4 Tips for Making US History Lessons More Engaging for Kids

4 Tips for Making US History Lessons More Engaging for Kids
  • Opening Intro -

    As a future teacher, you need to know how to reach and engage with all your students. And while you'll get some tips in college, you don't learn everything.


Some subjects are harder to make interesting. Regardless of age, when people feel bored, it’s harder to focus.

If you’re going to teach elementary school, try out these four tips for making US history lessons more engaging for kids!

Make History Personal

When you’re student-teaching, find ways to make history lessons personable. Most kids love talking about themselves, and as a bonus, this helps you get to know your students.

You could kick off a history lesson by:

  • Having students make family trees
  • Starting with local history
  • Teaching about national holidays

When you pique your student’s interests, they feel engaged. For example, you can begin teaching local history by exploring the meaning of your state’s flag.

There are many fascinating facts about state flags you can teach! This then opens the floor to discussing state history and gradually building your way to US national history.

Make Lessons Hands-On

Throughout your years in school, you probably noticed engaging lessons were more memorable than long lectures. When you are finally in charge of the classroom, make sure your history lessons are easy to remember. One of the best ways to do this is by making it hands-on.

A field trip to a museum is more memorable than sitting at a desk and looking at photos of how America once looked. There’s nothing quite like getting up close and personal with the lesson. And by going to a museum, children see how artifacts looked and sometimes can even touch replicas.

For your classroom, make sure you have globes and maps. Depending on the age of your future students, you may want to include history-centric toys and picture books. This way, they can explore history through play.

Bring History to Life

You can’t always go on field trips or assign fun projects, so find ways to bring history to life. This tip for making US history lessons more engaging for kids helps you get your students moving and thinking simultaneously. Recreating historical scenarios isn’t just engaging, and it’s also a lot of fun for kids!

A prime example of how you can go about this is having students act it out. Either create groups or ask for volunteers after teaching a historical lesson and walk them through what to do.

So, if you’ve just taught your class about Paul Revere’s Midnight Ride, consider having a few students come up for a reenactment.

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Fun Reading Assignments

Finally, have reading assignments go together with history. Your students can draw connections and have an easier time with both historical facts and the story. This is anything from historical fiction to picture books on the topic.

As a future teacher, it’s up to you to keep students excited to learn, so intermix historical fiction with non-fiction and keep them excited to dive into the past!

Image Credit: making us history lessons more engaging by twenty20.com

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