If you had a dollar for every child, in the span of history, that exclaimed, “I hate school” you would probably be a trillionare by now. School is not the most exciting place to be for the majority of the minor population. However, in most societies, it is the law that every minor child attend through the age of 17.
After talking with many respected educators, we found out that one of the ways that teachers are attempting to retain the attention of bored students is to switch up the methods they use to teach with. To demonstrate how, we are going to take a look at how some educators are choosing to spice up the subject of world history. Below are three of those ways.
How many times did you fall asleep in history class? Be honest. For most children, history out of a book is about as exciting as waiting for the leaves to fall off a tree in Autumn. How much more exciting do you think it might be if your child could actually visit the Parthenon in Greece, see the Roman Colosseum, or personally visit the birthplace of Jesus of Nazareth?
Maybe you should take a trip down to Tennessee and survey some of the battlefields of the Civil War or take a trip to Egypt and experience the location of the proposed beginning of the human race. To listen to a lecture or read a chapter in a book will eventually brand the knowledge of world history into the brain of your young person.
With that said, to visit the genuine places of history and occupy the same space as characters such as Benjamin Franklin and Joan of Arc will tattoo world history on the heart of your student.
Let’s face it. Kids and quite a few of the adults, as well, love video games. Since the debut of the Atari 2600, people everywhere have invested years worth of time into playing. Some do it to relax, some play for the competition, and others do it to “keep up their hand eye coordination.” There is another purpose educators are beginning to take advantage of. That is to play to learn.
There are several video games for PC and for each of the many gaming platforms, such as XBOX and Playstation, that are capable of teaching your child tons about world history. However, we are going to explore one that, in most people’s opinion, is the best tool for this job: Sid Meier’s Civilization.
This is a game available on PC, Atari ST, Super NES, and XBOX. In Civilization, you are given the opportunity to make history yourself. However, you have to do it in the cultural path of one civilization of your choice. For example, if you choose to be Germany, your leader is Otto Von Bismarck. Your cities have names such as Berlin, Munich, Hamburg, and Cologne. Your unique unit is the Panzer and a building unique to this civilization is the hanse.
Throughout the game, you must build your people by either advancing them in science, culture, diplomacy, or by wiping the other countries off the map. In the process, your student learns about several unique aspects of countless societies and how to strategize diplomatic solutions.
It is a popular fact that most of us learn better through play. Puzzles are a great way to extend the effect of that fact into the arena of World History. Perhaps the challenge of a crossword puzzle containing facts that you must match up to certain world leaders would tickle their fancy.
You could also put together a scavenger hunt in which your students are given famous quotes as clues to the whereabouts of each item that has to be found. You could also have a race to see which team could put together a puzzle of an individual country the quickest.
This helps remind them of the geographic details of history. Another option would be to offer bonus points on a test for the correct answer to a brain teaser that can only be answered by paying attention in class. To make learning more fun, you can try incorporating hybrid learning activities like Wacky Wednesday ideas, where learning through creativity takes most precedence. Learning platforms like Sphero provides such hybrid activities by making use of programmable robots and STEAM-based educational tools that transform the way kids learn.
World History doesn’t have to be boring. Bring it to life for your student and then experience it with them.