Bringing History to Life in the Classroom

%3Cdiv+style%3D%22text-align%3A+justify%3B%22%3E%0D%0AThe+other+night+I+was+attending+the+%22meet+and+greet%22+with+my+daughter%27s+teachers+at+her+high+school.+We+were+given+our+child%27s+schedule%2C+and+we+were+asked+to+follow+their+daily+routine.+An+announcement+would+signal+the+transition+from+one+period+to+the+next.%3C%2Fdiv%3E%0D%0A%3Cdiv+style%3D%22text-align%3A+justify%3B%22%3E%0D%0A%0D%0A%3C%2Fdiv%3E%0D%0A%3Cdiv+style%3D%22text-align%3A+justify%3B%22%3E%0D%0AI+had+the+opportunity+to+sit+down+and+talk+with+my+daughter%27s+history+teacher%2C+%22Ms.+Jones%22.+Ms.+Jones+was+full+of+excitement+as+she+showed+me+the+class+syllabus+and+shared+the+upcoming+activities+and+projects+her+class+would+be+completing+this+year.+Ms.+Jones+informed+me+about+some+ideas+she+had+to+engage+her+students+in+relating+the+past+with+current+events.+This+included+using+music+%28an+all+time+favorite%29%2C+literature%2C+current+films%2C+field+trips%2C+etc.+I+for+one+wanted+to+join+the+class+and+absorb+all+that+Ms.+Jones+had+to+offer.%3C%2Fdiv%3E%0D%0A%3Cdiv+style%3D%22text-align%3A+justify%3B%22%3E%0D%0A%0D%0A%3C%2Fdiv%3E%0D%0A%3Cdiv+style%3D%22text-align%3A+justify%3B%22%3E%0D%0AWhy%3F+I+love+history%21+The+good%2C+the+bad%2C+and+the+ugly+parts+of+history.+It+is+like+reading+one+big+bedtime+story+with+many+unsavory+antagonists+and+a+hopeful%2C+life-changing+protagonist.+What%27s+not+to+like%3F%3C%2Fdiv%3E%0D%0A%3Cdiv+style%3D%22text-align%3A+justify%3B%22%3E%0D%0A%0D%0A%3C%2Fdiv%3E%0D%0A%3Cdiv+style%3D%22text-align%3A+justify%3B%22%3E%0D%0ASadly%2C+my+daughter+does+not+like+history.+She+claims+it+is+boring%21+She+joins+the+ranks+of+hundreds+of+students+who+do+not+like+learning+about+history.+Perhaps+it+is+the+methods+in+which+it+is+taught+or+perhaps+it+is+the+content+of+the+material+that+makes+it+%22boring.%22+Regardless+of+the+reason%2C+history+should+be+one+of+those+subjects+that+opens+the+door+for+class+discussions%2C+debates%2C+dramas%2C+projects%2C+and+my+personal+favorite%2C+creative+writing.%3C%2Fdiv%3E%0D%0A%3Cdiv+style%3D%22text-align%3A+justify%3B%22%3E%0D%0A%0D%0A%3C%2Fdiv%3E%0D%0A%3Cdiv+style%3D%22text-align%3A+justify%3B%22%3E%0D%0AWhat+can+we+do+to+help+students+overcome+the+boredom+of+history%2C+bring+history+to+life%21%21+Here+are+some+things+I+have+done+in+my+classroom+to+overcome+the+doldrums+of+history....%3C%2Fdiv%3E%0D%0A%3Cdiv+style%3D%22text-align%3A+justify%3B%22%3E%0D%0A%0D%0A%3C%2Fdiv%3E%0D%0A%3Cdiv+style%3D%22text-align%3A+justify%3B%22%3E%0D%0AGettysburg+Address%26nbsp%3B%3C%2Fdiv%3E%0D%0A%3Cdiv+style%3D%22text-align%3A+justify%3B%22%3E%0D%0AI+remember+having+to+teach+the+Gettysburg+Address+to+my+fifth+grade+class+one+year.+I+was+met+with+heavy+sighs%2C+moans%2C+groans%2C+and+disgruntled+students.+Before+we+dove+into+%22Four+Score+and+Seven+Years+Ago%2C%22+we+did+a+little+research+on+Abraham+Lincoln.