For Teachers

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.

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  • 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


    Teacher Packet

    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.

    Google Drive

    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


    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.

  • NHD Resources


     National History Day Online Courses

    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.

     Summer Institutes

    The Memorializing the Fallen and the Understanding Sacrifice programs both emphasize experiential learning through travel and primary source research.

       Webinars And Videos

    NHD Produces a new webinar for the theme each year, which requires pre-registration. They also hold webinars for category selection.

     NEH Ask an Expert Series

    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.

    Timeline 1      Timeline 2


    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. 

  • Webinars

    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

    Our workshops will follow you along in the History Day process and create a space for discussion among new and seasoned teachers. Register for our December meeting here. The schedule for our first four meetings is below.

    Wednesday, September 23, 4pm Picking a Topic
    Wednesday, October 14, 4pm Research and Thesis
    Wednesday, November 18, 4pm Crafting a Narrative
    Wednesday, December 9, 4pm MHD Office Hour


    In our November meeting, we started with announcements and updates, then shared resources to help your students outline their project, and shared tips about writing the text of the project.

Teacher Testimonials

  • “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
  • “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
  • “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
  • “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
  • “[My son] became a real expert in his topic and, he says, developed a life-long love of history, especially the history of music. I cannot thank you enough for this rare and incredible opportunity.”

    Andrea LeWinter, parent of Maryland History Day participant
  • “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 student
  • “[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
  • “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
  • I’ve loved judging! It’s exciting to see the passion the middle schoolers have put in their projects. I hope that my critiques have helped strive for excellence throughout their lives.

    Dee Krasnansky, Maryland History Day Judge
  • “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
  • “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 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
  • “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
  • “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
  • “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
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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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