“History is philosophy teaching by examples.”
That quote is attributed to the great Athenian general and historian, Thucydides. We all know the old saying, “those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it.” While true, the quote from Thucydides gives that saying true gravity. History not only teaches us about the past, it teaches us about ourselves. It teaches us the principle that everything throughout history has a grand purpose and plan laid out by our Creator.
So this bears the question, do you find yourself in a history teaching rut? Do you find yourself repeating endless lessons without flavor and life? Do you spend too many days assigning text without context or meaning?
Don’t feel ashamed, we’ve all been there.
I’ve got good news, you can bring history to life immediately. Allow me to share just a few ideas and a little background on myself.
How many hands-on learning activities have you engaged your students in this week? This is a great visual for all you history teachers out there!
Having a tough time grabbing your students attention for a particular class? Try reflecting on these questions as your prep for your lesson.
- What is the big idea for my lesson?
- How can I incorporate movement into this lesson?
- Can I incorporate a dramatic, cinematic score into the climax of my lesson?
- How can I get my students outside my classroom walls for this lesson?
- Could my students demonstrate the main idea of this lesson with play-dough?
- How can I incorporate technology into this lesson?
- Could my students video a summary of the lesson with their tablet for this lesson?
- How does this lesson relate to the lives of my students?
- How can I arrange the desks to maximize the experience for this lesson? Could I eliminate desks for this lesson?
- Why am I teaching this lesson?
This is the first part of an ongoing series on student engagement in the classroom.