National History Day is a national program for students in grades 6-12. Nationwide, over 300,000 students participate in this program. Each year a national theme is chosen and students chose topics to research and then present their findings in one of six ways: historical paper, performance, documentary, exhibit, website or poster (the latter two categories are for 4th and 5th graders as well and only exist in California). The theme this year is “Triumph and Tragedy in History.” Students must place in the top two in their category at the county and state competition to qualify to compete at National History Day in June. History day is one of the best research based programs that exists. Because it is research based, the importance of libraries is obvious. I became involved first as a history teacher and then as a library media teacher.
Today marks the beginning of California State History Day which is taking place at the Westin Hotel in Long Beach, Ca. Over 1000 students in grades 4-12 are now ready to present the findings of their research through their performances, documentaries, exhibits, papers, posters and web sites! On Sunday, the top finishers will be announced and will then travel to College Park, Maryland for National History Day.
If you’re in the neighborhood (in Long Beach), stop by to watch these outstanding student generated projects. The most exciting time will be on Saturday from 3-9 when all of the “finals” take place in the junior and senior divisions. Congratulations to all the students who qualified to compete in California State History Day!