Our Family

Our Family

Thursday, January 5, 2012

TOS Review: Z Guide to the Movies

Zeezok Publishing believes, "It is better to build children than to repair men." They work to provide quality literature and educational books for teaching the next generation. They have products in categories such as American Government, Character Building, Curriculum, Great Musician Series, Presidential Series, and Z Guide to the Movies. We had the opportunity to use and review one of their new products Z Guide to the Movies.

What exactly is a Z Guide?  A Z Guide is an easy way for you to incorporate movies into your curriculum.  Each Z guide falls within a specific time period in history and contains 10 activities that build around the movie.  The guides are specific to a certain version of the movie but the guide tells you which version was used and most can be found on Netflix or through your local library.  Each Z Guide will begin with a topic overview and movie synopsis.  The first activity is a series of review questions.  The other activities can vary depending on the guide but each one will contain at least one hands on activity, world view activity, and a Film Maker's Art activity.  The answers are included with the Guide.  They recommend completing 2 activities per day to complete the Z Guide in a week, although you can adjust that to suit your own family or choose not to complete all of the activities.  Z Guides are intended as a supplement not as a core curriculum.  To see a sample Z Guide click here.

 Z Guides are available for elementary, middle and high school age with the majority of them being for high school age students.  Each Z Guide is $12.99 for single use or $49.99 as a classroom license.  You can choose to purchase as an ebook download or as a CD to be shipped.  If you are interested in purchasing the movie to go along with it, many are for sale on the Zeezok website.  To see the list of available Z Guides click here.

Chelsea (14) and I had the opportunity to review the Z Guide for Jason and the Argonauts.

We borrowed the movie from Netflix and dove right in to the activities in the Z Guide (35 pages.) Day 1's activities were to answer 25 review questions about the movie (we did that orally) and complete a worksheet learning more about the Greek Gods.  Day 2's activities were to complete a creative writing assignment about the Knights of the Round Table meeting Jason and the Argonauts and planning a modern day expedition to obtain the Golden Fleece.  Day 3 had a crossword puzzle and a What If activity.  Day 4 was a "brains and brawn" set of scenarios to figure out and an activity to design a recruitment poster for the Argonauts (we skipped this as Chelsea had no interest in it.)  Day 5 had a worldview activity and the Film Maker's Art activity.  The guide finished up with a series of family discussion questions and additional resources for further study and then of course, the answer key.

I think the Z Guides are a great way to use some wonderful educational films to further your studies.  There is a lot of freedom in how much of it you use and when you as a family decide to complete the activities.  Even though it is set up to be completed in a week, you could draw it out much longer if you chose.  You do not have to complete all of the activities as they stand alone and do not build upon each other.  The student is not told what to think but allows for their own well researched and thought out opinions.

I would love to see more Z Guides added in for the younger ages or that would allow for more muti age learning. 

To see what other crew members had to say click here.

Ireceived a complimentary copy of the Jason and the Argonauts  Z Guide for the purpose of writing a fair and honest review.  I received no other compensation.

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