10 Elements for Teaching History 1

1.  Make it Meaningful

Meaningful is More than Fun

We all love chocolate. We also all love a Thanksgiving Feast.  And which of those do we appreciate more? Of course Thanksgiving is more meaningful.  While chocolate is a quick fix, we are not satisfied for long. But after a good Thanksgiving meal we sit back, put up our feet and sigh.  My point?  Fun vs. Meaningful.  Fleeting vs. Lasting.

How do we make the STUDY OF HISTORY meaningful for our students? Simply by connecting history to our natural inquisitiveness.  History is a series of events. Historians try to put those events together in different ways to find reason behind the events. Answering the question of WHY.

Human minds are ever-inquisitive. We have many question words because we are not satisfied with simple answers.

Who?  What?  When?   Where?  Why?  How?  In What Way?  For What Reason? Who Cares?

Granted, a student may not be interested initially in “What Made Rome Fall,” which is one of those critical history questions. But when you, as a teacher, turn it into a mystery and make a game of their defending their idea, suddenly you have upped-the-ante for their finding the answer.


2. Give it a Place –>

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