By Mary Hood, Ph.D.
When I was starting to get my thoughts together for this article, my 33-year-old son, who has always loved history, came in and asked me what I was working on. When I told him it was an article about helping children learn to love history, he said: “History can be so dull when you focus on places, dates, and names. To get someone to love it, you have to help them learn to walk in the shoes of the people who lived back then.”
So true . . . but how, exactly, do you accomplish that?
It has been almost fifty years since I was in seventh grade, but I still remember like yesterday how my social studies teacher inspired a whole classroom of students to love the study of history. She gave up many of her weekends to travel all over the state of Wisconsin with us, teaching us about various historical sites and telling us stories of the people who had lived in the area before we did. She told us about Solomon Juneau, who founded the city of Milwaukee. She shared the story of the first kindergarten in the United States and took us to see it. She walked around the state capitol building with us and helped us learn the names of the important state legislators from years past, as well as meet with some of the current men who worked there. Read more →