Tag Archives: literature

Susan K Marlow’s New Andi books ~ a Crew review

Circle C Stepping Stones series

Circle C Stepping Stones is a new series from author Susan K. Marlow and published by Kregel Publications. The first two books in the series, Andi Saddles Up and Andi Under the Big Top, continue to sage of Andrea Carter, affectionately known as Andi.

Andrea Carter, or Andi, begins the Circle C Stepping Stones series on her 9th birthday. This scene is one that just about every little girl (and boy) can relate to: hoping beyond hope for a long desired gift. This quickly endears the reader to Andi and her plight of trying to grow up strong and independent with a mind of her own while obeying and honoring her mother and her older brothers, who are in charge of the ranch.

Andi Saddles Up

Andi Saddles Up –

Andi gets a wonderful birthday breakfast and lovely gifts from her family. But when she is followed by the whole family out to the barn, she begins to wonder what’s up. She finds out that she does, after all, get a brand new saddle for Taffy, her horse. After saddling up, her big brother takes her out for a ride to try it out and to discuss new privileges – Andi can now ride Taffy when she wants! She also gets shown a special place that almost no one else knows about.

One day while at this special place, Andi meets a new friend, Sadie. The girls quickly become good friends, swapping stories and trading rides for fishing bait. Andi and Sadie enjoy their new friendship, even after they find out that their families are disagreeing about a property boundary. When something happens and help is needed quickly, can the families be calm and kind? And can Andi and Sadie’s friendship survive the family struggles?

Andi Under the Big TopAndi Under the Big Top –

The circus is coming to town and Andi is terribly excited. Getting to see exotic animals and bareback riders and acrobats are the things Andi’s dreams are made of. Watching the circus parade is such a joy for Andi, especially seeing the world champion bareback rider!

Then Andi meets Henry. Henry is a little boy who works for the circus. Only, Andi notices he doesn’t seem very happy and Andi begins to wonder, for the first time, if maybe the circus is not as glamorous as it seems from the outside. After an altercation in which Andi’s big brother helps Henry avoid undeserved punishment, Henry is able to take Andi behind the scenes of the circus. This adventure is such a joy for Andi and her big sister Melinda.

But, Henry is still on Andi’s mind. She has realized that he ran away from home to join the circus and is now unable to get away; he is trapped. She wants to help him but after she finds out what he has done, can she?

What We Thought –

Miss L, age 10, read these books through the day we received them. She has enjoyed the Circle C Beginnings series and was ready to continue reading about Andi’s adventures. She wrote the following summaries about the books:

Andi Saddles Up is a fun book. It is about Andi, of course, and her family when a river that divides her family’s property and their neighbor’s, the Hollisters, property changes its course during a flood. Meanwhile, Andi makes a new friend with Sadie Hollister and she then wants to hang onto their friendship, even while their families fight. I love the way the book ends and I really liked the part about the hoof picks! Susan K Marlow is so talented! I think that I would recommend this book for ages 7 + up, maybe a year or two younger if it is a read-aloud.

Andi Under the Big Top is a nice book, too. All the details made me feel like I was really at the circus with her, and yet, reading. And the thick plots! I was really impressed that Marlow was able to get as much good plot and details in as she was without just dragging the story along with it. I think that I would recommend this one for ages 7 + up as well. Again, maybe a little younger for a read-aloud.using the study guide

Miss J (just turned 8) is reading the books at a slower pace. She is also working on the Study Guides that are provided to go along with the books. You can find the Study Guides on the webpages for the books, both at Kregel Publications and on the Circle C Stepping Stonespage (where they are called activity pages; you can also find coloring pages). These Study Guides provide a nice supplement to the books. They contain comprehension questions and activities. They cover subjects such as vocabulary, poetry, history, character study, Bible, music, and more. It is recommended that the guides take 21 days to complete but they are pretty easy to speed up or slow down as your family needs. We have really enjoyed adding these Study Guides to our reading and making this a more complete literature study.

Overall –

The Circle C Ranch books are wholesome, with good, solid ideas and themes, as well as Biblical ideas and character building opportunities. The new Circle C Stepping Stones series is no different. Andi is growing and some of my favorite parts in these books are where she remembers to go to God when she sees something that He can help with or when she is suddenly thankful. (Thank you, God, for giving me a brave sister! p. 76 Andi Under the Big Top)  I thoroughly enjoy those little moments of showing God in the everyday.

