Integrating History Meaningfully



History is a collection of interpretations or memories from a multitude of sources, such as leaders or everyday people.  From the moment bright, young eyes peer through a doorway, for example, the mind immediately records the moment through texture, smells, interactions, voices, facial expressions, colors, and objects.  Living in the moment makes even a child part of the journey through history, an expert in the now.  Only the trip back in time can lead a child to unravel the present day’s events and use the cyclical nature of history to reveal what’s coming.

Geography

Children need to know how they fit into their community.  Walking down Main Street provides a sensory experience.  She knows the public library as the place of special events and fondly recalls story hour.  There’s the park and a tree once climbed, a hardware store and the man who hands out lollipops with a smile—and the stories continue to build.  Each time a child steps onto the concrete or pathway, she establishes a sense of belonging within human geography. One vital question to ask is, “How did time impact one particular location?”

The Piedmont Triad has expansive museums, churches, cemeteries, gardens, the historic district, old-school restaurants, and buildings, all of which can all bring the past to the current visitor!  Whether it’s as a guide, attendant, or chaperone, historians love to share their knowledge, especially to children who show an inkling of interest!

Education does not end in one county.  North Carolina has 100 counties to provide an in-depth understanding of our state.

Space and Universe

It feels good to lie back into the soft blades of grass and allow the mind to wonder.  The view of layering clouds leads to a curiosity beyond the eye.  Basic knowledge of the stars, moon, and planets feeds a desire to learn more.  For children eight and older, a study of mythology, coupled with reading mythological sagas, aids in understanding a few of the most recognizable constellations, Ursa Major and Minor, and Orion and his dog, Sirius.  Further interest may lead to owning a pair of binoculars or a telescope to pick out details, such as craters on the moon, and the extraordinary experience of viewing a planet.

Planetariums can offer spectacular night displays featuring the transition of constellations from one season to the next.  Children can learn much about their home planet just by looking upward; for example, by studying the shapes and coloring in clouds, watching the birds’ movement, and what occurs during a planetary alignment.  The first human timekeepers in history offered more than just a study of telescopes; they sought to learn how the universe, especially the moon, impacted our planet.

First in Flight

The phrase “First in Flight” represents an achievement in North Carolina.  The names of Orville and Wilbur Wright are just one pair to advance our state forward in aviation.  Rather than making the long journey to Kitty Hawk, the Aviation and Hall of Fame museums are not far from home.  Stepping into the past, visitors will learn about individual, dynamic flyers or well-known groups, such as the “Tar Heel Airman,” “The Tuskegee Airmen,” and “The Lafayette Escadrille.” Aircraft enthusiasts may enjoy standing among the flyers to watch a list of classic films, Twelve O’clock High, The Great Escape, Memphis Belle, Tuskegee Airmen, and The Lafayette Escadrille to gain an insight into the character of the men and women who flew.

Not all inventive attempts were successful; yet, it’s the initial steps, from watching a bird take flight to witnessing a paper airplane sail across a room, which begins a thought process.

Adventure is right around the corner. Where will you take a child by the hand and go first?  A museum?  A historic downtown or a restaurant?  In following the footsteps of those who came before, our children can take steady strides to lead them and us into an inspirational future!


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