In the digital world of the 21st century, are dioramas an effective teaching tool? Some educators want teachers to abandon sugar cubes and shoe boxes for more high tech activities, insisting dioramas do not require students to engage in complex problem solving and critical thinking. However, there is no reason to dump the diorama. With a well-structured lesson, building a diorama requires students to analyze primary sources, deeply understand content, support a thesis, and solve engineering challenges to build a structure that incorporates key elements of design. Dioramas are sophisticated stuff.
Author Archive for: JudyC
About Judy Dodge Cummings
Judy Dodge Cummings is a writer and former history teacher who lives in south central Wisconsin. She taught history for 26 years and has Bachelor of Arts degrees in broadfield social studies and psychology and a MFA in creative writing for children and teens. She has published 20 nonfiction books.
Entries by Judy Dodge Cummings
When I was working on my undergraduate degree in the early 1980’s, a boyfriend questioned my choice of major. “Why does history matter anyway? What’s a history degree going to get you besides winning at Trivial Pursuit?”
Although I relished beating this guy every time we played the board game, my pursuit of the past had loftier aims. For 26 years I taught history to high school students. Now I write history books for children and teens. You see, I knew all along what my boyfriend didn’t. Understanding history isn’t trivial. It’s vital.
Watch out! More Mayhem & Mystery is heading your way. These true narrative nonfiction history books feature gore, greed, tragedy, and courage guaranteed to grab the interest of readers aged 9 to 12. Release Date: February 1, 2018
Soldiers’ letters offer students an intimate view of the impact of war. In this lesson, students analyze letters written by soldiers during the Civil War.
What does “Doing History” look like in a classroom? Here is a fun activity teachers can use to introduce students to the skill of analyzing primary sources.
Is history a noun or a verb? How a teacher answers this question can be seen in what goes on in his or her classroom. If you want to develop the minds of youth who are capable of thinking critically about the relationship between the past and the present, then don’t teach history to students. Instead teach students to do history.