Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Studying Frog and Toad Together with Progeny Press {A TOS Review}

Progeny Press Review
Reading is very important to me, and having my children develop a love of reading is a huge goal. We love having reading time. The children prefer when mommy reads to them, but I am always looking for fun ways for us to enjoy reading where they can read to me as well. Beyond enjoying what they are reading, I want them to really comprehend what they are reading. This is why I am thankful we were given the opportunity to review the Progeny Press study guide for Frog and Toad Together by Arnold Lobel.

Progeny Press, owned by Michael and Rebecca Gilleland, publishes study guides for 4 different grade level groups: Lower Elementary for K-3rd, Upper Elementary for 3rd-5th, Middle School for 5th-8th and High School guides for 8th-12th. These study guides are designed to help children examine quality literature from a Christian Perspective. The Frog and Toad Together Study Guide is from the Lower Elementary level.

Progeny Press Review
Progeny Press offers their literature guides in 3 formats. You could purchase the physical guide, the CD with a PDF ebook or the downloadable PDF version. For this review we were provided the downloadable PDF file. This worked really well as I was using it with both Tabitha and Amelia. The files downloaded onto my computer with no problems and at the start of every "chapter" I just printed out the corresponding pages and placed them in their folders. The pages of each format may be printed out for however many children you have in your own home. 

In addition to a computer and printer to use the actual guide, there are craft supplies needed (such as watercolors, crayons/markers, glue and construction paper) and some additional easy-to-find materials to complete the projects that go along with each chapter. Potting soil and containers (they recommend small milk cartons but we couldn't obtain any), plus seeds are needed for the first chapter. And a paper plate is needed for chapter 5. Additional resources to ensure students properly work through the guide are recommended in the section "How to Use Progeny Press Study Guides." However, it appears that these materials are needed more in the older grades because we didn't really need a dictionary, thesaurus, or concordance. Even an actual Bible wasn't required for most of this study, because the Bible verses used for contemplation and discussion are actually printed in the guide. The only time I needed the Bible was for the last chapter as we needed to read a long passage. 

The study guide is divided into the following sections:
  • Note to Instructor (where you will learn how to use the study guide)
  • Synopsis of the book
  • About the Author
  • Before you read activities
  • Chapters 1-5 with the questions and projects
  • A Venn Diagram and Word Search to wrap up the lessons
  • Suggestions for Further Reading
  • Answer Key
We started out by completing the "Before You Read" pages which focus on what it means to be a friend as Frog and Toad Together is all about friendship. We then moved into the book. Three days out of the week, our afternoon reading time was enriched by this study. We completed one chapter per week. On the first day of each week, the girls took turns reading the entire chapter and then we answered the questions about the story. On the second day we reread the chapter with the girls reading the opposite pages of what they read the first day. We then did the questions that pertained to the Biblical aspects of the guide. Bible verses are included in the pages, along with questions to make the children think about what is going on in the story from a Christian perspective. On the third day we finished up any questions we didn't get completed and then chose one of the listed projects to do.

Reading the book:
(They each had their own copy which we borrowed from the library.)

Answering questions:

At first I had them writing the answers themselves. I would either spell words they didn't know or write their entire answer out on a piece of paper and have them copy it. I finally decided this was a bit much for them, so I just had them dictate their answer to me and I wrote it directly on their paper.

Projects we completed:

Their lists of daily activities to go with "The List."

Planting a Phonics Garden to go with "The Garden."

Baking cookies to go with "Cookies."

Drawing some of the make-believe creatures they listed in their guide to go with "Dragons and Giants."

Sharing one of their dreams to go with "The Dream."

The questions asked really got the children and I thinking. There was a lot more involved than just sharing what happened in the story. The children are asked to think about how they would handle situations and to look at why frog and toad did what they did and what they may have done in the same situation. The Bible passages were relevant to what was being focused on in each chapter. I absolutely loved that hands-on projects were included to reinforce the story. 

Tabitha enjoyed most of the projects, especially "writing a story about my dream, and planting the seeds because I like seeing them sprout." Amelia liked "reading 'The garden' because Toad wanted them [the seeds] to come up right away and he didn't give them enough time." She also like doing the dream.

The Frog and Toad Together study guide from Progeny Press was my first experience with this company and I look forward to using more in the future. I really enjoy being able to look at the books from a Biblical perspective. It has been a great way to enhance our reading time. 

The only thing I wish would have been different is, I would have loved to have a "Materials Needed" list at the beginning of the guide to more easily prepare. Granted, there weren't a lot of materials beyond what might be considered normal homeschool supplies.

You can purchase this e-guide for $11.99. If you would like to see a sample lesson, you can go here.

You can also find Progeny Press on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and YouTube.

You can see what other members of the Crew thought about several different Progeny Press study guides, all age levels are represented in the guides we were able to choose from. 

Click to read Crew Reviews

Crew Disclaimer


  1. This is a really cute idea. I didn't even know they had study guides like this...

  2. I have not used Progeny Press and don't plan on using them until middle school. I am glad to read that they have downloadable options. I did not know that before. Love the review. Thanks for sharing.

  3. That's really neat. I didn't know about study guides either. Awesome.

  4. What a thorough review that helps me see so much of this item. We may have to check in to it for our youngest...sounds like something he may be interested in!

  5. We really enjoyed the Frog and Toad Literature Guide. The project were so much fun. I really want to get another one for my daughter as she really enjoyed this.


Thank you for visiting my blog today. I love to read your comments, so please leave me one if you have the time.

Related Posts with Thumbnails