Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Review - Z-Guide Jason and the Argonauts

Z-Guide, Jason and the Argonauts
Ages:  Middle/High School
Cost:  $12.99 single-license download
 When I was in high school, I was fascinated by mythology.  The fantastical ways the Greeks and Romans explained their world through the development of numerous gods was intriguing.  It always broke my heart to see how they believed their lives were subject to the whims of the gods.
My two boys are carrying on my fascination with mythology.  They enjoy reading the stories of the antics of the gods and even reading legends from Native Americans and Norse.  Each year, they take the National Mythology Exam given between February and March.
To kick off our studies for the exam, I thought Jason and the Argonauts would be fun.  Zeezok offers movie study guides, Z-Guides, that help students not only study the movie, but understand the concepts presented in the movie.

The first part of the study guide is a set of questions students are to answer while watching the movie.  Since this was the 1963 version, the boys thought the movie itself was hilarious.  Special effects have come a long way since then.  They didn’t really like trying to answer questions while watching – “Mom, just let us pay attention to the movie.”  After a while, they opted to answer the questions after the movie as a good review.  I think in a co-op setting, having them answer questions along with the movie would work better as it would help keep the students concentrated on the movie and not each other.
The accompanying study guide is great.  It allows the student to evaluate the story from many different perspectives.  There are straight forward activities like matching and a crossword, but there are also activities that require the student to think critically.  What if the Argonauts had to go against King Arthur?  If you were in Jason’s shoes, what would you do in several given instances?  What is better – brains or brawn?  If you were sent on this quest today, how you would organize the recovery of the Golden Fleece?  In addition, there are Worldview questions that ask the student to evaluate the circumstances in the movie against his/her own worldview.
Honestly, this was a nice break from literature.  I’m a huge believer in incorporating a lot of literature into our schooling, but having the opportunity to visually experience a story and evaluate it based on the director’s interpretation was a fun approach.  My youngest is very visual – I will look to see if other stories can be incorporated into our lessons as we move forward. 
If you would like to read other reviews of Z-Guides by the Homeschool Crew – click here.
*** I was given this guide free in exchange for my honest review as a part of the TOS Homeschool Crew.

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