Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Z-Guides to the Movies (TOS Review)


In December, I always like to find some fun and different school projects to work on. We’re getting busy with holiday activities, so it’s nice to change our pace by adding some fun laid-back activities to our usual schedule. This year, the Z-Guide to the Movies by Zeezok Publishing arrived at just the right time. We used it during our last week before our Christmas break.

Z-Guides provide a way to incorporate media into any curriculum. Dozens of movie guides are available, most relating to a particular time in history. Each guide includes:

  • topic overview
  • movie synopsis
  • review questions
  • research activities
  • hands-on activities
  • essay assignments

Critical thinking skills are emphasized in order to encourage the student to think about the worldview of the movie and the techniques used to influence the viewer.

We chose “My Side of the Mountain,”  which is a middle-school level title. Our 32 page Z-Guide arrived in PDF form. I printed it out and we were ready to go!

After watching the movie, there were ten activities to complete. It is recommended that the student complete 2 activities a day. Some of the activities for “My Side of the Mountain” included researching Henry David Thoreau and the peregrine falcon, making detailed plans for a “wilderness adventure,” writing an alternative ending to the movie, and nature observations.

We enjoyed this Z-Guide. I found it very easy to implement and  fun, yet educational for Emily. We will definitely consider using Z-Guides for other movies. (Actually, I’d love to see the company produce an e-book that contained many of the movies.)

Z-Guides to the Movies sell for $12.99 each and are appropriate for a variety of age levels. Most of the corresponding movies are easily available from Netflix or public libraries. Zeezok Publishing sells many other homeschool materials as well, including history, penmanship, and studies of musicians.

To read more reviews of the Z-Guides to the Movies, please visit the Crew Blog.

As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew, I received a free Z-Guide from Zeezok Publishing in order to write this review.


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