Think it’s too late in the school year to start a History Day project? Think again! This is the perfect time to start your students on the road to completing a project! Fall sports are over, students are looking for something to do during those long winter days, and best of all, they already have many of the skills required to be successful! You have been laying the ground work during the first two quarters of the school year! Student background knowledge is increased, writing and analysis skills are improved from September, and this is the time in the year many teachers assign a big research project! Adding the NHD competition aspect to an assignment may just pique the interest and drive of some of your students who will normally drag their feet. NHD can make that normal class research project, into a fun and adventurous undertaking! Your students will learn more and increase their reading, writing, research and public speaking skills throughout the project! Not to mention that student driven research will be retained for future success on big tests such as SAT’s and ACT’s! It is a win win for the students! Plus, it is proven that NHD students score higher on standardized tests! Make your class the one that ranks the highest in your school this year by giving them the secret ingredient to success, National History Day!
The holidays are just upon us. This is a wonderful time for students to connect with family members and open up a dialogue to family history! They may discover that their uncle or aunt was involved in the Civil Rights movement, or fought in Vietnam. Their grandfathers or grandmothers may have played a role in WWII, either on the front or at home. Through these conversations around a holiday table, students might just discover the perfect History Day topic! If they feel connected to their topic, they most likely will be very successful. They will have the extra drive to dig deeper to discover more.
The contest dates no longer seem so far away. My students settle in and their projects really begin to take shape. To make your life as a teacher even easier this year, the national office has created an extremely helpful classroom rubric to assist you in assessing your students work. This is not a judging rubric! It is an educational tool intended for the classroom that will help you assess student quality and quantity of analysis, writing goals, and project development. The rubrics are available for download at https://nhd.org/teacher-resources . There is also a shortcut http://nhd.org/rubrics to get to that same page. I am sure you will find these rubrics extremely helpful; they are created to aid the teacher in grading and assessing student work in the easiest way possible!
So no excuses! Yes you can still introduce National History Day to your students and have a very positive experience this year!