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While you do not say what grade level your question regards, there are some general principles involved in making history an engaging classroom study.
The first principle is to "begin with the child" (Dewey). Getting a student interested in history begins with getting a student interested in his or her own history, for example, by having students interview parents and grandparents to learn about the family history, by creating projects for students to learn the history of their own neighborhoods, or with research into various countries of ethnic origin. Once a student becomes interested, these kinds of projects can be used as foundations to study particular periods of history.
Second, history that is learned through the lens of ordinary people always seems much more engaging than history learned by reading about leaders, battles, and dates. Throughout much of history, ordinary people wrote letters or kept diaries that give students better insight into historical events than textbooks provide.
Third, history is often learned better through reading literature. I have often assigned novels in social studies classes. The sweep of history and the impact it has on characters in literature often helps the student to "see" history much more easily.
There are no doubt other principles that people can offer, but the main idea is that history must be something that is meaningful to the student, not a collection of dry and dusty dates.
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