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1956BD 1956BD is online now
Joined: Aug 2007
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1956BD's Avatar
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 28,621
Senior Member
Make it fun
Old 07-08-2017, 11:00 AM
Clip to ScrapBook #5

They still have short attention spans. So change activities (not the learning topic necessarily) but how they are learning every 15 to 20 minutes.

Research historical cartoons. Find some that relate to your topics. Share them on your document camera and discuss. At least one a week would be excellent. When they are not listening and you've lost them pull the cartoon out. Maybe then they can draw their own version. This may take more than a year to collect but I would get started now and build as you go.

Make a current events connection weekly. This could be through print or video. Share with the class. Discuss the current situation. Then ask if there are any historical connections. This might be a good time to have the write a response. Writing across the curriculum is good for them. You can model a few times to get them started.

Use Youtube if possible. Great clips on many social studies and historical topics.

Use historical films. Just show short scenes to open a discussion or topic.

Give them an opportunity to work in small groups weekly. They could answer an either or choice or would you rather question. No real answers but they need to support their choices in an all class discussion.

Play music from different periods of time.

Look at art from different cultures and periods to learn about that culture.

Make connections world wide. When this was happening in Africa, America was........ and in South America the blah blah was discovered. The purchase of a really good wold timeline for the classroom might be a great resource. There are also timeline books of history.

Kids this age care about fashion. Talk about what people were wearing at the time, how they wore their hair, their dental care or lack of, their hygiene habits, how old the average person lived from that era.

Discuss inventions and inventors form each historical period.

Bring in great disasters like earthquakes, fires, hurricanes..... These are fascinating to most people.

When were famous buildings built? What tools did they use? How many slaves died before it was finished? How long did it take to complete?

I would research and find good picture books you can share with the class about history. One I can think of that is seventh grade worthy is The Encounter by Jane Yolen. It is about the arrival of Christopher Columbus in The Americas however it is not told from his point of view but rather the point of view of the native on the island where he landed. The same author also write a series called An Unsolved Mystery From History:???? My favorite is The Mary Celeste. They are not too old to be read to.

Do some projects.

Dress up some days to reflect what you are learning.

This may seem overwhelming but the key is to make the history enjoyable to learn. Have fun with it! If you have their attention they will learn more. Laugh and have fun yourself. If you are enjoying the topic there is a better chance they will too.


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