Outreach To Outside Orgs


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  • Introduce myself.
    Why do I do this? I loved history growing up, but I didn’t want to teach in a traditional classroom setting so I majored in Public History, which means I took history in addition to Museum Studies, Archives, Historic Preservation and Local History. I got an M.A. in Museum Studies in Upstate NY, focusing on museum education. I interned with the New York State History Day Coordinator and took over that position while I was still in graduate school. In May 2006 I moved to Columbus to be the Ohio History Day Coordinator, so here I am. Trying to make history fun for students and teachers.
    I have a presentation prepared, but I am here to help you, so please stop and ask me lots of questions.
    My goal for this presentation is to help you understand effective methods of implementing the program into the classroom and to get you excited about this project’s potential.
  • National History Day started in 1974 at Case Western Reserve University by the history department because they felt history wasn’t given enough attention in the schools. In 1980, with an NEH grant, the program went national and the national offices moved eventually to the University of Maryland outside of Washington DC. In 1995, the Ohio Historical Society became the state sponsor of the program.
    The program is for students in grades 6-12 officially and we are inviting 4th and 5th grades to submit half size exhibits to Ohio History Day. Students do research based on an annual theme and create projects. There is a competition portion of the program. We have local district events in March that feed into Ohio History Day, which is April 26, 2008 and the top projects qualify for National History Day in June.
    This year’s theme is Conflict and Compromise in History, so you can see that the themes are very broad and can almost fit any topic.
  • All projects have to have an annotated bibliography and process paper (except papers)
    Students take their research in primary and secondary sources and can do one of five types of projects. Papers are 1500-2500 word essays. Exhibits can be done in a group or individually (like all the categories except papers) and are up to six foot tall and are much like science fair projects. (show exhibit slide show) Performances are up to ten minute, original dramatic plays on the topic. Documentaries are up to 10 minute media presentations that are much like something that you’d see on the History Channel or PBS (show clip). Websites are new this year and we have an example from last year (show example)
  • So the biggest part of NHD-OH is the research process. I’m going to talk about methods of creating each of the different types of projects, but I wanted to talk a little about the process of researching. Students have to select a topic related to theme and narrow that topic down, but also think about their topic critically.
  • So the biggest part of NHD-OH is the research process. I’m going to talk about methods of creating each of the different types of projects, but I wanted to talk a little about the process of researching. Students have to select a topic related to theme and narrow that topic down, but also think about their topic critically.
  • We find that many of our teachers, and most of our students coming to this program new need a lot of guidance. Many are not trained in using a library catalog. I go into the classroom a lot and I am often helping students understand where to find sources locally that require leaving the computer desk to do real research. We also find, with many of our outreach projects, that if we help teachers understand the connection between local topics and the bigger state, international and national story. The more you can do this for teachers, the more likely that they’ll use your resources. We also find that once you hook the teachers and students with that hands on experience, they love it and it can transform their ideas about history and what we do in libraries, archives and museums.
  • If you would like to connect with History Day teachers in your area you can help them by providing general information or workshops on using primary sources and how to do research with primary sources. Increasingly, our social studies teachers have had very little history instruction, and therefore, very little research experience, so History Day teachers are looking to enhance their own skills so they can better help their students.
  • If you wanted to connect with History Day students in your area, because I don’t know about your organizations, but I know we need help connecting to the 6-12 grades or ages 12-18 year olds. Students doing History Day need help understanding how archival research is different from internet research or using the public library. If you can provide research field trips, that is something they usually enjoy more than they think they will. Also, with History Day students are required to really dig into the primary sources on their topics and often they know they need to find them, but need help understanding how to use them to gain information.
  • At the Ohio Historical Society we’ve done a few different field trips for History Day teachers and their classes.
    The first way:
    We brought in a grade from a school. I divided them into groups. One group was given a scavenger hunt of primary sources to find in our exhibit, one group was with me talking about topic selection, and one group went with Louise Jones, head of Research Services and got an overview of the reading room and learned how to ask questions of archivists about their topics and go over different types of archival research.
    In another model we actually assigned students topics. Throughout the day they had to find something from the museum, something on our online programs (Ohio Memory or OhioPix) and something from the Archives/Library and write a museum label based on that information. That helped tie together the different types of sources and actual apply interpreting them.
    The final model, we helped students in high school actually research their topics. We introduced a high school class to microfilm research, many of theme using newspapers. The students LOVED it. The teacher was pleased with how diligently they paid attention and were so absorbed in their topics.
  • Each year the Flesh Public Library in Piqua, OH puts together a list of topics in their local history collection that fits the annual History Day theme. They are involved with the local schools and have the students out for a research field trip and then the interested students really maintain a relationship with the librarians. And for several years, the students have won the Best Local History topic prize that is sponsored by OAHSM.
  • I have really been looking to research institutions around the state to help us provide resources at the local level. Each year we put together a list of topics related to Ohio history and the annual theme. If you have topics that would be particularly good to research at your institution, let me know.
    If you’d be willing to offer research field trips or want to get History Day students to your organization, I can help coordinate that effort.
    I also am always looking for places to do brief, after school, information sessions about History Day, especially in the fall.
    If you’re willing and have relationships with schools, you can hand out our brochures.
    And there is always judging!
  • Outreach To Outside Orgs

    1. 1. Outreach to Students and Educators: National History Day in Ohio Megan Wood, State Coordinator, National History Day in Ohio May 9, 2008
    2. 2. What is History Day? •Grades 4- 12 (4-5 exhibits only at State level!) •Research Project based on an annual theme •Create projects and attend local, state, and national competitions!
    3. 3. Ohio’s Program •11 Districts with local events, March and early April •Ohio History Day, April 25, 2009 at Columbus State Community College •National History Day, June, College Park, MD
    4. 4. What is History Day? • Papers • Exhibits • Performances • Documentaries • Web Sites
    5. 5. Ohio’s Program • Divisions – Youth, grades 4-5 (exhibits only) – Junior, grades 6-8 – Senior, grades 9-12 • Categories – Historical Paper – Individual Documentary – Group Documentary – Individual Performance – Group Performance – Individual Exhibit – Group Exhibit – Website
    6. 6. Overall, what are we asking for? Students Must: •Select a historical topic related to theme •Do primary and secondary source research on that theme •Think like a historian, and come to a conclusion •Support that conclusion and create a project
    7. 7. Thinking Like a Historian To Guide Research: What were the causes and effects of past events? What has changed? What has stayed the same? How did past decisions or actions affect future choices? How does the past help us make sense of the present? How did people in the past view their world?
    8. 8. What Students and Teachers Need •Assistance with thinking historically •How to use an online library catalog •Where to find historical resources locally •How to find local topics that fit into the state, national or international story •How to give students first hand experiences with history
    9. 9. National History Day: Connecting to Teachers •Workshops on using primary sources & research •Instruction on using archival collections •Possible research topics •Have NHD-OH staff for workshop
    10. 10. National History Day: Connecting to Students •Introduce the idea of archival research •How to use microfilm •How to use a finding aid •Research field trips •How to “read” a primary source
    11. 11. Case: Ohio Historical Society Field Trip •Met with teacher to find out the student needs •Created an activity to sum up the day •Provided pre-visit information •Used a combination of museum visit and archives trip
    12. 12. Case: Flesh Public Library Field Trip •List of topics related to the annual theme •Research field trips •Ongoing relationship between students and archivist/librarian •Students won local history prize!
    13. 13. Other ways to be involved •JUDGE!! •Topic list to NHD-OH office •Hold a teacher information session •Hand out NHD-OH brochures •JUDGE, JUDGE, JUDGE!
    14. 14. Questions? Contact Information: Megan Wood Ohio Historical Society 1982 Velma Ave Columbus, OH 43202 614.297.2343 mwood@ohiohistory.org www.ohiohistoryday.org/historyday My Space: Ohio History Day Expert
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