Recently, HistoriCool contacted me with the hope of a review on my blog. Since the email I learnt that HistoriCool is Australia’s only magazine to engage and entertain kids with stories from the past in a fun way and it is aimed for students in grades 3-8.  Through my experience, I know that it can be challenging to find content about the past that is kid friendly, interesting and relevant to the curriculum so I couldn’t help but feel intrigued. The founder sent me two past issues of HistoriCool and access to the additional teaching resources alongside each issue.

The highlights of the magazines are as follows:

  • HistoriCool is available both in print and digitally.
  • Single subscriptions or bulk subscriptions are available.
  • It is a quality glossy magazine.
  • Interesting articles about current events are included (issue 18 has a short article which outlines Australia’s last 5 prime ministers in the last 5 years with other interesting facts).
  • Interviews with celebrities the children may know are included about their life as well as their thoughts about history (issue 17 includes an interview with Nathan Bazley from Behind the News).
  • Interesting articles which provide information the students may not learn at school are included (issue 17 had a great article about ballet through the ages).
  • There is content directly related to the curriculum.
    • Issue 18 has a fantastic article about Peter Lalor and the gold rush which I would have loved to have had when I was teaching Year 5. The article features great detail about the Eureka Stockade in kid friendly language and fantastic coloured pictures.
    • Issue 17 has a great article about colonial cruelty which includes a fictional diary entry from a lieutenant – it brings the content to life and is a great prompt for students to write their own!
    • Click here to take a look at a fantastic outline of the issues with the content they cover and links to the Australian curriculum for each issue. 
  • Terminology is unpacked with the use of glossaries at the end of articles and fun activities such as ‘what’s this artefact?’
  • Articles written by real students are included. Great inspiration for other students!
  • Puzzles and games (crosswords, spot the difference, quizzes and mazes) are included at the back of each issue which require the students to use the content in the issue in order to solve them.
  • Fantastic and inspiring quotes are provided at the end of each issue titled ‘words to live by.’

The highlights of the teacher pack are as follows:

  • The teacher pack is easy to download in a PDF format.
  • Lesson ideas are provided which include inquiry learning activities (KWL charts etc).
  • Links to fantastic online resources are provided (e.g. maps of the route of the first fleet, books with convict themes and videos relating to convict Australia).
  • Literacy and other activities to bring the content to life and encourage empathy are suggested.
  • Proformas ready to be printed and photocopied for students are also provided.

I am quite impressed with this magazine and truly believe they are worth looking into. I am most impressed and excited about their kid-friendly and rich content which can be used immediately in the classroom.

Interested? Click here to subscribe or here for a hard coy of the order form to HistoriCool and join the many thousands of readers who are enjoying HistoriCool’s engaging articles, hilarious cartoons and fun activities. 

You and your students can also follow @HistoriCool on Twitter! 

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