If you’re a loyal follower (or my mother), you’ll remember that I spent two years teaching seventh grade social studies. During that time, I was given a ten-year-old textbook and supplemental materials to pass out to my students. Not exactly knowing how the year was going to unfold, I mistakenly passed the books out to the students. At the end of the year, I collected them – unused all year long.
They were old, boring, and full of boring stuff like…words. <Insert snoring sounds here> Seventh grade social studies in Ohio is all about world history. The kids didn’t want to read words about them. They wanted experiences. Anyhow.
For Christmas, my parents gave me a copy of Time magazine’s “100 Events that Changed the World.” If you’re in a position where you’re charged with getting 21st century minds to wrap around ancient world history, PICK UP A COPY! This paperback, glossy-covered, 122-page Time magazine on steroids is more than enough to guide learning for all ancient civilizations. It starts with “Man’s Prehistoric Breakthroughs”, moves through Minoans and Greeks, hits the Roman Empire, discusses The Renaissance and gets its Enlightenment on! And that’s all before the “Modern Times” section!
So much of world history isn’t “What they did,” as much as it is “What they influenced.” This magazine demonstrates outstanding segues from one civilization to another, touching on why it came to be and what we got from it. Your lesson plans are done (kind of)!
We each have our own teaching styles. We each balance printed and digital resources with our mind’s knowledge and past experiences. If your repertoire is lacking some of the former, I’d at least check out a copy of this valuable tool.