Can we just go ahead and make Steven Spielberg the U.S. National History Curriculum Head Guy?
Who makes history more fascinating than he does? If you have not seen the film, LINCOLN, go see it; nominated for gobs of Academy Awards. Take a kid who needs a good dose of history (there are bad words and scenes of violence and body parts...some kids will love that!) and insight into democracy and how it really worked!
Honestly, just for a breath-holding minute there, I feared the Thirteenth Amendment wasn't going to pass!!!!!! I despise the parts of "teach to the test" and Common Core (and anything else) that makes history boring. This is a riveting movie, great acting, fabulous makeup, set design, and costumes. You feel like you are there!
Why should kids give a fig about thinking critically, debating, looking at old, dusty original resources, or anything else, unless we set the scene with TRUTH and DRAMA? That sinkin' Lincoln...he was just too cool for school, so brilliant, courageous, and good, that I really even decided he was handsome!
As an aside, I once was at Appomattox Courthouse on a foggy, chill morning.
There was no one there but me. I felt as if Lee and Grant and the rest would ride in on ghostly horseback at any moment. The wind murmured history in my ear. I got a cold chill.I felt the sense of the place and what had happened there. Take a kid to walk the steps of history,and not just the pretty places. No, not just the pretty places at all.