Sunday, January 8, 2012

Review: Z-Guides to the Movies

True confession. Sometimes my family enjoys setting aside the usual history books and studying a time period by kicking back and watching a movie together. Yet, just watching the movie and chatting about it at the dinner table isn't always quite enough. Sometimes a mom needs a little extra creative help bringing a movie's important elements to life for her kids. And sometimes a stack of worksheets can be a life-saver during a busy season in a homeschooling family's life. Enter the Z-Guides to the Movies.

We received the High School level Z-Guide to accompany the movie One Night With the King. This movie covers the life of the biblical Queen Esther. I am guessing that most of my readers know the story of the young Hebrew orphan girl Esther and her uncle Mordecai and how Esther came to be Queen to the Persian King Xerxes. The 39 page Z-Guide includes information, discussion, comprehension questions and activities designed to make this topic memorable--and educational.

A suggested 5 day plan for studying the movie is included, but it could be adapted for different use--slower, faster, skipping some activities or expanding upon others. The following ten separate activities are included, with the suggestion to complete two activities daily.

  1. Movie Review Questions
  2. More About the Persian Empire
  3. Help Xerxes Defeat the Greeks
  4. Letter Protesting Haman's Plan to Kill the Jews
  5. Man Looks on the Outward Appearance
  6. Are you Ready for Marriage?
  7. One Night With the King Word Search
  8. One Night With the King Poster
  9. Worldview Activity 
  10. Filmmaker's Art

How Did we Like Using This?

I easily downloaded the Z-Guide to my computer, printed off the student pages, and checked the movie out from my local library. Then I let my 10th grade daughter use the movie guide. Now, truthfully, that week happened to be one filled with doctor's appointments, and I was unavailable for much of that week to supervise as usual. So my daughter only completed about one-third of the materials. Yet we also didn't have a full week with the movie, as our library requires us to return movies within 3 days. This is where either owning the movie or having a Netflix subscription could come in handy.

The activities my daughter did complete she enjoyed, and this guide is a pretty good educational option for studying this time period. I like that the activities are varied and creative, and the movies covered are good options for many homeschooling families. Many of the activities really have the students digging for information about the time period and the characters.We'd be interested in using more of these Z-Guides to cover other time periods.

Z-Guides are available in e-book download format at a cost of $12.99. The Z-Guides are licensed for single family use, not co-op or classroom use. This title is available HERE, while other titles can be accessed HERE. Notice the link to a sample downloadable Z-Guide for The Count of Monte Cristo at the top of the latter page. Zeezok also offers each movie title on DVD, but prices vary so be sure to check the website for the title you would like.

Disclosure: As a member of the Homeschool Crew, I received a complimentary copy of this e-book in order to review it for this company. I received no other compensation. Be sure to see the Homeschool Crew blog for more reviews of this product HERE.


  1. Wow. $12.99 seems like a lot to me for one movie for one time. I guess you could pass it around to others or split the cost with a family. Or is it copyrighted for one family per use?

  2. MamaHen, These are licensed for single family use, and I double-checked and see that does not include co-op or classroom use. Since it does provide a week's worth of material to essentially cover in a unit study manner, for some families these may be well worth it. Thanks for asking. :)