Thursday, March 31, 2011

Zeezok Movie Guide - Ben Hur

Zeezok Publishing has a great way for you to incorporate Movies into your curriculum - The "Z-Guide"! (I was sent a complimentary copy of the Z-guide to "Ben Hur" in exchange for my honest opinion). I just "know" that when I get to heaven...Moses is going to look just like Charleton Heston, don't you! But, that's a different movie...

Here's what we got:

"The Ben Hur z-guide contains a topic overview, movie synopsis, and ten learning activities for an in-depth study of the film.

*Learn more about Roman chariot racing and Jewish attempts to overthrow Roman rule.
*Think through your stewardship responsibilities or identify elements of Roman government found in the film.
*Evaluate your own beliefs with the “Worldview Activity,” probe the director’s mind with “The Filmmaker’s Art” activity, and get the entire family involved with the “For Family Discussion” section at the end of the guide.
*Choose those activities which best fit your student’s course objectives, areas of interest, or time schedule.

Movie Summary: The Romans begin to assert more and more control over the Jews in the first century BCE. By AD 6, Rome has taken complete political control of Judea. Several unsuccessful attempts to expel the Romans, including the misguided belief that Jesus Christ had come to be their political Messiah, result in harsh Roman reprisals and the Diaspora (scattering) of the Jews. Topics: Roman Empire, History of Palestine, Friendships, Consequences of Hatred

This CD contains a printable pdf file of the complete study guide for $12.99 It does not include the movie.

Zeezok has 20 titles to pick from, so you're sure to find something for your family.

Here's our thoughts - we LOVE family movie night! We love the cuddling together, the popcorn, the discussion times, and sometimes - just the falling asleep on the couch together-ness. So, "Movie curriculum" sounds perfect right?!

Well, it is perfect as an addition to your current curriculum - when used in "school time" But, one word of caution, do NOT try to take "Family movie night" and turn it into "school" - you'll wreck both options! My kiddos do not like completeing "Movie Review Questions" right after watching a good flick, just to show that they were actively paying attention... (maybe other kids do?)

So, keeping the two activities seperate (for the sake of you and your children's enjoyment). We liked using movies as "school"! The Z-Guide gives a great foundation for understanding the movie's theme and message, as well as historical background.

The Z- Guide was 37 pages of Review questions and additional educational activities (like crossword puzzles and designing posters). My boys loved spending some extended computer research time on Roman Chariot Racing! Lot's of great discussion starters are included.

I caution you, use this resource wisely... it can help you pull out lots of information and discussion points for the movie. But, if you treat it like a "quiz" or may loose the enthusiasm that you hoped to build (that's just my personal educational philosophy coming out again...)

All in all, I'm a fan for including multi-media presentation of the history eras we are studying, and movies like "Ben Hur", make history come alive for your kiddos. I'd suggest adding Z-Guides to help you make the most of the movies you want to be "school time".

Remember, leave those "Family nights" alone! (they're working fine the way they are meant to be...for enjoyment only!)

See what the other reviewers thought here

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