Circle C Stepping Stones books

We adore Mrs. Marlow. Her writing has been a joy to read since we were first introduced to her stories. We have told tons of people about them and encouraged our library to order the books. (They did! All of them! And they have ordered these new ones, too, since we told them they were out!) Miss E is waiting (im)patiently for me to get the newest one of the Circle C Milestones series. We highly recommend these books.

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We have previously reviewed these other books by Susan K. Marlow:
The Last Ride
Tales From the Circle C Ranch
Thick as Thieves

There are other Homeschool Review Crew families who have been reading these books, as well. Please click on the banner below to read what they thought of Circle C Stepping Stones.

Andi Series {Kregel Publications and Susan K. Marlow Reviews} 

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Facebook (Susan K Marlow): https://www.facebook.com/SusanKMarlow?fref=ts

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A Little House on the Prairie study ~ a review

little-house-title

The youngest giggly girl, Miss J, has just turned 8 and while she likes books, she does not have the huge enjoyment of books that the other two giggly girls have. So, when I heard that In the Hands of a Child was looking for families to try out some of their project packs, I sent them a message and told them I was definitely willing and would love something for Miss J. After a short email discussion to decide on a title, they gave us their A Little House on the Prairie curriculum download to try.

project-pack-cover-little-house

Miss J saw me downloading it and printing it off, just before bedtime, and came over to see what I was doing. When she realized it was a “Laura book” study, she got kind of excited. When I showed her what it was, she got really excited and wanted to start right away, regardless of the fact that it was bedtime. So, when you are homeschooling and you find something that excites the learning in your child, what do you do? You start right away.

lapbook-pieces-little-house

We began reading the first chapter that night and doing the corresponding activities. We marked a map and wrote some of the biographical highlights of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s life. After the first night of excitement, I kind of expected there to be a tapering off of the joy of reading the book and working on the corresponding lapbook parts. But there has not been. Miss J has enjoyed working on this every time and it is the first school work she wants to do each day.

Well, except for the chapter summaries. She is getting tired of those but I don’t really blame her. She was doing a summary per chapter but we have moved to a summary for every couple of chapters or just a sentence about the chapter. Twenty-six summaries is quite a few. 🙂

folder-2-little-house

The variety of activities included in this lapbook keeps the interest level high. From learning vocabulary words (which Miss J begged to do as often as possible, including writing the definitions) to summarizing a how-to from the story to thinking about all the daily chores required for a pioneer family, the activities have been interesting and exciting for Miss J. She has learned a lot and enjoyed it.

The activities included by In The Hands of a Child do a great job of extending the learning to parts of a story, character and setting, writing, history, geography, and other skills. We have been very pleased with the activities and learning, especially for our child that doesn’t just jump for joy every time we mention reading time. Now, she asks to do her literature study more often than almost any other part of her school work. That is a great move forward for her.

There is a suggested schedule but we found that, in addition to our other schoolwork, this schedule was just too rigorous. So, we pulled it back to reading one chapter a day and completing one or two activities a day. This made the Project Pack much more manageable for our 2nd grader. I also found that if Miss J dictated and I wrote some for her, she got much more informative in her narratives and summaries. So, we did quite a bit of that, as well.

keeping-track-little-house

We definitely can recommend checking out In The Hands of a Child and their lapbooks. The digital download via CurrClick was simple and gives me easy access to the instructions without having to print them out. I can print out the parts we need to create the lapbook and leave the others stored electronically. We actually moved the download onto the Kindle to make it easier to access while the other giggly girls needed the computer.

Lots of fun is to be found in the use of a lapbook and In The Hands of a Child has done a nice job of including a variety of activities. Please visit their site to learn more and see their many, many options.

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Disclaimer
I received a FREE copy of this product from In The Hands of a Child in exchange for my honest review.  I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.  All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.

Progeny Press ~ a TOS review

Reviewing The Sword in the Tree E-Guide, which is published by Progeny Press, has given our family mixed reactions. We have reviewed an e-guide from Progeny Press before and it was a pleasant experience. Their guide is still just as good this time around.

Literature Study Guides from a Christian Perspective {Progeny Press  Review}
Progeny Press is a company that has dedicated itself to a mission of helping children access great literature and understand it. As a part of this mission, they encourage the student to rely on scripture for understanding and explaining literature and its application.

