How to Engage Young Children with American History

How to Engage Young Children with American History

Young kids have a tremendous amount of curiosity and the ability to understand even complicated subjects such as American history. Some education experts strongly believe that it is worthwhile to expose children to history through a variety of methods and teaching approaches. This, in turn, helps lay the foundation for young minds in developing a historical consciousness.

Kids Get It

Young children can handle abstract concepts and are more sophisticated in their thinking than adults give them credit for. Studies show that kids can grasp historical time. Even little ones in early childhood could distinguish between “long ago and close to now” although they had not developed any idea of years or dates.

The research was conducted by educators in Norway, where the country believes that history is important even for small children.

Letting Them See It

One excellent teaching technique for young pupils in learning how to read is bringing historic episodes to life through illustrations, etc. For instance, children’s books about 9/11 offer young minds concepts that are simple to absorb about an iconic time in American history.

Picture books are beneficial to elementary school pupils, especially with a complex topic such as 9/11, and these stories make history accessible and allow for more interactive communication between a teacher and the students.

Hands-On Learning

Another useful approach in engaging young children with American history is to let pupils touch, try and smell. Kids are interested in small details, and it helps them learn this way.

Teachers can try this method by having their pupils touch historical objects that relate to a date in time. Maybe it’s a child’s toy from the 1800s or a pair of shoes, a hat, or an old book.

If it’s perceptible by touch, it helps a young mind to grasp the concept.

Visits to a museum are another useful teaching approach to American history or letting kids visit an early American schoolhouse to visualize how school was in the olden days.

Dramatizing American History

Young kids also get a lot out of drama in history teaching and dressing up in costumes. This is creative, and fun and builds empathy in children as they grow older. They can learn to appreciate what they have and understand how others their age lived long ago.

Young children enjoy taking part in a school play that dramatizes a key historical event.

By wearing costumes from an important moment in American history, young pupils immerse themselves in the lifestyle and can gain inspiration and motivation from earlier times and how people managed without the trappings of modern life today.

Learning Through Art And Music

Young children enjoy expressing themselves, and art and music provide these fantastic outlets. Learning about American history can be accomplished through a variety of strategies.

Hearing about Benjamin Franklin and the Declaration of Independence is just one popular subject that kids become fascinated with. They can use their imaginations and draw or paint important people and events from American history.

Young students also have a blast making music and trying out various instruments. During the Revolutionary War, music from the fife and drum corps was used for communication and regimentation, for example. The fifers and drummers were often young boys.

Watching It Unfold On DVD or On TV

Another strategy is introducing young minds to DVDs or television history shows, and there are plenty of them to consider watching.

“Liberty Kids” is one TV series that is fun to watch, and kids can gain knowledge from it. Some of the famous character voices in the cartoon shows are provided by big names including, the late Walter Cronkite, Dustin Hoffman, Whoopi Goldberg, Michael Douglas, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, Billy Crystal, Annette Bening, and Ben Stiller. 

The series has received high marks from homeschooling parents, teachers, and kids. Both young children and teens find these historical cartoons entertaining and educational.

Wrapping Up

Young kids are inquisitive and have lots of questions. That’s why American history is important and useful to young minds. Children learn to think about time, and it prepares them for later development when it comes to American history and some of its complex events.