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Massachusetts History Day!
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Teachers



What is National History Day?

National History Day is an exciting academic enrichment program that helps students learn about historical issues, ideas, people, and events. This yearlong academic adventure fosters students' enthusiasm for learning and encourages them to use primary, secondary, community, and statewide resources on a subject of their choice related to an annual theme.

Each year, more than half a million students, encouraged by thousands of teachers nationwide, participate in the NHD contest. Students choose historical topics related to a theme and conduct extensive primary and secondary research through libraries, archives, museums, oral history interviews, and historic sites. After analyzing and interpreting their sources and drawing conclusions about their topics’ significance in history, students present their work in original papers, websites, exhibits, performances, and documentaries. These products are entered into competitions in the spring at local, state and national levels, where they are evaluated by professional historians and educators. The program culminates in the National Contest each June held at the University of Maryland at College Park.

National History Day teaches the skills individuals need for a successful future. More than one participant has noted that National History Day gave them everything they needed in terms of doing research and time management skills to be successful in college.

The program's three central elements develop participants' abilities to:

  1. Complete extensive research;
  2. Critically analyze and develop historical conclusions about information they have discovered in a variety of sources; and
  3. Present and defend their interpretations in a critical, yet creative forum.

National History Day addresses many state's  Common Core
  Standards.

Working individually or collaboratively in groups of two to five, students produce historical documentaries, exhibits, dramatic performances and research papers based on an annual theme. Students in 6th through 12th grade may choose to participate in the national event cycle by presenting their research at a competitive series of local, regional, state, and national events.

If students choose to participate in the national event cycle, their work is evaluated at different stages by historians, educators, and professionals in related fields. Award-winning entries at the Massachusetts History Day state event held in late April/early May are then eligible to participate in the National History Day contest held in June in Washington, D.C.


An excellent guide for teachers can be found at the
New York State History Day website.
   

Dates to Remember


The Massachusetts State Competition:  April 2018, Date and location TBD

National History Day Contest: June 10-14, 2018

Location: The University of Maryland/College Park

   


Helpful Documents
        


Theme Book

Official Rule Book (English)

Official Rule Book (Spanish)
   
See also information about the various categories


What Massachusetts students say about History Day:

“National History Day taught me that with hard work, anything can be achieved. The experience of competing at the national finals was an amazing one that I will never forget ---from the competition itself to the bonds created with people from across the country, every aspect of this journey was wonderful.”

"I learned just about everything I needed to succeed in college from National History Day---how to do real research, time management, and much more!"

"The entire NHD experience, from researching the role of women in WWII to performing in front of a large audience enhanced my skills in research and public speaking."