variety of activities. It guides the student into deeper thoughts about the story and helps them consider the author’s purpose in writing the book. The activities are fun and varied, pulling in other academic and vocational disciplines. I have been well pleased, though not all of our girls enjoy working through a book in this manner.
As I mentioned before, we reviewed the digital version of the guide. This is pretty neat. It comes as a download and you can save it to your computer. The student opens it from there and types directly into the editable PDF. The student can save or print their work from the PDF. It is simple and a change of pace for many students. As L astutely observed, if a student doesn’t like writing or struggles with writing, this a good alternative.
So in her words, here is what L had to say about the Progeny Press E-guide for Sarah, Plain and Tall:
I like that it had thinking questions rather than just asking what I read. I do like to have some of those types of questions in my schoolwork. Progeny Press did a good job of that. If a kid struggles with writing, it (the editable PDF) would be good. I liked the different kinds of questions and I really liked the different activities (the before and after reading activities).
Progeny Press is a company I would recommend if it fits into your literature curriculum plans and budget.