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Teacher Tips

NHD Veteran Teacher Tips

Sarah Welch an eighth grade teacher from Maine and former NHD participant who is now extending her enthusiasm for NHD to her students.

NHD Tip: “For the students, I begin the motivation process by visiting libraries in the area. At each site we are given mini-lessons on primary and secondary sources and an introduction to citing sources.

For parents and administrators, I make sure I include the purpose of NHD in all formal and informal conversations as well as the benefits the program can bring to the community. I see myself as an advocate for the program.”

Sue Pollender is a secondary teacher from Vermont and as an advisor of students 7-12, has the extra challenge of coordinating National History Day as a very successful extracurricular activity at Black River High School.

NHD Tip: “Because I work at a very small school I have the opportunity to meet with my younger students and talk through the entire process. I reach my high school students by daily notices and direct contact. I also encourage the older students to mentor the younger students.” Direct and frequent contact with all the participants is crucial to a successful National History Day program."

Chris Green, is a teacher at North School Junior High in Eldridge, Iowa..

NHD Tip: "First of all, I send out announcements to the students in the various schools to alert everyone what National History Day is and invite them to our kick off meeting on October 10th. I also encourage all the students to stop by my room with any questions.

During school I display past exhibit boards in the hall outside my room and I have a TV with documentaries and performances playing so the students can see entries from previous years during study hall, passing periods, or before and after school.

I have a bulletin board with possible topics and pictures from the kids working in the front hall of the school as well as in my room. The biggest way I “sell” the program is by being enthusiastic and letting the kids know that this will be a journey where they will work hard, but have the time of their lives!

I also suggest topics where the kids can make road trips either in the state or to a conference which is really motivating. (World Food Prize in Des Moines, Holocaust speakers in the area, programs at our local museum, special events at historical sites, 150th anniversary of the first bridge crossing the Mississippi, etc…) I really work at having the students get out and see history and how it impacts us even today. It isn’t something that is dead. We live it! Good luck and Happy History Day!"

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