One of the ways I try to make history more hands-on is by encouraging creative learning projects. We call these projects “option homework” because students decide what kind of activity to do, when they want to do it, and whether they even want to do these activities at all (because they can just do the regular homework I assign to meet their homework requirement).
So far, the students in both classes seem to really enjoy the option to do more creative projects. We’ve had a model of the Indus Valley city of Mohenjo-Daro made out of rice crispy treats (and another made of clay), a clay model of the Great Pyramid, a replica of a rock with carved petroglyphs (or pictograms), symbols that later developed into full writing systems, a baked clay tablet with cuneiform writing, a clay model of Stonehenge, a dough model of a Neolithic village in Scotland, and a poster with a timeline of famous world landmarks. It’s exciting to see what they bring in, and I’m looking forward to their next round of creative projects.