Progeny Press has e-guides for all sorts of literature, as well as some printed guides. This is a nice balance because it allows you to purchase what works best for your student. We have used both a printed and an e-guide. Personally, I like the e-guides best but that isn’t always what works best. Specifically, Progeny Press has kept their guides for lower elementary print only. Everything else, 4th-12th, has a choice of either print or interactive, meaning a pdf on CD or access through an emailed link after purchase.

We received The Sword in the Tree E-Guide. This guide is recommended for 4th-6th grade. It is a PDF file that I downloaded and saved to our computer. We access it simply as any other file and it is saved to the folder for Miss E. She would access it from there and save the new answers each time.

The e-guide is filled!

  • Table of Contents (and you can click from here to any of the headings which makes it super easy to get to where you are working within the guide)
  • Summary of the book
  • Information about the author
  • Prereading activities
  • Chapter comprehension and application questions (grouped in groups of about 3 chapters in this guide)
  • Vocabulary (grouped with about 6 chapters in a group in this guide)
  • Overview questions
  • Postreading activities
  • Additional resources

The answer key came in a separate file, which is nice. I saved it to a separate place, not that I was expecting Miss E to try to use it. But it is good to have that in a separate file.

Miss E read The Sword in the Tree straight through. It was really too easy of a book for her, as a 6th grader. I had  purposefully chosen an easier book with the hopes that it would make the answering of the questions more pleasant for her. She struggles to answer the questions other people deem important with a book. So, this choice was done to attempt to help ease that struggle of figuring out how to answer those questions. Well, it didn’t work for her. She struggled through this.

The questions are not the issue for her. The questions are fantastic and very well done. The questions range from simple knowledge questions (Who was ____? What did he do? ) to fairly in-depth analysis questions (Does this count as an apology? Why or why not?). There are also questions that ask the student to look up additional resources, in this case Bible verses, and apply them to different aspects of the story. One such application: looking up some Proverbs and applying them to work and attitudes.

There are also a variety of ways to answer: short answer, drop box for selection options, fill in the blank, and even some that require a discussion with someone.

Each sections includes:

  • Questions (most seem to be knowledge level questions)
  • Think About The Story (questions where you are looking into people and their actions or attitudes)
  • Dig Deeper (applying ideals and perspectives to characters and their actions, as well as your own thoughts and actions)
  • Optional Activities (hands on activities to help you experience or explore)

This particular e-guide also tackled various aspects of a story and writing: setting, fact vs opinion, simile, comparison vs contrast, characterization, foreshadowing, imagery, point of view, theme, and more.

These guides are fantastic. Miss L has used a Progeny Press e-guide before (see our previous reviews for Sarah, Plain and Tall, as well as Little House on the Prairie and The Courage of Sarah Noble) and she adored it. She will probably take a gander at this one next fall. She enjoyed being able to type in her answers and use the computer. She like seeing her progress marked by going page by page through the guide and finally reaching the end of it. So, she’ll take this up in a couple of months and I know she will enjoy it.

My take on it all:
Progeny Press has done a beautiful, thorough job of giving us a study guide to walk students through the depth of a book, learning and exploring all that it has to offer. They encourage the student to look deeper into the purposes of characters and to find all the book has to offer. These are great for students that do well with structure and are able to process the deeper thinking questions that are found throughout the guide.

Progeny Press offers study guides for students of all ages with such a variety of titles that everyone should find something that interests them. Find out more about some of the specific titles that the Review Crew used for the past few weeks by clicking on the Read More banner below.

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Literature Study Guides from a Christian Perspective {Progeny Press  Review}Crew Disclaimer

Greek Myths from Memoria Press ~ a TOS review

myths set
Miss L has been fascinated with Greek mythology and the D’Aulaires’ Greek Myths book for probably two years now. When we got a chance to review Memoria Press and their D’Aulaires’ Greek Myths set, I jumped at it knowing just how excited Miss L would be. I have not been wrong. She has truly enjoyed it.

myths work

If you are looking for a company creating classical based Christian educational homeschooling materials, Memoria Press is your company. Their materials are truly easy to use and implement. The instructions are clear and the workbooks are uncluttered.myths workbook page

The D’Aulaires’ Greek Myths set comes with a Teacher’s Guide, a Student Guide, the D’Aulaire’s Book of Greek Myths, and a set of flashcards. With a Teacher’s Guide and a Student Guide that work side-by-side, it could not be easier. The Teacher’s Guide has the exact same pages as the student guide, except that the answers for the questions are printed there. In addition, the Teacher’s Guide includes tests and answer keys. There is a test after every 5 lessons, plus a final exam.

