Tuesday, January 10, 2012

TOS Crew: Zeezok Publishing Z-Guide to the Movies

I was so glad to get another opportunity to review Zeezok's Z-Guide to the Movies. 
When the Crew reviewed Z-Guides last year, I chose a movie that I thought the girls would like (and that happened to fit some of the topics we were already studying), and that I thought I'd be able to find in our local library system (1,000s of videos). I was wrong on both counts.

This year, as I combed through the list of movie titles, I found a movie that is already a favorite around here, as well as fits our current history studies: The Adventures of Robin Hood. This is the 1938 version with the swash-buckling Errol Flynn.

Z-Guides offer ways to incorporate movies into your learning activities, and are available for elementary, middle, and high school-level students in a variety of subjects and historical periods. Robin Hood is a 32-page activity guide for high school students, covering the following topics:

- Medieval English history
- Ethnic Conflict
- Chivalry
- Civil Disobedience

You'll find helpful planning material in the Z-Guide, including an introductory "How to Use this Guide" with a suggested 5-day plan, a "Topic Overview" that briefly discusses the historical period during which the movie is set, and a movie synopsis.

The unit includes movie review questions, designed to be answered while watching the movie, research questions for delving deeper. and family discussion questions. Other activities touch on language arts (writing, word search puzzle), developing and practicing a physical skill, and repairing relationships. Students will also explore the worldview put forth in the movie. An answer key is included with suggested answers.

Our girls have watched The Adventures of Robin Hood many times, and enjoyed the special features on the DVD that give a peek behind the scenes and discuss the historical setting. Zeezok's Z-Guide has given them a chance to delve a little deeper, and analyze instead of passively watching (maybe "passively" isn't quite the right word, considering the bouncing and shrieking that can be heard at various points in the viewing). The Z-Guide's activities make more of the movie, without adding oppressively to an already heavy high school workload, actually adding a bit of fun to the study. It is not an entire history curriculum, nor is it meant to be, but makes for a diverting supplement.

Get a more in-depth discussion of Z-Guides here, and download a sample 37-page PDF unit at this link.

Pricing and availability

The Adventures of Robin Hood Z-Guide to the Movies is available at the Zeezok website as a PDF download or on a CD-Rom. A single license is $12.99, or a license for co-op/classroom use is $49.99. You can also buy the DVD of the movie through Zeezok for $12.98.

Check out the other Z-Guides to the Movies and other Zeezok products at the Zeezok company webpage. (Ooo! I just looked, and I'm excited to see that they offer an audio book of one of our favorites, The Shining Sword!) Zeezok also has a FaceBook page where you can read more about new products and get news of special offers.

Read more TOS Crew reviews of Zeezok's Z-Guides to the Movies at this link.

Disclaimer: Our family received The Adventures of Robin Hood Z-Guide to the Movies by PDF download for review purposes. No additional compensation was involved.

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