Today is the day your students will showcase their National History Day projects! They have worked hard on their projects, so today is a day to celebrate their success. There are many options for organizing this event.
1. Classroom Showcase:
In this option, students will share the work they have done with the rest of their class. Provide your class with the handout of sample judges questions found on the flash drive. As each group presents their work, allow other class members to ask questions as if they were an NHD judge. This will be especially helpful for any students who are going to compete in a regional contest. Allow students to give constructive criticism and feedback to each presenter.
2. School Showcase:
Find a place in your school where you can display your class’ projects. Keep in mind the need for computer or video equipment for websites or documentaries. Your media center might be a great option. Also keep in mind the need for student projects to be safe from vandalism (especially those planning to compete at a regional contest). If possible, allow your students to stand with their projects while other classes or guests come view the projects. Encourage the viewers to ask questions and offer feedback.
3. School competition:
In some cases, your region may limit the number of entries that can be submitted in each category. Communicate with your contest coordinator to find out if this is the case in your region. You might find it necessary to host a local contest prior to the regional event. If you choose to hold a local contest, invite parents, community members, school board members, administrators, etc. to act as the judging panel. Make the local event as much like the regional event as possible (this will be to the student’s advantage when they compete at the next level.) Create a judging schedule and divide your judges into teams. Allow the students to be interviewed by the judges, and have the judges fill out judging forms (available on the flash drive).
While this can be a bit disruptive to the school day, it builds excitement for the regional contest. Those who win the chance to compete do have an advantage when they come to the actual competition because they have been through the judging process before. If you wish, you could even have an awards assembly to recognize those students who will be representing your school.
Evaluating the projects:
As the teacher, you should evaluate the work that each student has completed. On the "Workshop Curriculum" page, you will find a link named “Evaluation Materials”. Here you will find some items to help with that process. There is also a self-evaluation worksheet for students.
Thank you for using National History Day in your classroom this year. Good Luck to you and your students!