Teaching Challenges

Making History Accessible

History can be quite theoretical and lingual. To make history lessons less difficult the teacher has a whole range of pedagogical methods available. Some strategies are mostly relevant when starting a lesson. They may be: an activity to lower the threshold, such as on chronology, to let students experience the period of the new topic compared to the former one; introducing the topic by raising curiosity, showing how different that past was compared to nowadays, possibly by making comparisons with students’ own lives; revising for example in a spider-diagram, what the students already know from the topic and asking them what they want to know more about; starting from the legacy of the topic in the 21st Century and retracing with the class the topic in the past. Other strategies are mainly aimed at putting the content of the lesson in a perspective that makes it interesting and relevant to students. For example, storytelling to provoke students’ questions or bringing them to the teacher’s enquiry question. Using a variety of media, such as images, an account, or a film, to stimulate students’ curiosity and stir their imagination. Teaching in an interactive way to include students in the thinking process and keep them motivated. Provoking questions of the past derived from current events. It is also important to plan for the right level of language for students when using sources, adapting language as appropriate.

Learning Activities