GJIS students place 2nd in regional National History Day competition 2013

National History Day GJIS (2)
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/

GJIS Year 8s NHD 2013-1

Judges deliberating...

Judges deliberating…

GJIS Year 8s NHD 2013-3

The exhibition

The exhibition

GJIS Year 8s NHD 2013-5 GJIS Year 8s NHD 2013-6 GJIS Year 8s NHD 2013-7 GJIS Year 8s NHD 2013-8

National History Day GJIS (3)

National History Day GJIS (1)




About Pak Liam

Living, teaching and traveling in Asia.
This entry was posted in Best Practise, Global Jaya International School, International Education and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to GJIS students place 2nd in regional National History Day competition 2013

  1. Jeff Wilson says:

    I am a middle school social studies teacher at the American School of Yaounde in Cameroon, and we are currently transitioning to MYP. I have had very positive experiences with NHD in the United States, and I would like to bring that to ASOY next year. We are currently constructing the MYP curriculum for next year, and I was wondering how your school incorporates NHD into MYP. I would love to hear your thoughts?

    • Pak Liam says:

      Hi Jeff,

      We do it in two ways. In Grade 7 and Grade 8 we have an NHD unit of work that all students work on, and we specify that they work on an Exhibition in Grade 7 and a Website in Grade 8.

      We then hold a school wide NHD competition and exhibition, the winners of which are entitled to join the Regional Round a month later at the British Jakarta School. So in terms of MYP, it’s an entire unit built around the resources that NHD produce and the MYP unit planner, concepts and learning engagements. Actually, it fits really well.

      The Grade 9s and Grade 10s are given the opportunity to be involved, but do not have to be. Grade 9s and 10s usually enter the document or film categories. But they work outside of the class on this. So it’s more like an after school club, than MYP.

      • Jeff Wilson says:

        Thank you for your quick response. I have a couple of additional questions:

        1) What is the duration of the NHD unit in those two grades?
        2) Why doesn’t 6th grade complete an NHD project?
        3) Why do you require a specific format for the project?

        Thanks, again!

  2. Pak Liam says:

    Hi Jeff,

    1. Good question, I do not recall. I think around 6 weeks or so.

    2. 6th Grade in our school is part of the primary school and study PYP, I suppose they could to it. But we have not thought of them before, they also have a large project called the PYP Exhibition that they must do, so NHD might be too much.

    3. The formats relate to the entry categories. Asking the grade to stick to one category makes it a little easier to manage and grade. But I suppose technically, it does not have to be that way.


  3. Jeff Wilson says:


    How did you go about establishing the regional competition with other schools in the region? Did you talk with other schools and all go for it together, or did you each have an NHD program independently and then came together to form an interschool competition?

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