Living History: A Story Well Told

Article excerpt

There is nothing more standard about teaching social studies than creating experiences that bring the story of the past alive. In this issue of the Social Studies Review a distinguished team of educators will share a variety of methods delivering content-rich living history lessons. These lessons demonstrate how teachers can effectively teach to the standards using dynamic and memorable "living history" experiences that generate high interest. As students develop a passion for the social studies from their "living history" experiences, they demonstrate improved mastery of the content, stronger retention, and improved scores on the California History/ Social Studies Content Standards tests.

Come along now as this he merry band of authors bring and take you across together for the continents and time to demonstrate that there are no limits to the strategies of bringing history alive while working within the discipline of the Standards. Readers of this issue will take a journey through a collection of model lessons ranging from archaeology, ancient history, and American history while focusing on diverse methodologies for delivering a "living history" approach to both classroom instruction and field studies.

Debra Wasserman will present a lesson in which student teams "design" ancient civilizations, create artifacts, and bury them artifacts for another team to conduct a "dig of discovery".

Barbara Loften offers a lesson in which students engage in the scribal arts of ancient Mesopotamia. This lesson gives step-by-step directions on teaching students how to write the way the world's first scribes recorded mythology, messages from kings, and business reports.

Meena Baskar Scholfield introduces an insightful guide to traditional Indian dance which will have students in step with this rich culture.

George Sabato offers the Rome Shopping Network in which students create commercials for the every day life products sold in the markets of ancient Rome. Students develop team skills as they develop strategies for marketing their product to their Roman consumers.

Roxanne Phillips of Falcon's Court demonstrate how historical re-enactors use falcons and owls to capture student interest as they are taken on a journey into the Renaissance, both in classrooms and at their Renaissance Living History Center. …