I can still remember as a kid in elementary school how I believed History and Social Studies to be the least interesting subjects I had to take. All of those dates to memorize and how we read straight out of the textbook without any excitement made me dread History every day. If I could only turn back the clock and go back in time, I would tell my younger self that learning about history is fun.
The problem is that too many educators decide to teach History straight out of the textbook without varying from it one bit. Perhaps it is because they don’t enjoy teaching it. But with a little preparation and thinking outside the box, History can be one of the most interesting subjects to teach for educators and to learn as a child. Below are some tips to bring the past alive for children of all ages.
The Textbook Is Supplementary
For numerous subjects, educators will use the textbook as the be all and end all for teaching. However, the textbook should merely be used as supplementary material for learning the subject. After all, shouldn’t the teacher know better what the students need to learn rather than the publishers of the textbooks. All an educator has to do is look at the grade level curriculum map and then they can teach towards it whichever way they choose. I’m not saying to lose the textbook entirely, but don’t use it as your sole material for learning history.
I always enjoyed making dioramas as a kid to represent what I have learned in class. And there is not a better subject for making dioramas than History. My own students love it as well. It gives them a chance to show their creativity and knowledge on the subject. Plus, they often think of them like tiny displays that might be shown at a museum. I always let them start on it at home by allowing them to get about a quarter of it done, but then they must bring it into the classroom to finish the rest. I do this as a way to ensure that I am not just grading a parent’s diorama instead of their kid’s.
With TeacherTube and other such websites, there are millions of suitable educational videos for the classroom right at your disposal. There are videos that are merely a few minutes long, and then there are some that are upwards of an hour. In any case, you can definitely find videos that relate to what the kids are learning in the classroom. There are various types of learners, and some kids just learn much better from videos rather than a teacher lecturing at the front of the class. The goal should be for the students to learn the curriculum you are presenting, and if that involves showing and discussing videos about history now and then, make your lesson plans with that in mind.
Bring in Guest Speakers
It is amazing how some students can tune me out for most of the year, but when a guest speaker comes in, they come to life and start asking well thought out questions that are pertinent to what they are learning. Sometimes it is because the guest speakers are experts in this field and are able to excite the kids with their presentation. Other times it is probably because certain students are just sick of my voice and my face. Bringing in guest speakers for history lessons should not be difficult to do. There is a good chance there are many parents in the district that would be happy to talk about their favorite parts of history.
Improve Your Child’s Love of History
If you are concerned that your child is not learning and loving history like they should be, iAchieve can be of assistance. We have great History tutors that will work with your child one on one to improve their knowledge of the subject.
Written by Ryan Crawley