Teacher Resources
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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.

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 of the 2018 Massachusetts History and Social Sciences Frameworks and  Common Core

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.

Check the Contest Info page for information on District and State competitions, including which region your school would be placed in.  If you do not see your school listed on that page, please contact State Coordinator Kate Melchior to find out where to register your students.

If you are interested in MHD Professional Development, Teacher Resources, or other help, please contact State Coordinator Kate Melchior or your Regional District Coordinator.


Excellent teacher resources can be found at the following NHD websites:

National History Day Teacher Resources

New York State History Day
Minnesota History Day
New Hampshire History Day
Helpful Contest Documents and Links

NHD Teacher Resources Page (includes information on the competitions, curriculum, professional development, and more)    
Theme Book
Official Rule Book (English)
Official Rule Book (Spanish)
See also information about the various project categories at the NHD website.

NoodleTools for NHD: As a result of an exclusive partnership between National History Day and NoodleTools, enrolled teachers can provide NoodleTools to student applicants working on NHD projects.  Students have access to individual and group note-taking and bibliographical tools, and teachers can provide feedback directly on their efforts.

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."