19 February 2013

Moving Beyond the Page - A Review of the Tornado Literature Unit

This was our first taste of Moving Beyond the Page (MBtP). I really like the format of the program. It ended up being a good fit for both of my girls, who have completely different learning styles. 

 
On most days, the student reads a chapter of the book, answers questions to verify comprehension, and then makes a journal entry based on the chapter. After that, the lessons vary quite a bit depending on the day. I thought H would be resistant to the journal aspect, but she really seemed to enjoy drawing pictures to summarize what happened in each chapter. 

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In addition to reading the book Tornado, the unit also uses the book How the Turtle Got Its Shell, which is a Little Golden Book that contains several myths about why the turtle might have a shell. I was impressed that the program expanded to not only include the student writing their own myth, but also doing a research lesson on turtles. There were also exercises that discussed moods, weather, and what a day on the farm was like.
 
From a true literature standpoint, the program covered things such as an author's word choice, setting, and plot. There was also punctuation practice. 
 
Teacher's guide for Moving Beyond the Page
 
The unit had a nice mix of hands-on craft activities, discussion, and writing exercises. I didn't have any complaints from either child during this unit, which was a tremendous feat. I've had problems finding literature programs that my children accepted in the past. That was not the case for this one!
 
We did not do the spelling recommendations, as we use a different spelling program, so I am not well equipped to give my opinion regarding that. 
 
Overall, this seems to be a very solid literature program. H is going to continue on with the next unit, Sarah, Plain and Tall, while K will be jumping up to the next level and doing the unit on Little House in the Big Woods.
 

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