Thursday, August 25, 2005

National History Day

National History Day is everyday! The National History Day (NHD) program is an annual, year-long initiative designed to promote the teaching and learning of history in America's schools. NHD is an exciting way for students to study and learn about historical issues, ideas, people and events. The program fosters academic achievement while helping teachers meet education standards.
The core of the program is a nationwide National History Day competition. Each September, students across the country engage in the process of discovery and interpretation of historical topics related to an annual theme, while honing their creative talents to produce innovative presentations. They analyze their topic's historical significance and present conclusions in dramatic performances, imaginative exhibits, multimedia documentaries and research papers to public audiences throughout the country. Students may also decide to enter as individuals or as a member of a group. After a series of district and state contests the program culminates with a national competition at the University of Maryland each June.
During the 2001-2002 school year, National History Day invites students to research topics related to the theme, "Revolution, Reaction, Reform in History". The theme is broad enough in scope to encourage investigation of topics ranging from local to world history. To understand the historical importance of their topics, students must ask questions of time and place, cause and effect, change over time, and impact and significance. They must ask not only when events happened but also why they happened and what impact they had. What factors contributed to their development? Students investigating this year’s theme should think of it in broad terms, as the distinctions among revolutions, reactions, and reforms may be blurred. Revolutions and reforms are themselves often reactions to particular situations or events, and they in turn inspire reactions. Regardless of the topic selected, students must not only present a description of it, but also draw conclusions about how their topic affected individuals, communities, nations, or the world. The theme is a broad one, so topics should be carefully selected, and developed in ways that best use students’ talents and abilities. Then students may create documentaries, exhibits, papers, and performances for entry into National History Day competitions.


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