Friday, April 1, 2011

Going to the Movies? Try a ZGuide from Zeezok Publishing!

ZGuide to the movies by Zeezok
Sergeant York
Grades 9-12
World War I
Meuse-Argonne Campaign
Personal Beliefs about Warfare
Maturity and Family Responsibilities

Joining me for this review are guest posters: Poppy and Tex

The WWI classic, Sergeant York, starring Gary Cooper, and the supplementary ZGuide

Heather says: I chose to review ZGuide for the movie Sergeant York because of Tex's recent interest in WWI (thanks to the history lessons on Time4Learning and extensive conversations with his father), and the fact that I knew this movie was a favorite of my dad's. Because my dad likes the movie (he and my mom watch old war movies checked out from their library regularly), and has expressed an interest in helping with the kids' homeschooling in any way he can, I asked him to be the one to view the movie with Tex, and then talk with him about it afterwards. Then I planned to follow up with Tex by completing some of the additional activities available in the ZGuide with him on a later date.

Now, I will let you hear from my dad, otherwise known as "Poppy." It's all yours, guys!

Poppy says: "Sergeant York is a classic World War I movie based on the true story of Alvin York. It is one of my favorites, especially since it is a movie about faith. Heather asked me if I would watch it with Tex for this review and I was glad to do that with him. Tex and the family came over one afternoon, and while the ladies enjoyed an afternoon at the Antique Mall, the guys got comfortable and settled in to watch this film.

Heather printed up the Zeezok ZGuide for us, and Tex and I flipped through it before the movie began. I had Tex read the movie synopsis and comprehension questions first, so he'd know what to expect. He made a guess that the questions (there are 25 of them) were in order of the movie sequence, and he was right. That made it easy for him to follow along and answer them as the movie progressed. The folks who made this guide obviously put a lot of work into it and were smart to organize them in sequential order so the student could concentrate on getting the message of the movie instead of having to scramble to find the answers and getting distracted.

In my opinion, they asked the correct questions to point the student in the right direction for comprehending and understanding the movie's plot, theme, and worldview. They discussed devices such as foreshadowing, as well as pointing out the minor discrepancies between the real life story and the movie's plot. I appreciated that several of the questions focused on details that show his spiritual journey from being a trouble-maker, to becoming a Christian and a conscientious objector, through the process of his soul-searching about how to reconcile his peaceful beliefs with the harsh realities of war and "rendering unto Ceasar..." This decision ultimately led to a tremendous battlefield victory and the saving of many lives for the US.

I believe the questions definitely helped Tex understand the movie better, and it facilitated and deepened our discussion of it afterwards. I think the preview information, such as the synopsis of the movie and the brief overview of World War I were also beneficial. The follow up activities look interesting, and I look forward to seeing what Tex thinks about them.

Heather says: Before I wrote up this review, I asked Tex for his opinions about the ZGuide and the movie. Well, instead of opinions, what I got was a ten to fifteen minute lesson about WWI, a lengthy and detailed synopsis of the plot of the movie, a lesson on much of the weaponry used in the battles, and an overview of his plan to work to earn the money to buy a Wii for the family (developing a budget was one of the activities in the ZGuide). I think that the fact that he chose to share all his newfound knowledge with me rather than spout off a few carefully chosen polite phrases is very telling...obviously (to me anyway) the ZGuide was a great success. It accomplished its purpose and helped use the movie to teach Tex MANY (not just one) valuable lessons about WWI, practicality, and morality. That's a BIG two-thumbs-up from me!!

Tex says: I thought the movie guide was a great way to help me get more out of the movie. I liked the information I read about the movie ahead of time. It helped me know what to expect, so I didn't feel like I had no idea what was going on. Talking about it with Poppy, and later my dad, also helped me to understand the situations on the movie more completely. I also enjoyed doing research on my own later. The only thing I had trouble with was that since the movie was older, some of the references were harder to find. But I did find all the answers eventually, and my mom had the answer key, just in case. One last comment I have is that I thought it was interesting that if you look at a picture of the real Alvin York, he looks nothing like Gary Cooper! I just thought that was kind of funny.

Tex working on some of the follow-up questions in his brother's room.

Some of Tex's internet research.

The movie synopsis and general overview of WWI included in the packet.

A mapping activity included in the packet.

Page One of the Comprehension Questions and a Worldview Activity.

The budgeting activity and a word search for fun.

There is much more to the 34 page Sergeant York ZGuide than what I have shown you here. Each ZGuide is available on CD for the reasonable price of $12.99. They will soon be available for instant download as ebooks.

Here is a listing of the Table of Contents:
  1. How to use this Guide
  2. Topic Overview
  3. Activity 1: Movie Review Questions
  4. Activity 2: President Wilson's War Message to Congress
  5. Avtivity 3: Word Search Puzzle
  6. Activity 4: Geography Map
  7. Activity 5: Economics Project: Saving
  8. Activity 6: Exchange Activity
  9. Activity 7: World War I Poster Art Project
  10. Activity 8: Weapons of WWI
  11. Activity 9: Worldview Activity
  12. Activity 10: The Filmmaker's Art
  13. For Family Discussion
  14. Additional Resources for Further Study
  15. Answer Key
I chose to not have Tex do every activity. I allowed him to choose one activity other than the Comprehension Questions, Worldview Activity, Mapping Activity, and Economics Activity which I required. Do you think he chose to read President Wilson's speech? No. Do you think he chose to design a WWI poster? No. What did he choose...guess...yes, he's all boy. He chose to do the Weapons of WWI activity.

Here it is:
  He chose this particular gun as the most important weapon because it was used throughout the war, and apparently had many forms for many uses. Don't ask eyes kind of glazed over when he got into the details of the weaponry, but suffice to say, he researched and developed his own opinion, and could defend it in detail...and that, I believe, is the goal of higher-level learning. Good job, Zeezok!
  • If you are interested in checking out the Zeezok site, click HERE.
  • If you'd like to see a list of the available ZGuides, click HERE.
  • If you'd like to check out the ZGuide for Sergeant York, click HERE.
  • Zeezok also sells the movie, which you can get HERE.
  • A ZGuide to another WWI movie, Flyboys, is available HERE.
  • For updates, you can LIKE Zeezok on Facebook HERE.
  • To see what other members of the TOS Crew thought of other ZGuides, click HERE.


I received an ebook copy of the ZGuide for the movie Sergeant York in exchange for my honest review here on my blog. The opinions you read here are a reflection of our experiences with this product. I do not guarantee that yours will be the same as mine, but I did feel this product was a good one, or I would not recommend it to you. If you have questions I did not answer here, please feel free to contact me.

Alvin York Trivia: Alvin York named four of his seven children after famous people. Who were they?

Answer: Woodrow Wilson, Andrew Jackson, Thomas Jefferson, and Betsy Ross.

**If you'd like to learn more about Alvin York, here is an interesting site we came across...Alvin York, In the Lion's Den

I received an ebook copy of the ZGuide for the movie Sergeant York in exchange for my honest review here on my blog. The opinions you read here are a reflection of our experiences with this product. I do not guarantee that yours will be the same as mine, but I did feel this product was a good one, or I would not recommend it to you. If you have questions I did not answer here, please feel free to contact me.


Loretta said...

Great review. I like how you were able to involve your father; he seems like a very insightful person, based on his comments.

Denise said...

Heather, what a great review! And how neat to have your father and son watch it together!

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