For Teachers

The National History Day program provides teachers with an innovative teaching tool that instills important skills in a fun and engaging format.

It also aligns with Common Core Standards. History Day requires students to do the job of a historical detective. Participants must delve into primary sources, develop original historical conclusions, and present their work in a creative form. In short, National History Day is designed to revolutionize the teaching and learning of history.

  • Does History Day Work?

    National History Day conducted a national evaluation study to answer that very question! Some of the findings from the study include:

    • NHD students outperform their non-NHD peers on state standardized tests, not only in social studies, but in reading, science and math as well. 
    • NHD students are better writers, who write with a purpose and real voice, and marshal solid evidence to support their point of view.
    • NHD students are critical thinkers who can digest, analyze and synthesize information.
    • NHD students learn 21st century skills. They learn how to collaborate with team members, talk to experts, manage their time and persevere.
    • NHD has a positive impact among students whose interests in academic subjects may wane in high school.

  • What Will You Gain?

    • High academic standards: assists teachers in meeting social studies standards with an outcome-based activity
    • Assessment: provides a multilayered performance-based assessment tool
    • Interdisciplinary approach: ignites student interest in history by integrating social studies, art, literature, language, science, and music into their presentations
    • Teacher recognition: Recognizes teachers with annual Teacher of the Year awards.
    • Summer Institutes: National History Day sponsors summer institutes for teachers and students, including The Normandy: Sacrifice for Freedom Albert H. Small Student & Teacher Institute and Understanding Sacrifice.
    • Professional Development: In addition to professional development opportunities that Maryland History Day provides, National History Day hosts various Google+ Hangouts and Webinars and online education opportunities.

  • Resources for Teachers

    Maryland History Day Teacher Flash DrivesFlashdrives

    Maryland History Day is offering a great tool to teachers for FREE. Our History Day flash drives are jam packed with great classroom resources: thesis development worksheets, sample parent letters, sample projects, etc.

    If you are a new teacher to the Maryland History Day program or you are a veteran teacher who did not receive a flash drive from your district coordinator, fill out our form to request a Maryland History Day Teacher Flash Drive. Once the request has been submitted, Maryland History Day staff will mail the drive to the address that is listed.

    Exhibit BoardsExhibit Board

    Maryland History Day teachers can now purchase 48″ tall exhibit boards online through our partner, Box Man Inc. Exhibit boards can also be purchased in bulk (sets of ten). The boards come in white or black, with or without the title panel. With each purchase of an exhibit board, Box Man will donate $1 to the Maryland History Day program.

Sign up for our Maryland History Day eNews and check out the National History Day Contest Rule Book and learn about the annual theme.

Teacher Testimonials

  • “I had never done anything like this before so it was a totally new experience to write a paper, be interviewed, and defend my positions. I now really know how to do research and it has improved my writing skills.”

    ​Maryland History Day 2015 Student
  • “By using a variety of sources, I was able to get angles on my topic that I wasn’t able to before. Also, I learned so much about a topic near and dear to my heart that will enrich my learning later in life.”

    Maryland History Day 2015 Student
  • “History Day has taught men how to interpret and effective use primary sources in my writing to create and support claims. Now I am much more likely to explore databases, go to libraries, and explore further external sources for credible and effective sources.”

    Maryland History Day 2019 Student
  • “Maryland History Day challenged my daughter to go deeper, deeper in research analysis and presentation. It took her to a whole new level academically.”

    ​Maryland History Day parent
  • “It provided an opportunity for my child to learn through experiential opportunities. He had interviews and tours that were relevant to his topic that helped the history come alive and create unforgettable memories.”

    Maryland History Day 2015 Parent
  • “[The students] learned a variety of ways to present their material and they could focus on what they wanted to learn about. The students had a choice in their learning. It was about their learning NOT what someone else felt they need to learn.”

    ​Maryland History Day teacher
  • “The researching and communicating skills have made me a more confident person in all academic endeavors. These are skills that will last me a lifetime.”

    ​Maryland History Day student participant
  • “History Day inspired me to become deeply invested in historical topics which I never thought I’d enjoy. It is an amazing experience that has the ability to make learning fun for everyone, no matter what you’re interested in.”

    Addie Skillman, National History Day Gold Winner
  • “The excitement of the research was wonderful for my students’ academic progress. They now feel capable of doing any research paper that may be assigned in college!”

    Maryland History Day 2019 Teacher
  • “The part of History Day that had the most impact on me was seeing all the other entries and entry categories. It was really inspiring to see so many different people of history honored for their leadership and legacy as that was this years theme. You forget that the whole world has a history and there are so many different people and leaders who make up that history. The fact that this day brings together all of us students, our imaginations, our creativity, research skills, and history really reminds you how much of us would be lost if we didn’t remember those who made an impact.”

    ​Maryland History Day student participant
  • “My students became more competent researchers, and took ownership of their work. They had total free reign to choose their topic, direct their research, and create their final project.”

    ​Maryland History Day 2015 Teacher
  • “We were very impressed with the depth of research all the students did for their History Day projects. It was fun to see them interacting with each other during the competition and events.”

    Lori and Josh Skillman, History Day Parents
  • “My students went deeper with primary and secondary sources than ever before. They used critical thinking skills and applied the transfer goals and essential questions on a deeper level than they could have in class. It challenged them to think deeper and defend their findings.”

    Maryland History Day 2019 Teacher
  • “The students are now far more prepared for the high level of scholarship and achievement that will be expected of them in future years. MHD also elevated many other skills too. These include public speaking, the use of technology, learning to collaborate.”

    ​Maryland History Day teacher
  • “The thing that had the most impact were the skills that I got from this project. I developed better hunting skills in terms of looking for reliable sources and I also learned to work hard and not procrastinate to achieve something great.”

    Maryland History Day student participant
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Maryland Humanities is a statewide, educational nonprofit organization that creates and supports educational experiences in the humanities that inspire all Marylanders to embrace lifelong learning, exchange ideas openly, and enrich their communities.
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Baltimore, Maryland 21201-4565
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