Teaching history the fun way

Hands up if you had the good old-fashioned approach to learning history in school! And hands up if you hated it!

The boring textbook, the lousy test and a lasting hatred of Louis the Sun King as a result – was there and did that way back when.

Jump forward to today (or at least last night) and compare that with the play Grade 7 students at Lawrence Grassi Middle School presented yesterday. The Loxleys and the War of 1812 is based on a comic of the same name, produced by Canmore-based Renegade Arts Entertainment.

Under the direction of Sonja Howatt and Rhonda Krasnodemski and with help from Sean Krausert and Renegade editor Alexander Finbow, that group of students did an excellent job. I can’t imagine after the amount of work they put into this project that the students won’t retain anything. I’m willing to bet they know much more about the War of 1812 at this point than I did when I was at the same age (which was nothing). Until recently, my knowledge of that conflict was still about nothing.

Textbooks and lectures vs. learning Canadian history by doing? Ding, ding, ding! Give me doing any day. And while textbooks are important for the information they contain, they’re still really boring.

Congratulations to the staff and students at LGMS for making history fun. And check out the comic version of The Loxleys and the War of 1812 – another great and fun way to learn history.

If I had learned about Louis the Sun King from a comic, I might actually like him (or at least that period of history).

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About Rob Alexander

I am a writer, photographer and historian and the author of The History of Canmore, published by Summerthought Publishing of Banff, AB.
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