Welcome to the blog of the Tasmanian branch of the Children's Book Council of Australia!

Sunday 8 June 2014

The lure of history

I love history. I love reading about it, I love watching Discovery programs about it and I love wandering through ancient temples and medieval chateaux, when the opportunity presents itself.

We learn from history; both from the discoveries and the mistakes of the pioneers who went before us. But just reading about history can be pretty boring at times, especially if there are lots of dates to remember and place names we can't even begin to pronounce.

So, how can we learn about and teach our history in a way that makes it fun and meaningful? Well, I have recently found two sources that just might meet this need.

Word Hunters by Nick Earls & Terry Whidborne is a novel about Lexi and Al who travel backwards in time, in huge jumps from the early 19th Century way back to the 5th Century. Along the way they experience some incredible periods in the history of the world.

I couldn't wait to find out where Lexi and Al would 'land' next and what era they would encounter. And of course, for me, the story was only enhanced by the premise being to hunt down words that are in danger of disappearing from our language.

HistoriCool is a new full-colour Australian children's magazine that features articles, games, quizzes and activities all about historic events through the ages. The Magazine says it 'aims to spark an interest, even love, of history in all Australian children'. I for one hope they reach their goal. (www.historicool.com.au).

History doesn't have to be boring; it just needs to be presented in a way that captures our imaginations. Then we'll want to learn, and keep learning.

Penny Garnsworthy

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