What Is History Day?
History Day is a social studies and literacy program for students in 6th-12th grades. Students can choose regional, state, national, or international topics that fit around a broad annual theme. They conduct primary and secondary source research and apply their findings, individually or as a group (2-5 students), to one of five creative formats including papers, websites, exhibits, documentaries, and performances. Students can then choose to participate in the competition phase of the program; regional, state, and national.
Why Teach History Day?
The History Day curriculum format is a powerful tool for teachers in any classroom or extracurricular setting. History Day works for teachers in the following ways:
- History Day can fit into any classroom setting
-Beyond the text book: Provides teachers will an innovative teaching tool.
-Great for differentiated instruction. Whether gifted, mainstream or special needs, all students can learn by creating a History Day project.
-Allows for individuality and creativity in topic selection and project format, while adhering to the teacher’s requirements.
-Flexible for teachers: The program meets Colorado standards in social studies and literacy.
-Adapt to their own schedule/calendar. It can be taught during an entire school year, during a semester or month, or as an extracurricular. Click here for suggest timelines for your classroom.
-No cost to teachers.
-UC-Denver History Challenge provides training & support to teachers. Click here for more information.
-Cross curricular (social studies, literacy, arts) and can be adapted to any curriculum/course: civics, geography, science, language arts, US History, European History, History of the West, etc.
- Benefits to Students
-Students take ownership of their work, are empowered to make choices, and experience increased self-esteem.
-Bolsters student academic performance in research techniques, writing skills, historical knowledge, creativity, literacy, communication, college readiness, and civic awareness.
-Every student is transformed into a researcher and competent writer by: conducting primary source research,creating a thesis statement, and proving their thesis.
-Students gain presentation and time management skills.
-Students understand the importance of historical perspective.
-Students utilize local museums, libraries, archives and historical sites.
-Exposes students to new and exciting educational environments by holding workshops and contests on college campuses and historical societies.
- A national study found that History Day students:
-Show improved academic performance across all subjects.
-Outperform their peers on state standardized tests.
-Are better writers who write with a purpose and real voice, and marshal solid evidence to support their point of view.
-Learn 21st century college and career-ready skills: collaboration, ability to talk to experts, time management and perseverance.
-Are critical thinkers who can digest, analyze and synthesize information
-The study also showed that History Day has a positive impact among students whose interest in academic subjects may wane in high school.
(All content “borrowed” from the excellent CU-Denver History Challenge website.)