Learning History through Movies

Oh- the Excitement and Anticipation has been building in my fingers – and it is finally here!  I get to finally let you know how we came to study Henry David Thoreau and the Peregrine Falcon!

Z –Guide.  You know, Z-Guide to the Movies?  You don’t . Well, don’t feel bad, neither did I until last month.

Zeezok PublishingI randomly picked My Side of the Mountain to review for The Old Schoolhouse from Zeezok Publishing.

A quick look at my library’s online database told me a copy was handy at Pacific City, a really cute sea town about 14 miles north, and 3 miles west of 101.  Nestled next to Cape Kawanda, and the Pelican Brew Pub, I thought it best for my friend and I to plan a field trip, sample some Calamari, Crab Artichoke Dip and an Ale while watching the surfers, before going to the cute little library to grab the flick.  (Always remember, being a homeschool mom is hard –  –  hard work.)

Back at home, I printed out the Notebooking Pages / Activity Sheets that came with the Z Guide. We set up a 2 week schedule to walk through the Movie Watching and 10 Activities.

What I didn’t realize (Should I admit this?) That My Side of the Mountain is about A Boy on a One Year Outdoor Adventure – not about Heidi. . . . .(Sheepish grin, even though in this movie, there weren’t any sheep.)

We settled down as a family to watch the movie – What I didn’t expect – was for my three boys (ya hubby too) to be overly excited about this young man’s adventure!  I’m assuming – that their interest in all adventures outdoors – is what made doing the activities so enjoyable.


Jon and Nate went out the next day to look for a suitable place by our stream to find lodging.  They decided, with the flooding, it would be best to build up, using the trees, than to find shelter on the ground.  We had fun with this Activity on a trip – while playing with the storyline at the beach. You can read our funny tale here .


Our neighbor needed help picking up a vehicle from a town south of us, Newport, which has a really large library.  We were able to drive down with him.  We asked him about one of our Discussion Question Activities – of whether is was best to kill with a gun, or use the falcon to get your food for you – whether you are the hunter, or the gatherer – it was quite a good discussion.  We’ve talked many a times about the difference of getting your food in the pretty package at the store, vs knowing how to get your food in the wild.

Onward to the Library – the boys looked up books on Henry David Thoreau and the Peregrine Falcon. Again, with the librarian, the boys were able to have a nice discussion on why they were looking up the books and what types of information they were looking for to fill out their Notebooking  / Activity Pages.

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I suppose I don’t need to tell you that by the end of the movie and our research, that Jon is now going to dedicate his life to the pursuit of finding a baby Peregrine Falcon to have for his very own? I didn’t think so.


The books that we picked for Henry David Thoreau didn’t answer all of the Activity Page’s questions, so Nate did some research on the computer to fill in the missing pieces. Jon read several books on the Falcon and created a drawing for an Art Project .


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As you can see – we had a fun 2 weeks – with our nature activity here in the Pacific Northwest – It was REALLY easy to pull in this storyline into our daily conversation. 

PhotobucketWhat the Z-Guide for the Movies did for me – was to give me some easy direction for two weeks where I really couldn’t be the main teacher.  I thought we would just watch a movie and glean historical information from it, and it would be over. I had no idea how their very simple daily activities would intertwine the history into our discussion with our family, neighbors and people in the community.  The Activity Pages are very simple to follow, do not require a lot of ink to print out, and inspire further discussion, not just worksheet fill in the blank learning. On their website – you can see that they have Z-Guides to several movies for historical learning that will bring your student into the world view of that era.  I recommend this product for any family-  Depending on the age – will depend on how self led this study could be.

(I received the Z-Guide to the Movies for free as part of The Old Schoolhouse Review Crew for free in exchange for using in our home and giving you our honest experience on the blog.)

Want to read the Crew Blog to get specific information about Z Guide to the Movies and see how other crew members used this product? Unlike many reviews, this company offered us many titles to choose from, so only a couple of reviews have multiple families on  the title,  each crew member on the linky will have something like Angie W @ Petra School – MSOTM (we only have 40 characters), so look for different movie titles!

About +Angie Wright

The Transparent Thoughts of an Unschooling Family of Boys - Answering the question - What DO you DO all day?
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