Monday, September 11, 2017

Progeny Press: Charlotte's Web Study Guide

Progeny Press is a faith-based publisher of K-12 literature study guides.  They choose notable, award-winning, and worthy literature to explore.  As a Christian company, they point readers to the Word of God to discern Biblical truths, even in literature with controversial content.  We were recently given the opportunity to review one of their study guides, and chose the Charlotte's Web E-Guide.

Charlotte's Web - E-Guide

The Charlotte's Web E-Guide by Andrew Clausen accompanies the children's novel Charlotte's Web by E.B. White, and is written for 4th-6th grade students.  The famous book is set on a farm, and centers around the pig Wilbur, and his new barnyard friends, particularly the kind and clever spider, Charlotte.

We chose this book and study guide for my 5th grader for a few reasons.  My 3rd grader already has a literature-based language arts program, so I was eager to find something similar for my 5th grader.  I have used Progeny Press before (Sam the Minuteman, K-3rd) but overall we don't use a lot of study guides.  I figured if we're going to start off the school year with one, it might be in our best interest to do one that is an easier read and familiar story.  He listened to the audio version when he was much younger, but had never read the actual book himself.  All things considered, it seemed like a great choice for us.

We received the e-guide, and Progeny Press makes some of their e-guides available as Interactive Study Guide!  It opens in Adobe and you can print it off and use it as a paper study guide, or keep it on the computer and enter your answers directly into the guide!  It automatically saved in a new file, so the original remained a clean copy.  The ability to enter answers into the computer is a blessing when you have a child that doesn't like to write!

What does the Guide include?

Note to Instructor: how to use the guide
Synopsis: a summary of the story
About the Author: a brief biographical sketch of E.B. White
About the Illustrator: a brief biographical sketch of Garth Williams
Ideas for Pre-reading Activities:  suggestions for learning about spiders, field trips, and more
Chapters . . .   The "meat" of the guide, or the actual questions pertaining to the book
Overview:  This looks at the book as a whole
Ideas for Post-reading Activities:  There are two art projects and a letter-writing suggestion
Additional Resources:  Book and video suggestions

It is suggested for middle/high school students to read the book first, then complete a page per day, using the book as reference as needed.  This will make the study guides last 8-10 weeks.  This particular child would not want to read a book that quickly, so we would read a few chapters at a time, then answer the related questions.

The chapter assignments cover approximately 3-4 chapters of material at one time.  You will find standard study guide style questions, but each set is different.  You might find vocabulary, comprehension questions, critical thinking questions, or writing.  Language Arts elements such as Fact vs. Opinion or synonyms are also explored. The style of questions differs too, as sometimes you'll have multiple choice, matching, short answer, fill-in-the-blank or writing assignments.  The Overview section overs story elements of conflict, climax and resolution, characters, and theme.  The guide often instructs the student to read specific verses that pertain the topic, which allows the student to truly analyze the themes of the book.  I like how the guide alternates the types of questions so that there is variety.

The questions are appropriate for the age group, and for the most part, my 5th grader could answer them without much guidance from me.  The pre-reading and post-reading activities offer great extension opportunities, and there are many learning opportunities within the pages of this guide.

The Homeschool Review Crew is reviewing study guides from across all grade levels, so be sure to check out their reviews for even more perspectives!

Progeny Press

Study Guides for Literature {Progeny Press Reviews}

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