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Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Schoolhouse Crew Review: Progeny Press

Progeny Press carries a wide variety of literature study guides for elementary all the way through high school.  Over the years, we have had an opportunity to review several study guides from Progeny Press.  This year we were selected to review a guide from the lower elementary range, The Minstrel in the Tower E-Guide 

Literature Study Guides from a Christian Perspective {Progeny Press  Review}
Progeny Press study guides show children how to think through ideas and themes presented in the stories and to better understand and enjoy literature. To use the study guides children will need access to the book, the guide, a dictionary, thesaurus, and a Bible.  Study guides are available as a CD, printed workbook, or an instant download.  The lower elementary guides are for grades K-3, upper elementary for 4-6, Middles School for Grades 6-8 and High School for grades 9-12.  Answer keys are included with the guides.

The Minstrel in the Tower Guide is for grades K-3.  I received the download (E-Guide) for my review ($11.99.)  It is also available as a printed workbook or CD. The guide is 48 pages long.  I printed it out, hole punched, and placed it in a 3 ring binder to use with my 7,9, and 10 year olds.  I read the book aloud every day and then they answered the questions for each chapter.  

The Minstrel in the Tower is a paperback 65 page book.  This story takes place in the Middle Ages in 1195.  Roger and Alice's father went to the crusades and never came back.  When their mother becomes very ill, she sends them off in search of an uncle they didn't even know about. On their way they are kidnapped and held in an ancient tower.  One of them must escape and find help.

The study guide begins with a note to the instructor, a synopsis of the story, background information, about the author page, and before you read activities.  For each chapter in the book there are corresponding activities.  Each chapter section starts off with vocabulary questions.  In some of them you have to write your definition and the dictionary definition. Others are matching questions, writing synonyms, alphabetizing and defining, circling the definition, and filling in the blanks.  The next section asks several comprehension questions on the chapter.  Some of the chapters also have digging deeper questions that has the children read Bible verses and relate them to the story.  At the end of the guide there is a word search, after you read activities, additional resources, and the answer key.

We all loved the story of The Minstrel in the Tower. I think it is a great choice for this age range.  The chapters are short and the story is interesting and will appeal to both boys and girls.  The study guide has a good variety of activities.  It helps the student better understand the story especially through the vocabulary questions.  I really like the digging deeper questions.

Since this guide is for the youngest age range, you will have to be using this alongside your child, unless they are very strong readers and at the top of the age range.  We enjoyed answering the comprehension orally and for the vocabulary and digging deeper questions I wrote their answers in the guide.  

Progeny Press has a great selection of Study Guides.  As I mentioned above I have reviewed several of their titles.  You can find my review of Stone Fox from the upper elementary section here.  I reviewed the guides for The Giver (middle school)  and The Door in the Wall (upper elementary) here and Julius Caesar (high school) here.

Members of The Crew reviewed a variety of guides.  To see what my Crew Mates had to say, stop by the Crew Blog!
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