History Day and the Common Core – Important Information for Educators!


Director of Programs at the National Office, Lynne O’Hara, has compiled a summary of how National History Day meets Common Core.

Click here to see how NHDC aligns specifically with Colorado Academic Standards

NHD requires students to:

  • Frame the scope of their inquiry: choose a topic, a time period, and focus their research.
  • Research, select and read a variety of primary and secondary documents from multiple forms of media.
  • Engage in extensive analysis by writing a thesis statement and them proving their claim using logic, reasoning and specific historical evidence. The annual theme helps students to focus their analysis and frame their argument.
  • Regardless of project type, students write. They are required to use multiple pieces of evidence, deal with conflicting evidence and revise their writing. Word and time limits require not just a quantity of writing, but force revision and improve quality.
  • Regardless of project type, all students use technology in the research and project creation process. Often students will develop new skills sets (image editing, video editing software, web-based website editing, word processing) as part of the process.
  • Student writing requires both informative and argumentative writing structure, while learning to write to an adult audience using proper structure and conventions.
  • NHD encourages student collaboration. This is obviously accomplished in groups, but many individual students learn that the key to their success is working with a peer editor or another student completing an individual project to discuss ideas and share pathway research.
  • All students present their work to an adult audience and then have to answer questions regarding their content and research process. This requires them to listen, think on their feet, and construct coherent and appropriate responses directed at a group of adults they do not know. As students grow older, the level of complexity of the questions asked and the responses expected increases.

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