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Historical Stories of Survival Unit 1 Surviving Pompeii AD 79 Review by Missica Pullen

Justine Gamble
Making Homeschool Fun

My son loves historical fiction books, especially the I Survived Series. He took an interest in Pompeii several years ago, and we even went on a day trip to an out-of-state museum that was featuring a traveling exhibition of Pompeii artifacts. We saw actual statues, furniture, and even bread found in the ruins of Pompeii. We were also able to see the body casts, and words cannot describe the emotion in the room as you walk among these figure outlines, imagining the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. As you can imagine, we were more than excited to not only run across the book, I Survived the Destruction of Pompeii, AD 79, but also discover that Justine Gamble of Making Homeschool Fun has written a Literature Guide for the very same book.

I love a good literature guide that guides my son through his reading and covers topics or questions that he may not have otherwise thought about while just reading for fun. Making Homeschool Fun has developed literature guides for the I Survivedbooks that I would consider to be unit studies, rather than your typical reading guide.

Generally, the literature guides we are accustomed to are arranged by chapter and include reading comprehension and critical thinking questions based off the text. Sometimes, there is a little vocabulary thrown in for good measure. I was excited to review Historical Stories of Survival Unit 1 Surviving Pompeii AD79 and discover that this is not your average literature guide.

The guide starts out with an Overview of Contents. I really appreciate this because I can see at a glance what subjects and topics will be covered. This is very convenient for use in an end-of-the-year-review portfolio. For this particular guide, the subjects of Social Studies/History, Science, Geography, Math, Mythology, Arts and Crafts, Language Arts, Character Studies, and more are covered. The guide includes weekly plans and schedule, spelling, vocabulary, resource list, additional reading, and even a file folder game. Like I said, not your average literature guide! By the time you finish the entire guide, you and your child will have also created a beautiful lap book that details everything you’ve learned.

My son is 11 and is considered special needs. This type of Unit Study and Charlotte Mason-based approach work very well for us. We are able to tie in several subjects under the umbrella of a single topic. This boosts his interest and motivation to learn on his own. My son loves the I Survived books already, and this study guide is well written and well planned to work side by side with I Survived the Destruction of Pompeii, AD 79. I love the additional activities, and I know he is actively engaged with what he is reading because he gets so excited to do the corresponding activities. This guide really brings the contents of the book to life in a more meaningful manner. Who knew wearing a toga while making a lava lamp could be so much fun? Overall, we have really enjoyed using Historical Stories of Survival Unit 1 Surviving Pompeii AD 79. There are currently 7 units available, that being with Pompeii and ending with the Shark Attacks of 1916. We have all of these books, and I can’t wait to try out more of the guides! I highly recommend it to others!

-Product review by Missica Pullen, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, June 2017