Le 26/02/2021. If you work remotely – either because of the COVID-19 pandemic or because that is the nature of your...
Niveau A2 (élémentaire)
Everyone knows that it’s easier to learn something when you’re interested in it. But do you ever find yourself wondering if history teachers know that fact too? Unfortunately, history lessons can be as engaging as watching paint dry if a teacher doesn’t know how to make the facts come alive.
Today’s children have the world at their fingertips with the advent of the Internet. Gone are the days we spent in the library rifling through dusty encyclopaedia to do our history homework. Today, children have access to YouTube to learn about history and have fun at the same time. Yes, contrary to popular belief, those two things are not mutually exclusive. There are numerous cartoons, documentaries and archives to understand history better and help embodying a historical character.
Some YouTube channels explaining history to kids and grownups: ‘A Kid Explains History’, ‘History Matters’ (10-minute introductions to multiple topics), ‘History Buffs’ (a channel entirely dedicated to reviewing historical movies), or ‘Simple History’ (cartoons to “Learn history in no time”).
John D Ruddy’s ‘Manny Man Does History’ series on YouTube is also a good example. This historian is children’s new best friend if they want. Ruddy says, “History is a very important topic, but unfortunately, it can be quite boring if it's not presented well. History should not be just for history nerds like me! I try to offer accessible videos that give an overview of important events in a brief amount of time. Not everyone wants to watch an hour-long documentary about World War I, but a 6- or 11-minute video might be more digestible.”
Ruddy says, “I want to make history fun and accessible for as many people as possible. History is too important to be boring! Our world is shaped by our history, and only when we understand our history can we understand where we might be going in the future.” Viking, roman soldier, knight…Manny Man with his oversized eyes and skinny stick legs is everything but boring. You can watch Ruddy’s video on World War I below. It has 3.8 million views – a testament to its popularity.
John D Ruddy © Richard
You can read an interview of John D Ruddy in English Now No112, October-November 2020.
engaging = intéressant, captivant
to dry = sécher
a fingertip = au bout du doigt
the advent = l’arrivée
to rifle = fouiller
dusty = poussiéreux
mutually exclusive = incompatible
embodying = incarner
a grownup = un adulte
boring = ennuyeux, barbant
a nerd = un intello coincé
digestible = digeste
to shape = former
a knight = un chevalier
oversized = démesuré