Books. There is no doubt we love them in our house. Reading either alone or aloud is one of the things we all enjoy doing. Most of the time, I require a narration which allows me to see what they gathered from the readings and how well they are comprehending and listening during the reading. However, every so often it is nice to throw in a book report or a book study. We got the chance to dig a little deeper into The Minstrel in the Tower with the Progeny Press The Minstrel in the Tower E-Guide!
There is a brief description of the book, setting and author in the leading pages of the e-guide. This was great for getting a handle on what we were beginning to read. Following the introduction to the book was a “Before-you-read Activities” section with a few tasks to get them acquainted with different aspects of the story, geography and more. This was a nice introduction to the book and alerted us to some of the different things to keep in mind as we read.
From there, the e-book is broken down by chapter. Each chapter section contains vocabulary from the reading and questions about what they’ve read.
The vocabulary section is varied for each chapter. Some chapters have a matching game with words and their definitions, others asked them to write the definition of the words listed. This was a great way to get the kids using their dictionary and seeing how well their inferences from the reading were. Other chapters contained synonym exercises which helped them work with both their dictionary and thesaurus. The vocabulary section was a favorite, since my kids love looking words up the dictionary and the thesaurus work was an added bonus!
The general questions section for each chapter helped them work through what they had read and made sure that their reading comprehension was on pace. The questions were simple yet made them think about the readings, pushing them to really recall the chapter and relate to the characters. This was similar to our narration time, but instead of them narrating, they answered specific questions. Giving them good practice for reading comprehension questions they may face in the future.
While the chapter questions all had some which made reference to the bible with some quotes and readings to correspond to the chapter, there were a few of the chapters that even asked them to go deeper. These “Dig Deeper” sections contained a biblical reference and question. This was a great addition to the overall study guide, giving more meaning to what they were reading and helping them to navigate and make the connection between the bible and their readings.
When we have finished the book and chapter sections of the e-guide, the “After-you-read Activities” section contains some extension activities and projects that will enhance their reading. There is also a section of Additional Resources to go even further into the historical context of the crusades, castles and more. I am excited to get to this section of the e-guide to let them explore and have fun with what they have read.
As for preparing and working with the e-guide, I loved that we could print the guide sections out as we needed each. This works great with our workboxes. It keeps the kids from feeling overwhelmed with a large stack of paper and it is easy to put only the pages we need for that day/week in their bins for access during our school day. Printing them as needed, also requires less time to find their place while we are preparing to do the lesson. Which means less frustration and less time wasted!
The Minstrel in the Tower E-Guide is a nice addition to our reading and Progeny Press offers many different e-guides for many grade levels so you can find something to compliment your readings easily. The E-Guide was easy to access and download. The file is in black and white making it less distracting for the kids and uses less ink. Knowing there are many options for lower elementary, upper elementary, middle school and even high school, makes Progeny Press a site we will continue to explore for those books we’d like to do more in depth comprehension to accompany our readings.
If you’d like to learn more about Progeny Press and the other guides they have available, check out the Schoolhouse Review Crew’s reviews: