What IS History Day?
History Day is an exciting co-curricular program that encourages young people to explore a historical subject related to an annual theme. The 2012 theme is "Revolution, Reaction, Reform."
Students make history come alive as their research leads to imaginative exhibits, original performances, informative documentaries, interactive websites and historical research papers. Each category is then divided into two divisions, junior (6th - 8th grade) and senior (9th - 12th) division. History Day demonstrates that students learn history when they do history.
History Day is a highly regarded national academic challenge - more than 700,000 students participated nationwide. It is also the fastest growing social studies enrichment program in Minnesota with nearly 30,000 students participating statewide last year.
The program's goal is to promote the study of history by engaging students and teachers in the excitement of historical inquiry and creative presentation. History Day reinforces classroom teaching by rewarding students of all abilities for their scholarship, individual initiative and cooperative learning.
Students in grades 6 through 12 participate in History Day events. Historians, educators and professionals in related fields evaluate their work at different stages. Students participate in regional History Day events at which some are selected to advance to the statewide History Day, usually held in May, at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities campus. Top entries in each category in the State competition are eligible to participate in the National History Day contest in June near Washington, D.C.
The History Day program is flexible and provides the ideal format to meet the state graduation standards. Teachers in English or media skills classes as well as social studies can use the methods of History Day. Teachers of the gifted and talented have also used History Day to promote scholarship and creativity. The key is imagination, and the skills used in developing a History Day entry are valuable for any area of study.
- Information Request
- National History Day contest rule book
- 2012 Theme Narrative
- 2012 Theme Book
- Minnesota Graduation Standards
If you are interested in more information or guidance with starting History Day in your classroom please visit our Master Teacher Network where you will find in-classroom strategies and teaching materials from veteran Minnesota History Day teachers.