By Pike and Dyke recounts the story of William the Silent—the Prince of Orange—and his fight to free the Netherlands from Spanish rule in the 1570's and 1580's. At the core of the Dutch opposition to Spain was the intent to be free from the tyranny of the Spanish Inquisition. Although the prince was assassinated before his people gained their freedom, it was through his efforts that the separate states of the Low Countries began to work together in their own defense. England's belated entrance into the conflict was marked by her defeat of the Spanish Armada, another turning point in the history of Europe.
The Henty Study Guide for By Pike and Dyke, like every Henty Study Guide, contains lessons and exercises designed to check comprehension, build vocabulary, and develop writing skills. Another important feature, the "Think It Over" questions, requires students to address moral and spiritual issues, and provides a starting point for those great discussions around the dinner table.
Also, each study guide contains several fascinating and informative "background" articles that can serve as a springboard for further study. The special articles in the study guide for By Pike and Dyke include the early history of the Low Countries, the Netherlands today, and the art of the Dutch Golden Age, which of course was dominated by the work of Rembrandt.
The versatility of the Henty Study Guides enables the teacher to use them in a variety of ways. You can follow the Henty book chapter by chapter, making use of the comprehension questions and vocabulary words, requesting narration or papers as suggested in the guide, or you can use those parts of it that best suit your classroom needs. Designed to be used by students of middle school age, many of the exercises can be adapted to younger students, and older students may still find the vocabulary words challenging, and will certainly find much to ponder in the "Think It Over" sections. You need not be a "unit study person" to make use of this guide, as it can easily be incorporated into a study of European history—and literature as well, as the author includes a list for older students of other fiction titles relating to this time period.
Thus, Henty's story of this pivotal period in Dutch history offers not only rich material for those so very necessary English classes, but it can become the foundation for the study of the history of the Netherlands (and Spain and England) and the art of Rembrandt and Dutch Golden Age.
The Henty Study Guides are the work of Rick Medlin, a college professor and homeschooling father who first developed them for use with his son.
Did you find this review helpful?