Teaching students to grasp and appreciate the course of world history is often a challenge. So many time periods with a seemingly endless number of important names and places can be a lot for some students to digest. But by presenting the material in a more “outside the box” type format, students may become inspired to connect the dots of history in the name of fun! Try these activities on for size.

TWO FACTS AND A FIB: This game is a wonderful way to review literature or history — and can be easily reversed in the form of “Two Fibs and a Fact.” Each student will create three flash cards out of scrap paper and label them “1, 2 and 3” respectively. The teacher will then read three clues — two facts and one fib. Students will then hold up the numbered card that they think represents the lone fib. Another way to play involves the students writing out two facts and a fib of their own, with the class voting on which fib sounds the most convincing.

ASSIGNMENT OF THE CENTURY: Here’s a writing exercise that both history and language arts students might enjoy. First, give students an overview on what life was like at the turn of the 20th century. Then, ask the class to write about the things they appreciate in the present day. Finally, challenge the students to predict what aspects of 2008 will strike students of 2108 as amazing. Below are some 20th century facts to get the activity started.
  • The average life expectancy in the U.S. was 47 years.
  • Bathtubs were present in only 14 percent of U.S. homes.
  • U.S. workers earned an average of 22 cents an hour.
  • Only six percent of Americans graduated high school.
  • The population of Las Vegas, NV was roughly 50 people.