History Day Projects and Project Based Learning


Welcome to National History Day and Project Based Learning!

What is National History Day, you ask? Each year more than half a million students just like you participate. You will choose a historical topic related to the annual theme, and then conduct primary and secondary research. You will look through libraries, archives and museums, conduct oral history interviews, and hopefully visit historic sites with your family outside of our class time. After you have analyzed and interpreted your sources, and have drawn a conclusion about the significance of your topic, you will then be able to present your work in one of five ways: as a paper, an exhibit, a performance, a documentary, or a web site.

In the spring, you may enter your work into the local NHD contest (hosted this year at WMU) where it will be judged by professional educators and historians. If your work is chosen as one of the best, you will move on to Michigan’s NHD contest. We will also be displaying our projects for local leaders, school board, and other classrooms.

Each year the research must connect to the NHD theme. The theme changes every year so if you do NHD every year after this, you will not repeat a theme. The themes are chosen to be broad enough to encourage investigation of topics ranging from local history to world history, and from ancient time to the recent past.   To understand the historical importance of your topic you need to ask questions about time, place and context; cause and effect; change over time; and impact and significance. You must consider not only when and where events happened, but also why they occurred and what factors contributed to their development.

Students in our classroom will be using these tools and developing research skills through Project Based Learning. Those students joining History Club will be learning how to use technology even further, how to do research, how to write a process paper and an annotated bibliography, and how to present this research. Check out the nhd.org website or the Michigan History site.

 Thank you.

Mrs. Sheppard

North Shore Elementary room 205


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