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St. Paul


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History Day

What is National History Day?

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National History Day (NHD) is an educational program devoted to improving the teaching and learning of history in American schools. NHD is a meaningful way for students to study historical issues, ideas, people, and events by engaging in historical research.

Beginning in the fall, students choose a topic related to the annual theme and conduct extensive primary and secondary research. After analyzing and interpreting their sources and drawing conclusions about their topics’ significance in history, students then present their work in original papers, exhibits, performances, websites, and documentaries. These projects are entered into competitions at local, state, and national levels. They are evaluated by professional historians and educators. The program culminates with the national competition held each June at the University of Maryland at College Park.

Each year National History Day uses a theme to provide a lens for students to study history. These themes frame the research for both students and teachers.  The theme is intentionally broad enough that students can select topics from any place (local, national, or world history) and any time period. Once students choose their topics, they investigate historical context, historical significance, and the topic’s relationship to the theme by conducting research in libraries, archives, and museums, through oral history interviews, and by visiting historic sites.

Highland Park Middle School has been a participant in the National History Day program for many years and has had students advance to both the state and national levels with projects they’ve created. History Day breathes life into the traditional history curriculum by engaging students and teachers in a hands-on and in-depth approach to studying the past. By focusing on a theme, students are introduced to a new organizational structure by which to learn history. Teachers are supported in introducing highly complex research strategies to students. When NHD is implemented in the classroom, students are involved in a powerful learning process.

Learn more about History Day in Minnesota 

STUDENTS: History Day information specific to you

PARENTS: History Day information specific to you

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