%3C%2Fdiv%3E%0D%0A%3Cdiv+style%3D%22text-align%3A+justify%3B%22%3E%0D%0A%0D%0A%3C%2Fdiv%3E%0D%0A%3Cdiv+style%3D%22text-align%3A+justify%3B%22%3E%0D%0AI+had+my+students+make+top+hats+and+fake+beards.+We+took+turns+standing+on+a+small+step+stool+%28to+imitate+standing+on+the+back+of+a+train%29+and+slowly+but+surely+began+piecing+together+one+of+the+most+famous+presidential+speeches+of+all+time.+The+students+loved+imitating+Lincoln+and+as+we+learned+the+speech+the+students+began+to+ask+questions+as+to+why+the+words+were+written+in+this+manner%2C+what+did+they+mean%2C+and+who+was+he+addressing.%3C%2Fdiv%3E%0D%0A%3Cdiv+style%3D%22text-align%3A+justify%3B%22%3E%0D%0A%0D%0A%3C%2Fdiv%3E%0D%0A%3Cdiv+style%3D%22text-align%3A+justify%3B%22%3E%0D%0AOne+small+course+requirement+turned+into+a+lesson+with+much+greater+content.+All+it+took+was+reviving+Lincoln%21%3C%2Fdiv%3E%0D%0A%3Cdiv+style%3D%22text-align%3A+justify%3B%22%3E%0D%0A%0D%0A%3C%2Fdiv%3E%0D%0A%3Cdiv+style%3D%22text-align%3A+justify%3B%22%3E%0D%0AWhen+in+Rome%26nbsp%3B%3C%2Fdiv%3E%0D%0A%3Cdiv+style%3D%22text-align%3A+justify%3B%22%3E%0D%0AOur+history+curriculum+at+one+time+was+based+on+ancient+history.+To+bring+the+culture+of+Greek+and+Roman+to+a+greater+level+of+understanding%2C+I+instituted+Greek+and+Roman+day.%3C%2Fdiv%3E%0D%0A%3Cdiv+style%3D%22text-align%3A+justify%3B%22%3E%0D%0A%0D%0A%3C%2Fdiv%3E%0D%0A%3Cdiv+style%3D%22text-align%3A+justify%3B%22%3E%0D%0AAt+the+end+of+our+unit%2C+I+made+each+student+a+scroll+indicating+whether+they+would+be+Greek+or+Roman+for+the+day.+I+had+parents+donate+old+sheets+and+pillow+cases+to+make+tunics+and+togas%2C+we+made+traditional+head+wear%2C+jewelry+from+clay%2C+pipe+cleaners%2C+and+other+craft+items%2C+and+we+even+had+a+Greek%2FRoman+feast.%3C%2Fdiv%3E%0D%0A%3Cdiv+style%3D%22text-align%3A+justify%3B%22%3E%0D%0A%0D%0A%3C%2Fdiv%3E%0D%0A%3Cdiv+style%3D%22text-align%3A+justify%3B%22%3E%0D%0AThe+students+were+engaged+in+activities+from+writing%2C+acting+out+Greek+tragedies%2C+Olympic+Games%2C+and+of+course+my+favorite+the+reenactment+of+Julius+Caesar%27s+death.+Through+all+of+these+activities%2C+the+students+gained+such+an+insight+into+a+culture+that+has+over+the+years+evolved+but+has+not+been+forgotten.+The+pictures+made+a+great+collage+for+the+hall+and+later%2C+for+my+scrapbook.%3C%2Fdiv%3E%0D%0A%3Cdiv+style%3D%22text-align%3A+justify%3B%22%3E%0D%0A%0D%0A%3C%2Fdiv%3E%0D%0A%3Cdiv+style%3D%22text-align%3A+justify%3B%22%3E%0D%0AStudent+Timeline%26nbsp%3B%3C%2Fdiv%3E%0D%0A%3Cdiv+style%3D%22text-align%3A+justify%3B%22%3E%0D%0AWhen+studying+a+specific+time+period%2C+where+so+much+is+happening%2C+having+students+create+a+student+timeline+is+one+way+to+ensure+students+are+understanding+the+sequence+of+events+and+the+effects+they+had+on+future+events.%3C%2Fdiv%3E%0D%0A%3Cdiv+style%3D%22text-align%3A+justify%3B%22%3E%0D%0A%0D%0A%3C%2Fdiv%3E%0D%0A%3Cdiv+style%3D%22text-align%3A+justify%3B%22%3E%0D%0AFor+example%2C+in+studying+the+1920-1940+time+periods%2C+there+was+a+great+deal+to+learn.+The+manufacturing+of+automobiles%2C+gangsters%2C+prohibition%2C+jazz+music%2C+Suffrage+movement%2C+factories%2C+Great+Depression%2C+and+the+New+Deal+were+just+a+few+things+that+evolved+in+this+time+period.%3C%2Fdiv%3E%0D%0A%3Cdiv+style%3D%22text-align%3A+justify%3B%22%3E%0D%0A%0D%0A%3C%2Fdiv%3E%0D%0A%3Cdiv+style%3D%22text-align%3A+justify%3B%22%3E%0D%0ATo+simplify+the+events%2C+I+divided+the+events+into+categories.+I+had+the+students+research+a+chosen+category+%28great+for+written+report%29%2C+and+then+I+set+aside+a+day+where+the+student+would+present+a+brief+report+on+the+selected+topic.%3C%2Fdiv%3E%0D%0A%3Cdiv+style%3D%22text-align%3A+justify%3B%22%3E%0D%0A%0D%0A%3C%2Fdiv%3E%0D%0A%3Cdiv+style%3D%22text-align%3A+justify%3B%22%3E%0D%0AStudents+were+able+to+dress+up%2C+act+out%2C+create+props%2C+posters%2C+or+provide+pictures+to+go+with+their+presentation.+While+the+student+was+giving+his%2Fher+presentation%2C+I+took+a+picture+for+our+class+time+line.%3C%2Fdiv%3E%0D%0A%3Cdiv+style%3D%22text-align%3A+justify%3B%22%3E%0D%0A%0D%0A%3C%2Fdiv%3E%0D%0A%3Cdiv+style%3D%22text-align%3A+justify%3B%22%3E%0D%0AAfter+all+students+have+presented%2C+I+had+students+help+me+post+pictures+correctly+on+the+time+line.+%28You+can+also+post+their+report+under+their+photo+for+additional+information.%29+This+was+a+great+way+to+involve+students+in+learning+sequence+of+events+and+learn+a+little+history+along+the+way.%3C%2Fdiv%3E%0D%0A%3Cdiv+style%3D%22text-align%3A+justify%3B%22%3E%0D%0A%0D%0A%3C%2Fdiv%3E%0D%0A%3Cdiv+style%3D%22text-align%3A+justify%3B%22%3E%0D%0AThe+Great+Debate%26nbsp%3B%3C%2Fdiv%3E%0D%0A%3Cdiv+style%3D%22text-align%3A+justify%3B%22%3E%0D%0AThere+are+many+events+throughout+history+that+are+considered+%22Great+moments+in+history%22.+This+is+my+favorite+activity+to+do+with+students.%3C%2Fdiv%3E%0D%0A%3Cdiv+style%3D%22text-align%3A+justify%3B%22%3E%0D%0A%0D%0A%3C%2Fdiv%3E%0D%0A%3Cdiv+style%3D%22text-align%3A+justify%3B%22%3E%0D%0AWhen+learning+a+specific+time+period+or+event+in+history%2C+I+like+to+challenge+my+students+to+find+other+events+similar+to+what+we+are+learning.+Once+we+have+found+such+an+event%2C+having+the+students+%22debate%22+which+event+was%2Fis+greater+is+so+much+fun.%3C%2Fdiv%3E%0D%0A%3Cdiv+style%3D%22text-align%3A+justify%3B%22%3E%0D%0A%0D%0A%3C%2Fdiv%3E%0D%0A%3Cdiv+style%3D%22text-align%3A+justify%3B%22%3E%0D%0AUsing+historical+facts%2C+cause+and+effect%2C+dates%2C+details%2C+and+reenactments+if+needed%2C+students+present+their+case.+Not+only+does+this+encourage+research+skills%2C+but+it+is+also+a+method+to+improve+oral+presentation+skills%2C+compare+and+contrast+skills+%28a+little+grammar+lesson%29%2C+and+opens+the+door+for+great+insight+and+class+discussion.%3C%2Fdiv%3E%0D%0A%3Cdiv+style%3D%22text-align%3A+justify%3B%22%3E%0D%0A%0D%0A%3C%2Fdiv%3E%0D%0A%3Cdiv+style%3D%22text-align%3A+justify%3B%22%3E%0D%0APosing+questions+such+as+%22Which+had+a+greater+impact+on+the+U.S.+WWI+or+WWII%3F%22+before+introducing+the+wars%2C+is+a+great+way+to+entice+student+thinking.%3C%2Fdiv%3E%0D%0A%3Cdiv+style%3D%22text-align%3A+justify%3B%22%3E%0D%0A%0D%0A%3C%2Fdiv%3E%0D%0A%3Cdiv+style%3D%22text-align%3A+justify%3B%22%3E%0D%0AWhere+in+the+World+is+Mrs.+Conway%3F%26nbsp%3B%3C%2Fdiv%3E%0D%0A%3Cdiv+style%3D%22text-align%3A+justify%3B%22%3E%0D%0AGeography+is+a+difficult+subject+for+many+students.+When+given+a+map+of+the+United+States+and+having+to+learn+all+50+states+and+capitals%2C+many+students+feel+overwhelmed.%3C%2Fdiv%3E%0D%0A%3Cdiv+style%3D%22text-align%3A+justify%3B%22%3E%0D%0A%0D%0A%3C%2Fdiv%3E%0D%0A%3Cdiv+style%3D%22text-align%3A+justify%3B%22%3E%0D%0ATo+help+students+have+fun+learning+a+specific+area%2C+I+would+give+a+trivia+question+%28for+extra+credit+or+points+towards+a+class+reward%29+describing+a+place+where+I+would+be+traveling.+Borrowed+from+the+video+game+and+Saturday+cartoon+Where+in+the+World+is+Carmen+Sandiago%2C+I+posted+a+large+map+of+the+world+on+a+bulletin+board+with+the+caption%2C+%22Where+in+the+World+is+Mrs.+Conway%3F%22.+I+then+placed+a+small+picture+of+a+plane+with+my+name+on+the+board.+At+the+end+of+the+day%2C+I+would+post+a+question+about+a+specific+location+and+the+students+would+have+to+look+it+up+using+atlas+or+other+means.+When+the+answer+was+given%2C+a+pin+would+be+placed+on+the+map.%3C%2Fdiv%3E%0D%0A%3Cdiv+style%3D%22text-align%3A+justify%3B%22%3E%0D%0A%0D%0A%3C%2Fdiv%3E%0D%0A%3Cdiv+style%3D%22text-align%3A+justify%3B%22%3E%0D%0ASpecial+Guests%26nbsp%3B%3C%2Fdiv%3E%0D%0A%3Cdiv+style%3D%22text-align%3A+justify%3B%22%3E%0D%0AWhen+I+was+teaching+about+India%2C+I+have+the+privilege+of+having+several+students+whose+family+originated+in+India.+I+asked+them+to+come+and+share+their+culture+with+the+class.%3C%2Fdiv%3E%0D%0A%3Cdiv+style%3D%22text-align%3A+justify%3B%22%3E%0D%0A%0D%0A%3C%2Fdiv%3E%0D%0A%3Cdiv+style%3D%22text-align%3A+justify%3B%22%3E%0D%0ANot+only+did+they+come+and+share+but+they+included+activities+for+the+students+to+participate+which+brought+the+culture+to+life.%3C%2Fdiv%3E%0D%0A%3Cdiv+style%3D%22text-align%3A+justify%3B%22%3E%0D%0A%0D%0A%3C%2Fdiv%3E%0D%0A%3Cdiv+style%3D%22text-align%3A+justify%3B%22%3E%0D%0AFor+example%2C+the+art+of+applying+henna+in+hands+and+feet+is+known+as+Mehendi+and+it+is+a+very+old+custom+and+ancient+art+form+in+India.+One+of+the+parents+brought+in+materials+needed+and+applied+henna+to+the+students%27+hands.%3C%2Fdiv%3E%0D%0A%3Cdiv+style%3D%22text-align%3A+justify%3B%22%3E%0D%0A%0D%0A%3C%2Fdiv%3E%0D%0A%3Cdiv+style%3D%22text-align%3A+justify%3B%22%3E%0D%0AAnother+parent+showed+the+students+how+to+make+and+wrap+a+turban%2C+while+another+handed+out+treats.