Placer County History Day

What is National History Day?

Placer County History Day is a research-based educational program that enables students to choose their own topics based on an annual theme. Students conduct extensive research, analyze and interpret their findings and then develop a final project based upon their work. It is open to all 4-12 grade students in Placer County. Grades 4 and 5 compete in the poster competition and grades 6-12 may compete in a choice of five different categories: paper, web site, exhibit, documentary, or performance. Co-champions are selected at the Placer County competition to move on to the California State Finals held in May. Co-champions are selected at the California competition to move on to the National History Day competition held at the University of Maryland in June (the 4-5 poster participants are not eligible to enter the National competition).


New to teaching History Day? NHD is all about teaching students the PROCESS of conducting research, thinking deeply about a topic, analyzing evidence, and presenting findings – skills important for all students, in all content areas. Competition is not the goal. Start slowly. Add elements from year to year as it makes sense in your classroom.

Why should you teach History Day? Research shows that engaged, informed students become engaged, informed citizens. History Day allows students to choose their own topic, challenges them to connect it to an overarching theme, and requires them to defend that connection. The process is engaging and challenging.

Don’t think you have time? A History Day project doesn’t have to be something you do in addition to existing curriculum. Are you a 5th grade teacher doing state reports? A 7th grade teacher doing biographies? Because NHD is focused on building skills in research and analysis, think about replacing an existing research project with a NHD project.


State NHD 2017

2019 Theme: Triumph and Tragedy: Click here for the theme information sheet.