I had heard of this story prior to reviewing it, but I had never read it or heard the audio of it.
The story is a classic G. A. Henty historical novel that is recorded onto an MP3 file format CD. The CD can not be played on a standard CD player, but can pretty much play on anything else. We were able to listen to it in our vehicle, on a computer and on our television, through a blu ray player.
The story is broken up into 22 chapters that are about 20-30- minutes each. This equates to about 10 hours of listening time.
Along with the CD, there is a Study Guide in PDF format to help your child along with the story. For each chapter, there is a list of vocabulary words, questions about the chapter, and activity ideas to go deeper into the material.
The story follows Sir Francis Drake and his crew as he circumnavigates the globe. It especially tells the story of Ned and his friends, whom were a part of the crew. They all learn many valuable lessons along the way.
How we used it in our home
First of all, I printed off the study guide. One for each of my older children. My youngest, age 6, listened in on the story, but she is way too young for the study guide.
When we first started listening, we were on a road trip and I thought it would be a perfect time to start. We popped it in and just started listening. I told the kids to listen for the vocabulary words as we went along and we would stop it and look up the words when we heard one and write down the definition. NOT a good idea. It broke up the story way too much and we ended up having to re-listen to that chapter so we could understand what was going on in the story.
After that, for all other chapters, before we would listen to the chapter the kids would look up all the vocabulary words in their dictionary and write them down on the vocabulary words list. We would go over the words and make sure they understood the meanings.
Once we went over the vocabulary words, we would listen to the chapter. After listening to the chapter, I would have the kids answer the questions individually for that chapter. Then, we would discuss the questions together.
The rest of the week would be spent on the activities suggested for that chapter.
I love the activity ideas. They are a great way to dive deeper into the material surrounding the book.
The activities have given us the opportunity to learn more about Sir Francis Drake, Plymouth, England, map making, and timelines.
One of the activities for virtually every chapter is to write a journal entry for Ned, one of the main characters of the story. This is very neat, because it helps with comprehension as well as creative writing skills!
In general, I liked the story. The vocabulary really helps because it uses “old” words that we don’t frequently hear in our culture, as well as some sailing and “pirate” type words that were unfamiliar for my kids.
Information at a glance:
What is it? An audio recording of the G.A. Henty’s novel, Under Drake’s Flag, produced by Jim Hodges Productions.
For Whom? Ages 10 and up
How much is it? $25 for the CD or $18 for a digital download. The accompanying study guide is $12.