In order for students to learn as much as possible in the early stages of their educational careers, it is important for teachers to instruct their students using a multifaceted approach. Teaching state history requires such an approach, since many students dislike history and think it is boring. However, with the following methods, your students will learn that learning history can be fun, too. This article will use Oregon’s state history as an example, although other states may substitute it.
Research/VFT: First, you may be thinking that research projects are inappropriate for primary school students. This is not always the case. In fact, it is probably a good idea to start teaching these younger students how to write very basic research papers. If you do not want to take that route but you still want your students to conduct a little research project, you can find some Virtual Field Trip maker software online, and your students can create web pages that compile all of the information that they have found. This is a great way to get your students engaged in the learning process.
Natural history: Many teachers forget about the state’s natural history when teaching its overall history. In fact, it is just as important to teach students the effects that the natural history has on other aspects of the state’s history, such as economic or political. Not only that, but students should also learn how that particular part of the country formed geologically. If you live in Oregon, you can go to the Pacific coast and look for some artifacts along the beaches or dunes, or through some of the state’s parks and forests.
Collage: Another great way to get your students actively involved with finding information is to have them make collages. The collage will primarily consist of summarized information and many pictures. Students should be grouped into fours or fives, and each group member should have a specific task. The students should also pick from a list of topics that you have. For example, they can do Oregon’s educational history (including universities and colleges that are important locally and nationally) or they can research Oregon’s list of governors.
When you put all of these activities together, your students will learn about Oregon’s history in a way that will encourage them to find the information themselves. They will not wait for you to bring the information pre-synthesized.