I have to admit that I never really enjoyed book studies. Study guides would take a regularly enjoyable experience of reading a book and ruin it for us. I think I finally found the first study guide we enjoyed. Progeny Press makes book study easy with their Great Expectations E-Guide!
Progeny Press Study guides are designed to help students better understand and enjoy literature by getting them to notice and understand how authors craft their stories and show them how to think through the themes and ideas introduced in the stories.
Great Expectations E-Guide is for high schoolers, but Progeny Press also has guides for Lower Elementary, Upper Elementary, and Middle School so be sure to to read the other reviews to learn the differences between these levels.
We received the Great Expectations Study E-Guide from Progeny Press. The Study Guide opens with Adobe Acrobat Reader and can be printed out for use. Students also have the option of entering their answers on the computer and saving their work in progress. The E-Guide contains 72 pages plus an answer key.
The Study Guide begins with:
- Background on the authors and story
- Prereading suggested activities
The guide is broken up into chapters, for each group of chapters there are questions to go through including:
- Vocabulary activities related to the story
- General content questions
- Literary analysis and terminology questions designed to give students a good understanding of writing technique and how to use it
- Critical analysis questions designed to help students consider and analyze the intellectual, moral, and spiritual issues in the story and weigh them with reference to scripture
The answer key is downloaded separately and has detailed answers to the questions.
How we used it
I was familiar with Progeny Press but had never tried any of their book studies. We love to read together as a family and since I had never read Great Expectations I was excited to dig into this study. I read the book aloud to my kids, ages 13, 16 and 18 and we went over the questions together. To my surprise the vocabulary section was our favorite. Not all the vocabulary sections were the same but our favorite was when a passage was given out of the book using the vocabulary word. We were to give the definition and use it in a sentence. We were lambing at the time and our minds were on the sheep and our experiences with them so all of our sentences were about sheep and would build on each other. We had so much fun coming up with the next sentence using the new vocabulary word.
“The new lamb greatly augmented the ewes consternation when it began to assail her prodigious udder for the first time.”
I would share more, but I’m thinking you would have to raise sheep to fully understand the humor! 🙂 We laughed so hard, and the best part is we were learning at the same time.
General questions were asked about what happened in the chapters as well. The kids enjoyed the competition of who could answer first. We also liked to read the answers given in the answer guide. These answers would help us to think of things we had not thought of when reading/listening to the book.
The analysis section helped us to learn about writing styles and why Dickens used them in his writing. Comic relief was our favorite and was an unexpected part of Great Expectations that we truly enjoyed.
The digging deeper section was just the silver lining to this whole experience. In this section we talked about certain aspects of the story, digging deeper into what we personally felt about what is happening in the book, applying it to our lives and digging into the Bible to see what God has to say about it.
The study guide encouraged us to talk about the expectations of the characters in the story and how these expectations effected them. These are things we most likely would not have thought about at all if wasn’t for the study guide and we appreciated how it tied everything together in the book and made us think.
At the end of the study guide there is a list of Books of Related Interest, we are perusing these books for our next study. We all loved the book Great Expectations by Charles Dickens and the Study Guide by Progeny Press helped the book mean even more to us. I highly recommend heading over to Progeny Press and picking out a book to study together as a family!
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