National History Day was formulated and designed in America, initially to assist History and Humanities teachers to improve their teaching practise. Over the last 30 years it has spread across the globe and most recently has reached South East Asia. This year the theme was “Turning Points in History”, students could then choose any topic they wanted but they needed to show the before and after, how and why was their topic a turning point.
As an MYP Coordinator I was excited to see that this was a collaborative, student centred inquiry based project. Just perfect ! (And in fact, plenty of Interdisciplinary opportunities lurked within this theme as well, Marie Curie discovering radioactivity, Einstein’s work on the atomic bomb, Chinese application of gunpowder and so on). However, NHD is not just a project about a historical topic, but NHD requires students to research and collate both primary and secondary sources, analyse the information and make decisions based on this research before presenting their conclusions in a number of forms. (essays, film documentaries or poster displays).
At GJIS we have all Year 8 students work on a NHD project as part of their Term 2 Curriculum, culminating in a GJIS NHD Exhibition in the Theatre. We had some guest judges along for that along side some Global Jaya judges. The winners of this event were then ‘invited’ to join the Regional NHD event, held at BIS last Saturday.
Other schools that attended included schools from Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia. Topics of our event included “The Black Death”, “Coco Chanel” and “The attack on Pearl Harbour”. The two groups that presented about the attack on Pearl Harbour placed 2nd, which has a fantastic effort. What helped them achieve this win was that they managed to locate and interview some survivors of the attack on pearl harbour (primary sources) and they also located copies of newspapers about the attack and some copies of telegrams also (secondary sources).
More information about NHD can be found here. http://www.nhd.org/