Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Do you enjoy using movies to supplement your homeschool curriculum? Or, perhaps you don't homeschool, but like to bring in a little more meaning with some of the movies your children watch? Then the Z-Guide to the Movies series from Zeezok Publishing may be just the thing for you!
I received a digital copy of the Z-Guide for the movie Flyboys. The guides were originally produced for high school students, however, Zeezok has recently introduced guides for younger students; I received the elementary version. I screened the movie myself, as it was not one I'd seen and was rated PG-13 for "war action violence and some sexual content". After watching it, I was comfortable with letting Wonder Boy view it, aside from perhaps one scene in a bordello (there are references to prostitutes in general, and the ladies are wearing period undergarments, but I did not see anything physical aside from kissing). The violence was fairly mild. In fact, Zeezok actually suggests you check out any movies you're considering on a site like Plugged In. If you cannot locate a copy of the movie you wish to use, they are available for purchase (on DVD) through Zeezok.
Z-Guides are available for movies representing most time periods, from ancient civilizations all the way up to the Viet Nam War era. The guide for Flyboys begins with a topic overview and viewing of the movie with 14 review questions to be completed during the movie. Following the handy week-long schedule, there are also oral and written reports, art projects, a crossword puzzle, and reading comprehension activities, amongst others. There are two suggested activities for each day. You can see a sample of a Z-Guide here. Wonder Boy is technically in 6th grade, and I found the activities to be appropriate for him. The Z-Guide even has suggestions for using it with younger students that may not be reading yet, though I don't think I'd show the entire movie to a younger elementary student. Other movies may be more appropriate, however.
I really like how Z-Guides can be used to make a specific time period come alive for your child. Whether your child absolutely loves history or is one that struggles with it, I think Z-Guides would enhance any history curriculum. Z-Guides are available from Zeezok Publishing at www.zeezok.com. You can choose an e-book or a cd, and can even get a license to use the guide with groups. Z-Guides are $12.99 for either format (single license), and movies are priced individually. Classroom licenses are $49.99. Zeezok sells other educational items, including their Great Musician Series and Presidential Penmanship, "a supplemental handwriting skills program for first grade through senior high based on writings and quotes of America’s founding fathers and presidents."
***Note: I received a copy of a Z-Guide for the purpose of my review through the TOS Homeschool Crew. All opinions are my own.