I love to read. I’ve passed on that love of reading to my children, which is a great thing! But I really want to make sure that my children are truly comprehending and learning from what they read. I jumped at the chance to review with Progeny Press. They create great Christian study guides for literature. Wonderful for helping your children not only understand the literature, but to grow as well. We chose the downloadable e-guide to Sarah, Plain and Tall.
Sarah, Plain and Tall is recommended for children in the Upper elementary ages or 3rd-6th grade. I used it with my two who are in 4th grade. Somehow I had neglected over the years to already have them read this book. Which did shock me as they have read several classics including the works of Charles Dickens and Louisa May Alcott. I was shocked at myself. We had eight titles that we could have chosen ranging from a kindergarten range up to high school. I chose Sarah, Plain and Tall for my children as I knew that all of them will be reading this at some point and that it would work for my oldest now. Plus it was one of my favorites off the given list.
You can use the downloadable guide in two ways. You can download and print it which makes it just a study guide really or you can use it on the computer in an adobe format which makes it interactive. Because I was using this with two students I downloaded and printed it off. This study guide is 47 pages and written by Rebecca Gilleland. If you’ve never read Sarah, Plain and Tall you should, but it is set in 1860’s Kansas. Sarah comes from Maine to Kansas.
My children know what Kansas is like as we live in a neighboring state though we don’t go there a lot. They also know a lot about the 1860’s as we do Civil War Reenacting. For them, this book is one that they can relate to and enjoy with their background in history around the events. We did look up some additional facts to go with our study though to help increase our understanding of what was going on in that time.
Each study guide contains a synopsis, author information, pre-reading activities, a look at each chapter or section of the book–this includes vocabulary, questions about the section, and a Dig Deeper section which challenges the reader in new ways and helps to bring the story to life for them– and lastly an answer section.
Now for how we used our study guide. We used one week to talk about what was going on in history and do some of the pre-reading activities from the study guide. We also talked about what they thought might happen in the book. What they thought the ending might be. Next we worked on reading the book and doing each section/chapter study after we were through with the chapter. Because I have some really fast and good readers and it’s not a long book this did not take us long. I made them slow down by saying they could only read one chapter a day. I know my oldest would have finished the book in one day if I’d let her!
They each did their study guide on their own for one chapter a day and then we would meet to discuss and talk about out loud what they had answered. We talked about things they didn’t quite understand and what had made them happy/sad/upset in the book. Good literature always elicits emotions and we talked about the how and why of that.
Would you like to learn more about Progeny Press and the Christian study guides for literature they offer? Please check out the Main TOS Crew Blog to read about the other titles that were offered to reviewers. There are several reviews from our members linked so make sure to check out the reviews of any title that interest you! You can also visit Progeny Press on facebook, twitter, and YouTube.