How can I make the study of history come alive? HSLDA Chairman Michael Farris talks about acting out a famous historical drama, today on Home School Heartbeat.
While reading Wide as the Waters by Benson Bobrick, I was struck by how dramatic the history of the English Bible truly is. Adding drama to the study of history can sometimes really help to make it an exciting subject.
Do your students have a flair for the dramatic? Why not let them create a one-act play about their history topic instead of writing a paper? As they design their own version of the event, they'll need to get inside the minds of their chosen characters and dig for details. Students will better understand the part their chosen character played in the flow of history when they step into the shoes of that historical figure through drama.
If you decide to read Wide as the Waters, consider reading portions of Shakespeare's Henry VIII along with it. The play focuses on Henry's attempts to annul his marriage to Katharine of Aragon, because he desperately wanted a male heir.
Compare Henry's scheming to that of Joseph's brothers, and see how God was able to use tragedy in the life of one person (and in this case Katharine of Aragon) to bring good to vast numbers of people. The plan to make Henry supreme ruler of the Church of England nullified the Pope's authority over his marriage, and opened the door for an authorized version of the English Bible to spread throughout the realm.
Incorporate drama in your teaching, and the vast tapestry of history will certainly come to life. I'm Mike Farris.
Dear HSLDA members and friends:
Nothing in my brief remarks on radio should be understood to disparage the Roman Catholic Church of today. HSLDA takes no position on such issues and my comments were not intended otherwise.
That does not mean that I agree with the actions of the Roman Catholic Church or the Church of England or any other officially established church during the era of Wycliffe, et al.
I think that an objective reading of history will demonstrate the prime importance of getting the Bible into the hands of ordinary people. Without the popular distribution of the Bible, we would not have American self-government and the free world would not exist.
I do not understand current Catholic teaching to say anything contrary to these views concerning the importance of the Bible.
Friends will never agree over all details of history. What is important is whether we agree on what should be done today.
The point I was trying to make on Home School Heartbeat was to highlight the importance of the Bible and its influence in our society. No criticisms of any current person or church were intended.
Next to the Bible itself, the English Bible was--and is- the most influential book every published. The most famous of all English Bibles, the King James Version, was the culmination centuries of work by various translators, from John Wycliffe the fourteenth-century catalyst of English Bible translation, to the committee of scholars who collaborated on the King James translation.
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