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National History Day in Idaho

National History Day in Idaho (NHD) is a year-long student-led academic program focused on historical research, interpretation, and creative expression for 4th-12th grade students across Idaho. By participating in NHD, students become writers, filmmakers, web designers, playwrights and artists as they create unique contemporary expressions of history. The experience culminates in a series of competitions at the local and state levels and an annual national contest in June.

Students who participate in NHD build skills that are key to success in college, career, and citizenship.  NHD teaches critical thinking, writing, and research skills. They learn to speak publicly, collaborate with team members, communicate ideas effectively with diverse audiences, manage their time, and persevere through challenges.

Teachers create an inquiry-based classroom where they guide, direct, and coach toward student achievement. Teachers have the flexibility to adapt the program to meet the needs of their classroom. Teachers guide students through the process of learning how to learn and making informed conclusions coming to understand. Studying the stories and history of our local communities, states, nation and the world broadens not only this global view, but also builds empathy and understanding of cultures, conflict, and resolution.

Teachers: Register for one of our January Webinars and get a Teacher Resource Kit!

Registration and Contest Dates

  • Pre-Registration Open – October 10th  
    • Teachers and independent students register with intent to participate in the contests in the spring! Pre-registering is mandatory.
  • Pre-Registration Deadline – November 4th
  • Regional Contest Registration Deadline – Late February / early March (Dates will be available December 1st)
  • Regional Contests – March / early April (Dates will be available December 1st)
  • State Contest Registration Deadline – Thursday, April 20th
  • State Contest – Saturday, May 6th at The College of Idaho in Caldwell, Idaho
  • National Contest Registration Deadline – Tuesday, May 16th at 9:59 PM MT
  • National Contest – Sunday, June 11th – Thursday, June 15th

CONTACT US

(208) 780-5190

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Thank you to our National History Day in Idaho sponsors:

Bates Family Foundation
Joyce Barnier and Bonnie Krupp
The College of Idaho
Nagel Foundation

Frequently Asked Questions

During the school year, Idaho students create one of the five types of projects (historical paper, documentary, performance, exhibit, or website) and register to compete at the local level. Local winners then can move onto the state contest to compete with students from all across Idaho! State contest winners have the opportunity to compete at the national level with peers from all over the country. Visit https://www.nhd.org/ for more information about the National Contest.

Students gain academic and real-world skills through this project. According to the 2011 National Program Evaluation, NHD students already know how to do college-level research by digesting, analyzing, and synthesizing information. This aids students not just in humanities classes but gives them skills that are multi-disciplinary! Students also gain oral communication and presentation skills, collaboration, time management, problem-solving, and perseverance.

Students have a unique experience in a competition against their peers. They get to be proud of their hard work, and research topics that are important to them, and practice communicating in a medium that they enjoy!

Students grades 4th -12th are able to participate! All types of schools are invited to join: public, private, charter, or homeschool.

4th and 5th graders participate in our Youth division and winners can move on to the State Competition!

6th – 8th graders participate in the Junior Division.

9th – 12th graders participate in the Senior Division.

 

Junior and Senior division and category winners move on to the National Contest in June!

One of the advantages of participating in NHD is that it can be adapted to each classroom! Using the resources available, teachers can guide the students in creating a project in a way that meets their class learning objectives and is flexible for their schedule.

  • Pre-Registration Open – October 10th  
    • Teachers and independent students register with intent to participate in the contests in the spring! Pre-registering is mandatory.
  • Pre-Registration Deadline – November 4th
  • Regional Contest Registration Deadline – Late February / early March (Dates will be available December 1st)
  • Regional Contests – March / early April (Dates will be available December 1st)
  • State Contest Registration Deadline – Thursday, April 20th
  • State Contest – Saturday, May 6th at The College of Idaho in Caldwell, Idaho
  • National Contest Registration Deadline – Tuesday, May 16th at 9:59 PM MT
  • National Contest – Sunday, June 11th – Thursday, June 15th

Division winners from the regional competitions are encouraged to refine their project during the period of time right after the local competition and before the registration deadline for the state competition.

The 2022-2023 theme is Frontiers in History: People, Places, Ideas. (NHD Theme Website)

Read through the NHD Rule Book available on the NHD Website. The NHD also provides a Theme Book on their website explaining this year’s theme and ways to interpret it!

 

The Idaho State Archives has a list of potential local history topics attached to this e-mail and primary sources available (NHD Primary Sources found under “Additional Resources” on our website!) This is a great starting point for students to start primary source research.

 

The NHD website also has excellent resources for teachers including curriculum, example projects, tips and tricks, tutorial videos, project examples, and project checklists for students. You can find the NHD website here: https://www.nhd.org/teacher-resources

 

Sign up for our mailing list and keep checking your inbox! We will be sending out resources, information, and opportunities for NHD teachers.

The success of the local and state contests is largely thanks to the volunteers and donors that support this project! There are several ways to help; we are looking for volunteers to help with our contest days.  This ranges from event coordination, set-up, take-down, and assisting during the contests. Another way that we support and encourage our students is by offering special awards for specific project types.  Please e-mail NHDidaho@ishs.idaho.gov for more information!

