Tuesday, January 10, 2012

TOS Review - Zeezok Publishing "Z-Guides to the Movies"

Zeezok Publishing is a company that provides quality literature and educational books, focusing on historical values for higher living. They believe "It is better to build children than to repair men.", and hope their products will inspire a greater love for God and country.

One of their products, the Z-Guides to the Movies, we were fortunate enough to have the chance to review. A Z-Guide to the Movies is a unit study meant to enforce, in a graphic and memorable way, a history lesson! There are Z-Guides available for many well-known titles depicting stories set in time periods such as Kit Kitredge for studying the time of the Great Depression, The Red Badge of Courage (War between the States), The Adventures of Robin Hood (Medieval Europe), and so on.

The Z-Guides are specific to school-grade level (high school, middle school, elementary school or elementary/middle) and we were chosen for the Elementary level Z-Guide for Ben-Hur!

The great majority of the Z-Guides currently available are for the high school crowd, and I wasn't sure what Joshua would think of the movie we chose considering its length and depth, but he was, of course, absolutely fascinated by the chariot races!

There were some parts of the movie that we considered to be too graphic or disturbing for our 8 year old son, but even with the viewing being slightly censored he was able to grasp most of the concepts that were discussed in the review questions part of the guide.

For him the best part of the Z-Guide activities was the assignment of making a "travel brochure" for chariot races. I helped him do some online research, found a few new facts, and had a great time making some illustrations, cutting out pictures we printed, and so on.

There were also a word search, creative writing, storyboard art project, civic involvement exercise, a research activity, a review of a conversation in the movie, a worldview activity, and a critical thinking summary. The Z-Guide also gives suggestions for family discussions, gives resources for further study, and comes complete with an answer key.

Just a word of advice on that word search, though: it is missing the bottom line - check the answer key for help on that one!

The Z-Guide includes activities to be completed over several days, it's not a one-day unit study type of project. We tried to stuff the whole viewing of the movie in one afternoon and it was too much. It would have been better if we'd gone a little slower with that part and given more time to let it sink in and discuss over a few nights!

The girls are just getting into American Girl dolls and I am actually looking forward to the time when they can enjoy the movie Kit Kittredge and learn about the Depression while doing a Z-Guide to the Movies!

Z-Guide to the Movies are available for $12.99 and if you don't own the movie or are unsure of which version is to be used with the Z-Guide, the movie itself is also available for purchase right there on the Zeezok website!

You can read more about what a Z-Guide is here!

I was provided with a downloadable Z-Guide to the Movies file free of charge in exchange for an honest review and nothing more. All opinions here are my own!

To see what other TOS Crew members are saying about Zeezok's Z-Guides to the Movies, you can read them here at the TOS blog!

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