Monday, January 9, 2012

Z-Guide to the Movies – Johnny Tremain (TOS Review)



Once again, the TOS review is privileged to review a Z-Guide to the Movies from Zeezok Publishing.   Last year we were excited  to review the Z-Guide to Kit Kittredge – you can  see that review HERE.  This year we chose the Z-Guide to Johnny Tremain, which fit well with our focus on American History this year.



From the Zeezok website:

If your student enjoys watching movies, we just made it easy for you to incorporate them into your curriculum. We have dozens of guides— each of them falling within a specific time in history. All of the guides contain ten educational activities that build upon the movie. The guides are movie specific. We tell you exactly which movie we used, and almost all are available thru Netflix. Most you can probably get through your local library. So you don’t even need to buy the movie to use our guides!

The Z-Guides are unit studies built around movies, which are provided as a CD containing a .pdf of the complete study guide or as a downloadable e-book (each selling for $12.99).  Each guide is written for a specific version of the movie The Z-Guide to Johnny Tremain is based on the 1957 Walt Disney Pictures version of the movie. 


We found a copy of the movie at our library, but often the movies are available on Netflix.

The guides include a topic overview, a movie synopsis, ten learning activities (together with an answer key in the back!) for in-depth study of the topics covered in the movie, and (my favorite last year,  and still my favorite this year) a "For Family Discussion" question list.   The guide is designed for use over five days.  On the first day, it’s best to read the review questions then watch the movie in its entirety and answer the review questions.   There are two suggested activities per day:

Day 1:

Activity 1: Movie Review Questions
Activity 2: More about the Boston Tea Party

Day 2:

Activity 3:  Crossword Puzzle
Activity 4: American Revolution Coloring Pages

Day 3:

Activity 5: More about the Battles of Lexington and Concord
Activity 6: More about Colonial Apprenticeships

Day 4:

Activity 7:  Mr. James Otis’s Pamphlet
Activity 8: Literary Devices:  Patrick Henry Speech

Day 5:

Activity 9: Worldview
Activity 10: Memorization Section – Declaration  of Independence



Affordability – at $12.99, it’s a great investment which adds significant educational value to a movie. 

This guide is a great addition to a study of the time period around the American Revolution.

The variety of activities keeps the study interesting.

Love the activity requiring memorization of the Declaration of Independence! 

The research activity questions can’t be answered by the movie itself, so it’s a great opportunity for students to learn research skills.


As with last year’s review of the Kit Kittredge guide, I believe a list of accompanying websites would be extremely helpful, and I wish the guides would include suggestions for younger students.


The study allows you to pick/choose the activities to do.  Be aware, though, that some of the activities are lengthy (there are 25 questions in Activity 1!), so two activities a day might be too much, depending (of course) on your children.  We took two weeks to do this study, because I wanted the girls to get the most out of each activity and not be rushed.

Note the following license info from their website:  "This file is licensed to the original purchaser and is not to be resold. Permission is not granted for classroom, district-wide, school-wide, system-wide, or co-op use."

Note the movie is not included with the guide.  Zeezok Publishing also offers the movies (and appears to have very competitive prices), or you can purchase/borrow them elsewhere.   Each Z-Guide indicates on the front which version of the movie is best used with the guide.


Read more about the general organization and contents of Z-Guides HERE.

Check out the rest of the products offered by Zeezok Publishing.

Read about Zeezok Publishing HERE.

Read the FAQ HERE.


Contact the company via e-mail HERE or by telephone at (800) 749-1681.


As with last year’s review, we really enjoyed this Z-Guide, and I plan to purchase more.


My crew mates reviewed this and other Z-Guides.  To see those reviews, click here. For giveaways, other product reviews and other fun things, follow the 2011-2012 TOS Homeschool Crew blog at:

Disclaimer: As part of the 2010-2011 TOS Homeschool Review Crew, I received the product described in this review at no cost in exchange for my fair, honest and unbiased (and not necessarily positive) review. No other compensation was received.

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