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Learning from our Leaders

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As our children grow and become productive citizens of the world they will create their own legacy. But, what about the legacies and our leaders of the past? Is it important for children to understand history and its influential people? Yes! As we grow as a culture, understanding our history is how we celebrate our triumphs, instil pride and learn from our mistakes to make the world a better place.

So how can we teach our children about our leaders? Here are 5 Effective Ways to Introduce Your Children to Historical Figures:

Read a biography or short story. Exposing historical figures to children by way of literature is a great way to enhance literacy skills and learn about leaders through storytelling.

Watch age appropriate documentaries. Many options can be found online through a video uploading site, at the local library or they may be available for purchase to keep at home. Make it a movie night to watch the story play out and discuss it as a family.

Listen to audios/speeches. The internet has a plethora of resources in finding audio speeches of many of our leaders. Utilizing this learning tool is a great way for children to understand how words are powerful, can be used to express emotion and can change the world.

Look up old news articles. Old news articles chronicling the times of the historical figures are a great way to get a better picture of how that leader was living during that time period. Discuss what the news article was reporting at an age appropriate level and talk about what the article was saying about the figure.

Talk to elders. It is so important for children to connect with older generations. For many of our elders, reflecting on the past can be an emotional experience, whether good or bad. But their testimony is an important one. Giving your child the space to speak with an elder who can share what they know about certain leaders will make a unique connection that no book, recording or article will ever be able to give.

With these simple tips, our children will be given the perfect foundation to honor our ancestors’ legacies as well as begin to establish their own.

By Ashley Jefferson, www.villagingbrown.com

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