Minstrel in the Tower E-Guide {a TOS review}

 When deciding to review for Progeny Press, we had to really take our time in deciding as there are just so many good options for a faith-based book study.  In our grade range (K-3) there was The Drinking Gourd E-Guide or The Minstrel in the Tower E-Guide.
Of course, if you have children outside of the K-3 grade range there are plenty of other great options, such as Indian in the Cupboard E-Guide or maybe your student would prefer the humorous option with Mr. Popper's Penguins!   Point being, there are many great options at Progeny Press!
At Progeny Press you can find classic literature Study Guides in all grades, from Kindergarten through to Grade 12.  These guides come in 3 convenient options:
  • a printed workbook
  • a CD
  • an E-Guide
Progeny Press also provides, in their online store, audio books and printed books, of which their study guides are based off of. 
Progeny Press provides a helpful video to help us learn more about they company, and their goals/missions.

The Minstrel in the Tower E-Guide
We received The Minstrel in the Tower E-Guide.  This 47 page study guide comes as a PDF and is recommended for grades 2-4.  (The chapter  book is sold separately).
Literature Study Guides from a Christian Perspective {Progeny Press  Review}
The Minstrel in the Tower, by Gloria Skurzynski, is an eight chapter book, set in France in the year 1195.  It is about two siblings, Roger and Alice that live alone with their ill mother.  The siblings are sent on a quest, by their mother, to set out and find their uncle and are given a lute that he will know them by.  Their journey finds them captured and locked in a tower.  Alice, a good climber, escapes out the tower window and must continue alone to find her uncle and bring him back.
The E-Guide begins with:
  • Note to the teacher - 'how to use guide" and note about internet references
  • Synopsis
  • Background Information - info about the time period
  • About the Author
  • Before-you-read Activities - five creative ideas to get you started
Within The Minstrel in the Tower E-Guide your student will:
  • learn vocabulary, with the use of a dictionary
  • be asked questions that will strengthen their understanding of the literature
  • apply a bible verse to the themes and topics of the literature as well as character traits
  • learn the use of figurative language, such as a simile
  • better understand literary techniques 
  • use a thesaurus to learn synonyms
  • learn about descriptive words

After the eight chapter study there are After-You-Read Activities.  Here you can pick and choose from:
  • Writing Projects
  • Oral Report
  • Cooking Center
  • Art Center
  • Craft Center
The E-Guide ends with a hefty list of Additional Resources and then the Answer Key.

How we used this E-Guide

I had my 3rd grader (age 9) complete the guide, doing a section 2 to 3 times a week.  We did read the chapter book in it's entirety to start; but, we'd re-read each chapter, together, each time we started a new chapter guide.

An example of 1 week for us would be something like this:

      Day 1:  Read the next chapter together.  Print and answer the vocabulary questions.
      Day 2:  Answer the analysis questions together.  (my guy hates writing so we'd do this orally)
      Day 3:  Dig Deeper - examine the story when applied to Christian faith.

With Day 3 of our schedule I'd have my student also write out a verse as a form of extra copy work, outside the E-Guide.

I enjoy using Progeny Press E-Guides with my kids because it gets them using a dictionary, and turning to their bible to examine further, qualities and characters mentioned in the literature.  I like that they learn literary terminology and are really thinking about what they read in the book, and seeing how that might apply to real life.


If Minstrel in the Tower E-Guide doesn't suit you consider reading about our previous experience with Progeny Press'  interactive Stone Fox E-Guide.  Also, other reviewers on the Schoolhouse Review Crew have reviewed:

The Drinking Gourd E-Guide (gr K-3)
Mr. Popper's Penguins E-Guide (gr 4-6)
The Sword in the Tree E-Guide (gr 4-6)
Give Me Liberty E-Guide (gr 6-8)
Indian in the Cupboard E-Guide (gr 6-8)
The Scarlet Pimpernel E-Guide (gr 9-12)
Great Expectations E-Guide (gr 9-12)

You'll find them by clicking the banner below:
Literature Study Guides from a Christian Perspective {Progeny Press  Review}

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