A r c h i v e d I n f o r m a t i o n
Helping Your Students With Homework: A Guide for Teachers - February 1998
Tips for Getting Homework Done
8. Tie assignments to the present
Students often complain that they can't relate to assignments involving events that took place in the distant past.
An Ohio high school social studies teacher, Cathy Priest, explains:
"Ancient history or American history are hard to teach unless you relate them to the present. It's hard to keep students interested and excited about events that happened 2000 or even 200 years ago, when they are not concerned about what happened 2 weeks ago."
- One Indiana teacher, Daniel Durbin, makes Romeo and Juliet more relevant to his high school literature students by discussing similarities between gangs today and in Shakespeare's time.
- A Louisiana social studies teacher, Ronald Cormier, helps his seventh and eighth-grade students learn about the Battle of Gettysburg by asking them to pretend to be contemporary television journalists, reporting live from the battlefield. In front of the class is a big cardboard box, cut out to resemble a television set. One student might do a "live interview" with General Lee, asking him if he had to second-guess himself what he'd do if the battle were his to fight again. Other students might interview other famous historical figures involved in this Civil War battle (or masquerade as the historical figures). Through these interviews, students learn specifics of the battle and gain perspective on its significance. Mr. Cormier serves as the anchorman who helps students pull together and integrate what they have learned.
[7. Make learning personal]
[9. Match assignments to students]