My daughter is an avid reader, but it can be hard to slow her down long enough to really make sure she knows how to dig deeper into what she’s reading. That’s where Memoria Press has done me a great favor by offering the Fifth Grade Literature Guide Set, which we have been using for this review over the past few weeks.
Memoria Press Fifth Grade Literature Guide Set
Memoria Press offers literature guide sets for students from 2nd -9th grade. They also have sets for younger students.
For our review, we received the 5th grade set that does not include the corresponding novels. These are titles that we either already owned or were able to obtain quite easily from our library.
We received the softcover Student Guides and Teacher Manuals for each of the following books :
- The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
- Lassie, Come Home
The literature guide sets are designed to compliment classic literature and assist students in becoming an active reader. The activities in the book challenge them to notice and understand the vocabulary in the book. They’re asked to answer several comprehension questions about things that happened in the story. Students focus on quotations from the chapters in the book, noting who said it and to whom they were speaking to or about. There are discussion questions that make them think about hidden meanings or thinking further than what was stated in the text. Finally, there are enrichment questions. This is where students take concepts they’ve read about and apply it in a different way, such as through mapping, research, drawing, and composition.
We worked on the Heidi Student Study Guide during the review period. This particular guide also included several Poetry Link activities where my daughter was to read a poem, answer some discussion questions about it, and then use the Copybook page to copy the poem. She is not very used to copywork, but I feel like it’s a great way to teach her by example as far as how poetry is written, even down to the technical details.
While all of the student books and teacher books follow the same general pattern, the contents varied depending on which book was being studied. For example, the book for The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe did not have the poetry link, but it did have an appendix with awesome maps in it. The book for Lassie, Come Home had an appendix with maps, a biographical sketch, literary tools, a poem, and more.
The Teacher Guide has all of the same information as the Student Study Guide. What I love is that the student’s book contains all of the exercises, as well as an appendix. The Teacher Guide has all of that same content and it is all even on the same page numbers. For example, when Grace was working on page 10, I could turn to page 10 in my book and see the correct or suggested answers easily.
The Teacher Guide is longer than the student guide. Immediately following the content that the student book has, there is a Discussion Questions Key and then a whole section of Quizzes and Final Test with the reproducible copy and an answer key following. All 3 of the guides we received had the quiz and test section.
How to Use
First, decide on which book you’d like to begin with. As I mentioned, we wanted to start with Heidi this year. Your student will be working one chapter at a time.
The guides suggest a few pre-reading activities: orally reviewing vocabulary that had previously been covered, the plot of the book so far, and the concepts of setting, plot, and character. Next, you are to read the Reading Notes from the Student Study Guide together, go over the new vocabulary that will be introduced in that chapter, and then go ahead and preview the comprehension questions before reading the chapter.
Next, students should read the chapter and mark vocabulary words as they are mentioned in the story. Students should also make a note as to which page answers their comprehension questions.
Once the student has read, they should go through and work on the content of the study guide. This includes the vocabulary exercises, comprehension questions, quotations and discussion questions, and then the enrichment activities. These activities don’t have to be completed immediately, and not all of them have to be done.
Every few lessons, there’s a quiz. At the end, there is a final exam. Students are asked to use matching, fill in the blank, multiple choice, short answer, and compositions to show what they’ve retained and learned from their reading. It covers the same things they have already worked on: vocabulary, comprehension questions, character, setting, and plot. There is a suggested weight in scoring to use as a guide so you know how to award points for each section, as well.
My daughter and I have enjoyed being able to really pay more attention to things that happened in Heidi. We have been reading and working through it together, as I’ve found that the older she gets, the more I’m learning when we work on her schoolwork! 🙂
We’ve relied heavily on the dictionary or thesaurus for many of the vocabulary words. It’s funny how when you read through a book just for pleasure, you glaze over some of the more interesting complexities, such as the word choice. Through doing this study, she has been able to stop and really think about what the words mean and why different words might have been chosen. This helps her with her own writing, because it has been reminding her to be mindful of being descriptive and clear.
Her favorite part has been the discussion questions. She likes these, because they often ask how experiences in the book relate to experiences she has had in her real life. It also has a lot of questions asking her to problem solve and come up with creative solutions to the problems in the story. It’s been fun seeing what kinds of answers she comes up with.
Once we are done with this literature guide, I will give her a few weeks off before we start another one. I’d like to do The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe with her next, but I wait and do it last so we can immediately follow it up with the rest of the books in that series for recreational reading.
I think that having students complete 3 of these in one year is perfectly reasonable, especially if they normally seem to devour books. I don’t think that everything they read should be so closely studied, but critical thinking is a skill that I’m glad to teach and practice with my daughter. We will gladly devote some time to more critically analyze good literature.
See what other families thought about this and other levels of literature guide sets (grades 2-9), as well as StoryTime Treasures for younger students by clicking the banner below.