Posts

Trivial Pursuit board game

Why History Matters: A Teacher’s Rationale

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.

Read more

Teach Students how to Analyze Sources and Give Them a Peek inside their Teacher’s Soul

In a previous post, I discussed how history is a verb, not a noun. 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.

Historians dissect primary sources such as letters, diaries, court documents, or song lyrics in their quest to interpret the past. They systematically examine each component of the source in order to make sense of the whole. Read more