Information For Educators
Students can gain a powerful sense of history and the complexities of the past when they examine primary sources. Analyzing primary sources can also guide students toward better critical thinking skills.
Guidelines to engaging students with primary sources
- Observe the documents
- Who created it?
- When was it created?
- What is the first thing you see?
- Examine the details
- What do you see that is unusual?
- What words resonate with you the most?
- Promote students inquiry
- Speculate on the source and its creator:
- What was happening at this time in history (time period)?
- What was the purpose in creating the document?
- How do they get their point across?
- Who was the audience?
- Are there biases or stereotypes?
A comprehensive list of guidelines is also available from the National Archives and Records Administration.
National Archives and Records Administration Analysis sheets
National History Day is an academic program for students in 6th through 12th grades that provides students opportunities to uncover historical content and develop better perspectives and understanding of the past.
The students chose historical topics that relate to yearly themes and conduct primary and secondary research through archives, museums, libraries, oral history interviews, historic sites and online digital resources. The students interpret and analyze their findings, draw conclusions, and present their work in the form of original papers, websites, exhibits, documentaries and performances. The projects are entered into competitions in the spring at local, state and national levels where they are judged by historians and educators. The national level completion (Kenneth E. Behring National Contest) is held in June at the University of Maryland at College Park.
To learn how to participate in National History Day in North Carolina, visit www.nchistoryday.org.
Students who participate in NHD develop skills that are critical in their future success.
- Critical thinking and problem solving skills
- Oral and written communication skills
- Presentation skills
- Self-esteem and confidence
- A sense of responsibility
For more information about National History Day and this year’s theme visit http://www.nhd.org/about.htm
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