Monday, January 9, 2012

Zeezok's Z-Guides to the Movies!

Seriously, I didn't blog AT ALL during the holidays?  Wow, I must have been busy.

But now I am back in full throttle mode with reviewing my first product of 2012---Zeezok's Z-Guides to the Movies!  If you are like me, you try to find suitable movie titles for everything you study.  My kids live in the digital age like yours and they are wired to respond to media as well as print.  I think it rounds out a good curriculum nicely and reinforces the written word, but only if the film version is done well and not "twaddle" that would appall Charlotte Mason.  Zeezok meticulously chose their movie titles because I didn't see a lemon on the list anywhere, thank you.

What are Z-Guides, you ask?  They are basically unit studies with a myriad of activities to complete and questions to answer after you have viewed a family film together. Usually the movie is of some historical significance.  There are review questions, open ended family discussion questions, coloring pages, crosswords, vocabulary activities and more.  They always open with a quick background on the setting of each movie so it is easy to follow along with the film.

Our family will be delving into a study of the American Revolution in a few months, so we chose Johnny Tremain, the 1957 Disney version.  The Z-Guide to the Movies gave background on the Boston Tea Party and basic character sketches of people like John Hancock, Samuel Adams, and why they had important roles in the American Revolution.  This is the type of movie that would have appeared on "The Wonderful World of Disney", which I always loved as a kid.  This guide was designed for middle school children.  My 4th and 6th grade boys enjoyed the movie and were able to complete most of the questions without any trouble.  But we love history.  If you haven't been teaching a thorough history curriculum, some of the situations might be a blur.  But the background information is helpful here and tries to catch up the student who may not have studied these topics yet.  There are plenty of activities to keep children busy based soley on the movie content, though.

 I liked this guide and I'm anxious to order more, since I'm really impressed by the Z- Guide selection of titles, which include To Kill A Mockingbird, Les Miserables, Driving Miss Daisy, Flyboys, The Great Escape, A Man For All Seasons, Amazing Grace, and many more selections for all age groups.  Some movies are for certain ages only, while some titles have guides available for several age groups.  The guides are $12.99 and the prices for the movies (also sold by Zeezok) vary by title.  However, all movies are easily available at Netflix or your local public library.

Check out a complete list of movie guide titles here.  You can see a sample of one of the Z-Guides here.

See what my crew-mates had to say about their Z-Guide at this link:

**Disclaimer:  I received a free downloadable guide for Johnny Tremain in exchange for an honest review, which I have provided here.