Make History Exciting Again!
Cris Johnson knows that for many kids, history is something they think is boring. However, teaching children about history is important and their knowledge of history will affect them in their futures. The history often repeats itself. The trials people go through and the lessons learned often show up multiple times in our history lessons, albeit different locations and time periods. But the main struggle is that learning history can be boring. So, how do you make history fun, interesting, and relevant? Here are some tips!
Incorporate hands-on learning
Hands-on learning is a great way to get everyone in your class involved! It is also a great way for them to better understand the culture of the time period. Have them make costumes from the time period. They don’t need to be fancy or realistic looking, but it will get them researching. The learning happens when they are trying to figure out what to wear. Your students could also build models of famous buildings, make products or crafts from the time period or prepare period themed meals (with help from a parent). The point is to get your students researching and to make them interested in culture.
Take Field Trips
Field trips are a very effective way to make history interesting. You can’t always take your kids outside of the classroom, but when you can, it can be very exciting for your students. Looking at historical artifacts makes history a lot more real to children. If you go to a museum, there are also guides who can offer your students a different historical perspective.
Incorporate Visual Media
Film has an unabashed love for history. For the more visual learners, movies and documentaries are a great resource for making history fun. Films and documentaries are another way students can see everyday life of different historical periods. Giving your students a guide to follow along with while watching the film is also great. It will keep them focused on the historical aspects of the film, which you can later discuss. Showing parts of a film or the whole thing will spark a discussion with your students.
“Uncle Sam’s Comedy Jam”
In “Uncle Sam’s Comedy Jam,” he will make them laugh, beg for more and pray that they get called upon to help out on stage. Cris turns the Bill of Rights into birthday presents that kids get to “take” home. The Constitution becomes a “dangerous” stunt that guarantees your students will remember that the three branches of our government are balanced and share their powers equally. Ever get splashed with with a few drops of Powerade? Some kids will when they learn about popular sovereignty. You’ll watch them scream with excitement and your teachers will praise the brilliance of these lessons.
Here’s What Is Covered During “Uncle Sam’s Comedy Jam”:
The Declaration of Independence
The Articles of Confederation
Common Good, Justice, Equality
The Thirteen Colonies
The Constitutional Convention
The Constitution & Bill of Rights
Amendments and Rules
Problems of the Colonists
Patriotism and Symbols of Freedom
The 3 Branches of Government
Separation and Balance of Powers