Greater Denver Metro NHD

Subtitle

WORKSHOP 2: WORKING WITH A THEME

Projects created for National History Day must adhere to an annual theme. Past themes include The Individual in History and Conflict and Compromise in History. Throughout their high school and college careers, students will be called upon to research and write on an assigned theme. Consider the ten themes identified by NCSS as integral to the study of social sciences:

1. CULTURE            6. POWER, AUTHORITY AND GOVERNANCE

2. TIME ,CONTINUITY, AND CHANGE 7. PRODUCTION, DISTRIBUTION AND CONSUMPTION

3. PEOPLE, PLACES AND ENVIRONMENTS    8. SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY AND SOCIETY

4. INDIVIDUAL DEVELOPMENT AND IDENTITY    9. GLOBAL CONNECTIONS

5. INDIVIDUALS, GROUPS AND INSTITUTIONS    10. CIVIC IDEALS AND PRACTICES 

Students must be taught the skill of identifying and understanding a theme, and then focusing and creating writing or projects based on that theme. This workshop will help students understand the National History Day theme for the current school year.

 

Opening:

Review last week’s workshop introduction to NHD and collect the web quest homework. Check to see that each student has a small 3-ring binder or digital folder set-up for NHD materials.

 

Mini-Lesson:

Provide students with the matching game worksheet, or project it on your screen. This activity lists eight former NHD project titles, and asks students to try to determine what that year’s theme was:

·        The Secret Innovation of War Communication (Innovation in History)

·        Bay of Pigs Invasion: The United States Reaction to Castro's Revolution

(Revolution, Reaction and Reform)

·        Failed Compromise Leads to Conflict: The Sand Creek Massacre

(Conflict and Compromise in History)

·        The Oregon Trail: Populating the American West (Migration)

·        Clara Lemlich: Taking a Stand for Working Women (Taking a Stand in History)

·        Titanic: An Engineering Triumph turned Human Tragedy (Triumph and Tragedy in History)

·        To the Moon and Beyond (Frontiers)

·        Rosie the Riveter: How WWII changed American Commerce (Trade and Industry).

Work-time:

Provide students with a copy of the “theme sheet” produced annually by the National History Day office. (available at www.nationalhistorydayincolorado.org) Together as a class, go over this document, having students highlight key vocabulary as they read or listen. Provide a structure by requiring a minimum number of vocabulary words according to the ability/grade level of your class.

Students must record a definition that is relevant to social studies for several of the key vocabulary words they discovered in the reading. At least one of the vocabulary words should come directly from the theme title. (You choose a number appropriate for your class. The key vocabulary assignment linked below is for 5 words) After recording the definitions, students should locate and record two relevant quotes related to each vocabulary word they chose to work with. Finally, students should write their own definition of the word demonstrating their understanding of the word. Since all students are to use one word from the theme, you might choose to do this together as a class to ensure understanding of the process you are requesting.

Sample: Debate and Diplomacy in History

Term: Diplomacy

Definition: Art of conducting relationships for gain without conflict. It is the chief instrument of foreign policy. Diplomacy seeks maximum national advantage without using force and preferably without causing resentment. (dfn. from Merriam-Webster online dictionary)

Relevant quotes: (both quotes were found at brainyquote.com. Any quote collection website can be useful for this exercise)

   1.  Diplomacy is more than saying or doing the right things at the right time, it is avoiding saying or doing the wrong things at any time.—Bo Bennett

            2.  Diplomacy: the art of restraining power.      –Henry A. Kissinger

Personal definition: Diplomacy is the way countries work together to solve problems peacefully. In diplomacy, each country is negotiating to get what they want while avoiding hostilities or war.

Wrap-up:

Bring students back together at the end of class to reiterate what they have discovered about the theme so far. Assign the definition work as homework.

Requirement for next workshop:

Students should complete the vocabulary assignment. If students did not follow through on the binder or digital folder, require it for the following week.

 Other documents:

Definition assignment 

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