Documentaries are great for students who like to work with computers and multimedia. After you research, you will write a script and find illustrations and multimedia to create a mini-film about your topic. If you don't have access to video editing software at home, be sure to check with your teacher about what is available through your school. The most common software used is iMovie, Windows MovieMaker, or Final Cut Pro. History Day has some WeVideo licenses available for schools to use. Please contact JLor with questions about using WeVideo or getting a license for the year.
Documentaries can be created individually or in a group. Below are some resources to help you with your Documentary:
- Documentary Making Tips (PDF)
- Documentary Organization (PDF)
- "Tootsie Roll" Worksheet (PDF) (Google Doc)
- Laura Zeccardi Sample Documentary Storyboard (PDF)
- Documentary Storyboard Template (PDF) (Google Doc)
- Documentary Judge Evaluation Form (PDF)
- Documentary-Specific Rules (PDF)
- Documentary rule summary (PDF)
- Sample Documentary Projects
Exhibits are great for students who like to work alone or in groups. Exhibits are similar to what you might see in a museum, but on a smaller scale.
Objects, pictures, and documents go along with your own words to tell your story. This is especially a great category for students who like graphic design and "hands-on" creativity.
Below are some resources to help with your Exhibit:
- Blank and Guided Exhibit Map (PDF) (Google Doc)
- 2021 Virtual Exhibit Instructions (PDF)
- Effective Exhibits (PDF)
- Wood-Frame Exhibit Building Instructions (PDF)
- Exhibit Judge Evaluation Form (PDF)
- Exhibit-Specific Rules (PDF)
- Exhibit rule summary (PDF)
- Sample Exhibit at Every Level of Competition
- Sample Exhibit Projects
- Purchasing Large Format Exhibit Boards (optional - not required by NHD)
Research Papers are great for students who like to work alone and prefer to use words to tell a story. Papers have a longer word limit, so you usually have more space for your argument than some of the other categories.
Papers are judged through on off-site judging process in the First-Round of competition. You are not required to attend a Regional competition.
Below are some tools to help you with your Paper:
Performances are a great for students who want to act and show off their dramatic flair. You will write a script based on the research you conduct and create characters, scenes, and dialogue to prove your argument.
Most students design a simple set, wear costumes, and may have props to help people connect to your story. Performances can be done by an individual or a group.
Below are resources to help you with your Performance:
- 2021 Virtual Performance Instructions
- 2021 Performance Companion Worksheet
- Sample Outline and Performance Script (PDF)
- Performance Instructions for Virtual Contests 2021 (PDF)
- Performance Organization (PDF)
- Performance Planning (PDF) (Google Doc)
- Performance Idea Map (PDF) (Google Doc)
- Performance Scene Selection (PDF)
- Performance Backdrops Made Easy Video
- Building your own Backdrop Construction Materials (PDF)
- Performance Judge Evaluation Form (PDF)
- Performance-Specific Rules (PDF)
- Performance Rule Summary (PDF)
- Sample Performance Projects
Websites allow you to tell your story using your own words, pictures, videos, and images to share online. This category is great for students that like to work with computers and technology. Students can work alone or in groups to create a Website. Students must use the official NHD Website Editor to create their website. National History Day is now using NHDWebCentral as its platform.
NHDWebCentral specific resources
With student permission, we have recreated a past National Qualifier website in the new NHDCentral platform: