After watching the movie “Mr. Peabody and Sherman”, I realised how history can be presented in an interesting and unusual manner to kids. In the movie an anthropomorphic dog takes his adopted son for time travel via a time machine. They traverse from Ancient Egypt to the French Revolution.
Whereas history as a subject may seem dry and boring, kids do enjoy learning about history through these films. Not only films but also visits to historical monuments and museums, reading magazines and books like “BBC History”, “Let’s Go Time Travelling”, and “Horrible Histories” can help present history to kids in very interesting ways.
The “Horrible Histories” franchise offers us different and often amusing perspectives. For instance, Egyptian history is explored in the book “The Awful Egyptians” which consists of chapters like ‘phunny pharaohs’ and ‘potty pyramids’. The index itself is amusing and develops interest.
In the movie “Night at the Museum”, at night all the displays come to life. There are so many museums in Delhi, like the National Museum, Shankar’s International Doll Museum, Craft Museum, etc. All these museums have provided me with a medium for experiencing history. These museums have varied exhibits, artifacts and stories to tell. The displays never fail to make an impression on the mind of the visitors.
I recall arguing with a friend in college over whether there was a T-Rex on the entrance of the National Museum for Natural History. Finally she decided to visit and check whether the T-Rex was there for real. I won the argument as the T-Rex was really there.
The pleasure and joy of visiting museums is getting lost over visits to shopping complexes and malls.
In the movie “The Sound of Music”, Maria, the governess, takes children around Salzburg and teaches them singing. Going out and seeing things add to a person’s learning.
With the emergence of a culture of heritage walks, various organisations who conduct such events collaborate with schools and take kids along for walks through various historical monuments and locations. They provide students with deep insight about the historical significance behind such places.
Many times the walks are not just about the monuments; food history and many other topics are also the focus. The walks are planned according to the age group and the level of understanding of the students.
To help facilitate interaction, activity booklets (for drawing, colouring and solving riddles and puzzles) are handed out and numerous stories are narrated to the students. These walks are not just limited to school going students, but adults too can participate and learn about history this way.
In the era of internet we cannot overlook its role either; there are many websites and social media pages that present facts and pictures under titles like ‘Amazing History’, ‘Time In History’, ‘Days Of History’, and so on.