Why should my students participate in History Day?
History Day fulfills state requirements in the social studies and can be used to complete many Classroom-Based Assessments. The program is flexible and provides an ideal framework to teach research, writing, critical thinking, interpretation and presentation skills. The skills used in developing a History Day project are real-world skills, and students report that doing History Day prepared them for college and work better than any other assignment in their education. School districts across the country have adopted it as part of their curriculum, and it is proven to improve academic performance, reading proficiency and historical literacy.
In preparation for district contests, students select a topic that relates to the yearly broad theme. The Kansas History Day Program website offers ideas for topics relating to the theme, but teachers are encouraged to brainstorm ideas with their classes, in relation to Common Core Standards. Students then research their topic thoroughly, using primary and secondary sources. As students research, they interpret the material and develop a History Day project: Individual or Group Performance, Individual or Group Documentary, Individual or Group Exhibit, Individual or Group Website, or a Historic Paper. Once the projects are completed, students are ready to share their findings with a larger audience. Some schools showcase this work at a school or local History Fair, while others prepare their students to enter a district History Day competition.
For teachers, the National History Day program offers practical models for integrating Common Core standards in the classroom that improves test scores on reading, math, and science assessments and prepares students for college level work. See the NHD Evaulation Results page for more information.
2012 Washington State History Day Preview Video
This part of the KHD website is designed as a guide for teachers to organize and focus on helping their students create meaningful and successful History Day projects.