TeachersFirst's National History Day Resources
Whether your students actually compete in National History Day or not, the annual themes and the challenge of hands-on, primary research wrapped into the History Day project format is an engaging way for students to participate in their own learning and produce rigorous, meaningful projects they will never forget. This collection of TeachersFirst resources pulls from our offerings on primary sources -- a requirement in the national history day competition. Check the official National History Day site at the start of each school year for the specific theme of the year. Then search TeachersFirst for more resources related to that year's theme. Explore and share these offerings as you plan a "history day" type event for your school or to assist students participating in National History Day.
View all of our resources tagged History Day.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomUse this site as an in class activity for various units in your classroom, including the early 1900's, immigration, the roaring 20's, etc. Have students complete their investigations in pairs, having a class competition to see who can get the most right! A very fun way to review and encourage critical thinking skills.
Grades9 to 12
In the ClassroomUse the primary sources in this site in a "survivor" activity that not only teaches the content how teaches students how to analyze primary sources too. Separate students into groups and assign each group a different primary source to analyze and interpret with the intentions of presenting their findings to the class. After presentations, have a representative from each group go to the front of the class and present an argument why their source is the most reliable and why it presents the clearest picture of the early US government. Have the class vote off the least reliable in rounds until there is just the one left! Students will leave the class understanding the content AND how to analyze sources for future reference.
Grades9 to 12
tag(s): states (161)
In the ClassroomThis site offers a treasure trove of primary sources that would be useful for any history classroom. Teachers can either use the sources to supplement their lectures, or can use them to start a debate with students on the qualities of effective primary sources. Separate students into groups, and provide each group with a different primary source, although from the same time frame you are studying in class. Have the groups analyze the sources, and a list of reasons as to why or why not their source is a reliable source. From then on, have the groups debate in class which is the most reliable by way of class debate. Not only will the kids synthesize the important information within the sources, but they will also get a handle as to what makes a source reliable.
Grades6 to 12
tag(s): journals (23)
In the ClassroomUse this site as a resource to find primary sources, whether it be for in class activities or for students working on research projects & papers. If using for classroom activities, consider having the pictures serve as prompts, introductory activities, wrap-ups or even as an analytical activity. Students can analyze whats in the picture or primary source for a variety of purposes. If using as a resource for research projects, make sure to include the site on any handouts as well as post on your class wiki or web page.
Grades9 to 12
In the ClassroomUse this site as a resource for finding primary sources that can be used in your classroom. One great way way to do so is through visual discovery, introducing the topic of the Continental Congress. Select 3-5 images from this site, choosing the most powerful and moving images. Placing the images on individual slides, allow students 1-2 minutes to observe each image. During that time period, students should be taking notes based on what they observe, predict and infer about each image. The more powerful and detailed the image is, the more information students can take out. After the class has observed all the chosen images, have a class discussion based on the notes students took. This is a great way to introduce content in a way that gets students thinking, as well as avoiding the typical lecture format.
Grades1 to 12
tag(s): history day (24)