I mentioned a while back that we were going to be lightening up on social studies and science for a bit to be able to go in depth into literature and language arts. Memoria Press sent us a lovely package of their Third Grade Literature Guide Set to review, and we chose to dive in starting with A Bear Called Paddington.
We received the set of teacher's guides and one set of student workbooks. I purchased the reading books and a second set of student workbooks so that Jack and Hannah could both use the program.
Hannah points out "darkest Peru," where Paddington came from.
We did about 2 chapters a week. We would start out by reading over the Reading Notes, which help explain some of the things we'll be reading about. Then we would read the Comprehension Questions aloud before I read the chapter to the kids and then they answered the questions in their Study Guide workbooks.
We discussed the comprehension questions together when they were finished, and we would discuss the Vocabulary together on the white board, and they would copy the definitions.
Starting with the Paddington book made it easy to find coloring pages online that I could print for the kids to color while they listened to me read the chapter of the day.
One mistake I made was not reading through the entire Teacher Guide before we got started. I missed that there was a quiz in the back of my book for after the first 4 chapters. I ended up copying both quizzes (there's also one for chapters 5-8) and the Final Test, stapling them all together, and having the kids fill in as much as they could from memory.
After they did as much as they could on their own, I allowed them to use their workbooks to help with the vocabulary definitions. Then they could use the A Bear Called Paddington book to search for answers they needed help with. It might not be the traditional way of doing things, but it worked for us.
I have to say, the vocabulary in Paddington is pretty impressive. When I was poking around online, looking for other Paddington resources, I found a private school that uses Paddington in their 4th grade classes. Memoria has it as part of their third grade literature, and Jack, who is 11, did not know what all the words meant. It was a challenging course for both my 3rd and 6th graders.
In addition to Paddington, 3rd Grade Lit includes Farmer Boy, Charlotte's Web, and Mr. Popper's Penguins. The teacher's guides for Charlotte's Web and Farmer Boy are noticeably larger than the guides for Paddington and Penguins. Mr. Popper's Penguins gives the students opportunities to draw scenes from the story. Charlotte's Web and Farmer Boy's student books have the kids copy passages from the reading books. Memoria Press also offers an optional book, The Moffats, at this level. I like that the study guides are not all cookie cutter copies of the same tasks for different books.
After completing the Paddington book and study guide, we had a Paddington party day, complete with Paddington t-shirts, and watching the movie and discussing how it was different from the book.
Our family enjoyed the stories in Memoria's Third Grade Literature. I think it's a strong, slightly advanced program, and I'm planning to finish up Mr. Popper's Penguins this school year and save the remaining two books for next school year.
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