Making history meaningful for contemporary students is a challenge that Morris (Ball State Univ.) feels can be met by providing students with opportunities to reenact historical events in a variety of ways. Citing specific examples of museum programs, summer camps, festivals, and historical reconstructions, Morris examines in detail what such programs offer and how they are run. He is also careful to align such programs with the social studies standards. Most of his examples are in Indiana, but that does not limit their usefulness because there are equivalents throughout the country. Morris convincingly points out that giving students an opportunity to make decisions and to ask questions in an intergenerational setting is a significant learning experience. He also points out some of what might go wrong and how to prevent those problems. The variety of options is one of the strengths of the book. Morris emphasizes the importance of debriefing students after the experience and the importance of not trivializing history by failing to recognize the conflicts that were a part of a developing country with people from different backgrounds. He advocates that students receive a multiperspective view of history. Summing Up: Recommended. CHOICE Dr. Ronald Morris has a wealth of knowledge and experience with reenactments. History and Imagination: Reenactments for Elementary Social Studies is an enjoyable read and a treasure trove of practical strategies to ensure students remain fully engaged in learning. Problem solving abounds with a strong foundation of inquiry-based research. Differentiation made easy, the lessons are adaptable to every type of learner. This essential toolkit provides user-friendly accessibility for students to explore important social and historical issues. Dr. Morris prepares you for all types of scenarios as he helps you lead students to meaningful learning on multiple levels. He is a first-rate historian and a brilliant storyteller.From costumes to candles to camping, your students will love every challenge. Don't miss the opportunity to make history come alive with exciting innovative ideas. The book is humorous and provides fun, ready-made instructional strategies. -- Karen Kimball, Ph.D., Richmond (Indiana) Community Schools Few current textbooks on historical reenactment exist. Moreover, even fewer textbooks in print deal with historical reenactment below the secondary education level. History and Imagination: Reenactments for Elementary Social Studies will fill this identified need. This book will be well received by in-service teachers, teacher educators, social studies curriculum specialists, and pre-service teachers enrolled in social studies methods courses because this text offers practical suggestions for classroom instruction. Well-written, and offering the best of both worlds, History and Imagination will facilitate teachers' ability to link theory with practice and offer teacher-tested ideas for the PreK-12 classroom. -- M. Gail Hickey Ph.D, professor of educational studies, Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne History and Imagination by Dr. Ronald Morris is a delightful, 'hands-on' teaching living-history books that will be of major value to primary school teachers... Dr. Morris is an award-winning author who has written several books, articles, DVDs, and computer games... [and he] is a master of providing exciting field trips, historical reenactments, and community celebrations-in addition to adding music and art-to the social studies curriculum. History and Imagination is a valued and important addition to both veteran and novice teachers [as it] is filled with excellent teaching examples that are easily translated to many local communities. History and Imagination takes great care to promote the process of inquiry, providing an example of powerful social studies teaching as the contents focus on developing student's powers of curiosity and historical investigation. -- Ronald G. Helms Ph.D, professor of global and cultural studies, College of Education and Human Services, Wright State University In his compelling book, History and Imagination, Dr. Ronald Morris shows that study of the past can be done in ways which stir the creativity of present students and teachers. While designed for applications with elementary school social studies classes, the book inspires ideas which teachers of older students can use also. History and Imagination convincingly presents the educational possibilities for formal on-location historical reenactments while also planting the question within the reader's mind of how to make the classroom itself a place where history can be studied with reenactment depth and involvement. This quality book enables social studies teachers to reflect upon their instructional practices and to find ways to historically immerse students through the experience of reenactments. -- Keen Babbage, author of over a dozen books, including The Power of Middle School: Maximizing these Vital Years and Reform Doesn't Work: Grassroots Efforts Can Provide Answers to School Improvement
Ronald Vaughan Morris teaches graduate and undergraduate students methods of elementary social studies at Ball State University. He is the author of Drama in Elementary and Middle School Social Studies, The Field Trip Book: Study Travel Experience in Social Studies, Bringing History to Life: First Person Presentations in Elementary, and Middle School Social Studies, as well as the co-author of 50 Social Studies Strategies for K-8 Classrooms (third edition).