Say ‘History’ and students are willing to scream ‘Help!’ Why do students hate History so much?
Why children think History is boring!
- History is boring – full of treaties, laws and old information that make you yawn.
- Too factual – full of dates and places – too difficult to remember.
- Not relevant – children think History of past events is irrelevant to current modern age.
- Not interesting – History is full of wars that happened for silly reasons.
Face it! You cannot escape History. What we speak this minute is History the next. And History is relevant for these reasons.
Why History is important for students
1. History teaches us to learn from past mistakes
The World Wars, the Nazi rule, the Hiroshima-Nagasaki holocaust, the American War of Independence, the Indian Partition – all these teach us where even great men have failed.
2. History gives us warning signals
It is human to err and we humans keep on making mistakes. History warns of impending dangers. The futility of the Crusades, the failure of Communism, the polarization of Superpowers – all these is relevant even in today’s context of continuing violence in places like Syria.
3. History inspires us
When History narrates the tale of great martyrs, heroes and world leaders like Lenin, Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Abraham Lincoln etc, we feel inspired to follow their example.
How Teachers can Reduce Boredom During History Class
We now know that History is vital to guide us through the mystery of tomorrow. How to make it interesting then? This is how teachers can reduce boredom in History class.
Weave a fairytale around the mundane event
Tell the tales of History with creativity and charm your student audience. Spin an aura of magical enchantment around the mundane events to capture the interest of your class.
Have debates on crucial historical decisions
Divide the class into 2 factions. Take a historical decision-making event like ‘Was it right to divide India?’, ‘Could the collapse of the Soviet Union have been prevented?’ , ‘Was Hitler a great leader?’ etc. Get the children to debate for and against the topic. This makes the children thoroughly research the topic and so they remember it well.
Quizzes are the best way to get children to remember dates and events. Children always like games, group activities and contests. A quiz is the best way to get them to memorize dates and events.
Motivate children to prepare slides or PowerPoint presentations on topics like ‘ The Golden age of the Guptas’ or ‘The Sepoy Mutiny’. This evokes interest in the topic as it involves self-learning. Moreover, visual representation of historical events makes them worth remembering.
Conduct skits or short plays to enact historical events
History is full of stories and these stories make excellent plots for short plays. Children love theatre and drama. Organize historical dramas on kings like Akbar or Shivaji or on events like ‘The Battles of Tarain’ or ‘The Maratha Wars’.
Screen movies on historical events
Which child does not love movies? Screen movies like ‘Gandhi’ by Richard Attenborough or ‘Bridge on the River Kwai’ or ‘Schindler’s List’. These blockbusters are compelling stories to watch and narrate historical events in detail.
Use audio-visual aids
Make use of projectors to telecast your slides and presentations. Audio-visual aids have a telling impact on children’s minds and they remember History better.
Organize tours to historical places
Take children on short trips to historical places in your vicinity like Mahabalipuram, Hampi, Ellora caves. These places depict History in fine form with all their frescoes and sculptures. Make children absorb the grandeur of History by visiting such heritage sites.
History is a gift and a legacy handed over to us by our great ancestors over generations. Cherish the value of History by making it more interesting in class. Use practice papers to make History more retentive to students.
Log on to LetsPractise website to download latest History papers and worksheets for all classes.