Thursday, March 31, 2016

Third Grade Literature Study Guides Review

We have been enjoying using Memoria Press's Third Grade Literature Guides to go on an adventure with Farmer Boy in our homeschool.

Memoria Press Literature Guides Review

Memoria Press Literature Guides Review

The entire third grade literature guide set!
The guides for third grade include: Mr. Popper's Penguins, A Bear called Paddington, Charlotte's Web, and Farmer Boy.

Memoria Press is a family-run company that focuses on classical Christian education. Their products are used in both private and home schools and has become a favorite among many teachers.

The literature guides encourage an active mind that focuses on vocabulary, spelling, comprehension, and composition.

What is in the literature guide?

The literature guides are filled with a ton of information!
Student guide, teacher's guide, and the book. All set for learning!

There is TONS of background information in the guides in the appendix. 

There are even some recipes to try!
In the Farmer Boy study guide there are lessons that correlate to each chapter in the book, quiz reviews and quizzes, vocabulary crosswords and a final test, plus great information in an appendix. The appendix of Farmer Boy includes a biographical sketch on Laura Ingalls Wilder, a 19th Century Primer, Farm Machinery of the 1800s, Clothing of the 1800s, a recipe for bird's next pudding, plus two poems.

The teacher guide had all the above plus all the answers.  There was also an additional section of quizzes and tests that are reproducible. There are also suggestions on how to use the guide in the beginning of the book.

How we used it:

Sebastian, reading Farmer's Boy.
Each lesson is a chapter in the book, so the first thing we would do is read through the lesson. It includes reading notes with words and definitions in the chapter, vocabulary, and comprehension questions. After we read through that together, I let Sebastian read the chapter on his own. After he finished we would go over the vocabulary and comprehension questions. He would use the student book with blanks while I had the teacher's book with the answers in it for ease. Finally we would read through the quotations, go over the discussion questions, and there was always some sort of enrichment activity to finish out the chapter. Sebastian's favorite was in chapter two he drew a map of the Wilder barnyard. Also, after chapter 10 there was section to develop elements of literature and there was a drawing page for him to illustrate his favorite chapter so far. He LOVES drawing, so having these opportunities made him enjoy it even more.

At first I had Sebastian writing in the book himself, but he HATES writing and was dreading doing the reading lessons. Instead of having him write, he would dictate to me and I would write it down for him, but only for the comprehension questions. I would have him do the vocabulary and enrichment parts himself so that he was doing part of it himself.

I chose to have him take the three quizzes and test orally instead of writing them out, but that was only because of his hate of writing. I also didn't have him do the vocabulary crossword because he hates crossword puzzles, but that is his issue. Perhaps next year I would have him write more and get him to start writing out the comprehension questions on his own, but for now his handwriting is the weakest part of his school day so I make exceptions for him when possible.

I liked the elements of literature pages that were sprinkled throughout the guide that introduced the students to character, setting, and plot.

What are the other guides like?

A Bear Called Paddington is a short book, and the guide is shorter because of it. It still follows the same formula of reading notes, vocabulary, comprehension questions, quotations, discussion questons, and enrichment for each chapter. The appendix includes a map of London and a recipe for Marmalade! There are only two quizzes and a test since the book is shorter and there aren't any literary elements so it would be a good starter book.

Charlotte's Web has a biographical sketch on E.B.White, information on spiders, three correlated poems (one by E.B. White!), and a diagram of a spider. This lends itself to adding in science with the book to create a cross-subject unit. In this guide, there are literary element pages as well as a storyboard to help the students put the events of the previous chapters in order.

Mr. Popper's Penguins guide doesn't include quotations or discussion questions so it is a bit more simplified. There are activity suggestions for each chapter that look fun! Some activities include drawing a picture of penguins walking to the bus stop, reading about trains, and learning about polar bears. There are also "honors activity" pages which are like the literary elements pages in the Farmer Boy guide. In the honors activity pages there are identifying quotations, studying characters, and noticing details as well as illustrating favorite scenes in the book.

If I were to suggest an order, I would start with A Bear Called Paddington, then move on to Mr. Popper's Penguins, Charlotte's Web, and finish the year with Farmer Boy. It seems like each guide gets a little more in depth and asks for a little more from the students.

Memoria Press Literature Guides Review

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