We have had the pleasure of using other materials from Memoria Press. We like their materials as they are high quality and they have a high educational level. Their curriculum is not "fluff". It is curriculum that will make your children work and think hard. That's why we were excited to review their 5th Grade Literature Guide Set. This set includes the Student Study Guide and Teacher Guide for "Lassie Come-Home", "Heidi", and "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe".
I saw these and I just knew that they would be perfect for our up and coming 5th grader to use for Reading next year! He will be reading actual books, not portions of books like a reading book in the public school uses. I love that! Even when I was teaching in the public school system, we rarely used our reading books. I felt that it was a waste of time. I went over to the library, checked out a class set of books, and that's what we used to practice our reading skills.
Memoria Press obviously feels the same way as that's what they have done here with these literature guides. The 5th grade literature guides are on the books of "Lassie Come-Home" by Eric Knight, "Heidi" the Puffin Classics Edition, and "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe" by C.S. Lewis. I was especially excited for him to read "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe" because his brother read them at this age and he really liked them, too! These books are classics! I would never have thought to have our son read Lassie or Heidi, but I am excited for him to read these beloved stories.
We started with "Lassie Come-Home". I wasn't sure how he would feel about this book. He wondered what it was about and I told him that it was a dog that helped people. I actually have never read the book or even seen the TV show. We started reading it together. I always like to start new curriculum and books together, so that we get a good feeling for how it all goes together. He read some of the chapters by himself and others we read together. He had a difficult time reading it as it has dialogue with people that have various English accents.
Since we are not doing "full school" right now, we worked longer each day on this. We went through all of the workbook and a full chapter each day. Once school starts again, after the baby comes and we take about a month off, we will slow down the pace. I plan on going through the Reading Notes and completing the Vocabulary on one day. Then, depending on the length of the chapter, taking 1-2 days reading the chapter. After that, we will take a day to complete the Comprehension Questions and the rest of the workbook parts for that chapter. So, it will take approximately a week to complete a chapter. This will be a much better pace for him, so that he can do more of it independently.
I really like the Student Study Guides. I was impressed with the work needed to complete these. They are close to what I would have put in them. I love when someone else does the work for me and I don't have to change or adapt it to fit our needs. Each chapter has 2 side by side pages for the student to complete.
Reading Notes - It started with words that they have given the definition for. We just read through these together and discussed together. We did this before the chapter was read.
Vocabulary - Bolded words are written in phrases or sentences in which they appear in the story. We talked about these together. If he knew the word and could come up with his own definition, then I let him write that down. If he didn't know it, then he had to look it up in the dictionary and then write the definition. This was great for him to practice his dictionary skills. We did this before the chapter was read.
Comprehension Questions - We read through these before the chapter was read so that he knew what to look for as he was reading or listening. After the reading was done, then we went back and discussed these. I ended up writing these answers down so that his thinking was not halted by his writing skills.
Quotations - They have a quotation from that chapter of the book.
Discussion Questions - We worked through these together. These are a little more in-depth questions about the chapter.
Enrichment - There are a few enrichment activities to do with each chapter. Some are: copy a paragraph from the chapter, look at a map of the area talked about in the chapter, look deeper into the accents spoken, make a handkerchief, or look up something in the encyclopedia. We did not do all of these. We just completed the ones that I thought he would get the most out of.
At the end of the Student Study book, in the Appendix, there are more resources that compliment the study of the book. These include: a biographical sketch of the author, Eric Knight, information on the industrial revolution, various maps, literary tools that discuss plot, characterization, setting, and theme, poems, information about Greyfriars Bobby and Tea Time, as well as a couple of coloring pages of flowers.
In the Teacher's Guide, it has the same information as the Student Study guide. They have added the answers to the Discussion Questions and Quizzes and Tests with their answers.
I like that all of the books have the same set up for their Student Study Guides. This means that once he's comfortable with how to work through each chapter, he can just continue on with Heidi and The Lion, Witch, and the Wardrobe. That will take less time when he has to switch to a new book. These books are so wonderful and we can't wait to get to them this year.
I am so excited for him to be able to read these wonderful books and work through the 5th Grade Literature Guide Set from Memoria Press. They have done all of the work for me! This will make it so easy for him for this next school year. He will be working on his fluency, but as well as his comprehension through these great Student Study Guides.
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