Progeny Press (Review)

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Text studies are an integral part of the English curriculum once your student reaches high school (grade 7 in Australia).  Finding quality texts to study & complimentary guides that you trust and that come from your world-view is something that I believe is very important.  After all, they say that what you read affects you for the next five years. When I was offered the chance to review  the Carry On, Mr.Bowditch Study Guide by Progeny Press, I thought it was a great opportunity for Zai (13) to study some interesting, classical literature using a guide from a highly reputable source! This Study Guide is specifically for Middle School Students (US) so Zai fits right into that age range!
Progeny Press Review

Carry On, Mr.Bowditch Study Guide is a downloadable, interactive guide to be used in conjunction with the award winning  book of that title by Jean Lee Latham.  Carry On, Mr. Bowditch is a maritime biography about Nathaniel Bowditch's life.   Carry On, Mr.Bowditch Study Guide is a 57 page study guide that includes information on the author, the illustrator & the background of the story.  It also includes a short synopsis.  The student begins with some preactivity exercises which include locating places from the story on a map as well as other interesting & relevant activities.  

Progeny Press Review
The chapters of the study guide each cover two to three chapters from the book.  Each chapter (of the guide) includes a section focused on the vocabulary used in the pages.  As this book was originally written in 1955 with it referring to a time & vocation that most students are not familiar with, correct understanding of the vocabulary within the pages is important. The chapters then include a section on characterization.  This is where the characters within that part of the story are studied.  Their relationships & interactions are observed & their reactions are noted.  The next section contains questions from the story.  These allow the student to answer referring directly to the text.    Thinking about the story is next.  Here the student is encouraged to not just answer questions from the story, but add their own opinions on why they believe something occurred etc. Finally, there is a digging deeper section.  This section encourages the student to really think about what took place within the story.  There is often Biblical references within the questions. 

In the centre of the Study Guide is a short section titled the Mid-reading activity.  This section contains a list of additional activities that the student may wish to complete.  These include a mixture of research activities and mapping activities.  Finally, the study guide concludes with a Summary chapter.  This contains questions pertaining to the story as a whole.  
A sample of the vocabulary questions from chapters 1-3.

We received a download of Carry On, Mr Bowditch Study guide and also the corresponding answer key.  These are separate documents and the student is only to be given access to the study guide.  We did not receive the book Carry On, Mr.Bowditch and had to locate it on our own.  Because this book is award winning, I foolishly assumed our network of libraries that we have access to would have the book.  Unfortunately it didn't.  In fact, I couldn't locate it within Australia and had to get it posted from the US.
Zai has used this study guide.  He has really enjoyed reading the book and is finding the study guide very interesting.  Using this makes him analyse the text more thoroughly than he would usually do so - which is a good lesson for such an avid reader who generally finishes books very quickly. He uses the Study Guide completely on his computer as it allows him to complete the answers on screen. He has been completing approximately two pages a day.   He will continue to use this study guide as his text study for this term.  

Carry On, Mr.Bowditch Study Guide is available from Progeny Press.  
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Progeny Press Review

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