As we have been working through the American Revolution we have had some great products come our way! We had the opportunity to review the downloadable study guide for Sam the Minuteman from Progeny Press. I was pretty confident this would be great because we have used Progeny Press before and loved them! This is actually our fourth time reviewing their products! We have used study guides from early elementary to high school and have been very impressed with them on all of these levels. Here are links to my other reviews: Frog and Toad Together, The Hobbit and The Cay.
We had never read Sam the Minuteman before and we were very excited to include it in David’s (9 years old/4th grade) study of the American Revolution. This was a very fitting choice for him since the book was about a boy name Sam who was just a little older than David. Sam and his family lived in Lexington Massachusetts in 1775. Sam’s father was a Minute Man, a patriot ready to fight the British at a minute’s notice. The Minute Men of Lexington got word that the British were coming and the town got ready. Sam’s father grabbed his gun and told Sam to do the same. Sam’s mother did not like it that he was going, but Sam did go with his father. The men of the town waited all night for the British to come. Sam and his friend John were bored, tired and cold. Morning began to break and everyone was about to go home until they heard something in the distance. The British were coming. There were only about 80 Minute Men, but “a bright river of red” entered the town of Lexington. Since the Minute Men were so out numbered they decided to go home instead of fighting. As they were leaving gun fire began. Sam’s friend John had been shot. The Red Coats marched on to Concord.
The British came back through Lexington some time later. Against his mother’s wishes, Sam once again grabbed his gun and left the house with his father. The Minute Men defended Lexington from the protection of rocks instead of an open field. A short battle did take place and the British burnt a few homes before they continued on to Boston. Sam and his father returned home after dark, where Sam’s mother had been very worried about them.
This story by itself, tells about the Battle of Lexington from a young boy’s perspective, but the study guide is a great resource to delve deeper. This guide has a timeline, goes over vocabulary words and asks review questions about the story. It also has the student relate the story to themselves and how they would feel or act if they were Sam. The reason I love Progeny Press is that their study guides go so much further than any other study guide out there. They bring in the Christian perspective. Each one of their guides include Bible verses and applicable lessons.
In the story Sam the Minuteman, Sam is angry that his friend is shot. The study guide goes over anger and how the Bible deals with anger. It includes Jesus being angry in the temple (Mark 11:15-17) and compares it to Moses being angry when he returns to his people with the Ten Commandments (Exodus 32: 1, 19). In both examples there were good reasons to be angry, but Jesus and Moses both dealt with their anger differently. Ephesians 4:26 says, “When you are angry, do not sin. And do not go on being angry all day.” We learned it’s ok be angry, but it’s not ok to sin because your angry.
The study guide continues with an exercise about making good choices when you are angry. David liked this. The first example says there is a bully picking on a smaller boy and this makes you angry- what are examples of good and bad responses? The second is a sibling ruins the picture you’ve been working on, when you find it you are angry- what are examples of good and bad responses? This brought up some great conversation. I would not have thought to go over this without the study guide, but I’m so glad we did. Bringing in this Biblical truth and adding it to our secular story made this a very well rounded and memorable addition to our history lesson.
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The TOS Review Crew had the opportunity to review Progeny Press’ study guides for many different books. Click on the banner below to see what other had to see about the product that they recieved.