National History Day Project Calendar (yearlong)

August/September

All projects

  • Learn about the NHD theme
  • Learn about the different categories and begin thinking about which one you want to do.
  • Think about historical topics that would match the theme.
  • Read the contest rule book for the category you want.
  • Learn organization systems
  • Create an annotated bibliography of your secondary sources.
  • Begin building a contact list of teachers, professionals, and organizations that can help with your topic.

October

All projects

  • Continue to build up your annotated bibliography.
  • Create a list of keywords to look for to find primary sources. 
  • As you read secondary sources, start writing questions that you have about the history.
  • Answer the question whenever you look at a new source; “how does this history connect to the yearly theme?”

Documentaries

  • Practice learning about the technology and software you will need to create your documentary.
  • Learn how to cite information in a documentary.
  • Become familiar with documentaries by watching them and taking notes on what you want to do in your documentary.

Essays

  • Learn how to properly cite information in an essay.
  • Review essays and write notes on what you want to include in your essay.

Exhibits

  • Learn how to properly cite information in your exhibit.
  • Become familiar with exhibit designs and what you can build. Take notes on ideas that you want to incorporate into your exhibit.

Performances

  • Develop a list for props, costumes, set materials, and multimedia that you will want to use.
  • Become familiar with performances. Watching performances is a great way to get into the correct frame of mind. Take notes on what you want to do in your performance.
  • Ask the school’s or community’s theater group to help with your performance.

Websites

  • Practice using the tools in the website.
  • Learn how to cite information on your website.
  • Review other websites to become familiar with the possibilities.

November

All projects

  • Continue to search for primary sources and put them into the annotated bibliography.
  • Search for and analyze primary sources.
  • From your list of research questions, start focusing on research questions that find the most interesting and the ones you think you can answer.
  • Rewrite research questions and begin to answer research questions with primary source analysis.
  • Review your thesis statement. Use your secondary and primary source analysis to make your statement stronger.

Documentaries

  • Write the synopsis for your documentary

Essays

  • Begin organizing your primary sources into your essay. Begin asking questions that you want to answer in your essay.

Exhibits

  • Begin designing your exhibit. How do you want it to look? Gather materials you will need to build your board.

Performances

  • Continue to gather props and materials. Design and purchase costumes. Be building items for the set. Keep set pieces simple and make sure they will be easy to transport.
  • Begin writing the script.

Websites

  • Create the introduction page to your website.

December

All projects

  • The answer to your research questions will be your thesis statement. Review your thesis statement and ask yourself what more evidence you need to prove your thesis.
  • Use your secondary and primary source analysis to prove that your thesis is correct.
  • Begin outlining your project.
  • While you outline, review the contest rule book to make sure your project has followed all of the rules.

January

All projects

  • Review the contest rule book to make sure your project has followed all of the rules.
  • You need to start getting people to review your work. Begin to ask parents, teachers you respect, friends, and anyone you can think of to examine your research questions, thesis, evidence, and outline.
  • Work on process paper.

February

All projects

  • Revise work based on feedback.
  • Double check to make sure that all of your information is properly cited in your annotated bibliography. 
  • Practice interview skills.
  • Ask your teacher if you can do a district presentation in the middle of February
  • Proofread and turn-in process paper.
  • Annotated Bibliographies, Process Papers, and Registration must be turned-in.

March

All projects

  • Revise projects based on feedback from district judges.
  • If you have added more information and sources, double check to make sure they are cited in your annotated bibliography.
  • Practice interview skills.
  • March 7 is the region competition

April

All projects

  • Revise projects based on feedback from regional judges.
  • If you have added more information and sources, double check to make sure they are cited in your annotated bibliography.
  • Practice interview skills.
  • Mid-April state competition

May

All Projects

  • Revise projects based on feedback from state judges.
  • If you have added more information and sources, double check to make sure they are cited in your annotated bibliography.
  • Practice interview skills.