I LOVE THIS QUESTION!!
There are so many reasons.
- HISTORY opens doors for more learning. More than any other subject that I have found in the classroom, students make connections. Science has the similar impact, but I have found that I can weave history throughout my day on a daily basis.
- HISTORY engages both my struggling students as well as my gifted students. I can think of multiple kids in each group that latch onto a person or event and can't stop asking questions. For my struggling students, it motivates them to want to read more. I can still remember scolding two of my kids for reading a new book on presidents so that we could get to our basals. Who ever heard of a teacher scolding kids to put away a book?
- HISTORY challenges me as a teacher. Not a day goes by that my kids don't ask me a question that I have to respond that I don't know the answer. How great is that? They see that I am still on a path of learning.
- HISTORY builds friendships. I am very proud and thankful for the many relationships that I have with friends across the country because of our passion for history. It is a unique and nerdy bond that I would not trade.
- HISTORY expands my own knowledge. I have to admit to my affection for quality children's books. Truth be told, I learn a heck of a lot from reading a well written picture book. These books introduce me to a diverse collection of topics that often inspire me to want to know more.
- HISTORY is just fun. Some of my favorite stories are the obscure tidibits that are intruguing. LIttle facts and anecdotes that are just plain fun.
- HISTORY is a conversation starter. I love hearing about some of the conversations my own students share with their parents (more on that later). You don't get that out of a basal curriculum!
So thanks to my student for asking this question. History is a part of my life and I can't imagine a day without it.