Each lesson follows the same plan. The Student Guide shows the lesson and the reading assignment for the lesson at the top left of the page. The student reads the assigned pages and then completes the lesson in the Student Guide. The flashcards can be used to help assist the student in memorizing the names of the gods and places from the lesson, though not all of the flashcards match up exactly with the definitions in the Student Guide and not every item in the Facts to Know has a corresponding flashcard. (I took the flashcards, removed them from the perforated sheets they came in, and punched holes in them. I put the rings on them to help keep them together and to make them a bit easier to use. The cards are 2″ x 3 1/2″.)myths flashcards

We have planned one lesson per week, though Miss L could easily complete more than that. I gave her the guideline of working on reading and Facts to Know one day, the Vocabulary and Comprehension Questions another day, and then the Activities on a third day. She has chosen instead to do all of it in a single sitting each week because she couldn’t stand to break up the lesson. This has worked really well for her. I take the time to quiz her over the memorization of Facts to Know. She is pretty proud to show off what she has learned.

Each lesson has these same components so there is a simple consistency to the lessons. The Teacher’s Guide is set up exactly the same way with the answers typed into the blanks. It makes it so easy to check the student’s answers and to make sure they know the answers they need. We have found through other Memoria Press items we have reviewed that items such as vocabulary and comprehension question answers need to be learned as the guide has it printed since that is how the exams and tests word the questions.

myths being read

I think Miss L has really enjoyed this because it is a curriculum choice that I don’t have to ask if she has completed. She enjoys it so much that she does it first off each week, with a smile on her face. Here is her review:

The [D’Aulaires’ Greek Myths] book was fascinating. I was intrigued the first time I read it. The second time, too; I just knew what was gong to happen next. I like to look at the picture of them sitting on the 12 thrones of Olympus and try to figure out who is who. The [Memoria Press] workbook was very organized; I like to have things organized. I didn’t enjoy it quite as much as the [D’Aulaires’ Greek Myths] book but it is a very good study program. I think other kids my age might enjoy it if they like Greek myths.

I have been impressed with all of the Memoria Press products we have reviewed (6th Grade Literature set, Famous Men of Rome, and New American Cursive). This product is no different. The D’Aulaires’ Greek Myths set has been a delight.

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The Review Crew has reviewed not only the Greek Myths book this time but also Traditional Logic I Complete Set  and  Book of Astronomy Set. Click below to read those reviews, as well as addition reviews of the Greek Myths set.

 

Logic, Greek Myths and Astronomy Memoria Press ReviewCrew Disclaimer

Memoria Press 6th Grade Literature Set ~ a TOS review

Memoria Press Guides

If you have read much from me, you understand that our family seems to revolve around literature. When we were offered a review from Memoria Press, I felt it was a very good fit for our family. The older two girls are both using the Sixth Grade Literature Guide Set  and I have been pleased with the way it has gone.

We have been blessed to receive Memoria Press materials in the past and have always been pleased with them. The Literature Guide Set has been no different. Memoria Press is a family-run company producing classical Christian education materials for homeschoolers and private schools. They are simple and easy-to-use and focus on logic, Latin, and classical studies. Their literature guides are based on quality literature and engaging with that literature.

The Literature Guides are intended to help students become engaged readers who understand and can reason with the material they are reading. By asking the students to think, compare, contrast, and build vocabulary, they are being pushed to become excellent readers and thinkers.

Memoria Press Literature Guides Review

We received the Sixth Grade Literature Guide Set. It included a Student Guide and Teacher Manual for each of the following titles:

  • Adam of the Road
  • Robin Hood
  • King Arthur and His Knights of the Round Table
  • The Door in the Wall

The set did not include the literature books but if you would like to, you can purchase the books from Memoria Press, as well.

