And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children. Isaiah 54:13 KJV

Monday, April 25, 2016

Enjoying History Through a Read Aloud #heroesthenandnow

Have you ever heard of Louis Zamperini? I had not until YWAM Publishing sent us the book Heroes of History: Louis Zamperini: Redemption to review. The kids LOVE YWAM books and so do I! They are some of our favorites to read aloud together. YWAM also sent me the Digital Unit Study which we utilized too.

Louie Zamperini was an Olympic runner in 1936. In World War II, he was a bombardier for the Army Air Corps. Then he survived a plane crash only to become a POW. His life story is certainly an interesting read! His grit and determination are inspiring. The details of the things he endured are hard to read, but I think it has been eye opening for my kids to hear about circumstances so different than what they see day to day. Some of the things he endured may be too difficult for younger children. His story truly is one of redemption, and I'm so glad this book includes the details of him giving his life to the Lord. His story is told in 19 chapters in this paperback book by Janet & Geoff Benge.


History was one of my favorite subjects in school. We've tried lots of different history curriculums in our homeschool time. The stories and details that always stick with them the most are from stories like these. Real life accounts are a valuable alternative to memorizing dates and events. 
We read a chapter of the book each day. This particular Heroes of History book has 19 chapters. When we finished our reading each day, we would discuss the questions that are included in the Unit Study. There are a few questions for each chapter. The Digital Unit Study also includes a printable timeline, fact sheet, and maps. A large section of the study is dedicated to ideas for studying further. The flexibility of the Unit Study makes it easy to incorporate different age groups into the same study. So you could have an older student work on a paper while a younger student does an art project.
If you are interested in turning this into a deeper study, the unit study has tons of great ideas. There are ideas for collecting items to make a display to go along with the book. That could easily be turned into a project using a 3 flap display board using news paper articles, maps, and pictures from Zamperini's life. If you are searching for end of the year writing projects, the unit study gives several suggestions for essays and research papers. Recommendations for media projects and art projects round out the choices to extend this study further. There's even a section of suggestions for incorporating geography complete with a vocabulary list! I love unit studies like this one that go the extra mile. This downloadable file gives the teacher a 77 page resource full of ideas to continue study beyond reading the book. 
 
Aside from the Digital Unit Study activities, we continued our study with pictures and quick research on various things mentioned in the book. The kids wanted to see a picture of a B-29 plane so we found one. They wanted to know more about the bombing of Hiroshima so I found images of it as well. The YWAM Heroes of History books always spark their appetite to learn more about certain time periods. If I was a really organized mom, I would make sure we read the books that go along with the history periods we are studying! Truly, I don't believe it matters too much. They love learning about all the different periods in history just like I did! And I'm still learning because I had never heard of Louis Zamperini until now!
YWAM offers Heroes of History and Christian Heroes Then & Now books on many people from history and current times. Last year I reviewed Heroes of History: Christopher Columbus: Across the Ocean Sea. Check out which books other Crew members received and what they thought of them:

Christian Heroes {YWAM Publishing Review}

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