Making the History classroom fun and engaging A few little things you can add to your practise to further engage and entertain your History students Sam Cavnoudias Making the History classroom fun and engaging • First, take a good hard look at yourself – For your class to be fun and engaging, you have to be fun and engaging Making the History classroom fun and engaging • Be confident and inspiring – Own the room you step into, every time, every day. – No student will engage with you if you can’t engage with them Making the History classroom fun and engaging • Know your material – Fake it til you make it. – Once you’ve made it, don’t lose it! It’s too easy to stop reading up and to stop being the expert. – In order to engage students with work, you need to know more than them. It needs to be obvious that you are the master of your classroom, and you can’t do that if you don’t know your material! Making the History classroom fun and engaging • Be passionate about your subject – We’ve all had to teach material we don’t love and the students can tell. But if you like what you do, show it! I would rather be that super-dagy guy who loves his subject than the ‘grey blur’ over in the corner who obviously hates what he teaches, whose class nobody wants to be in. – If all else fails, down a bunch of sugar 5 min before class starts... Making the History classroom fun and engaging • Vary your program – break the mould – When was the last time you really did something different with your class? – Have you been working through a booklet or off a PowerPoint for the last 2 weeks straight? – Don’t go more than 4 days without doing something different. Watch a documentary, put on a mock trial, do a jigsaw task, make the students assemble a team to plan to take down the principal’s oppressive regime. Making the History classroom fun and engaging • Wheel and deal – There is no shame in making a deal with your class to keep them engaged in ‘less enthralling’ material. Make a classroom deals or an individual contracts for specific students. Making the History classroom fun and engaging • Competition always wins – For some reason boys generally hate doing work, both at school and at home, but they will furiously attend to very similar work-related tasks if there is a competitive element to it. Making the History classroom fun and engaging • Compassion is key – For girls, generally, compassion is the key to historical engagement. – In order to engage these students in history, teacher practise must be directed towards making them feel something for the material covered in class.