In today’s classroom, teachers must work around many external pressures, making it difficult to find the time to utilize outside resources and programs. However, National History Day® is easily integrated into any social studies curriculum. In fact, many teachers use it in their everyday teaching. It is an excellent example of outcome-based or performance-based learning. National History Day® is linked to both national and Pennsylvania State education standards. Teachers find that the History Day program can be implemented to meet education outcomes in grades 6-12.
- Teachers prepare their students by reinforcing research skills, such as the utilization of libraries, archives, and museums, or conducting oral history interviews
- Teachers can challenge their students to develop critical thinking skills, moving them beyond the recitation of facts
- Teachers assist students with the development of time management skills, creating practical project time lines
- National History Day® projects can become an integral part of classroom learning
Many schools participating in National History Day® will hold a local contest at their school to give students a “dress rehearsal” or elimination round. These are ways to prepare students for the regional, state and national competitions levels, where they will have to present their project work and be evaluated. If you need assistance and information to set up this type of preliminery program for your students, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
PA Academic Standards Connections
Historical Analysis and Skills Development:
- Understanding, analyzing and evaluating chronological thinking, sequential order and distinguishing past, present and future time
- Understanding, analyzing and evaluating continuity and change and the context for events
- Explaining, analyzing, interpreting, synthesizing and evaluating historical sources and mathematical and visual data including maps, graphs, and tables
- Explaining, analyzing, interpreting, synthesizing and evaluating historical sources for multiple perspectives
- Explaining, analyzing and evaluating the fundamentals of historical interpretation including differentiating fact from opinion, multiple points of view, cause and effect, illustrations in historical stories, author’s or source’s point of view, and the central or main idea
- Describing, explaining, analyzing, interpreting, synthesizing and evaluating historical research such as historical events, facts, folklore, fiction, historical questions, primary and secondary sources and performance or project based assessment including group projects, skits and plays, History Day projects, mock trial, speeches, debates, and research papers
Reading, Writing, Thinking and Listening:
Learning and Reading Independently
- Understand the meaning of and apply key vocabulary across the various subject areas
- Demonstrate after reading the understanding and interpretation of both fiction and nonfiction texts including public documents
Reading Critically in All Content Areas
- Read and understand essential content of informational texts and documents in all academic areas
Differentiate fact from opinion across a variety of texts; distinguish between essential and nonessential information across a variety of sources; identify bias and propaganda where present; draw inferences based on a variety of information sources; and use teacher and student established criteria for making decisions and drawing conclusions.
Types of Writing
- Write short stories, poems and plays
- Write multi-paragraph and/or complex information pieces including essays, research papers, interviews, etc.
- Write persuasive pieces
- Maintain a written record of activities, course work, experience, honors and interests
Quality of Writing
- Write with a sharp, distinct focus; identify topic, task and audience; establish and maintain a single point of view
- Write using well-developed content appropriate for the topic
- Write with controlled and/or subtle organization
Speaking and Listening
- Listen to others.
- Speak using skills appropriate to formal speech situations
- Contribute to discussions
- Participate in small and large group discussions and presentations
- Use media for learning purposes
- Select and refine a topic for research
- Locate information using appropriate sources and strategies
- Organize, summarize and present the main ideas from research