King ArthurThe Door In The Wall

Miss E has been working on The Door in the Wall. Miss L has been reading King Arthur. Both girls have been approaching the study the same way. They read a chapter or section (some days have two chapters) and answer approximately half of the questions on one day. The next day, they finish the questions and complete any enrichment activities. Depending on the length of the reading, this takes them approximately 30 – 45 minutes per day. From taking a look through the other two student guides, I believe that they would work the same way.

working with an atlasThe questions are similar for each lesson. We found that all four of the student books are set up the same way.

  1. A quote to read – King Arthur and Adam of the Road both had quotes from the section read. The Door in the Wall has some questions related to the quote.
  2. Reading Notes – These tended to be people that are encountered in the section/chapter. Some of these were terms, words, or objects that the reader might not be familiar with.
  3. Vocabulary – The vocabulary terms are stated in context from the selection. The student is expected to write a definition for the term.
  4. Comprehension Questions – These are a set of questions of varying difficulty related to the section read. These tend to have right or wrong answers. Some of it is directly out of the book and some of it has got to be reasoned out.
  5. Discussion Questions – This set of questions is a bit more open for understanding and interpretation in the answers given. Much of this is intended to be discussed orally, though I did have the girls write a few of these on days when oral discussion was not easily done.
  6. Enrichment – These are activities to be completed. Many times there are readings that relate to the culture and times of the setting of the book. Some of it includes memorization. One activity I noticed was completing a drawing after reading about castles.

writing definitions

The student book is intended to be written in and utilized by a single student. Each page includes space to write the answers for the vocabulary and comprehension questions, as well as some of the discussion questions. The books we received all have maps, one includes a family tree, and all of them include some additional materials such as poetry related to the study in some way and a glossary organized by book chapter.

The Teacher’s Manual includes all that the Student Guide has and the answers to all of the questions plus quizzes and tests. There is a separate section for the discussion question answers. The glossary and discussion questions are separated by chapter so it is easy to locate what you need.

L workingThe Student Guide and the Teacher’s Manual are not reproducible. However, you may copy the quizzes and tests from the Teacher’s Manual.

I like that these are easy to use and it is clear how to use them. They are easy to break down into a section that works for you and your student. If you need to do some of the questions orally, that is easy. Sometimes the girls would get stumped with a question and so we moved to an oral format. It worked well and allowed the girls to continue with a bit more help. The program is very flexible.

These are a fairly mixed level of books, as far as reading level goes. The Door in the Wall could be used a grade level lower, in my opinion, but there are some fairly tough questions to consider. King Arthur is a long book, which isn’t a challenge for my girls, but if you have a reader who is intimidated by the size of the book, this will be one of those. It is around 400 pages. Robin Hood is a pretty good sized book, as well, while Adam of the Road is similar to A Door In The Wall as far as reading and size goes.

My 4th grader is easily working with King Arthur. She enjoys study guides and legends, so King Arthur is a good fit. My 6th grader is a good reader and chose The Door in the Wall, which has some really deep thinking questions and she is having to work hard at them. So, be prepared with this set to have a great variety that is well suited to challenging the reader in several ways.

If your reader is a struggling reader, you might want to look carefully at a grade level lower.

looking up definitionsI have been pleased, yet again, with the materials we received from Memoria Press. Their Sixth Grade Literature Guide Set has been a joy to use. Miss E is almost done with The Door in the Wall and Miss L is working her way through King Arthur. I think we will enjoy using Adam of the Road and Robin Hood, as well, when we finish the ones we are on. If you are interested in other products that we have reviewed from Memoria Press, check out Famous Men of Rome and New American Cursive.

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Looking for a different level of literature kits, the Review Crew took a look at everything from PK to 9th grade sets. Click on the banner below to view the listing and read a different review.

Memoria Press Literature Guides ReviewCrew Disclaimer

 

 

The Giving Tree – book unit

Giving Tree titleWe had so much fun with The Giving Tree. It is such a rich, deep book and there are so many opportunities to extend learning. Without further ado, here is the unit that we enjoyed.

