When a student makes a connection to a historical event, they are more motivated to learn. Here are some suggestions to help students make a connection to history and current events.
Through discussions, you can assess a students background knowledge. Students might have heard about the Bunker's Hill or the great depression. By making those connections to their background knowledge builds more knowledge.
Current Events can also help to teach topics. Using “Today in History” type lessons, students can see the impact of historical events on their lives. They understand how a day in history impacts other days in history.
Having a personal connection with people and events makes learning meaningful. If the family member is still living, you could have them interview that person. This would make a wonderful lesson of primary sources. Sample questions to include in the interview:
How old were you when _____ happened?________________
What do you remember?________________________________
How did this event make you feel?_________________________
This was a great lesson my students learned this past year. I had a student interview her grandmother about the great depression. The student learned far more from this interaction than from a book.
When using additional resources to supplement your lessons, students are taught other perspectives. Understanding other perspectives helps students to realize history is written like a story. Try these with your students.