My son really enjoyed studying the American Revolution in the last few months, and so we were pleased to have the opportunity to review a Sam the Minuteman Guide from Progeny Press. I was hopeful that this might encourage my rather reluctant reader while also learning more about this historic time.
If you are not familiar with them, Progeny Press has over 100 literature guides, all with a Christian perspective, to choose from for any and all grades imaginable! Their mission is simple,”To teach our children to think clearly, to understand literature, and to rely on the scripture for truth and values, and enjoy themselves while they do it!” Learn more about them here:
Sam the Minuteman is recommended for students in 1st-3rd grades, and accompanies the novel set during the Revolutionary War. The main character is a young boy who witnesses the “Shot Heard ‘Round the World.” What boy would not love this story? TRhe chance to experience the American Revolution through a young boy’s eyes.
We received an instant download of the Progeny Press Study Guide for Sam the Minuteman. All we needed was a copy of the book, a dictionary, a thesaurus, and our Bible. The guide took us about 3 or 4 weeks to complete but we took our time since (again) my son is a very reluctant reader and I wanted this to be an enjoyable experience for him.
The guide begins with introductory elements, a synopsis, information about the author, and pre-reading activities. These activities are designed to help prepare the reader for the study, and give a bit of a picture as to what life was like during that particular time period. There are lots of great activities to do as you progress too from making a map of the city to creating a timeline of significant events; trace the soliders route from Boston through Lexington to Concord and there is even the suggestion (my artistic son loved) to illustrate the story!
Within the guide are so many excellent learning opportunities. These include:
- Vocabulary – I love that this encourages using a dictionary; a skill my son definitely needs. There are about 20 covered in this area.
- Questions – This encourages our kids to focus on details. These may ask about what the minutemen did for a living before goin to fight. Why were the British afraid of the colonists? Many excellent questions to encourage deeper thought too!
- Mystery Words- My son loves puzzles so these were one of his favorite activities. Figure out the word and then describe what it means. There were also many wonderful Bible verses to confirm these words.
- As he learned about courage there was an exercise that encouraged him to think of something that frightens him or something that you may be fearful of trying for one reason or another. Write three or four ways you might try to face this fear and learn courage. Optional but a wonderful way to personalize things.
- Dig Deeper – We love this section too! Bible verses are used to help bring about a greater understanding of the characters and events within the story, also a great way to discuss virtue and character.
Fill in the blanks as a way to remember important words (and parts) of the story. After completing all of the sentences, there is also a crossword puzzle where you enter the words you completed in the paragraph.
Make a Three Cornered Hat; Write a sequel – these are fun iodeas that are encouraged for after you have finished reading. There is even a recipe for how to make your own butter!
This was such an AWESOME way to encourage my son to read while also encouraging him to go a bit deeper. There is such a great variety of activities to encourage learning; no way could anyone get restless using this. And regardless of how your child best learns there is something here for them. I really love the “Dig Deeper” section since I think its a great way for our kids to really go beyopnd just reading the story to making it a real experience, meaningful to their own lives. My oldest loved all the puzzles and crafts in this that were able to keep his hands busy while also allowing him to be creative while he was learning.
There is a wonderful list of resources provided along with the study guide itself. From boks that are of related interest, to others written by the author of the book you studied, these are all ones that we are definitely going to look into. There is even a list of colonial crafts, referencing the Historic Communities series which my son is particularly interested in. I tell you he is beyond creative (must be from his dad since I am lacking in that area myself~ sigh).
These literature guides are available as a physical book, a CD with a PDF ebook, or a downloadable PDF file. These are available for lower and upper elementary, middle school and high school o(some are even interactive!). I believe they have 100+ study guides to choose from! Students can choose to print pages to complete their work (as we did), or they are able to type their answers directly onto a copy of the file. I really cannot say enough how much of a blessing this has been (to me as a momma) to my son especially as he gains a greater appreciation for this one story just with this simple guide! We are definitely going to be using more of these. They are super affordable too, by the way 🙂
Don’t miss out on this fun opportunity to really bring your kids books to life! We are counting our blessings with this one. In fact, my reluctant reader is even looking into the next book and study guide he wants to begin. Thank you Progeny Press for renewing an interest in literature in my boy ❤