The success of the Michigan History Day program is the result of dedicated, supportive, and enthusiastic educators. Educators serve as the facilitators of the program, helping students develop their critical thinking, reading, research, and communication skills.
Why use Michigan History Day?
- Student engagement! Allowing students to select their own topics and how they will present their independent research gives them ownership of their work.
- Flexibility. Educators can shape the project to meet the needs of the students.
- Relevant. The program meets state Social Studies and ELA standards. It also encourages students to study their topic from multiple perspectives and to support their arguments with evidence.
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Michigan History Day allows students to explore and discover the past in relevant ways that leave a lasting impact on their personal growth.
- Abigail Khun, Educator
Educators can adapt the MHD program to fit the needs of their students and schedules. The slideshow below is a sample timeline we share during MHD trainings:
Below are timelines created by MHD teachers that may provide some guidance.
Matt Elms, South Asia Affiliate Coordinator
Includes options for both a yearlong class and an after school club.
Whitehall NHD Team, Jan Klco
Jan Klco has served as the head coach of the Whitehall NHD Team since 2005. The document she shared is a result of collaboration with teachers over her years of working with the program. Jan works with students as an after school club.
Bay City Central High School, Craig Windt
Craig Windt has taught social studies at Bay City Central High School for more than 15 years. He was selected as the Behring Teacher of the Year for Michigan in 2016.
Christa McAuliffe Middle School, Jennifer Gradowski
Jennifer Gradowski has taught Social Studies for more than 25 years. She uses the Michigan History Day program as part of her 8th grade honors U.S. History class.
Michigan History Day isn't something extra, it fosters cooperative learning across disciplines and meets state Social Studies and ELA standards.
This guide is a framework that teachers, sponsors, or mentors can use to implement MHD with students. The primary-source-rich lesson plans scaffold the skills necessary to complete a MHD project. Lessons don’t have to be complete in the order listed, nor do they need to happen at a certain time during the contest year.
Virginia History Day Teacher Guide
MHD staff used this resource to create lessons for the MHD Teacher Guide. The Virginia guide was created for elementary age students, but can be used with students of all ages. This document was created by Virginia History Day staff and Virginia teachers through a Teaching with Primary Sources Grant from the Library of Congress.
Students don’t have to participate in the program through a school, any student from grades four through twelve can create a project. One thing that all students need is an adult to help mentor them as they create a project and participate in competitions. MHD is a great way for local historical organizations or museums to interact with students in their area. You could reach out to a teacher and see if you could help support students while they conduct research or work with a small group of students as they work outside of school.
Below is an example of a local historical organization working with a high school teacher and the public library to support students. Staff at the Historical Society of Michigan are available to help you implement a similar program in your area. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to get started.
There are so many examples of academic, social, and emotional impacts on students. I have reflected on this and believe it is one of the best, if not the best, opportunities for students to deeply learn, research, and create with history!
- MHD Educator
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Did you know that the Historical Society of Michigan, organizer of Michigan History Day, offers memberships? A cost-effective way to receive our magazines, attend our conferences and programs, and absorb all of our historical offerings in one neat package, our HSM Memberships are a great deal.
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