For 5th grade, I had most of PB & J Girl’s curriculum, but I was missing literature. Luckily, a Memoria Press review came up for their Fifth Grade Literature Guide Set, and we happily decided to try it out.
The Fifth Grade Literature Guide Set includes teacher’s manuals, student workbooks for three different books, and the novels:
- The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
- Lassie Come-Home
We liked it so much, we will continue to use it throughout fifth grade.
About Memoria Press
Memoria Press offers a variety of classical education products for students from Preschool to 12th grade. They also have a special needs division. We really enjoy Memoria Press products and have had the pleasure of previously reviewing several of their items:
About the Fifth Grade Literature Guide Set
For review purposes, we received the teacher guides and student study guides, but not the novels.
We started with The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe because I already had that book at home.
About the Student Study Guide
The Student Study Guides are consumable and meant to be used by one child. The guide takes students through the novel, chapter by chapter. Each guide section for one chapter includes:
Reading Notes (usually vocabulary that is defined)
Vocabulary (students read a word in context and decide what the meaning might be)
Comprehension Questions (to be completed in complete sentences)
Quotation (these are important quotations either from the author or the novel)
Discussion Questions (these are deeper questions and there are usually two or three)
Enrichment (activities that help the student delve further into the book and make connections outside the book. Some enrichment activities ask the children to draw a picture about a scene in the story, or to refer to a Bible passage to connect what is happening in the story, or to look up allusions made in the story, etc.)
About the Teacher Guide
The Teacher Guide includes many of the same sections as the Student Study Guide:
Answers to All Sections Except the Discussion Questions
Appendix (The appendix includes maps related to the stories and answers to the Discussion Questions)
Quizzes & Final Test (these are reproducible for classroom use and cover four chapters at a time) as well as a Quiz and Test Answer Guide
In general, I didn’t use the Teacher Guide much, but I did use it some times when a question was particularly difficult. Otherwise, since I was reading the story aloud to the girls, I already knew the answers. If you’re having your child work independently reading the story and completing the Student Study Guide, the Teacher Guide would be invaluable.
How We Used the Guides
We read one chapter per sitting and then answered the questions in the Student Study Guide. We read on average, three chapters a week.
My girls love listening to read alouds, but I really enjoyed using the guides because I found that they caused the girls to think more deeply about the story and to find connections within the story and to our world outside the story.
A Few More Notes about the Guides
While you can use these guides independently, as we did, we definitely could have benefited from having Memoria Press’ D’Aulaires Book of Greek Myths as there were quite a few mythology references mentioned in the Student Study Guide for The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.
Things We’d Like to See Improved
Overall, I loved the guides and would highly recommend them to all homeschool parents. However, there were a few minor tweaks I’d like to see made.
First, Memoria Press marks the chapter number at the bottom of the page, but it would be much easier for me if I could flip through the book and see the chapter heading at the top of the Student Study Guide. I could find my place much quicker that way.
Second, some of the discussion questions were challenging, which is good. The discussion questions were the ones that I often turned to the Teacher Guide for guidance. However, initially, I didn’t think Memoria Press provided answers to the the Discussion Questions because I didn’t see them in each chapter in the Teacher Guide. Instead, they’re all in the Appendix. I’m not sure why Memoria Press did this, but I would much prefer they were in the chapter with the rest of the answers in the Teacher Guide.
If you’re looking for a literature curriculum for your children, I’d highly recommend Memoria Press’ Literature Guides.
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