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Monday, April 25, 2016

TOS Review - YWAM Publishing Heroes of History - Billy Graham

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Billy Graham is important to my family, so important that we named our first son partially in honor of Billy Graham. So, I was thrilled to get a chance to review the Digital Unit Study focused on the book Heroes of History - Billy Graham from YWAM Publishing.


What is YWAM Publishing's Heroes of History - Billy Graham?

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The paperback biography, Heroes of History Billy Graham America's Pastors by Janet and Geoff Benge, is just part of the package. To make the book come to life and instill a deeper understanding, there is also a 2-part unit study guide in PDF format. I received a paperback book and a curriculum guide that was a 74-page digital download in Unit 1 followed by Unit 2 that consisted of five activity pages.

The book I received is a paperback, 205-page biography. It contains 17 chapters that are written in an easy-to-read font for anyone in approximately 4th grade and up.

The biography is far from a boring book of statistics and facts. The book begins describing Billy Graham's life from a pivotal moment in time when he was about 12 years old. The way it is written grabs the reader from the very beginning with an emotional story that engages the reader to want to know more. The chapters continue through more important moments in Billy Graham's life, including meeting his wife and his first crusades, presidential encounters, civil rights tensions, and his final official address to America, though as of this writing he is still alive and headed to the age of 98. his life story has thankfully not yet completely come to an end, but the book captures amazing highlights that explain his legacy. 

The curriculum guide includes 8 sections:

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The Key Quotes

This section is set up to use for memory work, to search deeper into the meanings behind the quotes or to create a display highlighting the quotes. There were three or four quotes from Billy Graham and then quotes from his wife, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., C. S. Lewis and Thomas Jefferson.

My daughter has one of these quotes printed out in word art and inserted into her locket.



Display Corner

This section lists ideas of objects that have to do with Billy Graham or a part of his life. Students are encouraged to bring these items to class and set up in a display.

Since we are not a classroom, we didn't set up a complete display, but I did print out the unit study pages that include maps designed to label with places Billy Graham held rallies, and we have visited North Carolina and even have a close relative who lives there which has brought up conversations about the state.

Chapter Questions

There are six questions for each of the 17 chapters read. Of these six questions, there are vocabulary questions drawn from a referenced page in the text, a factual question, 2 questions to gauge the student's understanding level, and 2 open-ended questions.

Student Explorations

This section allows the student to get hands-on in their learning. There are suggestions for essays, creative writing, arts and crafts, audio/visual and hands-on projects.

Community Links

This section suggests ideas for going out into your community to learn more about Billy Graham's community involvement. For instance, it suggests a field trip to a church, speaking with a pastor or touring a radio station to get an idea of how Billy Graham may have used sound equipment to preach.

Social Studies

This is a unit study connection from the reading of the book as language arts to tying it in with social studies. It is broken up into 6 parts:


  1. Places
  2. Journeys
  3. Terms/Vocabulary
  4. Geographical Characteristics
  5. Timeline
  6. Conceptual Questions





Related Themes to Explore

Like any good unit study covers a multitude of topics, this one is no exception. It gives suggestions for how to tie in the biography with history, government, current events, science and technology, geography, and religion.

Culminating Event

Finally, everything is finished and time to bring it all together to show off what you learned. This section gives ideas for elaborate or simple events that bring it all together on display.

The final pages of the first part of the study guide includes Books and Resources and Answers to Chapter Questions

Unit 2 of the study guide has 5 activity pages to print and use.

How Did We Use It?



I gave the book to my 8th grader, printed off the five activity pages from the curriculum study guide, and used the 74-page curriculum guide online, printing only what I needed to print for physical use. The curriculum guide is intended ideally for those in Fourth Grade or above but is adaptable to multiple levels and styles of learning.



What Did We Think?

I am a big fan of unit studies and curriculum guides, but I've never been a great reader. My daughter is a huge fan of reading but is not a fan of curriculum guides. So, I figured between the two of us, we could make this work. I love how the curriculum guide is set up in segments with in-depth explanations as to how you can modify it to fit your needs. I really like how it's more than just questions, though there is a segment on questions at the end of each chapter. It doesn't end there. It presents multiple activities to bring the biography to life and really gain an understanding for what the time period was like for, in our case, Billy Graham growing up which helps to better understand who he became and the influence he has had on others.

ON A PERSONAL NOTE: Like I said at the beginning of the review, he will always be a hero of the faith to my family on a personal level. My husband and I were studying to be counselors at one of his crusades during the time I discovered I was expecting my first child. The faith that this man preaches and lives is what I needed. There is also a lesser known worship leader named Graham Kendrick around at the time, and the end result is that my son took on Billy Graham's last name and Mr. Kendrick's first name combined to make up his first name - Graham. So, I am always anxious to get my hands on any and everything written by or about Billy Graham. I'm so glad we had the opportunity to review this biography.


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SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS - Find YWAM online @:

Visit on line at ywampublishing.com, Facebook, Twitter @YWAMPublishing , Pinterest, and The YWAM Publishing blog.
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Read what other members of the TOS Review Crew thought by clicking on the picture below:

Christian Heroes {YWAM Publishing Review}


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1 comment:

  1. We also read the Billy Graham book and thoroughly enjoyed it! What a neat story about your firstborn. I love the name Graham! :-)

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