Bookworm loves history, and the girls have recently taken to listening intently to audio dramas.  When we had the chance to review The Dragon and the Raven, a product that combines the kids’ two loves, we jumped at the chance.  Once again, Heirloom Audio Productions has not disappointed with a high quality, suspenseful audio drama.

About The Dragon and the Raven

The Dragon and the Raven {Heirloom Audio Productions Review}

In this new production, which is based on G.A. Henty’s story and is suitable for kids ages 4+, it is the 9th century, and the Danes are taking over England.  Several kings have been killed, and finally, King Alfred is in power.  Can he defeat the Danes?

The story follows two boys, Edmund and Harold.  Edmund’s father is a famous fighter, but when he’s no longer able to fight, Edmund finds himself in a very important role in the fight against the Danes.

What We Received

As part  of our review, we received the following items:

The Dragon and the Raven Audio CD.  The case is tri-fold and contains 2 CDs as well as a pamphlet about Heirloom Audio Productions’ other amazing audio stories.

The Dragon and the Raven Study Guide.

The Dragon and the Raven MP3 Set.

The Dragon and the Raven E-Book.  Read G.A. Henty’s book complete with new, colorful graphics.

Official MP3 Soundtrack.  This contains all of the original music by Emmy-winning composer, John Campbell.

Printable Cast Poster.  This poster is 24″ x 36″ and professionally designed.

Inspirational Verse Poster.  In the audio drama, King Alfred quotes Psalms 21:31, which is printed here.

Live the Adventure Letter.  This is a website that is meant to inspire Christian families.  Some of the current articles there include, “Alfred the Great–A True Hero We All Need,” and “Three Essentials for Every Homeschool.”  This site has a parent section full of fascinating information!

Behind the Scenes Video.  This video was so fun!  At approximately 50 minutes in length, it shows the viewers snippets of the recording and also features interviews with the actors as they discuss the film and their roles.

How We Used This Program in Our Homeschool

In the afternoon, the kids and I listened to about two to three tracks a day.  Tracks are between 2 and 10 minutes long.  We could have gone at a faster pace, but I wanted Bookworm to have time to answer some of the study guide questions every day.  The girls are only 5 and 7, but they loved listening to this drama, as did Bookworm and I.  It is very suspenseful!

The study guide really helps make the audio drama even more of a learning experience.  At 49 pages, this is a rich resource.  Each track of the audio drama has a study guide section.

IMG_7364Each track has the following sections to the study guide:

Listening Well.  Students are given a series of questions that will let parents know if they’ve been listening.  In most sections, there are between 5 and 13 questions.  These are fairly easy to answer if the child has been listening.

Thinking Further.  These questions ask the child to dig deeper.  For instance, for track 10 on disc 1, this is one of the questions, “As a child, Alfred read and memorized poetry.  Does this seem at odds with his future role as a warrior and a king?  Why or why not?”  There are usually three to six of these types of questions.

Defining Words.  These are words used in the story for the student to define.  Some sample words are “confluence” and “balustrade.”

At the end of the study guide, there is a page of resources for learning more about Alfred the Great, which would be excellent resources for turning this into a unit study!

There is also a three part Bible study covering the following topics:  God’s Law and the Nations, Love Your Enemy, and Literacy.

Finally, there is a page with a brief history of Britain and England and a page about Alfred the Great: A Legacy of Literacy, Law, and Liberty.

Clearly, a lot of work went into making this production and the study guide.

Our Opinion of This Product

Simply put, we loved this latest audio drama from Heirloom Audio Productions.  This isn’t the first time we’ve reviewed their items.  We reviewed With Lee in Virginia last year and loved that one just as much as this one.

In fact, next year Bookworm will be studying the middle ages, and I’m saving this for him to listen to again and complete in even more depth.

To learn more about Heirloom Audio Productions, find them on these social media sites:

Facebook:  Heirloom Audio

Twitter:  Heirloom Stories

Instagram:  HeirloomAudioOfficial

I was one of 100 people chosen to review this CD.  To hear more opinions, click on the link below.

The Dragon and the Raven {Heirloom Audio Productions Review}

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