Friday, April 1, 2011

Zeezok Publishing, Z Guide to the movies, Kitt Kittredge ** TOS Review**

We reviewed the Zeezok Z-Guide to the movies for Kitt Kittredge.
What is a Z-Guide you ask? Good question.
For $12.99 per guide Zeezok has chosen over 20 fabulous movies and made activity guides for each movie. Included in the guides is The Topic Overview, The Movie Synopsis, 10  Activities, A plan for a weeks worth of lessons and an answer key.
All of the movies they have chosen have topics that you can incorporate into your child's education.

The guides they offer and the corresponding subjects are....
*12 Angry Men, U.S. Government and Judicial Procedures
*A Man for all Seasons, medieval English history
*A Tale of Two Cities, the French Revolution
*Amazing Grace, British History
*Ben Hur, Medieval Europe
* Cromwell, English Civil War
*Driving Miss Daisy, American Civil Rights History
*Father Goose, World War II in the Pacific
* Flyboys, Great War (World War I)
*Guess who's coming to dinner, American Civil Rights History
*Inherit the Wind, Scopes Trial in American History
* Jason and the Argonauts, Greek mythology
*Johhny Tremain, American Revolution
*Kitt Kittredge, the Great Depression
*Knights of the round table, Arthur Pendragon’s rise and fall as king of England
*Les Miserables, nineteenth-century France
*Mr Smith Goes to Washington, a great way to incorporate media into your social studies curriculum
*My Side of the Mountain, a great way to incorporate media into your curriculum
*One Night with the King, Ancient Persian History
*Scarlet Pimpernel, French Revolution
* Sergeant York, Great War (World War I)
*The Adventures of Robin Hood, Middle Ages
*The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, World War II
* The Count of Monte Cristo, French Revolution
*The Hiding Place, World War II
*The Red Badge of Courage, Civil War
*The Ten Commandments, Ancient History
*To Kill a Mockingbird, Great Depression

All of these movies and their guides are available to purchase here for $12.99 each for the guides and $15.98 each per movie. These movies are all available on Netflix as well and probably at your local movie store. 

The Guides are geared towards middle school and high school students but the one we did was easily simplified to be done with my 3rd graders. I think you just need to look over the content of the movie before you decide what age child you would like to use the guide with.   


Our Experience. 

We reviewed the guide for the movie Kitt Kittredge. 

First the movie... Everyone in our family really enjoyed this movie from Mom and Dad all the way down to two years old. That even includes a 14 year old boy that said he wasn't going to watch it but then watched it twice! 

The story was great and the entire movie was very wholesome and full of values I was happy to share with my children. They really did a fabulous job of turning a positive spin on a less than positive situation in history while still sharing the sadness and despair of the time. 
I liked the overall message of the film that even when things aren't going the way we would like them to we can still choose to be happy. 
I know we weren't reviewing the movie but I think it's important to know that the movies they choose ( or at least the one I watched) are good movies. 

The Guide.... the kids enjoyed the movie so much that they were really anxious to learn more about the depression after just watching the movie. 

The Guide starts off with instructions for how to use the guide including a 5 day schedule. You can choose to complete the whole guide in a week or like us spread out the days of work just doing a couple days a week for younger children. 

Next is a Topic Overview filled with information on the depression, how we got there and what was happening during that time. The information in this section did a great job of answering most of my children's questions right from the start. 

The Guide then includes a Synopsis of the Movie. After that come the actual activities. 

Activity 1 was Movie Review Questions. These were great for us to use as a starting point for what ended up being a really nice discussion. You are actually supposed to answer these while you watch the movie but we did it just after. 

Activity 2 is to Research the Great Depression. It gives you several questions to look up and find the answer to. I loved this because my kids have not yet developed the skill to be able to find answers like this yet. It was a great opportunity for them to have a chance to find their own answers ( with a little guidance). 

Activity 3 was the star of the guide in my kids eyes. You go to a website online and look up coded messages ( replicating the Hobo language showed in the movie) and you can also create your own code. So much fun!

Activity 4 was some depression era vocabulary. Several of the words they learned in the movie but most were new to them so that gave them an opportunity to learn some new words. 

Activity 5 allows your student to try their hand at reporting just like Kitt.  This one was a bit above my 8 and 9 year olds head but I think it would be a lot of fun for an older child. 

Activity 6 was a fashion runway great depression style. This activity gave the kids questions to answer about common dress of the time and asked them to color or sketch some examples of common dress. For an older child it asks for a power point of the fashion of the times. 

Activity 7 is a game type question and answer. You are given a question describing a person and based on the clues must figure out who it is. This was right up my kids alleys and they really enjoyed this one. 
It was a race to see who could guess first.

Activity 8 was on Literary Devices. Once again over my kids age level but something that I would love to do with an older child. 

Activity 9 was on pride and prejudice in the 1930's. Great thought provoking questions. A little advanced for the younger elementary crew but still good for an in depth discussion on prejudice at any age. 

Activity 10 is on the Filmmaker's Art and Dramatic License. It discusses Lighting, Irony, Music and Color. 

Last there is a section with questions for a family discussion. Perfect for a great thought provoking discussion at the dinner table. 

I loved the guides focus on steering our children to good moral values and I will definitely be using their guides again. I think they were very well done and a wonderful break from the routine study.  
My kids also really enjoyed this study and weeks later are still discussing the Depression and wanting to learn more about it. That gives this guide an A+ in my book! 

Read what my crewmates thought of their guides at the TOS Blog Here

I received a free copy of the Z-Guide for this movie in exchange for my honest review of the product. No other compensation was received. 

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