Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.
We have been blessed this month with an opportunity to review Benjamin Franklin: Live Wire which is a part of the Heroes of History series by YWAM Publishing. Through previous reviews and lots of family reading, we were already very familiar with this series. I did not have to ask my son if he wanted to participate in this review, just which title he wanted to try. There are so many great titles that it was a tough decision, but he finally decided on Benjamin Franklin.
The Heroes of History series are all biographies of heroes that had a historical impact and told from a Christian perspective. Some of these go back to the founding of our country, men such as William Bradford and Captain John Smith. Others are more modern day heroes like Ben Carson and Billy Graham.
Benjamin Franklin: Live Wire told the story of the life of Benjamin Franklin. The book shared stories from his childhood through his adult life including his inventions and political contributions. My son said his favorite part was when they were talking about Benjamin Franklin’s younger years, after he moved to Philadelphia, when he was working with the post office and helping with the fire service.
In addition to the book, we received a PDF study guide which included 83 pages of ideas and activities. You could use this to make the book into a complete unit study or you can pick and choose activities to make it fit your needs. There are discussion questions for each chapter, writing prompts, creative writing activities, hands on projects, and arts and crafts. The guide also included a timeline activity, basic information sheet, and several maps. We chose to select a variety of activities to expand on his learning through the book but did not attempt to complete all of it since he was also continuing his other studies.
I started by having my son complete the basic information sheet, timeline and a couple of the maps to help him show me what he had learned while reading the book. I also had him answer a small selection of the discussion questions. Then, he was to choose two activities from the wide variety in the study guide.
First, he chose to make a movie about Benjamin Franklin. He decided to use Stop-Motion animation for the movie. It was short and a bit silly (he is a thirteen-year-old boy), but it showed some of what he learned and he had a great time being creative.
Next, he decided to write a one act play about Benjamin Franklin and the Stamp Act. Again, I saw both a good understanding of the content and the silliness of a thirteen-year-old boy. It was a great way to allow him to express himself, share his knowledge, and yet not feel bogged down by a formal paper or book report.
The books work great as a family read aloud, independent reading, or complete unit studies when combined with the study guides. For our family, I prefer to use most of the books as read alouds or personal reading, but add in the study guide for a unit study once or twice a year.
If this book interest you, you might also want to check out my reviews of one of a couple of the other books in the series: Alan Shepard and Orville Wright. You can also click the graphic below to check out the variety of reviews by other Crew members. There are so many great choices to choose from. Which one would you like to try?
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