The MOST EFFECTIVE trick to teach history is to do correlations. For example, my students had no clue that there was a connection between "Mad" King George, George Washington and Marie Antoinette: They all had a role in the American Revolution! Or that Oscar Wilde, Abraham Lincoln and Queen Victoria, at one point, must have read the same newspaper, each from the comfort of their favorite restaurant, White House, or castle.
These correlations not only help them make more connections, but also denote your own universal and general knowledge about history. History cannot be taught isolation; it would be a crime to our intellect and creativity!