This post is a review of the 7th Grade Literature Guide Set from Memoria Press. For this review I received both the teacher and student guide for Anne of Green Gables, The Trojan War, The Bronze Bow and the The Hobbit.
Olivia had seen snippets of the The Hobbit movie during visits with extended family, and she wasn't at all thrilled about this book choice at the beginning because, based on the movie, she was expecting a horror story. However, when she read the introduction of J.R.R. Tolkien in the front of her student book, she instantly liked and connected with him because of his tour of duty during World War I. She seemed to be very intrigued to learn that his writing became his method of escape from the horrors of war. Once she began reading the book and studying it, she began to realize what a gem it really is, and that the book is SO much better than the movie.
I like the selections of vocabulary words and quotations for each chapter, both of which cause the student to have to pay attention as they read in order to answer the questions. The comprehension questions give the reader a challenge, but aren't worded in a tricky way, so the student really does know what they are asking. Discussion questions give the student and teacher/parent opportunity to see things that the other has picked up on, that they may have missed on their own. The enrichment activities can be a bit more involved and time consuming, so we didn't do all of those activities during this particular review. For example at the end of Chapter 9, the student is asked to rewrite the chapter if the characters had chosen a different path. One of Olivia's favorite activities was deciphering message written in the Runic Alphabet.
In addition to the answers to the student study guide, the teacher guide also offers quizzes, maps and both a midterm and final exam. Combined with the deep study of the book and characters, this completes a thorough study that should take 6-7 weeks to complete. The student comes away with a much deeper understanding of not only the story line, but also the accompanying geography and a personal knowledge of each character.
Anne of Green Gables is set up similarly. One of my favorite differences is that this study has "Expressions for Discussions" that allows the student to look into some of the wonderful expressions of the main characters, and we all know Anne is FULL of expression, grins. There is also a supplemental reading section in the back of the student study guide that offers complimentary poetry from well known authors. Additionally there is a scripture reference guide and Shakespearean reference guide as well.
The Trojan War follows the same general format, but does offer a pronunciation guide to help students work through some of those trickier words and names. Likewise, The Bronze Bow follows the same format, but is a much shorter study (as it's a shorter book and easier read). I'd suggest you use this as the first book in the series to get off on a good foot and get the student used to the program before tackling the harder/longer books.
The completion of this four book literature guide set would give your student and excellent, full credit literature course for the year.
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