The product I am reviewing today fits nicely into a unique corner of the homeschooler's curriculum bookshelf (or, if you are like me, a series of bookcases!). Zeezok Publishing market a variety of products for homeschooling families, including American Government, Literature, Character Building, Great Musicians, Penmanship and their z-guides to the Movies. The z-guide I am reviewing today corresponds with the movie "12 Angry Men" (1957) starring Henry Fonda (which is a fantastic movie, if you've never seen had the pleasure of viewing it).
Each z-guide contains a topic overview, movie synopsis, and 10 additional learning activities. The films are carefully chosen for their historical context, so you need not worry that you are watching movies instead of "doing school"! The topic overview helps set the film in it's historical context and provides background information to enhance your student's study. The movie synopsis is simply a brief, detailed explanation of the movie's storyline. And the 10 learning activities are tailored to the subject matter from each film.
The student(s) watch the film the first time through and answer some movie review questions - this assignment could be divided over several days if need be; however, it probably works best when the film is viewed in one sitting and the questions are answered shortly thereafter. After this initial viewing of the film, the assignments vary from one z-guide to another, but in the case of "12 Angry Men" the learning activities focused primarily on judicial procedures and moral societal issues such as capital punishment, social justice and U.S government. There was also plenty of focus on the movie making process, which my 10th grade daughter appreciated as much of the character development can be applied to her aspirations as a novelist. Some of the activities required the use of outside resources, such as the Internet or a visit to the library ~ however, I don't know many homeschool moms who fail stop by their local library on a regular basis and as for Internet access, well, anyone reading this review has the Internet available to them, right?!
There were some memorization activities included in the z-guide for "12 Angry Men" - and I must say, the quotes they found for student's to memorize were fantastic! My personal favorites were a quote by Atticus Finch of "To Kill A Mockingbird" fame and Portia from Shakespeare's "The Merchant of Venice". If you have not read "To Kill A Mockingbird" (the only novel ever penned by "Nell" Harper Lee) or "The Merchant of Venice" I recommend you grab a copy of Miss Lee's book at the library (moms read this book first - some of the subject matter may not be suitable for younger children) and start your children on Shakespeare by reading "Charles and Mary Lamb's Book of Shakespeare".
You might also want to look at Zeezok Publishing's website for their z-guide that corresponds with the film version of "To Kill A Mockingbird" (starring Gregory Peck). Visit them online here: www.ZeezokPublishing.com
When visiting their website, you can find a complete listing of all available z-guides to the Movies in the "Product" section on the left-hand side of the home page. Some of the z-guides I hope to acquire include "A Man For All Seasons", "Guess Who's Coming to Diner?", "Kit Kittredge" (for my younger students!), "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington", "Sergeant York", and of course "To Kill A Mockingbird". Each of the DVDs is available at their website, which makes for easy one-stop shopping. The z-guide for "12 Angry Men" sells for $12.99 and the DVD costs $15.98. (As always, I received this product free of charge for review purposes).
I can't say there was much about this resource that I didn't like, and my 10th grade daughter likes the movie "12 Angry Men" very much; doing these assignments was enjoyable for her and it was a unique way to learn about our judicial system.
Check out Zeezok Publishing's website (www.ZeezokPublishing.com) and see if they have something unique and educational for your homeschool needs!
Day 88 done :)
Jan L. Burt