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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

National History Day Theme for 2015: Leadership and Legacy in History

I'm breaking into the summer break to let you know next year's National History Day theme: Leadership and Legacy in History . At least one teacher told me she thought it would be useful information to have this summer as she prepared for the next school year, so I thought I'd blast out the information statewide.

National History Day projects are a great way to better align your history curriculum to the Common Core. (More on that here).

The theme "Leadership and Legacy" can apply to almost any era of history: Montana topics could include people (like Chief Plenty Coups) or organizations (like the Women's Christian Temperance Union). It can be a lens through which to study military history (Sitting Bull), environmental history (the leaders who left us the legacy of the Wilderness Act), political history (Governor Dixon and the Mine Metals tax), labor history (Frank Little), or social history (the leadership of women's clubs in the creation of Montana libraries). The theme works equally well for American and World history subjects. And remember, neither the leader nor the legacy has to be a good one--there's plenty of room to study the jerks of history as well (I'll let you name your own--since one person's jerk is another person's hero.)

My understanding is that next year's state contest will be held in Bozeman in March or April. As the Montana Historical Society has the last two years, we'll be offering a $500 prize to the student project that best uses historical newspapers digitized through Chronicling America. We also have bibliographies that students can use as starting points for projects.

I know that the Montana Council for History and Civics Education is bringing the director of NHD to speak at MEA in Missoula and will also be hosting a session on the benefits of adopting the NHD model into the classroom. (Check them out on Facebook and Pinterest).

High school teachers and librarians might also be interested in taking the graduate course that NHD is offering beginning in September 2014. The class is for teachers and librarians "who want to implement a project-based curriculum into their secondary classrooms using the framework of the NHD program. The course will provide practical advice as well as pedagogical strategies. Teachers will earn three graduate credits from the University of San Diego while creating classroom-ready materials customized to the needs of their students."
  • Course Dates:  September 15, 2014 to December 15, 2014
  • Cost:  $600 (includes graduate credits and all materials)
  • Click here for complete details or register.
  • Registration is limited and will close on Friday, August 15, 2014.