How to Make a History Class More Engaging?

History is a fascinating subject; we try to learn from the past experiences of our predecessors. However, not everyone attempts to learn history this way. Many students doze off halfway through the long list of names, figures, and dates. So, the heavy burden falls on the shoulders of the educator to increase student engagement and invent innovative ways to make the class more fun.

With all of the demands already placed on teachers, this can be a challenging job. But don’t worry. We’ve got your back. With the help of video lectures, infographics, and music, teaching history is really easy. You can also use a timeline infographic that you can create at Storyboard that to help the students visualize the events in a better way. Here are some more ideas to help make your history class more enjoyable.

  1. Don’t Just Read the Book 

With the younger generations, it’s a good idea to make them feel like they’re the ones in control. If you try to read a long, boring book with a group of bored teenagers or even adults, chances are they will lose interest after a few lines.

An easy way to not do much work and ensure that the session can be an engaging one is to ask them how they would like to study history. You can use video lectures, maybe show them a movie, or conduct a play.

  1. Become a Bard 

As a history teacher, you must know about the power of a bard. These Celtic poets were skilled at reciting the tales of mighty warriors and great kings. How can you make use of their power to teach a history lesson?

Well, we’re not suggesting that you pick up a mandolin and start singing your lessons. You can make use of music and poetry to teach your students history in an unusual and fascinating way.

  1. Integrate Pop Culture in Your Lessons

Well, almost all youngsters are well aware of historical pop-culture references and memes on the internet. We know that most of these aren’t very historically accurate, but it would be a nice idea to use these “hooks” at the start of your lecture and preferably somewhere in between to keep the students’ attention. 

  1. Go on a Field-Trip 

Using real-life examples and relating them to the past will again make the class more engaging. But these can also form memory banks in the minds of the students. The learners can think of a real-life place and relate it to their textbooks.

  1. Try Hands-on Learning

How can we implement hands-on learning in our history class? Here are a few ideas to consider:

  • Hold a historical-themed party.
  • Make costumes relating to that specific period.
  • Cook food relating to that time period.
  • Create handicrafts and toys from that era.
  1. Turn Your Lesson into a Story

So, why just teach facts and figures? You can treat your history book like a novel. Many students are curious about how the world came to be as it is now. If you try a chronological approach and treat your historical figures as protagonists, students may learn and understand better.

  1. Arrange Debate Sessions 

History books usually give us a biased version of the actual proceedings that took place in the past. If the students are allowed to argue against the writer’s philosophy and take a new approach to understanding and learning history, their interests in the subject would develop. Moreover, they can be more critical of their surroundings.

  1. Use Verbal and Non-Verbal Cues

Learners will enjoy learning a subject if the teacher is enthusiastic about teaching it. The educator’s body language and manner of speaking determine the attitude of the class.

The students feed off your energy. So, your facial expressions, gestures, vocals, and body language will all influence how the students respond.

  1. Make Use of Infographics 

What is an infographic? It is a visual representation of data in the form of a chart or story, usually in chronological order. There are many websites and software programs available that have easy-to-use templates for a historical timeline.

At the end of the session, you can also ask your students to create their own infographics or historical timelines. This will also make it easier for you to assess how much they understand.

These are some of the ideas that can help you increase student engagement during their history classes. Give them a try to understand which of the approaches is the most effective in your case.

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