Society & Culture

Making History Come Alive

historyWhether you’re a teacher or tour guide, conveying historical information is often difficult with certain groups. School groups and elderly day trips have vastly different backgrounds, for example. Teachers must make it a point to alter their teaching style to engage everyone. Teaching history isn’t just the job of educators; it’s also a challenge for artists as well. Books, movies and documentaries need passionate explanations to effectively touch people.

Lead with the Familiar

Learning about an ancient time is often difficult because of disconnects within cultures. Today’s technologically driven students can’t relate to the Egyptians and building the pyramids. Teachers and historians must find familiar outlets to connect these time eras. Talking about certain tools people use today and comparing them to ancient tools is one way to bridge the gap. Even commercial products, such as drinks, can be used to make the content more understandable. When people see ancestors as an extension of themselves, the learning process becomes much easier.

Drama Adds Flavor

Covering long history durations, such as wars over several years, creates a monotonous section that typically loses its impact with the audience. Instead of pointing out chronological events, pick out key moments and work your emphasis around these areas. You’ll grab the audience’s attention and keep it, creating a more valuable learning experience. Don’t exaggerate sections, however, just to make a story more interesting. Stick to the facts, but add in little-known information to spice up the action.

Real-Life Woes

Life is usually more unique than any fictional story, but every era has its own artistic value in the form of books and movies. To truly bring a decade to life, pull out a fictional story reflecting the values of the time. “To Kill a Mockingbird” or “The Great Gatsby” are perfect fictional stories that pull the local times into an attractive journey. You’ll find students and other learners to be more enthralled with the 1920s, for instance, when they read about the lavish parties back then.

Music and Culture Collide

To bring people out of the history book, consider a supplemental study on local culture. If you’re learning about Mexico’s history, for example, take a look at family culture and how people connect on a daily basis. You’ll find historical accounts of simple tales that shape an entire community instead of the basic information found in a standard textbook. Bringing history to life means talking and exchanging with other people.

Tangible Experiences

Not everyone learns in the same manner, making it crucial to create experiences with historical items. A trip to a local museum allows learners to see and possibly touch relics from decades ago. Traditional dances performed in authentic clothing are another way to immerse your audience. Even encourage them to participate in the dance to get a true feeling of past people. History is rich, but how it’s explained makes a big difference in people’s attention spans. Being able to touch or experience history is the best way to make an impression in the mind.

From learning about Bacardi Cuba struggles to World War II, each historical event has many facets to its explanation. Match a student group to a particular historical event carefully to excite them about the period.

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