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2011 Generic Teacher Introduction to NHD
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2011 Generic Teacher Introduction to NHD


To be personalized and used for general promotion of NHD in 2011.

To be personalized and used for general promotion of NHD in 2011.

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  • -Introduce self and background. -Introduce organization you are from and your connection to National History Day.
  • Ask audience: What does history mean to you? Most answers will involve something engaging, personally rewarding, interesting, etc. Ask audience: What does history mean to your students? Most answers will involve something with tests, dates, names, facts, memorization. We want students to see history through our point of view.  That history is meaningful and relevant to them. To take away from your class an understanding for the role that history plays in our lives.
  • General program overview.
  • Explain purpose for NHD theme. Discuss examples of past themes to reinforce that they are very broad.
  • Ask audience to define the terms in their own words:   Debate: A discussion between sites with different views, an argument, a dispute or a deliberation. Diplomacy: The art of negotiation between groups to achieve specific objectives.
  • Ask audience to brainstorm examples of both debate and diplomacy topics. If possible, keep track of these topics on an overhead or chalk/white board. Image include: -Joseph McCarthy -Suffrage Movement -Civil War Draft Riots -Treaty Councils Reinforce the variety of topics related to debate and diplomacy.
  • Could be more depending on need Add a place for a State specific topic
  • Take a closer look at the process that NHD teachers and students will go through, which parallels the process that historians go through.
  • -Discuss the variety of resources that students use in NHD research, both online and off. -Discuss the relevance of NHD in meeting a breadth of literacy and research standards
  • -Students go beyond memorization, fact finding facts and answering standardized questions. -Students engage in their own analysis and interpretation of topics.
  • -Variety of presentation formats is engaging for students.    -Provides opportunities for students who may not excel at traditional pen and paper assignments.
  • Must have internet connection in order to view documentaries. Will open in a new browser window.
  • Must have internet connection in order to view perforamnce. Will open in a new browser window.
  • -Must have internet connection to view paper. Example paper opens as a PDF in a window.
  • -Must have internet connection to view website. Example site opens in a new browser window.
  • -Participation in competitions is not required - some schools complete school-level projects only.    -Many schools participate in the competitive cycle in some way.    -Ranges from just offering competitions as an option to their students - to schools with school-wide history fairs. -Presentation of scholarship outside of the classroom does offer students educational value.
  • Consider sharing an NHD evaluation sheet with attendees at this time Many teachers will model their classroom evaluation along the same lines.
  • Depending on the dates of your regional and state event, school level events may occur in different months. Good to stress the value a school event can have for an NHD program.    Brings in community members, administrators, news media, parents, etc. to recognize academic achievements of students.
  • Adjust time frame and locations of regional/district competitions for your program
  • Adjust for your own program.
  • -At this point teachers often want to know about costs for the program.  -Explain entry fees for regional and state events. -Explain differences in entry fees/costs for national contest. Many teachers will be concerned about national contest costs. Explain how other students usually fund attendance (school or community support, parents, fundraisers, scholarships, etc.)
  • -Encourage attendees to think about NHD as more than just the competition.   -Discuss and focus on academic benefits.   -A handout related to state or national standards is helpful here.
  • Quotes from two NHD teachers.
  • Discuss variety of different types of NHD programs in your state.
  • No matter what type of program you are working with, remember the basic NHD process. Many teacher worry about trying to be teh content experts for many student topics.    The students are going to be the content experts. Teachers are the experts in guiding students through the process.
  • General timetable. Will vary GREATLY from program to program.  Can be shorter of longer depending on the teacher's needs. Your timetable will also be influenced by regional/district and state event dates. The early the competitions, the early students need to be finished with projects.
  • Suggestions: End with a fantastic documentary or performance and possibly bring in students.   Reinforce that NHD isn't just something to do in addition to your current workload.    NHD is a project that encapsulates the best of what you want your students to take away from your class.


  • 1. National History Day Introduction for Educators Authentic History, Authentic Student Historians Presented by Your Name of the  Your Organization
  • 2. What is History?
      • What does history mean to you?
      • What does history mean to your students?
      • What do you want your students to take away from your class?
  • 3. Why Study History?
      • History Matters!
        • It’s an active process of study and inquiry - not just passive memorization
      • Arena for development of cross-curricular skills
        • Research
        • Writing
        • Technology
        • Reading
        • Inquiry
        • Critical thinking
        • Analysis
  • 4. Why Study History?
    • “ True historical understanding requires students to engage in historical thinking; to raise questions and to marshal solid evidence in support of their answers; to go beyond the facts presented in their textbooks and examine the historical record themselves”
    • -National Standards for History
    • National Center for History in the Schools
  • 5. Why National History Day?
      • Students learn by doing.
        • Would you teach a chemistry class without having your students do experiments?
      • Students learn history by doing history.
        • National History Day is the lab component of your history class.
  • 6. What is National History Day?
      • Education program for students in grades 6-12
      • Engages students in their own historical research and interpretation related to an annual theme
      • Offers students several creative presentation formats
      • Students BECOME historians!
  • 7. How does NHD Work?
      • Work alone or in a group (2-5 students)
      • Select a topic connected to an annual theme
      • Complete their own research
      • Analyze the significance of their topic in history
      • Present their ideas through a creative project
      • Optional: Compete in series of regional, state, and national competitions.
  • 8. Annual Theme
      • Students select topic connected to the theme
        • Topics must be connected to theme
      • Annual themes are very broad
        • Allows a variety of student topics
      • Having a theme elevates student analysis
        • Students see connections between their topic and larger issues and ideas in history
  • 9. 2011 NHD Theme Debate & Diplomacy in History:  Successes, Failures, Consequences
  • 10. Debate & Diplomacy in History
      • Topics must be an example of debate or diplomacy in history (or both)
      • Think about the definition of the words
        • Debate
        • Diplomacy
      • Successes, Failures, Consequences
        • Don't forget about the second half of the theme
        • Will help students to ask good questions about the significance of their topic in history
  • 11. Topic Brainstorm What topics from your curriculum are examples of debate or diplomacy in history?
  • 12. Tips for Picking Topics
      • Is your topic too new?
        • Avoid current events… Delve into a part of history!
        • More than 20 years in the past as a rule of thumb
    The contemporary debate over immigration in Arizona The 1924 Immigration Act: Quotas and the debate over who can come to America
  • 13. Tips for Picking Topics
    • Is your topic too broad?
      • Narrow topic by time period, people, event, or geographic area.  
      • Look at something specific related to the broad topic
    The entire history of slavery in the United States The debate over slavery during the Constitutional Convention
  • 14. The NHD Process Research Analyze Present The Three Hats of the Historian
  • 15. Research
      • Students research their topics using primary and secondary sources
      • Builds information and media literacy
    "During my research I was able to visit the archives... I found that often the primary sources had better opinions and more meaningful information than the compiled secondary sources."
  • 16. Analyze
      • Students become historians
      • Analyze their findings and discuss significance of topic in history
      • Builds inquiry, critical thinking, and analysis skills
  • 17. Presentation
      • Students present their research in one of several creative formats:
        • Exhibits
        • Documentaries
        • Website
        • Performances 
        • Papers (individuals only)
  • 18. Exhibits
      • Similar to what you might see in a museum
      • Uses text, images, objects, etc. to make an argument
      • Up to 6' tall, 40" wide, and 30" deep 
      • 500 student-composed words
      • Most popular NHD category
  • 19. Exhibits: A Closer Look
  • 20. Documentaries
      • Similar to what you might see on PBS or the History Channel
      • 10-minute media presentation
      • Great category for students who like technology and have a visual topic
      • Example Documentary 1 (flash required)
      • Example Documentary 2 (YouTube)
  • 21. Performances
      • 10-minute dramatic performance
      • Conveys argument, evidence
      • Uses scripts, props, costumes, etc.
      • Great category for performers who love to be on stage: actors, singers, dancers, etc.
      • Example Performance 1 (flash required) 
  • 22. Papers
      • Individual papers only - no group entries
      • 1,500-2,500 word paper about an historical topic
      • Includes citations: footnotes, endnotes, or other internal documentation
      • Great category for aspiring writers
      • Example Paper
  • 23. Web Sites
      • Exciting, new category!
      • 1,200 student-composed words, 100 MB size limit
      • Incorporates text, images, media, and more to make and support an argument 
      • Created using the NHD Website Editor - provided free online.
      • Example Website
  • 24. The NHD Competitive Cycle
      • Optional part of NHD 
      • Why compete?
