Friday, April 1, 2011

Learning with the Movies


We LOVE movies and Monday nights are official MOVIE NIGHTS at our house.  We actually spend other times watching movies together as well -- and our Netflix account is put to great use.  Through the TOS Crew we were recently introduced to Zeezok Publishing and their z-guide to the Movies designed for Middle School and High School students.  What a great way to spice up our school day!  Because it's a movie we ALL wanted to see, we chose to view Les Miserables and work through the accompanying z-guide.

With a Topic Overview, Movie Synopsis, and ten Learning Activities, the Les Miserables z-guide to the Movies is a 35-page unit study (answers included) that turns watching a movie into a learning adventure.  Before they watched the movie, my high school girls read the z-guide Topic Overview, studied the Movie Synopsis and skimmed through the Movie Review Questions in Activity 1.  After they had read through these things and had an idea about what they'd be watching , they were ready to start the movie.

With popcorn in hand, the girls settled in for their first viewing of Les Miserables.  As they watched, they were on the lookout for the answers to the Movie Review Questions they had read over from Activity 1.  Knowing there were questions to be answered, the girls were intensely focused on the movie.  This helped them to recall the story line and better evaluate the message of the movie.  It was easier for them to see the big topics of LOVE, MERCY, FORGIVENESS, KINDNESS and the CONSEQUENCES OF A VENGEFUL SPIRIT.

After watching the movie together and working through the first activity, I allowed the girls to complete the remaining 9 activities on their own -- at their own pace and in whichever order they chose.   The Freshman started with the more artistic activities designing a Wanted Poster and answering questions based on the Filmmaker's Art.  She is currently acting as Assistant Stage Manager in our local little theatre's production of Man of La Mancha so these were right up her alley.

The Junior jumped right in with a Random Acts of Kindness activity and followed that with a Psychological Evaluation of the movie's main antagonists.   The z-Guide gave us a suggested 5-Day Plan for using the entire guide, but I let the girls spend a little more time on it.  They really enjoyed the movie and LOVED the z-guide.  As a family, we were challenged by the Family Discussion Guide to think about how WE can help others in our community.

There are so many different z-guides to choose from covering so many different movie genres.  I know that we will most definitely use Zeezok Publishing's  z-guide to the Movies again.  I'd love to incorporate three or four z-guides into our school each year. My son has already made his list of the movies he'd like to watch and the z-guides he'd like to do.   He wants to start with The Red Badge of Courage and I'd really like to do The Ten Commandments since we've just completed that portion of Biblical History.  I know it would cement what we studied in the minds of my children.

A great way to add something a bit different to your day, I recommend that you check out Zeezok Publishing's  z-guide to the Movies.  They have a large listing of movie guides available so you're sure to find one that is perfect for your family.  This is a great way to incorporate media into your studies and add a little bit of fun to your homeschool.  The z-guide to the Movies comes in CD and eBook format and can be purchased for $12.99 each.  Many of the corresponding movie titles can be purchased from Zeezok Publishing as well and ALL of the movies can be found on Netflix.

~~I was given the opportunity to use and review the Les Miserables z-guide to the Movies by Zeezok Publishing as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew.  The opinions stated are mine and mine alone.  I was not paid to share my thoughts and feelings with you.  I encourage you to check out the Crew Review and see what other members of the TOS Homeschool Crew thought of  z-guide to the Movies by Zeezok Publishing HERE .~~ Pin It Now!

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