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  • Writer's pictureFiona Jackson

From Boring to Brilliant: Strategies for Teaching History That Children Will Love.

History has a reputation for being a dry and boring subject, but it doesn't have to be that way! With a little creativity and the right strategies, children can learn to love history and develop a deeper understanding and appreciation of the past. Here are some tips for transforming history lessons from dull to dynamic:

Make History Personal

One of the best ways to engage children with history is to make it personal.

Encourage them to think about their own family history and how it connects to the wider historical narrative. For example, you could ask them to interview an older family member about their experiences during a particular historical event or period, such as World War II or the 1960s. This can help children see history as something that is relevant and meaningful to their own lives.

Use Stories and Role Play

Children love stories, so why not use them to teach history?

Choose a particular historical event or figure and tell a story about them that brings the past to life. You could also encourage children to act out scenes from history using role play or drama activities. For example, they could reenact a famous battle or recreate a scene from the Industrial Revolution.

Take Learning Outside the Classroom

Sometimes the best way to learn about history is to experience it firsthand.

Take children on field trips to historical sites or museums where they can see artifacts and learn about the past in a more tangible way. If you can't go on a physical trip, consider virtual field trips or online tours of historical sites.

Make History Fun

Learning history doesn't have to be all serious and solemn. Inject a little fun and humor into your lessons by using games and activities that are related to the historical topic at hand. For example, you could create a quiz or scavenger hunt based on a particular historical period, or have children create their own historical board games.

You can even find some recipes from different time periods and recreate a 'taste of the past'.

Make Connections to the Present

Help children understand that history is not just about the past, but also about the present and the future. Encourage them to think about how historical events and movements have shaped the world we live in today. For example, you could discuss how the civil rights movement of the 1960s paved the way for the current fight for racial justice, or how the Industrial Revolution laid the groundwork for modern technology.

Make A Timeline

You can use florist's ribbon, or simply a long piece of string and either write on it, or make pictures or photographs to hang on your timeline with clothes pegs. Start by making a family timeline, beginning with your child's birthday, and including important family moments, such as the birth of a younger sibling or a house move or holidays. Then add a parents timeline, to show what happened before your child was born.

As their understanding widens create timelines that correspond with history events in the UK and the same time period in another country to create a more global concept of history and eventually how world history, as well as more localised history affect us all.

Teaching history can be a daunting task, but with a little creativity and effort, it can also be a rewarding and enjoyable experience for both you and your students. By making history personal, using stories and role play, taking learning outside the classroom, making history fun, and making connections to the present, you can transform your history lessons from boring to brilliant and inspire a lifelong love of learning in your children.

Resource's and Places We Love..... really this list could go on forever!!

Park in the Past

Fagl Lane, Hope, Nr Wrexham LL12 9HB

A fantastic History Park in the making - Open to the public Wed - Sun 10am to 5pm.

Visitors can experience the UK's only full size reconstruction of a 1st Century AD Roman Fort, currently under construction, but visitor are made very welcome.

This is a huge site with open parkland and a lake, they are also developing a Neolithic realm and eventually an Iron Age Farm.

The National Trust

Nationwide, amazing Historical Buildings and national parks.


Nationwide fantastic Welsh heritage sites and Castles.

Workshop providers

Arteology ( That's us!)

Providing family and adult workshops at Park in the Past and various other locations around North Wales and Shropshire as well as schools visits.

We are fun and friendly and absolutely madly passionate about history and art!

Pario Gallico

Check out their website for more information, but lovely people who create great workshops, predominantly for adults, but not always.

Horrible Histories TV series and books.

Absolutely fantastic and genius way to engage children ( and Adults!) in History - it is historically correct, and FUN! ..... Can you tell we're BIG fans!!!?

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