National History Day Mentoring Program - Teachers

Why National History Day?

New documents are available!

Look below for extra resources that

you can use in the class room!

Anyone who has ever participated in NHD, whether student, teacher or parent, knows and appreciates the impact NHD has on the lives of students who participate.  In today's world, however, it is important that educational programs be able to document and show, through data, the value they add to a student's intellectual development.  Well, National History Day engaged in just such an evaluation.  NHD engaged the firm of Rockman et al to
develop and carry out a research based evaluation of the program. 
According to the evaluation's executive summary: "the research examined students' academic performance on state standardized tests, not only in history or social studies, but also in other subjects where students' skills might transfer."  The study also included assessments of research, writing and critical thinking skills. 

Their evaluation revealed that students :

  • NHD students outperform their non-NHD peers on state standardized tests in multiple subjects, including reading, science and math, as well as social studies
  • NHD students are better writers.  NHD students had more exemplary writing scores and fewer low scores than comparison students
  • NHD has a positive impact among students whose interests in academic subjects may wane in high school
  • NHD students learn 21st century college- and career-ready skills.  They learn to collaborate, talk to experts, manage their time and persevere.
  • NHD students were 18 percentage points better overall than their peers at interpreting historical information

NHD works!  It makes a real difference in the lives of students who participate.  Read the report  here.   

Teacher Resources

COMMON CORE ALERT!!!!   As you know, the adoption and implementation of the Common Core in Georgia schools began in earnest this year.  Ann Claunch and the National Curriculum Team have prepared a Common Core/NHD Correlation worksheet.  This tremendously valuable resource can be found  here .

NHD in the classroom  - This is a section of the NHD website dedicated to teacher support.  

The Georgia Historical Society has developed a series of resources that can be very, very helpful.  Thanks to GHS's Education Coordinator S. Sineath for providing these materials! 

GHS Education Brochure  
Primary Sources in the Classroom  
Where to Find Primary Sources  

The National Archives and Records Administration  The National Archives maintains an online teacher clearinghouse of resources tied to National History Day and its annual theme.  You can check the page out  here.  

Chronicling America offers students free access to nearly five million pages of hyper-local stories, advertisements, and opinions published between 1836 and 1922 in 28 states (and growing) across the country. In addition, EDSITEment, NEH's educational website for teachers, students, and parents, will develop new educator and student resources to facilitate and encourage use of the newspaper material."  Visit  Chronicling America  ! 

The Society of American Archivists has an online tool kit for NHD teachers and students that can be found at  National History Day and Archivists Page  . 

The folks at Minnesota NHD have created a handy video entitled "What's your Point?"  This is the essence of a thesis statement.  Check it out  here !

Erin Burns, Reference Librarian at Penn State University Wilkes-Barre developed a presentation on thesis development in support of Pennsylvania NHD in 2012.  Although the theme is 2012's it is very, very well done.  You can have a look at Ms. Burns' presentation  here.  Please note that Ms. Burns' presentation will load as a pdf.

Your students can use an online thesis builder  here  or here  'Thesis Builder'   You can also ask your students to use this Thesis worksheet

The staff of Lewis Library have developed a Library Guide for LaGrange College Cornerstone students that introduces them to the basics of conducting research, proper citation and avoiding plagiarism.  NHD students might find this useful at various points in the process.  Have a look  here.

Website guide  (Courtesy NHD Texas and NHD Washington) - Powerpoint presentation (loaded as a pdf) that introduces and reviews the Website category. 

Documentary - The guide to Documentary building can be found  here.   Notice the page includes the 2009 junior individual documentary winner.    

Exhibits - The NHD Exhibit guide can be found  here.   Notice it includes a national winner sample. 

Performance - The NHD Historical Performance guide can be found  here.   Here's an example of an  NHD winner  from 2009.
Historical Paper - The NHD Paper guide can be found  here.   It includes a link to a 2009 National winning paper. 

The National office of NHD has created an  'Examples'  page that includes award winning entries from all categories.  Have a look! 

Annotated Bibliography - In some ways the most challenging (and arguably important) component of an NHD project, preparing an effective bibliography can be daunting for students.  Check out the LibGuide prepared by the staff of Lewis Library on  ANNOTATIONS   - It's great! 

Here's a process paper and annotated bibliography  guide  prepared by the folk at Minnesota NHD



Master Teacher Resources

The state of Georgia is fortunate to have a number of teachers who have successfully integrated NHD into their classrooms.  These experienced teachers have guided their students to both the state and national competitions and celebrated their success.  They are also very willing to share materials and ideas with you.  Below is more information about these excellent teachers and links to materials they have chosen to share with you in the hope that you will benefit from them.

Andy Blackburn, Rome High School, Rome Georgia, Behring High School Teacher of the Year, 2012
Lesson Plan 1
Lesson Plan 2
Connecticut NHD Educator's Handbook

Donna Graham, Macon Georgia, Behring Middle School Teacher of the Year, 2012
NHD Presentation
NHD Parent Signature Page

Chris Shelnutt, Eighth Grade Social Science Teacher, St. Luke School, Columbus Georgia Behring MIddle School Teacher of the Year, 2014
Annotated Bibliography
Introductory paragraphs
NHD interviews
Notes from sources
Plagiarism quiz

Georgia Historical Society's Teacher Resources
GHS Educator Web Guide by GHS
Blog Post "Three Tips for Supporting Historical Research in Your Classroom" by GHS
Introduction to Primary Sources in the Classroom by GHS
Teaching with Primary Sources by GHS

Workshop Resources

Last July we welcomed NHD Minnesota's own 'Mr. History' (aka Tim Hoogland).  He provided our workshop participants with a collection of materials useful in the classroom.  Some of these can be found below!!!

Getting started with a topic proposal  and focus topics with the students

Biblography and Thesis
Thesis Development Worksheet
Bibliography and Process Paper

Map your way through your project
Map out your ideas to your NHD Project
Exhibit Map
Documentary Map

Here are some materials from the 2015 Teacher Workshop provided by Mr. History and the folks at NHD Minnesota
Writing an outline
Research Strategies 
Formative Assessment
Scoring Rubric

Work NHD into the classroom  and with the Common Core.

Here are some websites to help your kids think like historians.

Here are some materials and steps on how to incorporate NHD into your classroom:

Middle School  by
High School - Part 1 by
High School - Part 2 by
"The task of the excellent teacher is to stimulate 'apparently ordinary' people to unusual effort. The tough problem is not in identifying winners: it is in making winners out of ordinary people."
K. Patricia Cross
"A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops."
Henry Adams
Pat Cross's declaration seems particularly appropriate for those who lead their students into National History Day.  It is indeed a program that includes contests and competition, but for us, as educators, NHD is not really about the contest.  It is about creating opportunities for 'apparently ordinary' students to achieve 'extraordinary' results.  NHD provides a vehicle that allows students to achieve things they never thought possible.



Contact Information

Kevin Shirley
Program Coordinator
Phone 706-880-8033

Contact the Program
Phone 706-880-8174