I have figured out that if it did not happen today, my students don't know it but I do want them to start grasping something of "history" so I have started giving them a touch of history. I have made them look bad at things that have effected them, their parents, and maybe even their grand-parents, by having them tell me something that happened within the past 25 years. Nothing major, just something that effected Louisiana and the nation 25 years ago.
Then they also have to tell me something from the U.S. history from 25 years ago. THEN 20 years ago, then 15 years ago, then ten years ago, and so on.
It gets them to thinking and talking about things that are "history" in the making.
Also it is a competition between students to see who can get to 25 sooner. It has been fun for them and fun for me. There are thousands of items they come up with, many that get cut down by their peers, others that 'everyone knows that' type items.
I included a 'starter' list of people and events that happen in various years but that's all it is....is a starter list.
Just be prepared for some extra work because they will come up with things YOU don't remember...and things the textbook does not cover YET.