The Benefits of Learning History for Children
History is related to a set of events experienced by a person or by a social community; therefore, learning history is essential for the academic formation of children.
What is history?
History can be defined as the discipline that exposes and deeply studies the past in relation to the events that occurred in antiquity, which constitute the development of humanity from its beginning to the present time.
Based on the above, we can conclude that learning history is essential for children, as it’s deeply linked to the feelings and actions of individuals through the years. Now, how can history be made more attractive to children, and what benefits do children get from learning history?
How to teach history to children
Children tend to think that studying history is boring and monotonous. However, it’s all a matter of approaching history in a fun, interactive, and entertaining way in order to awaken the interest of the youngest members of the family. With this in mind, here are some suggestions for teaching history to children:
- Use a blackboard to mark a timeline through which different events that describe time and its duration are named.
- You can start by giving the child an interesting fact that refers to a fact that they already know about regarding an event, in order to capture their attention.
- Present new information about the topic to be discussed. You can work with reading material on which the child can reflect; material that can be used to test the knowledge that the child has already acquired about an event.
Showing films on a historical topic
Films can be shown on a historical topic to be covered. This creates an ideal climate with respect to the social context in which the events took place. It should be pointed out that the use of films engraves in the child ideal images or details that help them understand the framework in which various historical events took place.
Tell the story as if it were a fairy tale. To do this, you need to know what you want to transmit, that is to say, what you want to contribute so that the child understands and assimilates some historical event. Use images or slides. In this case, texts shouldn’t be overused.
Develop the child’s research skills and use questions.
Carry out different activities every 15 days. The child can be asked to give a presentation on a particular historical topic or event; this will develop the child’s research skills.
Use questions. With this, you can find out how much the child knows about a topic or historical event and what they need to know. In addition, they develop their critical thinking and information analysis skills.
Summarize. Parents can make summaries for the child to learn. This will record the outstanding points of an event and eliminate unnecessary material. Explain the consequences of human actions described in a historical event. In this way, the child will be able to differentiate well between causes and consequences when analyzing historical problems.
To be sure, these suggestions can make history for children more engaging and interesting. However, what benefits do children get from learning history?
Benefits of history for children
One of the first questions that many people ask is: What is history for children? Why is it important to study history? What are the benefits of history for children? However, the benefits are innumerable. The following are some of the benefits of history for children:
Teaching history to children helps them cultivate an appreciation for their roots and what happened before they were born. It gives them information regarding the sacrifices made by previous generations, which directly influences their enjoyment of today’s lifestyle.
History helps children understand the characteristics and personalities of individuals who lived before us; which allows them to understand why they made certain decisions that have had an impact on today’s society.
Understanding the causes and consequences of certain events
Learning history helps them understand the evolution of ideas. In this way, they can understand the consequences of ideologies and ways of thinking about politics, life, and the world today.
History helps them understand that they’re part of the great stream of human history, so they’re part of a process that began thousands of years ago and continues to the present day. It also helps them learn from the mistakes that were made in the past, teaching them about what to do and what not to do in the future.
History for children is deeply related to geography
It’s impossible to study the past events of a society without also studying the place or places where those events took place. Therefore, teaching history to children directly relates them to the geography of various nations, including that of their home country.
It helps them understand why various nations had more prosperous economies than others; in view of the geographical environment in which they were established.
And these are just some of the benefits that children can gain from learning history. Certainly, human behavior can be unpredictable at various times. However, a better understanding through the study of history can provide valuable information for future generations.
For these and other reasons, it can be concluded that historical knowledge is indispensable to prepare young people and children to live in today’s society, as it provides general knowledge about the development of human beings and the world around them.
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
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- Smith, M. (2009). What history is good for: Service-learning and studying the past. Learning and Teaching, 2(3), 50-73. https://www.berghahnjournals.com/view/journals/latiss/2/3/latiss020304.xml
- Gorn, C. (1985). Building Interest in Studying History. OAH Magazine of History, 1(1), 14-15. https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ319089
- Randell, K. (1999). The Value of Studying History. History Review, 26. https://www.gale.com/subject-matter