Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Z-Guide to the Movies - Kit Kitteridge

Zeezok's Z-Guide to the Movies:

I love using movies as school!  With this resource, you won't even have to "stretch" to make your case! 

Here's a brief description from their website:

"Each guide starts out with a topic overview. This overview provides the student with more information regarding the specific time period in which the movie is based. Next is a movie synopsis. The synopsis will assist the student in understanding what is going on in the movie and how relationships, situations, and events all relate together.

The first activity is always review questions. We recommend the student answer these as they watch the movie. We want to be sure they are paying attention and being an active learner versus a passive viewer.

The next several activities all build around the historical time of the movie. The questions in these activities may be more about the people or events that happened in the movie. These questions cannot be answered from watching the movie. (We all know you don’t get accurate facts from a Hollywood movie.) The student will learn research skills because he will need to use either the library or the internet to properly answer these questions. Some of the activities involve writing an essay. So the student is learning research and writing skills during the process.

Each guide also contains at least one hands-on activity, a worldview activity, and The Filmmaker’s Art activity. The hands-on activities for the active learner vary depending on the guide and include activities such as creating a treasure hunt, completing an art project, or planning and making a meal for the family.

The worldview activity helps the child to understand the movie’s worldview. This activity is not to impress on the student our personal worldview, but to get the student to think critically through what he believes and what is being presented in the movie. Family discussion questions also develop this critical thinking from the worldview promoted within your family.

The Filmmaker’s Art activity helps the student recognize the tools being used to influence the viewer. The various guides discuss how filming techniques, music, lighting, humor, character development, irony, foreshadowing, and even character names are used by the director and producer to influence the viewer to get their agenda across. We want the student to be able to discern not only the agenda of the movie, but also how they are being influenced by it.

We recommend the student completes two activities per day, taking a week to complete. Z-Guides are meant to supplement your current history curriculum. They are not intended to replace your core curriculum for history.

And yes, answers are provided for all of the questions. We tried to make it as easy as possible on you."

You can view a sample guide here.

Each Z-Guide is just $12.99 for an Ebook or CD.  Dozen of titles to choose from (and 25 more coming this spring!)

The testers at Bentz Learning Laboratory loved this movie!  Of course, the girls were all over anything to do with an "American Girl".  But, I even got the boys in on it... You do have to get your own copy of the movie, the Z-Guide does NOT include the actual movie. 

These guides are a great way to incorporate movies into your curriculum.  But, I caution you - don't make it seem too much like "school" - they'll be onto you in a minute (and you'll forever taint "family movie night"!)  Take the time ahead of the movie to "arm yourself" with the information in the Z-Guide, then you can spill it out during and after the movie on your "unspecting" students.  Then after the movie, you'll have ideas to keep their interest and learning going.

These are a great tool to use! (just don't make them write out answers during the movie, if you want to keep movie nights as family fun!).

See what the other members of the TOS Review Crew thought here.

I was sent a complimentary copy in exchange for my honest opinion as part of the TOS Review Crew.

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