Sunday, March 10, 2013

Hands On Learning: History

One of the BEST ways I can think of to learn about history is to travel to the places where historical events took place. Want to teach about the Boston Tea Party? Go to Boston! Want to teach about colonial times? Go to Colonial Williamsburg, Plymouth Rock, or Salem Mass. Want to teach about the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Liberty Bell? Go to Philadelphia. Traveling to these places makes history come alive for young learners and is sure to spark their interest!

Can't get out of town right now? There are a TON of interactive games online. Check out some of these sites!

Not into online games? Try doing a re-enactment! Kids will truly get a full understanding of a historical event if they have to live it. If they have to do the research to be Abraham Lincoln, or a civil war hero, or Thomas Jefferson, they will really get to know their character and how that person played a part in history.
Create your own game show. You could create a game show based on historical events and people. Set it up like Jeopardy or Wheel of Fortune. Kids will love competing for prizes. Step it up a notch and get real buzzers for them to hit when they know the answer!

Play History Bingo. The board can have people's faces on them (George Washington, Sally Ride, Susan B. Anthony) and the clues could be facts about those people.

Do a scavenger hunt. Hide clues around the room, house, yard, or classroom that relate to a particular topic or historical figure. The kids have to find the items and guess what they will be learning about. Great way to introduce a topic for the first time. It gets them engaged and excited about it right off the bat!

 Pretend you are a historical figure and create a diary as that person. You could start by aging paper to make it look old and authentic (directions for aging paper on the website under teaching tips). Attach a feather to a pencil to make it look more like a quill pen. They could even make a special article of clothing that they wear when they are writing in their diaries.

Just a little thinking outside the box can open up a whole new world of learning for your kids! Try it!

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