Teachers are vital in leading students through the Connecticut History Day experience. Sometimes, it’s hard to know what information is most important. Here are some tips for the coming year:
Know the Theme
Every year, National History Day (NHD) releases the annual theme, and students must explore projects that relate to the theme. This year, students will be creating projects related to Conflict and Compromise in History. Many students will ask if all projects need to include a conflict and a compromise. The answer is that it really depends on the topic being explored. Many topics will have elements of both covered.
NHD recently released a webinar about this year’s theme to help students, teachers, and parents understand what is needed to find a great topic that fits the theme. The webinar can be found on their YouTube page. Along with the theme webinar, NHD publishes a Theme Book every year with topic suggestions, worksheets, and a one-page narrative to help you understand the theme even better. Additionally, the State Office created a 40-page booklet filled with CT topics relating to the theme. Both the Theme Book and Connecticut Topics can be found on the Educator’s Resources page on the CHD website.
Attend a Workshop, or Have Us Come to You
The CHD team wants you and your students to be prepared for the year and excited for National History Day, and to help with that we are offering FREE workshops. This year, “Mr. History” Tim Hoogland from National History Day in Minnesota is coming to Connecticut to lead two Educator Workshops. Join us either on Friday, October 13th at Southern Connecticut State University or Saturday, October 14th at Central Connecticut State University. These two workshops are for teachers, library media specialists, or other educators who want more information about Connecticut History Day and how to teach History Day in your classroom. Tim is a fount of NHD knowledge so we encourage all—brand new teachers, along with veterans—to join us. Participants will get practical suggestions and tips for leading their students through the History Day experience. Our Kick-Off Workshop on Saturday, October 14th at Central Connecticut State University is open to students, parents, and teachers to get you excited for the upcoming History Day season.
Introducing History Day to your students can be a fun experience, and we’re here to help you with that introduction. Connecticut History Day offers History Day 101: Introduction in Connecticut History Day – a workshop for you and your students where we come right to you and introduce all of the essentials. Inviting us into your schools and classrooms is free for you, and is a great way for students to learn about the theme, potential topics, where to research topics, and how students compete at the Regional and State contests. Teachers have found that our CHD 101 Workshops have been helpful to introducing the History Day program and what students can expect to learn by the end of the contest season.
New to our list of workshops is History Day 102: Project Check-In where we come back to your classroom and talk to students about their topic, how it fits the theme, and their research. We love coming into your classrooms, and we hope that these two in-class workshops can be helpful for you in teaching History Day. Make sure to book now at firstname.lastname@example.org as the fall is rapidly filling up.
Read the Rulebook
As educators, we think more about History Day students doing research and learning about a historical topic. Students often think more about the contest aspect of the program. NHD has a set of overall rules for participating and creating a project along rules specific to five project categories: exhibits, websites, documentaries, papers, and performances. Make sure that you and your students review the Rule Book since it will explain what is allowed and prohibited when creating a project, as well as how to create projects in each category. Sometimes reading the Rule Book is not enough, so have your students check out actual History Day project examples. Many examples of past projects can be found on the NHD website and help get a better understanding of what a National History Day project looks like.
Know Your Regional Coordinator
We love hearing from teachers and students at the State Office, but our Regional Coordinators are some of the best (we may be a little biased about that) and are full of knowledge about the History Day program. Each Region has a coordinator specifically assigned to help teachers and students prepare for the Regional Contest, and you should feel free to reach out to them. Our Regional Coordinators are listed on each individual Regional Contest page of our website, as well as on our Contact page. If you ever need help, please do not hesitate to reach out to either your Regional Coordinator or the State Office, we’re always here! The State Office can be reached at email@example.com or 860.368.0738.