Keeper of the Angels Den

Even though AWANAs has ended for the summer, I’ve been continuing to use the children’s AWANAs books as basis for their Bible times.  Emalee had finished her third grade T&T Book, but she hadn’t gotten around to doing more than one or two silvers before AWANAs ended for the year.  So, this summer, we’ve been going through more of the silvers and golds to dig into some direction for her Bible time.

As it happened, one of her recent gold assignments was to study a missionary, and we have several of the Heroes of Christian History books on-hand, and of those books, Emalee picked out Corrie ten Boom: Keeper of the Angel’s Den for us to read together.  I decided to include Bennett on this one and make it a mini-unit of history for both of my bigger kids.


As far as study went, we kept it simple.  We read the book and discussed it over the period of a couple of weeks.  In Carnegie unit terms, I would count the reading of this book and oral discussion as about six hours of work for my middle schooler.  Although we didn’t use it this time around, the WYAM website carries study guides for all their books that come with excellent discussion questions.

After we finished the book, we did spend a little time putting Corrie ten Boom on our timeline.  This was actually fun for me because every time Bennett opens his timeline notebook, he starts reviewing various things that we’ve studied.  Using the timeline notebook has been a great resource for us as we’ve made our way through studying history.

timeline sheet

This also really afforded us the opportunity to realize concretely that Corrie was only in prison one year.  We already had World War II on the timeline from a previous study, and it was excellent to be able to visually see how long she was in jail and in concentration camps.  So much happened once she was arrested that it seemed as if she were jailed forever, and I’m sure it felt that way to her as well.

The other thing that we did was to use the little visual biography sketches that I like so much.  Since this unit was actually targeted at Emalee and not at Bennett, I didn’t feel that a paragraph or essay was in order, and instead allowed the children to fill out the little note booking pages.

biography sketch

In all honesty, I think the note booking do just as good a job of encapsulating our knowledge as any essays that we might have written.  So, we drew on the book to create our own notebook pages, and as you can see, I welcomed invented spelling throughout.  It’s summer, and we’re not putting too much effort in.

We plan on watching The Hiding Place movie this week as well, and if we do, I will be allowing this whole simple little unit on Corrie ten Boom to count as 9 hours of world history.  The movie itself is 2 1/2 hours long, and I imagine we’ll have much to discuss after watching the movie.

As for me, I’ve been sparked to interest in reading the original The Hiding Place again after reading the biography that I read with the children.  I’m thinking I also want to read Hans Poley’s Return to the Hiding Place  and watch that movie.  If it passes my screening, I might return to this topic with the children and have them compare Poley’s account of the war and the underground movement with ten Boom’s account.  I think that would make some excellent vin diagramming and perhaps an even more extensive writing (thinking) assignment.

Even though we’ve studied the war before, this is our first real examination of the concentration and death camps, so I want to be careful to tread lightly and lay the tracks for later interest and examination.


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