Grade Level: 5-9
History and literature combine in this study of Across Five Aprils. The guide is written by Carol Clark. The focus of Across Five Aprils is one family's trials and struggles through the Civil War. The Progeny Press Study Guide brings the story to life by emphasizing the history behind the story while also revealing elements of literature that the author used to craft her story.
The guide includes instructor notes, synopsis, author notes, and background information. There are pre-reading activities and activities to do during the time when you're reading. Each chapter includes vocabulary, questions about the story, think about it questions, dig deeper questions that acquaint the student with scripture that relates to the story, optional classroom activities, and then the history portion. The end of the book has an overview of the story and writing suggestions.
My Take On It
The guide was well researched and well written. The instructions to the teacher are very clear and helpful. The typeable fill-in-the blanks approach is ideal for those who either do not want to work with paper or perhaps use a portable laptop for learning. I liked the way history and literature were combined to create a balanced approach. Without understanding a bit of the history of a time period, it is difficult to understand a story set in that period. The guide states that it can be used for 5th through 9th graders; however, because of the complexity of the novel, I think that it would be better for 8th and 9th graders. I think it could be used with older students as well.
I reviewed the PDF which had typeable spaces to avoid printing all the pages. Answers could be put directly into the blanks; or, pages could be printed out and filled by hand. Personally, I prefer to use hard copy print books and resources. Maybe I'm a little too twentieth century. Fortunately, this study is available in a print version as well as CD in a .pdf version or an e-mail attachment with the same .pdf version.
If you like the idea of integrating literature and history, you may find that you enjoy this guide. The best idea is to click look inside. You can view several pages of the guide and get a feel for how the material is presented and how the questions are formulated. It can be used with multiple children with a little tweaking.
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Disclaimer: I received this product free in exchange for an honest review.