Let’s face it, ancient history isn’t the easiest subject to get middle and high school students excited about.
“Patriotism is not short, frenzied outbursts of emotion, but the tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime.” —Adlai E. Stevenson II, U.S. Diplomat, governor of Illinois, and presidential candidate
I have wondered, especially this past year, why many Americans dislike their government because they think it intrudes on their freedom, and why many Mexicans and Latin Americans mistrust their governments because they think they are corrupt and abuse their power. How did both societies come to have those specific relationships between the individual and government?
This article covers the influence of Catholicism in shaping the form and philosophy of government in Latin America, affecting how Latino students and their families think and feel about government. Tapping into that prior knowledge and experience, and prompting students to seek these connections between history, government, and their personal lives and cultural backgrounds is a unique and powerful way to engage and sustain the interest of young students.
This year at NCSS (National Council for the Social Studies), we went around asking one question to attendees—"Why do you love social studies?"
Teachers frequently offer students multiple ways to learn vocabulary: vocabulary cards, quizzes, drawing, matching activities, and even games. By varying the activities, they hope to keep students engaged with the words.
The flipped classroom allows students to build background knowledge outside school, freeing up time for more hands-on learning in the classroom.
It’s not a stretch to say that Hispanic/Latino students have an ancestral background in the subjects we teach.