That History Day Guy

September 8, 2008

Making National History Day happen in the classroom

Filed under: Uncategorized — historydayguy @ 3:49 pm

Recently there were some questions floating around concerning people teaching classes on History Day. This project is an interesting example of students creating documentary films ( category in HD) .

While not expressly an NHD class it is an example of students creating very meaningful projects in the context of a the classroom.

I get a lot of questions about how to do History Day in the classroom. I get the usual moaning about how there is simply too much going on to add another thing to the curriculum, but all too often when I am in the classroom it is simply a race to get to the Civil War before Christmas in order to prepare for “The Test.” Whatever standardized monster that may be for the particular state.

The thing is running that race to the civil war and answering the questions at the end of the chapter sections is not getting your kids able to think critically, analyze information and deal with historical information in an engaging way.

Doing history day will take your students to  new places. It will expand their existing skills as they work towards a goal that becomes more and more important to them.

The best part is NHD and other Places produce resources that can help you implement the program i the classroom without an enormous amount of extra time. I think of my days as a substitute teacher where students watched Apollo 13 for a solid week in a social studies class. There is time in the curriculum. If you dedicate two weeks out of your entire year and some dedicated chatting with kids on the side you can make HD happen in the classroom in a painless fashion.


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