History Day Program Objectives

The National History Day program aims to:

  • Provide teachers with an innovative teaching tool.
  • Assist teachers and schools in meeting educational standards by encouraging student participation in portfolio-building and outcome-based learning activities.
  • Encourage the study of social studies by guiding students to express themselves creatively through presentations of historical topics in various formats.
  • Celebrate and build on the strengths of students as creative, capable learners.
  • Interest students in learning about history by integrating the materials and methods of social studies, art, sciences, literature, language, and music into their presentations.
  • Provide students with the opportunity to work with and analyze historical documents and other primary source material.
  • Provide a framework for hands-on, student centered learning that guides classroom teaching as well as continuous professional development.
  • Develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills that will help students manage and use information effectively now and in the future.
  • Use compelling themes to develop the multiple intelligences of children, making the academic curriculum more meaningful and accessible to all students.
  • Develop student research and reading skills and to refine student presentation skills in writing, visual projects and performances.
  • Encourage students to move beyond the classroom and into the community to investigate history.
  • Build a classroom community, encourage shared responsibility for classroom management and learning, and promote an understanding of democratic ideals.
  • Encourage students to develop a sense of history as a process of change, a multifaceted development over time that affects every aspect of human life and society.
  • Motivate students through the excitement of competition and through recognition for their work.
  • Involve parents and other members of the community in the students' education.
  • Expose students to new and exciting educational environments by holding contests on college campuses and at historical societies.
  • Gaining research skills and how to compose a thesis and write an annotated bibliography.
  • Learning to work as a team.
  • Learning new computer skills such as Photoshop, NoodleTools, digital animation programs, and video editing software.
  • NHD teaches students that history can be fun, and that anything can happen!