Why Study History? Fun and Challenging Activities

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Why study history? Students often complain that they do not see the point of studying history. This resource includes three fun activities that will generate discussion and perhaps help them see history in a different light.

The activities can be used to begin a unit or semester on the study of history. It is designed for students in grades 7-12 who should have some general knowledge of world history (the History Challenge focuses on developments in the western world).

The first activity is a short survey that asks students to express how they feel about studying history, how important they believe it is, and its comparison to other subjects. This would be a great group activity. Space is provided for students to jot down ideas. The survey results would be illuminating and interesting to share as a class.

The second activity includes eight discussion topics. They can be cut up and distributed or assigned as a group, or students can pick one or two to answer. They can be completed as a written assignment or as oral discussion.

The third activity is a history challenge - students place seventeen world events/eras/milestones in chronological order. Students might be surprised how much they do know! This could be done as a class, and is sure to spark some arguments and discussion. If going over the topics as a class, they can be used to raise discussion points - “how important was this in human history?”, for example. Please note that the statement about the first Europeans in the Americas refers to the Vikings - might be a little tricky for some students! The first commercial flight took off on January 1, 1914 before the beginning of WWI, which of course delayed its going forward.

I hope you find the organization for the History Challenge answers to your liking! There might be some overlap - after all, historians often disagree! I have arranged the answer key in two styles, one as the students would answer (1) and one with the events listed in chronological order (2). The latter might be more helpful for the teacher going over the answers.
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Why Study History? Fun and Challenging Activities
Why Study History? Fun and Challenging Activities
Why Study History? Fun and Challenging Activities
Why Study History? Fun and Challenging Activities
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