You have a few major decisions to make in the NHD process – and one of the most important is the selection of a great topic.  You get to choose a topic that interests you, which is a huge bonus in the research process.  However, you need to make sure that the topic deals with American history, applies to the theme of “Taking a Stand in History”, is researchable, and has some historical impact.  You don’t want a topic that is recent, since you will not really be able to explain the long term impact of it!

In choosing your topic, it’s a great idea to start with your interests.  What do you want to spend time researching?   While the topic has to be historical, it doesn’t just have to be textbook history – you can look at fashion, music, art, sports, technology, … almost anything goes! As you start to narrow down your topic, brainstorm with another individual (or more).  Taft loves talking NHD topics at lunch …

When you feel you are ready to go, complete the NHD Topic Selection Sheet (Individual or Group ).  You will want to consult the Example Topic Selection Sheet for guidance in length and depth of responses and also consult the rubric on the bottom of the sheet.  This selection is due BY SEPTEMBER 20 … but the earlier the better.

You will also need to turn in a Individual Contract or Group Contract with your topic selection sheet.  Make sure you carefully consider the pros and cons of working alone or with a partner (or two …).  Remember – sails, not anchors.

While you do not have to choose a topic from the lists below, it may be a good idea to take a look at them to generate ideas and see how narrow your focus should be.

Finally – GET A PUBLIC LIBRARY CARD BY SEPTEMBER 20!!!!!! It is National Library Card Sign Up Month, after all.



Here we go!

National History Day is a challenging and exciting research based program that has been a fixture in many social studies classrooms around the country for 30 years. 8th grade University School students have successfully participated in the program in the past, earning local, state, and national recognition! All 8th grade students will be selecting topics, researching primary and secondary sources, creating incredible papers, exhibits, performances, documentaries, and websites, and presenting their work to the USM community … and beyond.

We will spend our 50 minute afternoon American Studies classes working on NHD … and you will need to work outside of class as well.  It’s important to plan your research, and we are here to help!

How do you get started? Check out the following: