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    How about a time machine?
    By Hermie

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    I used a "time machine" to help my kids in history. I created a time machine by covering my classroom door with bulletin board paper and various pieces of interesting hardware that I purchased at my local hardware store. (These I hot-glued to the door.) We were to keep the time machine a secret from other classes (yeah, right!) because it was very dangerous! I was REALLY shocked when my fourth graders thought it was going to be real.

    I created an elaborate story about making the time machine. I explained to the kids that we would be going back in time to investigate. They were reporters -- but couldn't disturb anything in history (touch, talk, photograph) or it would change the future! We had a secret word that activated the time machine. We all started out in the hall, with notepads and pencils in hand. They had to close their eyes. When they entered the room the time machine would spin them around, then they were to find a place to hide to watch the action. (My one-person plays...Columbus, Abraham Lincoln, etc.) We also had a code word to let them know when to sneak back to present day.

    I then asked the kids what they saw, about their notes, etc. I explained that when the last student went through the door, it suddenly closed. I struggled to get in, but it refused to admit any more. I even had the custodian claim to see me beating on the door and trying to get through.

    They were disappointed the first time, since they truly believed we would be traveling back in time. BUT, after the first trip, they really got into it and used their imaginations. (For example, one child got seasick while we were on the Mayflower, while another tried to catch a classmate who was falling overboard!)

    The kids took great notes and then worked on a history newspaper. Two years later, those kids still remember facts learned during the time traveling.

    I hope this helps.

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