The National History Day program provides teachers with an innovative teaching tool that instills important skills in a fun and engaging format.
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. It also aligns with Common Core Standards.
- Does NHD 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.
- Teacher Resources
Maryland History Day produces a packet of teacher resources that you can use in your classroom! From overview to lesson plans, it’s all available through the Google Drive button below.
Class Visits and Professional Development
Want to bring in our outreach professionals to your classroom? Looking for continuing education credits? Check out the Outreach and Professional Development page.
Sign Up for our Teaching with Primary Sources course!
This 3 CPD credit online Thinkport course is an in-depth look at how to use the Maryland History Day program to increase student analysis skills. Teachers will produce a History Day project themselves, while creating a master plan for using Maryland History Day in their own classrooms. Sign Up Here
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.
- NHD Resources
National History Day has a full range of online graduate courses for middle and high school educators who want to implement our project-based curriculum into their classrooms using the framework of the National History Day Contest.
All National History Day courses provide practical advice as well as pedagogical strategies.
Along with creating classroom-ready materials customized to the needs of their students, participants also have the options of earning a certificate of professional development hours or (for an additional cost) graduate credit from the University of San Diego.
The Memorializing the Fallen and the Understanding Sacrifice programs both emphasize experiential learning through travel and primary source research.
NHD Produces a new webinar for the theme each year, which requires pre-registration. They also hold webinars for category selection.
The Ask an NEH Expert Series highlights leaders in the field of historical research who can offer valuable expertise to students. These are arranged by category, so that students can find information that pertains to them.
- Teacher FAQs
How do I fit History Day into my classroom schedule?
We believe that History Day won’t detract from your curriculum but will be a way to teach your curriculum. Use history day to teach primary source analysis, research skills, and to get your students interested and invested in different time periods and topics. To plan out your year, we have a number of sample timelines that you can use.
How will this work with remote teaching?
This project has the potential to lend itself well to remote teaching and learning. It is based around student-guided inquiry – students develop the research questions they want to ask and look for ways to investigate them. Letting them choose the topics that interest them keeps them invested in the work they are doing, even with the distractions of home. Much of the project is based around independent research that students can do online at home. The project is chunked into manageable pieces, and we provide models and scaffolds for each step along the way.
However, remote teaching may present a barrier for many of your students. Stay tuned in to their needs and make them feel comfortable asking for help. Be prepared to mail home printed materials, let your students know how to get a hotspot, or provide one-on-one virtual conferencing for those who need extra guidance. Suggest topics that can be easily researched with materials from the public library and project formats that fit your students’ access to resources.
How do I teach annotated bibliographies?
Thinkport Research Learning Modules include instruction on annotated bibliographies, working with primary and secondary sources, and a number of other topics in creating a research project. Find the full list of modules here.
Webinar for New Maryland History Day Teachers
This webinar gives basic information about History Day, a breakdown of the steps students and teachers will take to complete the project, tips for doing History Day with English learners, and tips for doing the project during remote teaching.
Webinar for Returning Maryland History Day Teachers
This webinar explains changes to the NHD rule book, judging rubrics, and web-building platform, and shares tips for doing History Day during remote teaching, including instructions for using our Google Doc worksheets in Google Classroom and Canvas.
- MHD Monthly Workshops
Join us on September 23 at 4pm for our first MHD Monthly Teacher Workshop! Our workshops will follow you along in the History Day process and create a space for discussion among teachers. Not sure how to grade part of the project? Ask a teacher who has done it before. Register for this first workshop here. The schedule for our first three meetings is below.
Wednesday, September 23, 4pm Picking a Topic Wednesday, October 14, 4pm Research Wednesday, November 18, 4pm Crafting a Narrative