7 Ways to Make your History Class Interesting

There is a notion amongst the student community that there is absolutely no need to know about people who do not exist anymore. There is also an assumption that to study History, very long answers are to be memorized in order to get good marks. Most of the students are not able to remember the what they study in history because they find them difficult to remember and recall. A large proportion of the students do not find the topics interesting and therefore end up in lack of understanding. Ever wondered why is it very common to hear that History is a ‘boring’ subject? Ever wondered why kids get less marks in History? Why is there so much reluctance in attending the history class? Let’s introspect…

A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots - Marcus Garvey

The bitter fact is that most of the teachers do not even try to make the history class interesting. There are a few who want to, but do not know how to do it. This article tries to focus on this issue. Let’s see how a history class can be more innovative and interactive.

Use a Story telling way – In my opinion, History is a collection of lots of interesting stories. Have you ever seen a child refusing to listen to a story? Perhaps no. Ditch the textbook in class, make a circle time, and tell them stories. Use props if required. They need not be costly or real. Use whatever is available in classroom, children have great imagination power. They will love this make-believe session.

Investigative Journalist – Arrange role plays where a few students play journalists of a news channel. Let them interview other students/teachers to find out about the past. Let them note the points and present it as a Newspaper article or a TV talk show. Have a look at Scrappy News to understand this and make it more interesting.

Role play/Dramatization – Let them dress up in the characters of the topic and present information about their lives and achievements. Works well while teaching topics like the Mughal dynasty, Dandi march or the Kalinga war.

Treasure Hunt - Hide clues at various places in the playground. As they crack the clues (from the topic taught), they progress to the next destination. Use props such as an old looking map, to retain the excitement.

Field Trips – Field trips are a great way to create interest in the students. The mere visual of ancient weapons, clothing, vessels and artifacts are enough to create the interest in the students.

Audio Visual Aid – Use AV aid whenever possible. Let them watch documentaries and historic movies. Serials such as ‘Bharat ek Khoj’ are available on YouTube. Show them the relevant episodes in class.

Debate/Group Discussion – Stimulate their mind with thought provoking questions. Let them debate over an issue or give their opinion about it. You can ask them questions like “what would you have done if you were in Ashoka’s place?” or “Why do you think Raziyya Sultana could rule only for four years though she was a better administrator than most of the men in her court?”

So, History class can be fun too. It just needs a little bit of willingness, innovation and effort.

Thumbnail Source: https://erikafranz.wordpress.com/2012/07/05/gaming-the-past-how-to-teach...


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