Top 10 Things for Teacher's to Help with this Year's NHD Projects:
1. Keep it about HISTORY!!!! In the last few years we’ve been have quite a few projects focusing more on current events. This year, let’s make sure it is more about history since it is call National HISTORY Day. Something recent is a fine place to end, but make sure the bulk of the project deals with historical development to that end.
2. Use the State Historical Society Bibliography.
That includes the bibliography put together by Montana Historical Society Staff on their wiki page and linked off the MTNHD website at http://montanahistorywiki.pbworks.com/w/page/21639848/Subject%20Guides%20and%20Bibliographies
3. Use the student and teacher resources at the MTNHD website.
There are several resources for both teachers and students to help them through their projects and understand and think about this year’s theme. Don’t reinvent the wheel. There is more out there as well. If you need more help, contact the state coordinator or one of the History Team Commandos. They can do some of the leg work for you.
4. Have your students talk with the state coordinator and others that have done History Day to mentor them through the project.
That relieves some of your workload! Encourage them to make use of that resource. They can also help YOU!!
5. Consider using a local topic to examine a more national or world topic.
The beauty of NHD is to have student look locally at a topic that is also discussed at a national level. For example, on our website we have a link to video that examines a civil rights event in Wyoming during the 1960s. The student researched locally, and his topic was local, but it had parallels with larger issues nationwide regarding the civil rights movement. That is a great way to do a project.
6. Contact other teachers and/or the state coordinator.
You are not alone in the process. We have many teachers out there that are doing this across the state and nationwide. There is not one universal way to do NHD in the classroom and we can help find the way that works best for you. The first year is the scariest, but seeking support is crucial to your success.
7. Do what works best for you. NHD is a very “anti-federalist” program.
It can be done in any number of different ways that best suits you and your teaching style. It can be done as a year long project, a unit project, an after school club, an extra credit project, an “honors contract” project, etc…. Contact the state coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org to talk about ways to incorporate it into your program in a way that works for you.
8. For this year’s theme, think about "Triumph and Tragedy".
Here is some resources on the NHD website http://www.nhd.org/TeacherResources.htm that is designed to help you as a teacher think about "Triumph and Tragedy". Also, here is other useful resources:
9. For this year’s theme, think about WHY someone is considered a "Triumph and Tragedy" and who were the major players in making an even a "Taking a Stand in History."
Context is important, but sometimes certain people drive events more (astute students will recognize that both are important). When your students look at their chosen event, their thesis could be as simple as deciding whether context or certain people were more important in driving events.
10. Have fun!
While it is daunting, especially the first year, watching your students take ownership of their projects and presentations is extremely rewarding. Remember, there is support out there for you.