And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children. Isaiah 54:13 KJV

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

4th Grade Literature Study Guide #literaturestudies

Progeny Press graciously sent us The Sword in the Tree E-Guide for Upper Elementary grades 4-6 to review. This was Speedy's first formal literature guide, and I was interested to see how he would do. We've used Progeny Press lit guides in the past and have been very pleased with them. 
This Progeny Press study guide can be printed for use or used as an interactive download. To use it on the computer, it simply needed to be opened in Adobe Reader 9. With that option, all the fill in work can be typed directly into the guide. I did open it in Adobe and played around with it a bit, but Speedy really needs extra handwriting this summer. I printed out all the pages and put them in a folder for him to work on. Somewhere along the line he dismantled the folder and kept them out. I think that made it easier for him to write on them and to keep up with the pages he needed to do. The guide is 42 pages in all and that includes about 26 pages of "worksheets" to complete. 
What it looks like as an interactive guide on Adobe. 
Those fill in sheets are broken in 5 sections: Chapters 1-3, 4-6, 7-9, 10-14, and a final overview. There are numerous ways to schedule this study guide. In the older level study guides, it is recommended to work through a section per week. Since this was a relatively short book and study guide and since we are doing a limited amount of work through the summer, I had Speedy work on about 2 pages per day Monday- Thursday. He completed the book and fill in portion of the guide during our review period. 


Clyde Robert Bulla was a new author for our family. The Sword in the Tree is a short 14 chapter book with 103 pages. Speedy loved every word of it! He can read very well but can be a reluctant reader at times. We weren't able to get our hands on any of the suggest pre-reading books before beginning this one, but he's done some study on knights in the past. This E-guide suggested reading the whole book before beginning the study guide, and that's what he did. Since finishing, he's put his hands on 3 more Clyde Robert Bulla books. He can't get enough of this author.

The study guide includes questions, think about the story questions, dig deeper questions, vocabulary, and optional activities. There were also questions involving literary terms like setting, theme, and simile. The overview was a final set of questions on the book. We really just needed the book, a Bible, and a dictionary for Speedy to complete this guide. The optional and post-reading activities require some other supplies but nothing too intensive. 

Speedy said, "I like how it used examples from the book to compare to Bible verses and stories." 

I was very pleased with this literature guide. I think it was right on target for 4th-6th graders. Speedy was able to answer all of the questions, and he did many of the optional activities on his own. He does still struggle with writing so some of his written answers were incomplete or contained misspelled words. He was able to give fuller answers orally which I often had him do after completing the written work. I was very pleased with his work considering this is one of the first 4th grade activities he has "officially" worked on. It did highlight some of his writing struggles but that's an area we are already giving more attention to this summer. Even with the difficulty level, he never complained. He liked the book so much that he was happy to complete the study guide. I love that the guide included Biblical references and questions. I'm always happy to incorporate Biblical themes in all subjects. I think the variety of pre- and post- reading activities gives this guide a versatile aspect that will make it work for many families.

I have been very impressed with all the Progeny Press resources we have used to date. Last year Apple used a Progeny Press E-Guide for Tuck Everlasting for a review. It was geared towards 5th-8th graders so it was nice to compare the length and questions in the various levels. Members of the Crew received E-Guides for various books and ages. Make sure you read some of their reviews too:
Literature Study Guides from a Christian Perspective {Progeny Press  Review}

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1 comment:

  1. How neat that this inspired him to seek out more books by the same author! That's when you know a kid loved a book. :)

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