One of the earliest classics I read was David Copperfield by Charles Dickens. Of course, it whet my whistle for more Dickens. I’ve tried to expose Josiah to some of Dickens’ favorites. Recently, I got a chance to review the Great Expectations E-Guide from Progeny Press.
Personally, I don’t think that students our exposed to enough of the great works. And even if they do read a classic it’s in just bits and pieces. Great Expectations is full of all the wonderful components that make it a great classic.
A young boy, Pip, lives with his sister and her husband, Joe. Now Joe is a kind soul…whereas his sister is a piece of work. One night, while visiting his mother’s grave, Pip is accosted by a criminal on the lam. Pip helps this criminal, but later he is captured and put on a prison ship.
So it begins. We are introduced to memorable characters. Miss Havishim is one of those tragic Dicken’s characters who frankly gives me the willies. I won’t give the whole plot away because I want to talk to you about Progeny Press’s E-Guide.
This E-Guide is intended for High School students. It is 72 pages and comes in an interactive PDF file. The interactive features allows students to type their answers into the document itself. The whole study is supposed to take around 8-10 weeks. We are told that going through one of these guides constitutes ¼ High School Credit. It wouldn’t be too difficult to complete 4 in a school year (Progeny Press has a variety of choices) to earn a full High School credit. I also received an Answer Key (PDF file) which is pretty handy to have around.
I’ve mentioned before that I enjoy these interactive guides for Josiah because it lessens the stress of handwriting. He is dyslexic and has dysgraphia. Generally, for novels like Great Expectations I will read it aloud or (my favorite) find a good audio version.
This guide starts with an overview, as well as a brief synopsis of the book. It has some great information about Charles Dickens, who is a fascinating character in my opinion. Also included is background information about the time period this book was written or set. For example, the Industrial Revolution gave the rise to the Middle Class in Great Britain and around the world. The Upper Class in the story come across as foolish and irrelevant in changing society.
There are also suggested pre-reading activities. They will appeal to a variety of interests. Josiah has expressed interest in the activity that involves researching blacksmithing.
The E-Guide then follows the story and helps the student navigate the book by breaking it down through a variety of activities.
Each section covers:
· general comprehension questions
· discussion and critical thinking questions
· literary terms and analysis
· "digging deeper"
· optional activities - writing, creating, and research ideas.
One of my favorite sections is the Digging Deeper portion. Progeny Press is a Christian company and I love that Scripture is used to put things into context. I love that! This isn't just an answer a few questions about the story...it really challenges the student!
Another part of the guide I appreciate is one you will find with no other novel. After all, this book is called Great Expectations. The guide helps the student think about those expectations in every lesson.
There are plenty of other activities that will help keep your student challenged and always engaged.
Your actors, artists, writers, researchers and history enthusiasts will enjoy the projects listed in the Final Projects and Essays portion. There is also an overview that can count as the student's final.
The Great Expectations E-Guide is a thorough and thoughtful study. I wouldn't expect anything less from Progeny Press. This link will take you to a sample of the guide. I know you will be impressed!
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