10 Creative Ways to Teach and Learn History

kids will now love history- Parenting resources by ZenParent

When we think of History as a subject, all we parents worry about is how our kids will memorize the important dates and keep a tab on which historical incidents happened when. But what if our kids no more dread learning more about it and rather, begin enjoy studying it?

These ways can surely make it more interesting for your children:

1. Wall Book : Talking about timelines, here’s another great idea. The What on Earth Wall book, brought to you by Pratham, is another neat timeline that can be spread out and hung up on a wall. Great to be used simply as a book, or even as a poster for a classroom or a child’s room, this timeline is full of awesome illustrations that show many centuries in history starting right from the Big Bang. Read more about it here.

2. Read Amar Chitra Katha Comics : There’s an interesting alternative to history books, and it’s been around for decades. We all grew up loving Amar Chitra Katha comics, and they have a whole series called Bravehearts. In this series, there are stories of over a hundred great people in Indian history. With their timeless illustrations, the comics have hardly changed at all over the past few decades, and that’s what makes them so appealing. My son never picked up a history textbook in his life, but knows the lives of Akbar, Shah Jahan, Shivaji, Jahangir and Tipu Sultan like the back of his hand- all thanks to ACK comics. Pick the latest editions here.

3. Make a Family Tree : What better way to begin learning history than to allow a child to discover history within the family. Making a family tree can be great fun. And when you make a family tree that crosses over three or more generations, it can also be a great opportunity for story telling and learning all about family members that are no longer with you.

4. Book of Centuries : We’ve all made a time line to chart and map events in history in chronological order, but it can have limitations. History is vast, and the more a child learns, the harder it gets to map events. After all, how long can you make a time line? Well, thanks to the Book of Centuries, you can make it huge! Big enough to cover 5,000 years or more! I discovered this genius idea while exploring Charlotte Mason homeschooling methods, and created one for my then 7 year old son with a little help from this site. Every time we read or learn about a date or important event, it is carefully recorded in The Book of Centuries. He doesn’t use it only for dates that he reads in history books. In it, he has recorded the births of his great grandparents and grandparents. It’s a book that will be useful for many years to come. Download your copy from here.

book of centuries for kids- Parenting resources by ZenParent

5. Make a family archive : Every family has stories, and if you have the time, you should sit down and write down stories about the people in the family. Better yet, put together an archive written by different people in the family- both old and young, about their own personal experiences and lives. Topics that make great stories include stories of births in the family, stories of family members migrating to a different place, and of course, love stories too! What a lovely idea to create a family history book. Any child would love to read it, and it would be a priceless treasure, passed on from generation to generation.

6. Watch historical movies : There are movies on every topic under the sun, and history is no different. Your TV can turn into a time machine. Having a Blast from the Past movie night once a week, and turn the telly into a time machine, and is a great opportunity to show children how people dressed in a certain era, or even about major historical events and the lives of people who lived in the past. Here’s a list of top 100 History movies. If you’re picky about what your child can watch, a lot of them are only suitable for children 12 and over.

7. Dress up in costume! : What little kid doesn’t love to play dress up? Most of our Indian leaders offer great scope for fun filled hours of playing dress up. Dress like a freedom fighter, a king or queen, or dress in the styles of ordinary people from a different era. Grab those dupattas to turn into turbans and those cardboard crowns and swords. Either way, you’ll get creative, have a blast and maybe even learn a thing or two!

8. Visit a historical museum : Every state in India is sure to have a museum dedicated to the past. There are many museums mentioned here. Click on your state, to find the archaeological museum closest to you.

9. Interview someone much older : Your child can interview anyone like a grandparent or great grandparent. Have your child come up with interview questions on her own, keeping in mind all the things she would like to learn about the past.

10. Make history by creating a time capsule to dig up in ten years… or fifty! : Build a time capsule, filling it with photos, letters, music, newspaper articles and other things that sum up the period or decade you live in. You could even make one every year to dig up on the child’s birthday to discover the ways in which they’ve grown each year.

Click here to read Rebecca’s favorite math resources.

Image Sources- via Dollar Photo Club

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