Friday, April 1, 2011

TOS Crew Kit Kittredge z-Guide to the Movies Review

Zeezok Publishing
Kit Kittredge z-guide to the Movies CD    
(Guide only.  Movie not included)

Elementary / Junior High

I have been homeschooling my children for almost 9 years.  Zeezok Publishing is a company that I had never heard of before.  Upon visiting their website, I was delighted to read that Zeezok is a company that believes:

""It is better to build children than to repair men."  To that end we strive to provide quality literature and educational books for use in training the next generation.  We trust our products will assist you in developing your family's love for God and country."

This is also the first time I have seen study guides based solely on a movie.

Kit Kittredge
Kit Kittredge

I had the opportunity to choose a Z-guide for review with my 2nd, 4th and 7th graders.  I choose Kit Kittredge not only for the American Girl appeal for my daughter, but, for the study of The Great Depression which is the time period setting of this movie.

Each z-guide contains a topic overview, movie synopsis and ten learning activities for an in-depth study of the film.  The topic overview puts the film in historical context enabling a student with no prior knowledge of the topic important background information - so, you don't have to know everything about a particular time period in order to glean from these guides!  The movie synopsis provides a more detailed overview of the movie's storyline.

While watching the film the first time through, students answer the movie review questions that are provided.  This assignment forces the viewer to become an active learner rather than a passive observer (and aids in retention).  These can be done orally or written on the printed pages.

Nine additional activities are structure around the theme of the movie engaging them through fine arts, research (both book and internet), vocabulary, creative writing/speaking, literary devices, movie making techniques, critical thinking and family discussions that relate to moral or philosophical dilemmas present in the movie.

How to incorporate Kit Kittredge into your study of The Great Depression (from their website):

This guide contains a topic overview, movie synopsis, and ten learning activities based on this family-friendly film. Learn more about the hardships families faced in the Great Depression. Decipher coded messages using hobo signs. Design your own Depression era fashion show. Be a journalist, like Kit, and write a newspaper article. Play “Who Am I?” with your family and friends. Learn Depression-related vocabulary. Distinguish irony from foreshadowing. Determine whether prejudice is ever acceptable. Share personal responses to the “For Family Discussion” questions and experience life in middle America during the worst economic depression in American history.

Movie Summary: Kit Kittredge and her family are simply trying to get through the hardships of the Great Depression in Cincinnati, Ohio. In addition to finding ways to save their home and reunite her family, Kit solves a string of robberies that have been blamed on the hobo community. Moreover, she develops friendships with a variety of unique characters along the way. Kit’s clever thinking and plucky spirit, and the many adventures she encounters with her friends, make this movie (based on the American Girl® book series) a delightful choice for the entire family. Topics: The Great Depression, Hobo Life, Journalism

Zeezok provides a suggested five-day plan for utilizing the entire guide and can easily be modified to fit your family's needs and schedule.

As for our family, the 'Junior High' suggestion didn't slow down my lower elementary and upper elementary kids.  When an activity was a bit too technical for my youngest, we simply slowed down and added explanation OR allowed her to skip it.  Instead of doing the suggested fashion show (which my boys groaned about), my daughter and I had a lot of fun using books from the library and looking on the internet at time period clothing making notes of how styles changed before/during/after the depression.  My boys were content with the other activities.

Zeezok offers a large variety of z-guides for movies  that will add to your study of history and are family friendly.

I definitely see z-guides in our homeschooling future!

Here's what other crew members are saying

I received this z-guide for free in exchange for an honest review.

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