Interesting Hands-on History Projects for Teens

Middle school history is one of those subjects where there doesn’t seem to be a lot of middle ground for people. They either love it or hate it. I have found that most adults who don’t like history found it boring when they were kids. That’s because they learned primarily from reading a textbook. A dry, boring textbook.

Luckily, as homeschoolers, we have the opportunity to make history one of our children’s favorite subjects.

Want to know the secret?

Middle school kids don't want to read about history from a dry textbook. They want to interact with history. Use hands-on projects and activities to engage teens like these - covering ancient history, medieval history, colonial times, American pioneers, and civil war. Which time period will you have fun with first? #historyisfun #teens #tweens #handsonhistory #middleschool #homeschoolhistory #educationpossible #ancienthistory #medievalhistory #colonialhistory #americanpioneers #civilwar

Make it interactive.

That’s it.

Very few middle schoolers want to sit down and read about history from a dull textbook that only includes small paragraphs of information about specific topics. Kids want to get their hands dirty, build stuff, and really get a sense of what it was like to live during the time periods they’re studying.

Think about it. Don’t you think students would love to recreate a Roman feast, get suited up for a medieval battle, or play a game that colonial kids played?

I want to help you make history interesting. I’ve put together a wide variety of hands-on projects that are teen approved, for five different time periods, that you can easily add to your lesson plans. Trust me, you’ll want to click through and check them out.

If you let your middle schooler drop the history book for a day and instead work on a project from whatever part of history you’re studying, you’ll both see how much fun history can be.

You’ll find all kinds of things to do on these pages. Fun ideas like cooking through history, playing a game, building something cool, or completing an art project. Many take little time to prepare or complete and can be done with simple supplies found around your house.

From Ancient History to the Civil War

Have fun studying the following time periods. I’ve included a sample of the kinds of things your middle schooler can do as part of their history lesson.

Ancient History

  • build a roman road
  • create an Egyptian relief tile
  • prepare a Greek feast

Medieval History

  • build a catapult and learn about trajectory
  • create medieval weapons out of duct tape
  • play Minecraft and build within the Middle Ages there

Early American History

  • build a Jamestown replica
  • cook a recipe with a diet staple of the time – corn
  • play colonial games

Pioneer America

  • build a covered wagon
  • keep an animal journal
  • make a quilt

Civil War

  • draw maps and document troop movements
  • listen to music and bugle calls from the war
  • take a walking simulation of the underground railroad

When students interact with history instead of just reading about it, it’s amazing how engaged they can be.

Make sure to share which historical time period’s project your teen enjoyed most – I would love to hear about it.

Megan Zechman
I love homeschooling! Learning is a way of life for our family. Most days you will find us exploring our Central Florida community, having fun while learning. I am constantly looking for new and interactive ways to engage my older children.
Megan Zechman
Megan Zechman
Megan Zechman

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