Introducing, from Progeny Press:
For the book by: Rosemary Sutcliff
Setting: Roman Britain, 125 A.D.
Grade Level: 7-9
As part of the Schoolhouse Review Crew, we were asked if we’d like to review a Literature Study Guide form Progeny Press. I browsed the choices to see what might be a good fit for our learning time right now.
One thing you might not understand, when we agree to review a product for The Crew, we agree for the whole family. Did you know that we commit to using the product as intended for a period of 4-6 weeks? Sometimes longer? We agree to dig deep and keep going, sharing our adventure with you.
This year we are studying the Ancients and have just about wrapped up our history for the year. When we started this review we were headed from Greece to Rome. After reading about the Books for the Study Guides I was interested in The Eagle of the Ninth, Study Guide. I read the requirements and story line to hubby and the boys, and they were interested in the story as well.
We were chosen for the review, and received the PDF instant download version. I loaded the PDF to my Kindle Fire and to our other two Kindles. The PDF is interactive, so on the laptops the student may fill in the work right into the Adobe PDF reader.
Next, I went to our online library to order the book but it was not available. Eager to start, I bought the e-Book from Amazon. My thought, was that Nate could read the book on one Kindle, then have the PDF opened on the other to answer questions. As we got started, the reading part was simple on the Kindle, however, referencing back to the book, was harder using two electronic documents – the guide and the book. I quickly called our local book store and purchased a paper back copy of the book for less than eight dollars. Now we were ready to start in earnest!
The Study Guide wanted the student to read the entire book through on the first week. As my readers know, Literature and Book Devouring are really not a big thing here yet for my boys. Smaller chunks, and books that they initiate interest in are read quickly. Without finding a books on tape option easily or for free, we opted for a Netflix DVD version for the overview. This is the first time we’ve watched a video before reading a book, and I was a bit nervous of how it would work out interest wise.
Our first goal with the study guide – was to bring more flavor to our history and geography study of Rome. To put the boys into the mindset of someone living and thriving in Roman times. At 125 a.d. this put us at the end of the Ancient time period, right where we were studying. The movie was fantastic, the entire family was captivated. It sparked the desire to learn more about the characters, and was a perfect start to the Study Guide for us.
The Study guide leads the student through the book three chapters at a time. Each section is broken into 3-5 topics. Vocabulary Words, Questions, Thinking about the Story, Digging Deeper and Optional Activities.
The vocabulary of this particular book was wonderful! Bleak. Sombre. Acclamation. Dilapidated. Libation. Bursque. Nimbus. Benighted. Tyrannized, Vehement. Studying these words alone, for SAT, is interesting, but bound together in sets of 10-12 words, taken from the context of the story, brings them to life. Nate is also into all things Camelot right now, and he mentioned how the words were also being used in his other reading and movies. For the study we might look up synonym and antonym, match them to definitions, find the definition and create sentences or match them to the closest meaning of three choices.
The Questions are pretty basic, if you’ve read the story. If you have a child doing this on his own (intended for 7-9th grade), I would think that this section would let you know that he was truly reading the book. He could read the book and answer those questions in the interactive PDF to print for you to review. Answers are provided with the study guide as well to help you. We are mostly a verbal narrative family, so Nate would share his reading with me when he was done, and these question were simply answered out loud.
Thinking About the Story is where the Charlotte Mason type of learning got started. We learned how the story was put together. Questions like “Ambiguity refers to uncertainty or indefiniteness, not clearly one thing or another. In literature it refers to instances . . .” “Reread the last three pages of Chapter 7. How does Sutcliff use ambiguity to demonstrate the opposing views of the Roman occupation of Britain and conquering the native people?” Several times we are asked to put ourselves in Marcus’ shoes. Why does Marcus feel this way? What would make him say this or that? Why did he want to go?
Looking at things like Mood, Cause and Effect, Imagery, Quests, Symbols, really makes the student pause and think. The Questions part is a Q & A Fill in the Blank. The Thinking About It is just that – they find a part of the story, reference it, then ask the student to think. “How does it help explain Marcus’ desire to go to the northern Tribes?” The student would have to know the desire, to help explain how a proverb recited by the Legate would help to illustrate the desire in the first place. We learned of Literature, Geography, and how to Think about what we were reading.
Dig Deeper highlights aa part of the story, then brings it back to The Word. The proverb referenced above is “Eagle lost – honour lost; honour lost – all lost.” The Study Guide brings us to Psalms, Proverbs, John and Romans to look up Honor and Pride. They ask us how God would want us to view honor. We look at the actions of Marcus and the other characters and bring their actions in focus with the word as well. On this particular day we went to Romans, Hebrews and 1 Peter to see how we are instructed to practice hospitality. As a family, we enjoyed the Dig Deeper Questions. These were well selected questions perfect for your young teen to ponder.
Some sections included an Optional Activity. On this particular day, they give an idea for a class to discuss or write a short paper describing the customs for hospitality in your country or culture. Another chapter asks you to research Boudicca, the Queen of the Inceni and write a story, with questions given to help guide the student. One week they were asked to listen to a song and write a paper or discuss as a group several questions. Literature Study as a group is fantastic, and these Optional Activities would be a perfect fit for your time together.
The Study Guide wraps up with an Overview, Essays and Projects and Additional Resources. We already had curriculum that guided us through Rome with Music, Artists, Scientists and Geography. This Study Guide, guides you through these same topics making this a perfect Unit Study, not just a literature guide. If your child is interested in this era, other great books are listed to keep the spark aflame as well as a few movies.
As you can see, we really enjoyed this study. I wasn’t too excited to enter the era of Rom with our Ancient Studies; sometimes we feel like we know so much about it. However, no one in our family knew about the Lost Eagle of the Ninth and the quest to find it. We will continue on in this Study Guide through the spring.
The Eagle of the Ninth Study Guide is available in three options: Printed for 18.99, on a CD for 16.99 and as an instant download for 16.99. Even with 3 Kindles 2 iPods a Laptop and a Desktop, my boys work better with paper than electronics. I would recommend the printed booklet for 2 dollars more. The guide is 60 pages long. It is formatted beautifully for the Kindle and we have not had any problem with it working for us, we just prefer paper.
The Schoolhouse Review Crew was given choices in different age ranges for the following guides. Click on the link below to find the linky for the other reviews:
- Hall of Doors: Dragon’s Hoard Study Guide and Hall of Doors: Dragon’s Hoard Book
- Eagle of the Ninth Study Guide
- Golden Goblet Study Guide
- Treasure Island Study Guide
- Beowulf Study Guide
- The Hobbit Study Guide
- Things Fall Apart Study Guide
Passing the Kleenex – I’m sure you’re sniffing away disappointed that you didn’t get to see cute Nathan cuddled up with his book and Kindle, or photos of great written narrations, or videos of his funny explanations, shots of us huddled around the Word being encouraged. This is one of the last reviews that I lost the photos for when the hard drive crashed. It’s ok. I’ll be sure to put at least 20 photos in the next review. Don’t worry. There There. Pat Pat.