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Bronxville Union Free School District

Teacher Brings History Alive Through Children’s Books

Bill Meyer, a Bronxville High School history teacher and published author, is spreading his passion for literacy and fascination with the mysteries of ancient Egypt through a series of regional workshops and local and national conferences.

Meyer – whose first book “The Secret of the Scarab Beetle” is the initial story in a series he is writing – said that no other topic has piqued the imagination of his students as intensely as the study of ancient Egypt.

“As a result of both my students’ interest and my own childhood curiosity about the mysteries of that era, I wrote these stories,” said Meyer, whose second children’s book will be published in 2017. “In many ways the series reflects my experiences as both a kid and a teacher.”

Drawing upon some of the most fascinating periods of ancient Egypt that he teaches to his students each year, Meyer’s books are based on historical facts, and many of the characters, places, names and objects in them are real. During a recent author visit with Bronxville Elementary School third-graders, Meyer read from his first book and discussed with them the mysteries of ancient Egypt.

“History is alive and we’re deeply connected to our past and our ancestors in so many incredible ways,” Meyer said. “We study history not necessarily to learn from the mistakes of the past, but to discover some of the great secrets we have forgotten over time.”

Meyer said he views narrative and text as powerful teaching tools and has developed a curriculum guide for social studies and language arts teachers to help them incorporate his book into their lessons on ancient Egypt or writing. During a workshop at the New York State Reading Association on Nov. 14, Meyer will discuss how elementary school teachers can enhance their social studies curriculum through literature. On Dec. 3, he will discuss inquiry-based learning during a workshop at the National Council for the Social Studies.  

“We only learn when we are fully engaged and authentically interested in what we are doing,” Meyer said. “Bringing writing and literacy into the history classroom is the natural next step in complicating our historic understanding and really immersing students in the topic they are learning.”

For more information on Bill Meyer, please visit his website at www.horaceandthetimekeepers.com.

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