NHD Blog

Highlight: Idaho’s First Mining Town

Photo Source: Mining Machinery (Arastras) 1. 1892. 608-A. Idaho State Archives.
https://idahohistory.contentdm.oclc.org/digital/collection/p265501coll1/id/346/rec/2

Quote Source: Elias Davidson Pierce and The Founding Of Pierce. 1966. Elias Davidson Pierce and the Founding of Pierce Number 8. Idaho State Archives.
https://idahohistory.contentdm.oclc.org/digital/collection/p265501coll1/id/346/rec/2

“E.D. Pierce (1824-1897) was no ordinary prospector. Instead of searching for gold in a country that was reasonably accessible, he became obsessed with the opening of a new mining region in the forbidden lands of the Nez Perce Indians. The obstructions to entering the Clearwater country held him back eight years, but finally in 1860 he broke through the Nez Perce barrier.” – Elias Davidson Pierce and The Founding Of Pierce

The gold rush, the first permanent mining settlement, and the relationship between the Nez Perce and the prospectors are all types of frontiers: the border between the known and unknown.

What does the author mean by “the forbidden lands?” What was the “Nez Perce barrier”? Men like Pierce may have seen the town as a frontier, but what did the Nez Perce see it as? Who is the author of the source? How did their perspective influence how they wrote?

These are just some of the types of questions you can prompt students with when engaging with historical resources!

📅 Calendar!

PRE-REGISTRATION OPENS – OCTOBER 10th!

Pre-registering is mandatory so that we can appropriately plan our regional contests! If you have any questions regarding registration, please contact: nhdidaho@ishs.idaho.gov

EDUCATOR’S OPEN HOUSE – October 15th at the Idaho State Archives!

Travel scholarship available for those outside of the Treasure Valley. See more information here: https://history.idaho.gov/event/educator-open-house-2/

 

📌 NHDI Bulletin Boardcheck here for updates

Local and National opportunities posted here!

 

In the Classroom: Topic selection!

One of the first things your students will need to do is to choose a topic. The annual theme “Frontiers in History: People, Places, Ideas” is intentionally broad so that students can choose a topic that is interesting to them. However, having such a broad topic can also be intimidating to students – it can feel like there are too many options! Often, talking out some example topics can be helpful to students. Check out these resources:

NEW: Theme/Topic PowerPoint – link

Idaho History Topics – link

Topic selection worksheet – link

All resources are available in the “Teacher Resources” shared Google folder.

 

Brand New?

NHD has made a helpful video series for new NHD teachers. Check it out here!

 

Do you want your class to be featured in the next blog? Send updates about what you are working on in your classroom to NHDidaho@ishs.idaho.gov!

The Times Dispatch. (Richmond, Va.), 27 April 1907. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. <https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85038615/1907-04-27/ed-1/seq-31/>

 

Highlight: What is a Primary Source?

Understanding what makes a document a primary source, and when a document is a primary source can be a tricky task. As with most history, it comes down to a matter of perspective.

A primary source is a firsthand account of an event or topic. They are documents and object created at the time of the event or topic being studied. Because of this, primary sources offer invaluable insight into the past! An example of a primary source could be a newspaper, diary, letter, or art piece created at the time of the event.

 A secondary source is written after the event or topic being studied. They usually use primary sources to offer interpretation, analysis, or commentary on a historical event, since the author has historical perspective and hindsight. A tertiary source is created using information from both primary and secondary sources; think textbooks and encyclopedias!

However, one document could be a secondary source in one context, and a primary source in another. Look at this newspaper for instance. It is a 1903 Newspaper with an article about the Founding of Jamestown.

If a student was researching the founding of Jamestown as their topic, then the map would be a reprint of a primary source, as it was created at the time of the event. The article would be considered a secondary source, since it was written 300 years after the event. However, if a student were researching the historic understanding and perception of the founding of Jamestown, this could be considered a primary source for early 20th century attitudes about the event!

When looking at sources remember to ask key questions: Who created it? When was it created? What was its purpose? What can we learn from it? What are other perspectives that are missing from this narrative?

Further discussion: What are other examples of sources that could be either primary or secondary depending on the research focus?

 

📅 Calendar!

November 4th – Pre-registration closes!  Be sure to fill out the quick survey if you plan to participate in the spring, we will use this data to plan our regional contests, your input will influence the date and location chosen!

November 28th – Application for student & teacher institute: Sacrifice for Freedom: World War II in the Pacific in Honolulu, Hawai’i June 2023. https://www.nhd.org/SFF2023

 

📌 NHDI Bulletin Boardcheck here for updates

Local and National opportunities posted here!

 

In the Classroom: Research!

Research can be intimidating! Knowing where to start, what questions to ask, what to take note of, and where and how to find sources. Here are some guides to help you get started:

NEW: Primary source analysis introduction PowerPoint – link

Research Resources – link

This document highlights great places to find resources, organized by topic and category.

EAR Analyzing Evidence – link

All resources are available in the “Teacher Resources” shared Google folder.

Do you want your class to be featured in the next blog? Send updates about what you are working on in your classroom to NHDidaho@ishs.idaho.gov!

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