In Facts of Life (Trivia)

History Trivia – Learning while you Play

history trivia

History Trivia –Create Your Own Games

Would you like to learn about history while having fun with your kids?  Why not put together a set of questions and create a history quiz for your kids and their friends?  History trivia questions can be selected from many different web sites. With a few 3 x 5 cards and a little research, you can create your own U.S. History trivia game, or World History trivia game.  Or mix it up and create a random trivia history quiz, using lots of fun trivia gleaned from various Web sites.  You can find Web sites that explore everything from pre-history to the story of space exploration.

There are multiple ways to create these fun history trivia games. When putting together history trivia games for younger kids, the questions should be relatively easy, such as, “How many stars were on the first U.S. flag?” Or “Who was the first president?” For this simple game, you have someone read a question and the first person who answers wins a point.  Have a set number of points to win the game.

Mix it up – Play in Teams

Then, mix it up a bit.  Older kids and adults can play together in teams. Put one adult and one child on a team, or split the entire group into various teams.  In this case, questions can be much more advanced.  Have the team leader throw a dice to determine who goes first.  Each team leader can select a face-down 3 x 5 card and read the question to their team.  If you want, the teams can discuss the questions. Or, if the questions are really advanced, kids can use their phones, laptops or tablets to look up the answer.  This not only gives them the opportunity to answer the questions, but also teaches them to do competent research.

But – to make it more competitive, use your phone or a time keeper and set a specific amount of time.  If a group goes too long deciding the correct answer, just send the same question on to the next team. You can decide in advance how many points the winning team must accumulate.

Where to Get the History Trivia Questions

There are some great web sites available for history research.  You can find history trivia questions and answers, or do some simple research and create your own questions and answers.  You can even have the individual game-players or teams come up with the questions in advance and then switch them up when it comes time to play the game.

The Web site Historynet contains a daily trivia history quiz create your own quiz questions. The site also has many interesting articles exploring historical facts and figures.  The site has history magazines for sale, covering everything from the Civil War to Vietnam, available to download onto tablets and IPads.

Travel Back in Time

One area where many people lack solid information is what is known as prehistory.  It’s easy to create a whole file of history trivia that centers on what the world was like before man stepped into the picture and started recording history. The Public Broadcasting System (PBS) has a great site on Evolution covering such topics as change and transformation in various life forms.  There are sections for students and teachers, and the site is colorful and informative.  For students interested in learning about diversity and extinctions, even the theories of Darwin, this is a great web site, with lots of solid historical terminology explained – a great place to pull historical trivia from.

The Web site Becoming Human also explores pre-historical eras, in a fun and interesting way. Want to learn how humans crafted their first tools? You can watch an interactive documentary or go to the “learning center,” where kids can engage in such activities such as exploring the “Chromosome Connection,” or learn about “Building Bodies.”

U.S. History Trivia

You can limit your research for the games to whatever your students are pursuing in school. If they’re learning American history, there are a number of web sites where you can get solid U.S. history trivia.  For instance. The Library of Congress history section contains an amazing amount of illustrated information about U.S. History that will draw students in and get them interested.  There are films, prints and photographs, sound recordings and even old newspapers for students to review.

For instance, a video on a new exhibit about the Civil Rights Act is available, and another one explores the new Yiddish Songs of the Jazz Age exhibit.   Or let your kids explore The American Folklife Center, where they can learn about the way people lived in various time periods, including the Veterans History Project.

The Library of Congress also has a Web site for teachers, but anyone can use its resources. There are classroom materials that include presentations on immigration, the development of flight, women pioneers and much more. Each activity or presentation is labelled with the specific grade levels they are best suited for.

The Smithsonian Education site has sections available for students, families and educators. Activities for kids range literally from the earth to the stars – from explorations of prehistoric change to the space program.

The Digital History Website has a fun drag and drop tool that allows your child to choose the era they want to explore, beginning with “Pre-1492” and extending into the 21st century. By clicking on specific squares within the box, students can choose between Media Presentations, Documents, Textbooks, or Teaching. Drag to a year, click on a box, and they get an assortment of options, from music to newspaper articles, about the specific time period they want to research.  The site also has quizzes on every era, along with answers to every quiz.  An easy way to find questions for your history game!

World History

Is your child learning about World History in school? There are some great sites available to pick up world history trivia questions. A Website called Macrohistory: World History has a great overall collection of materials and maps that cover the world in general.  The site covers prehistory, the earliest historical periods, and is broken up into sections such as the 6th through the 15th Centuries, the 16th and 17th Centuries, the 18th and 19th Centuries and then 1901 to World War II and 1945 to present day.  Within the centuries, divisions cover such topics as Science and Philosophy, and World Religions.  They are further broken into specific regions.

The History of Everything

The History Channel Website has great information about everything from Vikings to modern politicians.  There are a lot of videos on the site, and games for children. But be careful – don’t get sidetracked by the puzzle “Place the State” when you’re supposed to be gathering questions for your history trivia game.

Fordham University contains a modern history Website called the Internet History Sourcebooks Website. With divisions such as Ancient, Medieval and Modern History, the site contains links to hundreds of other college-level sources with primary history information.  The Fordham Website is in the process of being updated since some of the links were discovered to be broken.  But it appears that they’ve done a great job of verifying their information.  For advanced students, this would be the perfect way to develop a list of engaging history trivia questions.

The only problem with this site is that the sheer volume of information can be overwhelming.  Encourage your children to read the “help” sections on the Web site. For instance, under the heading of “Modern History,” there is a help section that offers substantial information on search engines, style guides and even “Critiques of Net Information.”

Learning about history by using trivia questions is a fun way for your kids to keep up with their studies in school.  But don’t underestimate the power of history trivia games to engage you and the members of your family in a fun family activity.  Once you start doing some research, you may be surprised to find out how enjoyable it is to explore the history of this one amazing planet.



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