Sunday, July 7, 2013

David McCullough calls for "history at dinner" -- and who better to ask?

Click here to see the quote by McCullough
The title, "Let's Ask Grandpa and Grandma" has layers of meaning:
a)  McCullough wants us to "bring back the family dinner time"
b)  Where are the grandparents?  The family structure has scattered in many homes.  Why not invite grandparents for dinner and then build questions about history into the discussion?
c)  Before the Internet, who was a repository of information and experience?  Older people.  "Let's ask someone who has seen this situation before."

1. We recommend at least one discussion about history per meal.

2. We invite guest bloggers.  If you have a topic or a question along with some links, then send it to and

3. Take the lead. 
Start with a review of the day's events.   
Look for a link to one of the stories raised in this blog (or ask, "What does this remind you about?")
Look for moments like "100 Years Ago Today" or "50 Years Ago Today" to begin a conversation.

4. Ask the children to take over the discussion and ask questions
"What would you have done if you were alive back then?"
"What were the options?"
"What happened a generation before that precipitated this event?"  What's the story behind the historical moment?"

What other questions can we post next to the table to help stimulate the conversation?
This list of questions can be passed to the younger kids and they can ask the questions.

How to lead a discussion

Questions for Family History
How to interview a relative

Let's get started.
Here's WHY we are calling this "Dinner Time History"

"Our History Matters" - is a Facebook community dedicated to strengthening the role history and historic resources in public life and civic culture.

Let's click "LIKE" and increase the poplarity of this FB page
For example...
McCullough talks about Americans in Paris

The name of this blog could have been "Let's Ask Grandpa," but the name wasn't available. is the name.

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