February 2008

History as Story

“Don’t know much about history,” the old song goes. Indeed, for some students history can be a seen as a sure cure for insomnia.

If you’re finding that your students’ eyes are glazing over as you slog through these lessons that cover the history of the ancient kings of Israel, don’t despair. Although history can be a difficult subject to teach, it helps if you present these lessons in the form of a story. For example, perhaps you (or a volunteer actor) can dress up as King Asa and come tell the story as a first person narrative. Maybe you can invite a rabbi from the local Jewish synagogue to come and share the history of the Jewish people in story form. Another option is to find a movie that depicts life in ancient Israel during the time of these kings. The point is, students should be much more receptive to learning these lessons from history if they are shared as interesting stories, rather than historical facts to be memorized.