        • Students gain confidence in communication and interpersonal skills
        • Facilitates academic and public recognition of student achievement
        • Builds community interaction
        • Encourages continuous improvement of project
      • Presentation at competitions builds 21st Century Skills through communication and collaboration
  • 25. Competitions
      • Students participate in separate categories/ divisions
      • Students present their projects to judges and compete for special awards and recognition
      • Advance from:
        • School Events
        • Regional/District Competitions
        • State Event
        • National Contest
  • 26. Divisions/Categories
    • Junior Division
    • (Grades 6-8)
      • Individual Exhibit
      • Group Exhibit
      • Individual Documentary
      • Group Documentary
      • Individual Performance
      • Group Performance
      • Individual Website
      • Group Website
      • Individual Paper
    • Senior Division
    • (Grades 9-12)
      • Individual Exhibit
      • Group Exhibit
      • Individual Documentary
      • Group Documentary
      • Individual Performance
      • Group Performance
      • Individual Website
      • Group Website
      • Individual Paper
  • 27. Evaluating Projects
      • The same criteria are used at all levels of NHD competitions:
        • 60% Historical Quality : Accuracy, analysis, interpretation, historical context and the quality of research
        • 20% Connection to Theme : Have students connected the topic to the theme in the project?
        • 20% Clarity of Presentation : How clearly has the student used the project to convey their argument and evidence? Includes spelling, organization, etc.
        • Rules Compliance : Has the student violated any major rules for the category or NHD?
  • 28. School History Day
      • February/March
      • First level of competition
      • Narrows the number of students to send to a regional/district competition
      • May or may not have school event. Depends on number of students at school.
      • Community events and recognition for academic scholarship
  • 29. Regional/District Competitions
      • March/April
      • Locations in state
      • Students share work and are interviewed by judges
      • Compete for special awards and to advance to next level of competition
  • 30. State History Day
      • Date
      • Location
      • Number of Students
  • 31. The National Contest
      • Mid-June
      • University of Maryland in College Park, just outside of Washington, D.C.
      • Top two entries in each category/division from each state/affiliate program
  • 32. Why Do Teachers Participate?
      • NHD is about more than just the competition.
      • Meets a breadth of state standards.
      • Provides a venue for the application of real life skills in the development of the project.
      • Demonstrates student learning in a meaningful way.
      • Is an engaging assessment tool. Students are excited about History Day!
  • 33. Why Do Teachers Participate? “ Participating in this program all year has re-energized my teaching and enthusiasm for working with young people. If any teachers reading this are on the fence about introducing the NHD project to their students, I strongly encourage them to take the plunge. You will be amazed at what your students learn and the work they produce.” "National History Day challenges my students to really be ‘young historians’. My curriculum, my class, and my teaching would not be nearly as successful without National History Day."
  • 34. NHD in the Classroom
    • Teachers across the country have successfully implemented NHD in a variety of ways:
      • Semester or yearlong programs
      • Entire classes or small groups
      • NHD clubs
      • Required class project or extra credit option
      • Enrichment Programs
      • Individual teacher or team teaching approaches
      • Public, private, parochial, or home schools
      • Local/State History, United States History, World History, Ancient History, Modern History, etc.
  • 35. The NHD Timetable
      • Remember the Basics: Research, Analyze, Present
        • Introduce History Day and theme
        • Help students choose topics
        • Mentor their research and analysis
        • Guide their project creation
        • Evaluate their work
  • 36. The NHD Timetable
    • Remember: Can be shorter or longer depending on your needs.
      • November/December:
        • Introduce program and theme
        • Topic selection
        • Begin research
      • January
        • Continue into more advanced research
        • Analysis and argument
        • Draft projects
      • February
        • Project creation 
        • Feedback and revisions
      • February, March, April, May, June
        • NHD competition cycle
  • 37. You are the Boss!
      • Consider starting small with the size program that works for you. 
      • Consider:
        • Limiting categories
        • Limiting topics
        • Limiting group size
        • Making the competition an optional component
  • 38. The Next Steps
      • Get on the state NHD program's mailing list:
        • Email/website
      • Think about how NHD fits with your curriculum goals. 
  • 39. Outreach Service and Resources
      • National Resources
        • National NHD Website
        • Theme Book (PDF)
      • State/Affiliate-Specific Materials  
        • State website?
        • Other resources?
      • Stuff to Buy
        • Guide to Historical Research through NHD
        • Sample Projects (Minnesota History Day)
  • 40. Need More Information?
      • Contact me!
        • Name
        • Phone Number
        • Email Address