Friday, April 1, 2011

Zeezok - ZGuide to the Movies - My Side of the Mountain - TOS Review

My Side of the Mountain
Z-guide to the Movies CD
Zeezok Publishing, LLC,
PO Box 1960, Elyria, OH 44036   (800) 749-1681

Z-Guide to the Movies – My Side of the Mountain
Written by Tim Spickler, M.Ed.
ISBN 97801061006-002-8
Copyright Zeezok Publishing, LLC 2010

While looking for something new to do with my teenage daughter, I recently revisited an old movie favorite of mine, My Side of the Mountain, based on the book by Jean Craighead George.  It's a story about a boy named Sam Gribley, who wants to escape the big-town life in Toronto, and his wilderness experience.  Sam considers Henry David Thoreau (writer, poet, naturalist) to be his hero.  After leaving a note for his parents, Sam rides a bus to the small town of Knowlton, Quebec with his pet raccoon Gus. Sam has a goal of living by himself, off the land, for a year to learn more about nature, himself, and algae.  As pre-1840 fur trade reenactors our family has learned and used a lot of survival skills while out "in camp" so this story was a fun one to look at closer. 

After we had great fun watching the movie, we spent some quality time learning more about the film and some of the movie topics through the use of a Zeezok Publishing Z-Guide to the movie.  I received this guide free from Zeezok to use and review for this blog post. 

The guide contains a topic overview, movie synopsis, and ten learning activities. We learned more about Henry David Thoreau and peregrine   falcons, made a plan for our own wilderness adventure, complete with a self-designed shelter for living out in the wild) and talked about the good and bad experiences that led to Sam's choices in the movie.  We discussed the pros and cons of hunting, with a gun and with a falcon.  Later we'll be discussing Thoreau and   "civil disobedience".  At the end of the Guide there is a helpful bibliography list with suggested resources for additional reading and study.  We'll being looking at those resources in days to come.  We'll be doing some further nature study (when the snow ever quits, heavy sigh)  and hopefully some journaling.  I'm hoping we'll have a chance to find out more about Thoreau and his writings as well as the areas mentioned in Canada.

The Z-Guide for My Side of the Mountain contains a Table of Contents, a How to Use This Guide
Topic Overview and more including: Movie Review Questions, More about Henry David Thoreau, Surviving/Thriving in the Wilderness, Design Your Own Wilderness Home, More on the Peregrine Falcon, My Side of the Mountain Alternative Ending, Spelling/Grammar Activity, My Side of the Mountain Personal Nature Walk, Worldview Activity, Civil Disobedience Memorization Passage, My Side of the Mountain Word Search, Family Discussion, Additional Resources for Further Study, Answer Key. 

This Guide is for middle school level students.  The CD contains a printable pdf file of the study guide.  (You have to purchase the movie separately, but Zeezok carries the movie too.)   What a great way to use media with any curriculum -- reading, research, writing, grammar, natural science and survival skills all in one place--and don't forget the great family movie.  The suggested age level appears to be about right due to a few more mature concepts, but I think older students might enjoy this study also.  The student using the Guide is able to get a thorough understanding of the movie and the concepts included while having a bit of creative fun.  We enjoyed this study and may likely pick another movie guide to do later.  The price is reasonable for the varied content and activities at only $12.99.  While Zeezok does sell the movies to go with their guides, I must admit that I purchased mine elsewhere.  I think that this guide would also be good to do again at a later time, when children are a bit older, to further their understanding of some of Thoreau's ideas and writings.  All in all, a thumbs-up at our house.

To visit the Zeezok website for more information about their products click here
To check out this and other Z-Guides click here

**Current Z-Guides include:  Twelve Angry Men, A Man For All Seasons, A Tale of Two Cities, Amazing Grace, Ben Hur, Cromwell, Driving Miss Daisy, Father Goose, Flyboys, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, Inherit the Wind, Jason and the Argonauts, Johnny Tremain, Kit Kittredge, Knights of the Round Table, Les Miserables, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, My Side of the Mountain, One Night With the King, Scarlet Pimpernel, Sergeant York, The Adventures of Robin Hood, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, The Count of Monte Cristo, The Hiding Place, The Red Badge of Courage, The Ten Commandments, and To Kill a Mockingbird.

To see what other TOS crew members thought of this and other Zeezok Z-Guides to the Movies click here

I received this product free from Zeezok to use for the purpose of this review.  Comments and observations are my own.  I am not obligated to give a positive review.  I received no further compensation.


Lisa said...

We reviewed the Kit Kitteredge ZGuide. We just finished reading My Side of the Mountain so we probably would have liked this one too.

I am out on the Blog Walk.

Guiding Light said...

We did this exact same one too, and loved it as well. Stopping by from the Blog Walk. Blessings!

Tess said...

I will keep this study in mind when my daughter reads the book. We'll read the book, watch the movie and then do the zguide!

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