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Erika McDaniel » History Fair

History Fair

History Fair is a competition.  The district level judging will be in December.  Regionals will be in mid-February in the Houston area and State judging will be in Austin in late April.  Students who advance to Nationals will be competing in Maryland in early June.
The theme this year is "Breaking Barriers."  Students can pick their topic from any time/place in history as long as it fits the theme.  Preliminary topics for advanced students are due in September.  Students will be able to change their topic if they feel they cannot find enough sources for their first topic.  I would advise to choose carefully because changing topics means starting all over.
Completed projects will need to have between 10-15 resources.  A resource can be as simple as finding a quote or a picture.  Students should be sure to have all of their research before assembling their project.  The actual "project" should not start until November.  Until then students should be focusing on their research and writing. 
The more creative the topic the more interesting the project will be, both to the student and the judges.  It is recommended that the topic be fairly specific.  For example, if a student wanted to do a project on WWII it definitely fits the theme, but there is a lot of information that would need to be sorted through.  Narrowing down the topic will greatly help the student.  Just be careful not to choose a topic that is so obscure that there is not enough information on it.
Here is a link to download the NHD Contest Rule book for this year.  Students were given the rule book on the first day of school but it never hurts to be able to access a digital copy as well.  HMS students will be competing in the Junior category. 
Types of projects:
Documentary: Students should create a documentary to showcase their understanding of their topic.  Students wanting to do a documentary should have access to equipment and be familiar with video editing.
Exhibit: Students create a tri-fold presentation board.  Students will need to be able to set it up themselves in the judging area.  Parents may help students carry materials in but set up must be completed by the students.
Paper:  Students will write a paper about their topic.  Creative writing styles are allowed in this category.  This is also the only category that does not require a process paper to be written.
Performance:  Students will write and star in their own productions.  This does not require elaborate sets and costumes but it does require time for students to practice together because performances are done live for judges.  Students may not tape a performance and send it in.
Website: Students may also choose to create a website for their project.  There is a specific process to begin the website.  It is changing this year.  Details to come later as they become available.
The NHD categories website ( has links to the files on the right side of this page as well as additional information and examples of past winners.
Our HMS librarian, Mrs. Lamb, has posted the online database resources that are available to our students.  They may be accessed by going to the HMS website under the Library tab or following the links below.  These are listed under "Databases" and "Databases 2."  Students may ask Mrs. Lamb or me for the passwords to the resources.
For the annotated bibliography students will need to sort their sources by primary and secondary sources.  Each group should then be put in alphabetical order by the citation, not the name of the resource.
This short youtube video will help students with the difference between primary and secondary sources (
Students may use websites such as and to help them create their bibliographies.
Another good resource is the NHD website ( Students can look up how to create the bibliography and see examples.