Top Apps and Teaching Tips for History Lessons

History is something that fascinates both adults and children alike, and is a really super subject to teach as it has mass appeal, whatever age, ability or learning style.

History should come alive in a way that is really accessible to all: reader and non-reader, higher achiever and those that can struggle. History really captures the imagination and can provide students with a way of going ‘back in time’ to picture themselves living in very different periods in history: whether as peasant in Medieval England, a Soldier in Ancient Rome or a Viking in full costume! The lovely thing about using apps and digital resources to bring the past to life is that children can access images, video or artefacts that might otherwise be hard for you as a teacher to discover or for your students to interact with.

Apps can provide an added dimension to your history lessons and here are our top tips for how you can use them to make your history lessons more memorable:

1) Explore Amazing Artefacts: There are many amazing artefacts which offer a glimpse into the past and the people who used these objects to live their everyday lives, work or provide for their households. Many Roman artefacts are housed in museums all around the world but now your students can explore and learn about a variety of Roman artefacts with the Artefact Snatch app.

2) Discover Fascinating Facts: Children love to find out weird and wonderful facts about people and places in history, and if these facts can be brought to life through animation, then that’s a bonus! BrainPOP and BrainPOP Junior have created beautifully animated videos with accompany quiz testing features with varying levels of difficulty with a cartoon to accompany each subject area. The history videos are fun, factual and wide-ranging.

3) Create a Drama: Some of the very best history lessons literally bring the past to life – through enactment. Even adults enjoy dressing up to re-create battles or joisting matches, so providing drama opportunities for your students to play at being knights can really make for a fun – and memorable – history lesson. Why don’t you and your students act out a scene in a make-believe castle or pretend to be a knight of the Round Table? Get some inspiration or get your students to plan a chivalric scene using Knights and Castles.

4) Play Games, both Ancient and Modern: Learning about games from the past – and the children that played them – is really fun and interesting for children. Comparing up-to-date games with those throughout history, to see how they have changed, is something that really captures a child’s imagination. As well as exploring and investigating games through history, it’s fun to play games about history too, using apps like Mayan Mysteries. With interactive gameplay, your students can find out about this ancient civilisation and have fun in the process too!

5) Turn the Tables on your Teaching: getting students to lead the learning is a sure-fire way of making your lessons memorable, and enjoyable. History is a subject which is well-placed for student-led learning. Split your class into small groups and ask them to research an historical event or topic, create a mini-lesson plan, a quiz or task and lead the class to victory! Check all our History apps and choose a selection to help guide their research.

Have fun making history in your classroom!

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