Teaching history to students is no easy feat. The challenge is finding ways to make the subject interesting enough that they stay engaged and wanting to learn more.
Here are four strategies that you can employ to help to bring history to life for students.
Plan Educational Field Trips
There is no better way to learn about history than to immerse yourself in it. Savvy educators plan educational field trips as a supplement to what they are teaching in the class.
Start by exploring historical sites in your area. If you can find enactments, performances, or original historical documents and artifacts in your area, this is another great way to make learning history fun for students.
You can also consider taking a trip to an art museum to tie this element into your history lessons.
Use the Right Curriculum
The cornerstone of all effective history lessons is the right curriculum. You cannot expect students to absorb the information without the appropriate curriculum as the backbone.
For example, when looking for the best 8th grade history curriculum, be sure to choose lessons that are age-appropriate but that challenge students to think beyond their comfort zone.
The good news is that you do not even need to spend a fortune to find high-quality educational resources. The Adobe Education Exchange is an excellent resource for educators looking to inform and inspire.
Make it Relevant
By making history relevant to today’s world, you will naturally inspire students to want to learn more.
Making the learning student-directed will encourage them to take the lead and get more out of it. You should also demonstrate how what happened centuries ago still has a bearing on society now.
This will help to impress on students how they are connected to a bigger picture, regardless of how small they feel that they are in this world. Elections are another great way to show students how what is happening now in the world will have a significant impact on how history views this period in time.
Employ Research Projects
You will be doing students a great service if you lean on the use of research projects to make history more exciting.
Rather than assigning standing reading, let students choose topics that pique their interest and find new ways to learn about that subject. Instead of focusing on a series of lessons on the surface level, spend some time encouraging students to go deeper with a topic of their choice.
Not only will this teach them more about history in general, but it will also provide them with valuable research skills that they can apply to other areas of their education. Be sure to teach students the difference between primary and secondary sources and how to leverage both.
Learning history does not have to be boring and uninteresting. With the right strategies, you can encourage your student to dive right in and expand their understanding of the world around them with historical perspectives.