Are you teaching middle school history? Don’t worry! Middle school history is easy and fun to teach using these ten tips.
Middle School History Tips
1. Historical Fiction
History fiction is a fabulous way to bring different time periods to life for our kids. They experience life in the time as the character sees it. the problems become intimate
Keep history chronological and start at the beginning. It’s hard to understand the Dark Ages without understanding the Romans. It’s hard to comprehend the importance of the Renaissance if you don’t know about the Dark Ages.
To be honest middle school kids love to read about the Egyptian mummies and pyramids, the Roman gladiators, and Vikings. There’s a lot of fascinating facts to learn about history.
3. Choose a Core
Choose a core text to guide your way through history. This is a book or textbook that covers all of history. The book doesn’t need to be think or detailed. It’s simply an overview of what is going on.
You and your child read about a time period, person, or event before writing a short narration about what you learned. Then you encourage rabbit trails.
4. Encourage Rabbit Trails
Rabbit trails are the detours you take in your studies. Because the core text is simply giving you an overview of the time, place, and people, you need to research to fill in the holes. This is the time to encourage your child to investigate something interesting about the time.
Since most middle school kids will be studying history again in high school, you don’t need to try to learn everything. Focus on the most fascinating bits with your child. You never know where these rabbit tails will lead.
5. Horrible Histories are Fun
If you’ve never read a Horrible History book, you’ve missed a terribly delightful treat. The Horrible History books concentrate on the fascinating bits of history that make you cringe, gross you out, and make you grateful to live in 2016.
Middle school kids adore these books, and they do teach a lot of history in between the EWWW factor.
6. Use Elementary Level Books Liberally
There’s no reason to insist your middle school child uses only difficult reading material. Reading material that is meant for younger children is easy to read, easier to understand, and help to teach kids research skills.
Use literature and periodic difficult history books in the homeschool, but encourage your child to use elementary books for research. Focus on the skills you’re teaching.
7. Write Papers
History has fodder for many, many writing assignments. Have your child write research papers about their favorite historical topic. They can write compare and contrast papers writing about the difference between Roman gladiators and the Greek Spartans.
You can even write short stories about characters living during the history time period you’re studying.
8. History Projects
Don’t forget the many, many historical projects you can do. Create the armor of a crusader. Build salt maps of the United States or Europe. Try your hand at weaving or creating urns.
Check out books such as Victorian Days for ideas on projects, activities, and recipes to try as you study history.
9. Study with Friends
Make a study group of friends. You can meet once a week or once a month at various houses. Assign topics to be studied individually. Come together to exchange research and do projects together.
You can try reenactments together or have medieval or Roman dinners. There’s even the possibility of getting all the families together ever few months for a big historical bash.
10. Have Fun
Middle school does up the amount of information that needs to be learned but have fun along the way. Encourage projects and research. Watch movies and documentaries.
Don’t worry about learning every historical detail. Instead concentrate on enjoying your studies and deepening a love of learning.
Studying middle school history is a lot of fun. The stakes aren’t as high as high school, but the kids are ready for more learning and discussion.
Relax, take your time, and do a few projects along the way.