How to Teach the History of the Circus

You may help children learn and understand one of the important parts of American culture by teaching them about the circus through fiction and non-fiction. The circus has been a great source of entertainment for families over the decades. Using their own animals, equipment and performers, children can make their own little circus, which can be promoted through posters and other means of advertisement. However, this would require extensive research on the history of circus in the US and its evolution.

By teaching children about circus and its history, you can help them enhance a number of skills like design, writing, research and creativity as circus requires a lot of imagination.

Instructions

  • 1

    Read ‘If I Ran the Circus’

    Dr. Seuss’ book, ‘If I Ran the Circus’, is one of the most popular writings about the history of circus. You may ask your students to buy that book. Read the book out to the class and have some of the students read portions in front of everyone. While reading the book with the class, you should discuss different circus acts to create interest among the students. Elaborating on the terminologies used for circus are also very important, so that the students can relate themselves with the situation.

  • 2

    Ask the students to be creative

    You can help the students improve their creative skills by handing them a paper and a pencil and asking them to draw an extra-ordinary circus act with performers and animals. If some of the students are not good with drawing, you may ask them to just write down their ideas.

  • 3

    Use different websites

    Almost all the school-going children have access to internet in the US. There are a number of circus websites and you may make a list of websites which can be visited by the students. It will help them a great deal about understanding the culture of a circus in the country. Ask the students to make a detailed note about their understanding and opinion about the history of circus and its role in the society.

  • 4

    Let the students design posters

    Ask the students to design circus posters on a poster board. They should be asked to use pencils, rulers, crayons and markers. Allow them to be as creative and colourful as they want to be. It is not a problem if the students want to use a computer or any software to make the poster. Each poster should contain a couple of paragraphs about the history of circus.

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