IMPLEMENTING NHD USING A WORKSHOP PBL MODEL
The workshop model is an innovative way to integrate NHD into the history or social studies classroom. Each week for 20 weeks , one class period will be dedicated to a skills lesson and practice. Samples that are appropriate for National History Day are included; however, teachers are encouraged to teach the skills using material that is relevant to their current class subject. Students will then put that skill into practice with the NHD topic of their choosing. Each workshop includes a short lesson based on a skill, such as discerning between primary and secondary sources or writing a thesis statement. Students will practice the skill in a guided environment, and then put that skill to use on their NHD project. Class time will be spent on skills instruction and practice; the majority of work on the actual project will happen outside of class. Work days may be added according to the needs of the class.
This model is intended to be flexible. Teachers may adapt it as needed. The format is written with one day each week for 20 weeks in mind. It could instead be presented over 10 weeks, using 2 days a week. Classrooms that utilize a block schedule may wish to combine lessons. A teacher who only wishes to spend a short period of time on NHD could teach one lesson every day and finish the curriculum in 3 weeks.
In addition, teachers can pick and choose the workshops they wish to teach. Each workshop teaches a particular, valuable skill. If there is a skill that the class already understands or a topic the teacher does not wish to address, that workshop can simply be skipped. While a practice “assignment” is included with many of the workshops, the classroom teacher may substitute lesson and practice materials with examples that are relevant to their particular class or course of study. In addition, teachers can set their own parameters for the National History Day project, as long as they remain within the established contest guidelines.
National History Day has the potential to transform: transform your classroom, transform your teaching, and transform your students!