+The+kids+loved+it%21%3C%2Fdiv%3E%0D%0A%3Cdiv+style%3D%22text-align%3A+justify%3B%22%3E%0D%0A%0D%0A%3C%2Fdiv%3E%0D%0A%3Cdiv+style%3D%22text-align%3A+justify%3B%22%3E%0D%0AAnother+idea%2C+I+have+yet+to+try+but+look+forward+to+adding%3A%3C%2Fdiv%3E%0D%0A%3Cdiv+style%3D%22text-align%3A+justify%3B%22%3E%0D%0A%0D%0A%3C%2Fdiv%3E%0D%0A%3Cdiv+style%3D%22text-align%3A+justify%3B%22%3E%0D%0AMusic+Makes+the+World+Go+%27Round%26nbsp%3B%3C%2Fdiv%3E%0D%0A%3Cdiv+style%3D%22text-align%3A+justify%3B%22%3E%0D%0AMs.+Jones+gets+all+the+credit+for+this+idea+of+combining+music+and+history.+Throughout+history%2C+music+has+had+its+place+and+tells+a+story+all+its+own.%3C%2Fdiv%3E%D%0A%3Cdiv+style%3D%22text-align%3A+justify%3B%22%3E%0D%0A%0D%0A%3C%2Fdiv%3E%0D%0A%3Cdiv+style%3D%22text-align%3A+justify%3B%22%3E%0D%0AFor+example%2C+what+would+the+world+have+been+like+without+composers+such+as+Bach%2C+Beethoven%2C+or+Mozart%3F+What+story+did+their+compositions+tell%3F%3C%2Fdiv%3E%0D%0A%3Cdiv+style%3D%22text-align%3A+justify%3B%22%3E%0D%0A%0D%0A%3C%2Fdiv%3E%0D%0A%3Cdiv+style%3D%22text-align%3A+justify%3B%22%3E%0D%0ARemember+the+little+diddy+%22In+1492+Columbus+sailed+the+ocean+blue%22%3F+If+it+wasn%27t+for+this+song%2C+I+would+never+remember+the+date+of+Columbus%27+great+voyage.+Setting+dates%2C+facts%2C+people%2C+and+events+to+music+is+a+wonderful+way+to+remember+important+historical+facts.%3C%2Fdiv%3E%0D%0A%3Cdiv+style%3D%22text-align%3A+justify%3B%22%3E%0D%0A%0D%0A%3C%2Fdiv%3E%0D%0A%3Cdiv+style%3D%22text-align%3A+justify%3B%22%3E%0D%0AAnd+just+a+thought%2C+Batman+had+his+theme+song.+What+if+George+Washington+had+a+theme+song+as+he+was+crossing+the+Delaware%2C+or+if+Paul+Revere+as+he+was+riding+to+give+the+British+warning%2C+what+would+it+be%3F%3C%2Fdiv%3E%0D%0A%3Cdiv+style%3D%22text-align%3A+justify%3B%22%3E%0D%0A%0D%0A%3C%2Fdiv%3E%0D%0A%3Cdiv+style%3D%22text-align%3A+justify%3B%22%3E%0D%0AYou+would+be+amazed+at+how+quickly+students+would+sit+down+to+write+a+theme+song+%28using+historical+events+of+course%29+for+Mr.+Washington+and+Mr.+Revere%3F+This+not+oonly+engages+them+in+the+learning%2C+but+allows+them+to+use+their+creativity+to+enhance+their+learning+experience.%3C%2Fdiv%3E%0D%0A%3Cdiv+style%3D%22text-align%3A+justify%3B%22%3E%0D%0A%0D%0A%3C%2Fdiv%3E%0D%0A%3Cdiv+style%3D%22text-align%3A+justify%3B%22%3E%0D%0AHistory+is+a+wonderful+story+just+waiting+to+be+told.+Engaging+students+is+key.+Once+they+are+engaged%2C+learning+will+take+place.%3C%2Fdiv%3E%0D%0A%3Cdiv+style%3D%22text-align%3A+justify%3B%22%3E%0D%0A%0D%0A%3C%2Fdiv%3E%0D%0A%3Cdiv+style%3D%22text-align%3A+justify%3B%22%3E%0D%0AMyree+Conway+is+a+real+teacher+blogger+for+TeachHUB.com.+Established+by+teachers%2C+for+teachers%2C+TeachHUB.com+offers+educators+recommended+classroom+tools%2C+professional+development%2C+daily+lesson+plans%2C+and+education+news.+The+website+is+dedicated+to+improving+the+quality+of+education+and+invests+in+the+opinions+of+teachers+when+providing+resources+and+support+for+both+inside+and+outside+the+classroom.%3C%2Fdiv%3E%0D%0A

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