Thursday, October 30, 2014

Jim Hodges Productions: Captain Bayley's Heir: (1850s) A Tale of the California Gold Mines {A Review}

Jim Hodges Productions sent us Captain Bayley's Heir: (1850s) A Tale of the California Gold Mines MP3 Audio CD ($25.00) and Captain Bayley's Heir: (1850s) A Tale of the California Gold Mines PDF Study Guide ($12.00) for ages 10 and up.

First Thoughts
Before this review, I had only come across one title from G.A. Henty (The Cat of Bubastes: (BC 1250) A Story of Ancient Egypt). I put it on our reading list, but we have never got to it. So I was interested to find out there were so many great titles by G.A. Henty. Henty, like so many storyteller writers before him, would tell stories to his children and then was encouraged to write them down. We were excited to get started listening to Captain Bayley's Heir.

About the Book
G.A. Henty begins his story of Captain Bayley's Heir in England with a boy named Frank Norris being accused of theft. When he can't prove he is innocent, he leaves for America heading out to California's gold fields. Many adventures befall him on the way, making this a great story for describing America in the 1850's. Each of Henty's books share an excellent example of noble character. 

About the CD
Captain Bayley's Heir CD is an unabridged narration by Jim Hodges and in audio MP3 format. It has a running time of 10 hours and 30 minutes. Each chapter is on average 28 minutes with the shortest just over 22 minutes and the longest just over 44 minutes. 

About the Study Guide
For each chapter of the book, there is a list of vocabulary on a chart to complete, a list of five questions, and 2-3 activities. The vocabulary are listed in the order they occur in the chapter. The questions include who, what, where, why, which, how, and a few that ask for description, explanation, and opinion. At the end of 5 chapters, there is a quiz.  And there are answer keys for the questions in each section and the quizzes.

The activities include: 
  • researching and role play (being a reporter); 
  • writing reports, point of view, lists, a diary entry, a review, and a creative story;  
  • creating a book jacket, board game, fact sheet, how-to guide, poster, brochure, newspaper, and stamps
  • completing vocabulary activities, charts, comparisons, a word map, and jargon definitions;
  • mapping; 
  • drawing and illustration; 
  • graphing; 
  • reading mythology; 
  • watching videos; 
  • using reasoning, critical thinking, technology and primary sources (pictures, drawings, documents).

How we Used it
We printed off a copy of Captian Bayley's Heir and the study guide, hole-punched them, and put them in a binder.

Ceesa listened to the chapters one at a time, until the story was through. After each chapter, Ceesa would work on parts of the study guide or I would have her write a narration.

Ceesa says, "I like how it is written and how it is based on the lives of two characters. It is nice being able to sit down and relax, while I listen to the story being read.

The activities were her favorite part of the study guide. Especially the ones that allowed her to create her own items.

She made a brochure,

a stamp,

and a book jacket.

More to Choose From
If you love G.A. Henty novels, you'll want to see Jim Hodges complete list of Audiobooks:
Henty Short Stories Collection
The Cat of Bubastes: (BC 1250) A Story of Ancient Egypt
The Young Carthaginian: (BC 218) A Story of the Times of Hannibal
Beric The Briton: (AD 62) A Story of the Roman Invasion
For the Temple: (AD 70) A Tale of the Fall of Jerusalem
The Dragon & The Raven: (870-901)The Days of King Alfred and the Viking Invasion
Wulf the Saxon: (1066) A Story of the Norman Conquest
Winning His Spurs: (1188-1192) A Tale of the Crusades
In Freedom's Cause: (1296-1314) A Story of Wallace and Bruce
A March on London: (1381) Wat Tyler and the Peasant Rebellion
A Knight of the White Cross: (1470-1480)A Tale of the Seige of Rhodes
By Right of Conquest: (1521) With Cortez in Mexico
St. Bartholomew's Eve (1572) A Tale of the Religious Wars in France
Under Drake's Flag: (1580) A Tale of the Spanish Main
When London Burned: (1600s) A Tale of the Plague and the Great Fire
With Wolfe in Canada: (1756-1763) A Tale of the French & Indian War
True to the Old Flag: (1774-1781) A Tale of the American War of Independence
In the Reign of Terror: (1789-1799) An English Lad in the French Revolution
Captain Bayley's Heir: (1850s) A Tale of the California Gold Mines
Out on the Pampas: (1850s) A Tale of Young Settlers in Argentina
In the Heart of the Rockies: (1860s) A Story of Adventure in Colorado
With Lee in Virginia: (1861-1865) A Tale of the Civil War

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