Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Progeny Press ~ Frog and Toad Together {Review}

Over the years I have heard many wonderful things about study guides for books but have never actually used one. When I heard about Progeny Press a Christian Publishing company that produces study guides for literature from a Christian perspective via the crew I just had to give it a try. Their company mission is "To teach our children to think clearly, to understand literature, and to rely on the scripture for truth and values, and enjoy themselves while they do it!"

I am a huge fan of Arnold Lobel's books and so was thrilled to be given a copy of the downloadable Frog and Toad Together - E-Guide to use with Sir N.

What we received

The guide consists of
  • Table of Contents
  • Note to the Instructor - a short note about how the guides are to be used.
  • Synopsis -  A short synopsis of the book the guide is based on.
  • About the Author - a synopsis of the life and work of Arnold Lobel
  • Before you read  activities - these questions helped set our attitude before we started reading the book and helped us discover our own perspective about the issues surrounding friendship.
  • Chapter 1 to 5 This covers the five chapters in the book Frog and Toad Together.
  • Venn Diagram and Word Search
  • Suggestions for Further Reading
  • Answer Key
  • List of available study guides from Progeny Press.

How we used it
I downloaded the guide which arrived in a PDF format (523 KB).  It had a total of 36 pages with a full colour cover.  This PDF is a secured** copy. I printed our copy at home on our printer.

Starting off our study we used the before you read questions to think about friendship. We looked at friendship from two perspectives.  One of ourselves and the other from what we enjoy in our friends. We then took Sir N's bible and had a look at what friendship means from a biblical view from Proverbs. The before you read activity encouraged us to make new friends.

We borrowed Frog and Toad Together (a Newberry Honor book) and Sir N and I took turns reading the stories together. This is a beautiful book illustrating the depth and breadth of friendship in a collection of five adventures that Frog and Toad go on together. Each chapter provides a valuable life lesson for the reader regarding friendship and commitment. After Sir N read the chapter to me I would re-read the chapter to him so he could sit back and enjoy the beautiful illustrations and the sometimes very humorous situations that Frog and Toad find themselves in.

Chapter 2 Sample question page
We then moved to the table and looked through that chapter's study guide questions.  I wanted Sir N to have the opportunity to think and share with me his thoughts so I was the scribe and reader of the guide to him. From the guide I learned to turn to God's word and dig deeper and draw parallel's to what we were reading and learning. Together we learned to think more clearly about the story we were reading together. This had a benefit as Sir N got to look in his own bible to discover more about what God said on the subject. Each scripture reference was followed with thought provoking questions to help the student dig a little deeper and apply the knowledge of what they had just learned both from the Word of God and the book they had just read.

Sample of digging deeper in scripture questions.

Each chapter was then finished off with a fun hands on activity.  Sir N really enjoyed baking biscuits after reading about the Frog and Toads biscuits. There were recommended memory verses and fun projects for each chapter as well.

**Please note if you are taking a secured PDF to print at Office Works the self service machines can not print these correctly.  The staff are very friendly and will help you to print it from the counter.

Cost of Study Guide

All of the guides are available in three different formats: E guide, CD or printed book.

Recommended Age Range
  • K through 2nd grade 
Categories available
Connect with Progeny Press

What we thought
Sir N and I both enjoyed our very first literature study guide together.  I enjoyed the digging deeper questions and watching him grasp the impact upon himself of reading a story had on him. He also enjoyed the hands on projects and some of the further reading and listening suggestions at the end of the book.

This guide was easy to use and there was very little preparation work for me the teacher.  I liked how the layout was easy to follow and simple to use.  

If you are looking for a study guide to use with your children that digs deeper and goes beyond asking mundane questions like who is the main character and what did they do ? A guide that relies on scripture as the plum line. Progeny Press study guides are your answer.

I look forward to using more guides in the future with Sir N.


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