One useful thing I immediately liked about the study guide is that it provides background information that is actually important to the story. The background information is to the point and relevant, rather than rambly and all over the place, something that drives me nuts.
The study guide is a pdf and I read it on the computer. If you prefer, you can print the document out if you like to have something in your hands. You may also want to print it out so your child can write the answers to the questions right on the pages. We did the work orally, as it is too much writing yet for Boobear.
The guide contains pre-reading activities, dictionary work, comprehension questions, and some Bible work. For those who are secular, I would say you could easily skip the Bible bits and just use the rest and have a very complete literature study. You will also find work with vocabulary.
The pre-reading activities are work with maps, work on setting the stage for the story, and recommended books and stories to tell that help set the mood for a medieval story.
You will also find activities for after you read the book. These include such things as making a tower out of clay, a picnic like the one the children went on, and even making a banner like they had in the medieval times. Another suggestion is to have the child do an oral report on something from the Middle Ages.
There are many additional resources and suggestions listed towards the end of the guide. You’ll find a list of books and videos that are all related in some way or at least by the same author. The resource list tells you the publisher and the recommended grade level for the book or video, something that I find to be very helpful.
There is also an answer key at the end if you need it.
I thought that the study guide was laid out very clearly and that the activities were appropriate. While we did the work orally, I did introduce Boobear to the dictionary and we looked up words together. We discussed each question and I got some surprising insights into how his little mind is working.
Boobear liked the predictably of the exercises in the study guide. He knew that if the dictionary was out we’d be working with words. He knew we would be discussing each chapter and he was ready for it. Of course, it helps that he really liked the story too!
The Minstrel in the Tower E-guide is for grades K-3, but Progeny Press has many different study guides for all grade levels. You’ll find guides for Elementary, Middle, and High School. We reviewed just one guide, so make sure you check out the rest of the Crew Reviews to see the rest of them!