Monday, April 22, 2013

Schoolhouse Review: Progeny Press' Treasure Island Interactive Study Guide

 photo 26018_10150154187290243_4120345_n_zpsd9393f12.jpg

A few years ago I decided that I really wanted us to begin reading through some of the literary classics -- and I found there were other moms who wanted the same for their families.  We talked about it and decided that the very best way to have our children get excited about good books was to have them read and meet together to discuss what we'd read.  We began meeting with some friends in an informal  Book Club and started on our journey through the classics.  Every month we pick a new book and get to reading.  As a result, we've had high adventure, great laughs together, and fun as we've explored the characters of history and tasted foods that the characters would have eaten..  Book Club has opened new worlds to my children and brought memories of childhood delight rushing back to me.

For the most part, we're enjoying the reads.  Sometimes though, we find the words of old a bit hard to understand as the vernacular and vocabulary have changed over time.  I look for hands-on activities to get the kids involved in learning and questions to make sure they are following the plot and understanding what is happening.  It's always good to have help with this and I recently found  Progeny Press to be most beneficial as we tackled Robert Louis Stevenson's classic book Treasure Island through the pages of their Treasure Island Study Guide.

 photo a64739513876c78eaae8f5_m_zpsc345c325.jpg
Designed to help students better understand and enjoy literature by getting them to notice and understand how authors craft their stories and to show them how to think through the themes and ideas introduced in the stories, Progeny Press interactive study guides help make stories come to life and turn non-readers into lovers of books.  Beginning with the pre-reading exercises and continuing to the very last page of the book, we've enjoyed our high seas adventure together.

An interactive Study Guide written by Joy Hardin, Treasure Island Study Guide contains 57 pages packed with learning activities to draw you in to the heart of the story and practice critical thinking skills and literary analysis, challenging study questions designed so that your students will not just do a cursory reading but will fully dissect as they read and truly understand the intent of the author, and {my favorite part} Scripture references that direct your student to Dig Deeper into GOD's Word and teaches them how to relate HIS story to every story.  Now, isn't that exactly what we want to teach our children?  More than anything else, I desire for my children to look at the world through the filters of the Bible.  I want them to understand that EVERYTHING we do -- including school and reading for fun -- should glorify and honor GOD and that HIS Word is applicable to EVERY area of our life.

Designed to take 8 - 10 weeks for a thorough study, the Treasure Island Study Guide is comprehensive in scope.  Written on a middle to high school grade level, I used it for my 6th and 8th graders and plan to have my 11th grader go through it on her own this summer.  (She'll be able to count it as 1/4 credit on her transcript.)  Divided into 6 study parts based on chapters with each part containing 3 - 7 chapters of reading, students can either read the entire book and THEN work through the Study Guide or work through the study parts as they complete the required chapter readings.  Before you begin, you will want to have a copy of the book to be read and studied, a dictionary, a thesaurus, your Bible, a topical Bible or Concordance, Internet access, and children ready to learn.  

Once I gathered all of these supplies and read through the Instructor Notes on how to best utilize my Progeny Press Study Guide, we were ready to begin.  The first thing I did was to download Treasure Island to our Kindles so that we could read together.  (I found it as a free download, but you can use any copy of the book that you have OR purchase a hard copy from Progeny Press, if you'd prefer.)

I began our study by reading the Synopsis of the book from the Study Guide to the Princess and the Boy Scout so that they would have an idea about what we'd be reading.  I also read the brief Author's Bio to them.  I find that it helps us in our study of literary classics if we understand a bit about who wrote the book and why AND a bit about the time period in which it was written.

I printed out the Prereading Activities and we jumped in and got our feet wet.  There was "pirate talk" to try, ships to explore, money conversions to figure out, collages to make, and more.  {I don't want to give away ALL of the Progeny Press secrets, but rest assured, we sure had fun.  Can you tell from the pictures below?}

Pirate Collage
Ship Research and Illustrations

Money, Money, Money
Technology in School

This truly was great fun and I enjoyed watching the Princess and the Boy Scout work together.  Once we completed the Prereading Activities, we were ready to begin our actual reading of Treasure Island.  In order to keep my folks focused and on task, I have allowed them to read the required chapters for each part of the study and then stop and work on completing the tasks assigned in the Study Guide.  This has helped them both with the vocabulary of the story and the intent of the story -- making sure they are truly grasping what they've read.  I found that a vocabulary notebook has been most helpful where we can include new/strange words from the reading itself and literary terms explained in the Study Guide.  (These are presented in the Study Guide and require no extra work for me.  I like easy.)  The questions included have served as great fodder for discussion as we read and, of course, the Scripture focus brings it all home for us.

As we wrap up our study of Treasure Island, each of my children is working on a final essay and art project found in the Study Guide.  The Boy Scout has chosen to do the character analysis of Long John Silver and the Princess is working on a creative writing pretending to be marooned on an island herself.  Together they are completing a map of Treasure Island.  The Study Guide includes an Overview that I will be using to "test" their recall after we have completed these final projects.  Most of the Progeny Press Study Guide's include this section -- but you can use it how best fits your family's needs.  

The Treasure Island Study Guide is available in three  easy-to-use formats.  You can purchase it as a printed booklet ($18.99), a CD ($16.99), or an Instant Download ($16.99).  We used the Instant Download for this review (and I printed portions of the Guide as we needed them).  I especially like the interactive-ness -- meaning the kid could just type right into the pages of the Study Guide and then print for their notebooks.  This non-consumable curriculum saves on printer ink and paper and allows each of my children to do what works best for them.  With over 100 literary Study Guides available covering books for K - 12th Grade, I know you will find something delightful for your family with Progeny Press.

 photo DisclaimerGraphic1_zpsf612f371.gif

 I was given the opportunity to use and review the Treasure Island Study Guide by Progeny Press as a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew.   You can check out the Crew Review and see what other members of the Schoolhouse Review Crew thought as well (or just click on the banner below.)


Pin It Now!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for stopping by and sharing your heart with me!