4/1/11

TOS Review: Les Miserables - z-guide to the Movies

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As a home school teacher I am always looking for fun but educational activities to round out our subjects. Usually I supplement our curriculum with topic related movies so I was thrilled to receive a Zguide to the Movies from Zeezok Publishing. Generously, Zeezok gave us a choice so we picked Les Miserables—z-guide to the movie

Les_Miserables_DVD_Cover

Each ZGuide to the Movies contains:

  • A How to Use this Guide Page—includes a suggested schedule for the activities.
  •  A Topic Overviewpresents background information necessary to give context to the movie.
  • A detailed synopsis of the movie.  This is about one page in length and more detailed than the back of the DVD Cover.
  • Ten Learning Activities—Students complete the  first activity, movie review questions, while watching the movie.  The other 9 activities provide “interdisciplinary educational opportunities built around the movie’s themes.”
  • For Family Discussion- Discussion questions for the whole family.  Perfect for focused dinnertime topic!

Although all of the zguides to the movies contain 10 activities, some of the activities vary from zguide to zguide.  Some activities may require utilizing outside sources such as the library or internet, while others will develop public speaking skills. Creative and critical writing assignments may also be found in different guides. Each zguide, though, will contain the following types of activities:

  • Hands on activity’ for the kinesthetic learner, designed to develop the student’s artistic talents.
  • “Worldview Activity”—use critical thinking skills to evaluate actions and attitude’s in the movie.
  • “The Filmmaker’s Art”-- focuses on movie-making techniques and their effect on the viewer.

My Thoughts: I loved the ZGuide to the movies.  I didn’t always agree with the answer key, however, those answers provided a means to open up discussion with my daughter. I liked that that the activities allow practice or development of critical thinking skills.  I liked that with 10 activities I could choose to do the study guide in a short period of time or I could spread the activities out over a longer period of time.  This particular study, Les Miserables—z-guide to the movie, inspired me to read the book.   I am now on page 60ish out of 1285.  BooBear also plans on reading the book.  When we’ve both finished the book,  we plan on watching the movie *again* and then compare the book to the movie *and* pull out the Zguide and see if having read the book changes our answers to any of the questions.

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BooBear’s (age 15 1/2, grade 10) Thoughts—”The questions made me think a bit more about the movie and the message in the movie. I liked the  format. I didn’t do the wanted poster, but I enjoyed the movie review questions (activity 1).  The foreshadowing activity drove me crazy because it was hard for me to see what they wanted me to see. I would like to do more of these zguides.”

Many of the Zguides are currently available in both e-book and CD formats.  Zeezok plans to have e-book options for all the Zguides. Zguides are $12.99.To see the specific guide I reviewed (Les Miserables )click here.  To see all the Zguide to the Movies click here.  

Oh and one thing I do want to mention is how valuable the website descriptions are.  I appreciate being warned about movie choices that may not be appropriate for my younger girls.  I also appreciate having the information *before* ordering about the exact movie version used in the ZGuide and Zeezok offers the DVD’s for sale so you can purchase the DVD at the same time you purchase your ZGuide to the Movies.

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Disclaimer: As a TOS Crew member, I received this product free of charge to review. This review is my honest opinion with, hopefully, enough detail as to why I liked or did not like a product so that my readers can make an informed decision. I received no compensation.

Zeezok Publishing generously provided me with Les Miserables-Zguide to the Movies for review purposes.

3 comments:

  1. A friend of yours and mine (I'll tell you who tonight) said to me, "when I finished that book, I thought to myself, 'if I never read again, I have read'" - isn't that amazing?
    I enjoyed it, but not on that level. I've never seen the movie or show, though.

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  2. Now you are making me want to add Les Mis to my list of z-guides I simply need... boo, hiss... (my list is long enough already!)

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  3. Enjoyed your review! Stopping by from the blog walk. Blessings!

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