Posted: Tuesday, June 28th, 2011
The results of a recent nationwide test have revealed that U.S. students don’t know their history, according to a report released by the New York Times. Only 20 percent of fourth graders, 17 percent of eighth graders, and 12 percent of high school seniors proved themselves proficient on the National Assessment of Educational Progress. Another recent test showed that U.S. students are struggling with Civics knowledge as well.
Part of the problem when it comes to NCLB, or “No Child Left Behind,” is that public schools are required to teach to the test – the math and reading test. This often leaves insufficient time for teachers to dive into other subjects.
So what’s a parent to do? For one, don’t leave the job of teaching U.S. History and Civics to teachers and schools. On the bright side, these subjects aren’t constantly changing, one of parents’ biggest complaints when it comes to elaborating on math concepts with their kids. Topics such as Brown v. Board of Education or the Revolutionary War are lessons that really haven’t changed since you first learned about them in school.
History is also a subject that’s easy – and fun! – to make entertaining. Use page-turning historical fiction to help kids dive into the action firsthand, or the new quarter design to introduce stats on each state.
Looking to teach about some landmark American events? You don’t have to go it alone. Here are some activities that we think make history lessons a little more inviting:
- Trace the “Steps” to the American Revolution
- Map Your Way to Philadelphia to Sign the Declaration of Independence
- Explore and Sign the Declaration of Independence for Yourself
- Make sure to sign it with a Quill Pen
- Host a Founding Fathers Feast (something the whole family can have fun with!)
For more hands-on activities that explore U.S. History, visit: http://www.education.com/activity/us-history/