Questions/Discussion of Ideas:

  • What is the main idea? Give examples and support your response.
  • Discuss the idea of giving all you can and all you have to one you love. What might this look like for a human? Is it good or bad? What are the implications of this?
  • God’s perspective: He gave all! Why? What did that look like? What did that do for us?
  • Our perspective: What do we give to God? What do we give to others?

vocabulary

Writing:

  • Write a tree poem.
  • Write a shape poem using a tree form.
  • For older students, write a persuasive essay about why you should or should not give all you have to one you love.
  • Rewrite the story or a scene from the story from the tree’s perspective.
  • Utilize vocabulary from the book or learn vocabulary relating to trees and plants. We did the later using worksheets from Super Teacher Worksheets. (See our review of them here.)
  • Write sentences. You could use vocabulary you choose from the book or write sentences using vocabulary related to trees. We did the later and J used a cutting page from Super Teacher Worksheets relating to plants and trees and their growth.

J working on sentences

Science:

  • A tree unit is a natural outgrowth of from this book.part of a tree
  • Learn the parts of a tree. We used a printable we found online. (The site it was from is no longer a valid address, evidently, so I can’t share that with you.) We glued it to magnet pieces and cut it out. (We used old refrigerator magnets from companies that we get in the mail. I save them for things like this. They are thin and easy to cut with scissors.) Then J matched up the parts of a tree on the white board.
  • Learn about the uses of trees. We researched and discussed the many different ways trees can be used – building, furniture, fuel, recreation, hobbies, etc.
  • Learn about the growth of trees.
  • Visit a museum about trees or your local Forest Service station. We visited a museum that had a small exhibit about trees. If your museum had a large tree section with the rings visible and marked, it is really interesting.
  • Talk about the season and how the season affect trees and their growth.
  • Learn about different types of trees and leaves. We used a set of posters from the Forest Service to study various trees and leaves, as well as animals that live among the forest trees.life of a tree
  • Learn about managing growing things and resources. Learn more about how the forests are managed.
  • Discuss wildfires and forest fires. Discuss their impacts on not only the forest and the animals that live there, but the people, their property, and the larger environmental changes that happen because of forest fires. We viewed pictures of forest fires, including the Little Bear Fire that affected a place near and dear to us a couple of years ago. We have talked about changes because of that fire and what the effects of that were.

History:

  • If you visit a museum that has a huge tree ring, you could study the events marked through the rings.
  • Study the history of the Forest Service.
  • Research one of the National Parks or Monuments. Find out about why someone chose that particular section of natural resources and forests to preserve.

Giving Tree drawings

Art:

  • Use water color crayons to create a picture of a tree.
  • Use colored pencils to draw a tree showing the various parts. I found this post from The Inspired Classroom which was super helpful.
  • Make a canvas set that shows the various seasons of the year and how they impact a tree. See our project here.

Art Tree

Bible:

  • Memorize Psalm 1. We memorized this passage a while back but we went back and reviewed it several times during this study.
  • Matthew 12:33 “Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit.” – Discuss this and how this is seen in real life. Apply this to the lives of the students. Have students create motions and movement to help them memorize this verse. Apply this verse to the Giving Tree and have students give concrete examples of why they chose which kind of tree the Giving Tree was.

Giving Tree retelling

Extensions:

  • Create a paper tree with the different parts of the story. Attach magnets to the back and use it for retelling the story. You can make your own or print a copy of this one that I made for J.
    Giving Tree play pieces page 1
    Giving Tree play pieces page 2
  • Watch a video of this book. There is one we found on YouTube of Shel Silverstein telling it. It was interesting for the girls to see the author and to hear his voice. It was nothing like we expected. Just do a search on YouTube and it should come up without any trouble.
  • Watch a video of the book being told in sign language. Two of the girls are studying sign language so that was a fun thing for us to see. We also watched a video of a young boy and girl with their mother retelling the story. The girls learned a lot of signs from watching these two youngsters. There are many versions of the story on YouTube so find something fun that will appeal to your students.
  • Take a field trip to visit a museum that has a big tree section with rings that go back hundreds of years. Or go to a tree farm. Or just go to a forest and walk around, observing all that you can about the trees.

I tried to keep this one shorter so if I did too short of a job on the description for something you want to know more about, leave me a comment and I’ll try to give you more information. Most of all, though, the Giving Tree was a fantastic unit that just kept growing and growing from the interest the girls had in it. Enjoy!

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Progeny Press: Sarah, Plain and Tall ~ a TOS review

Progeny Press Review

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.

Progeny Press Review
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.

vocabulary

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.);
  • vocabulary;
  • 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.

typing answers

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).

seashells

Progeny Press is a company I would recommend if it fits into your literature curriculum plans and budget.

At Home.

 

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