Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Review: Treasure Island Literature Unit

I thought I would review some of the things we work on this year as we do them.  We have just finished reading Treasure Island and working through the Treasure Island Literature Unit created by Erica from Confessions of a Homeschooler.

I have a child who hates art, who is not a strong writer and a struggling reader.  I was hesitant starting off this first book (in a long list of many I have bought and have planned for the coming months and years). I am pleased to say that not only is the book a winner with my son, but the Literature Unit has been great.  Not overwhelming, not too hard, not too easy.

The Classic Starts series that Erica uses for her units are a great layout for a junior reader.  Good sized text, not too much on a page, a few black and white pictures throughout to help keep interest (but not lose a child's focus on the reading) and as a bookaholic myself I have to say I found them lovely books.

I found the Literature Unit very adaptable and we chose to use the elements in a folder rather than a Lapbook.  I have used Erica's work in the past with Expedition Earth and we used Lapbooks then.  I found that while I loved them, my son had high anxiety over it as once you stuck all the items into the Lapbook, it was permanent and if it was done wrong it was not easy to fix.  By modifying and using a ring binder, we found a big reduction in my son's anxiety as using the elements and sticking them to loose leaf paper in the binder was relatively easy to fix if he made a mistake.  Simply removing that sheet of loose leaf paper and re cutting and re sticking, meant my son was confident that there was a do-over process available to him. To see how I put together my folders, click here, and go to my 'How to' post.

The fact that you can be flexible with these units is what I love. You can either follow the guide step by step and do an element each chapter (or few) or you can read half the book and then do a heap of activities together, or leave out parts of the unit if they are too hard or old for the child, or do extension comprehension questions if they need more work.
Here are some photos of our completed Treasure Island unit.  Given that we have more space in a ring binder than in a Lapbook, there are some elements that my son decided to glue in 'open' rather than as folder mini booklets.  We had the book review page etc in here too but Warrior Kid is a little sensitive about his hand writing so I chose not to display those.

Erica from Confessions of a Homeschooler is a Christian mother and many who prefer to use Secular curriculum may overlook these units. However these Literature Units are very secular and can be used by all. Another reason I love them!  Thank you Erica, we look forward to doing all the other units we've purchased from you :)  

One thing I do with our Literature Units, is follow them up (or start them off!) with a movie from the book.  For Treasure Island we watched three DVD's.  First was the 1950's classic Treasure Island, followed by the animated Storybook Classic Treasure Island, and lastly we watched a futuristic adaptation of Treasure Island called Treasure Planet.  For Warrior Kid who is a very visual learner, he was able to compare each movie, pick the similarities to the book, the differences, which character portrayal he felt was most accurate etc.  Some of the Literature Units also come with a printed page for a Book Vs Movie Review which is a great way to extend the unit and practice report writing. 

So now the big decision to be made this week by Warrior Kid .... which book do we read next!  Robin Hood? The Wind in the Willows? Tom Sawyer? or one of the other 25 Classic Starts books on the bookshelf!  


  1. great review, I'm liking this more and more. Your comment really hit home, helping a young boy enjoy reading.

    1. Thank you for your lovely comment! For us it has to be fun and engaging or my son simply switches off :)