Individual in History Topic Ideas are up!

I am excited about this next year for History Day.  I think the NHD annual theme, The Individual in History, has a lot of potential.  Students can delve into an individual of their choice, and really see what made them heroic, and what held them back.  We are all human, even our national heroes, and this a a great opportunity for you students to take biography to the next level.

What “next level” am I talking about?  Well, I am talking about the need with the History Day program for analysis in all projects.  This means that students will have to provide more than just the who, what, how, and when about their person.  The key is going to be showing the “why.”  Why was this person important to history?  Why is this person so well known to history, or alternatively, why isn’t this person as well known as others in history?  Why should we remember these people?  You get my drift. 

I will post more on the theme later in the summer.  Today I just wanted to share with you that our annual list of topics is up on the website.  I am really pleased with what we came up with.  You can check out the list in detail here:

The list is New York-centric.  Every person on it made an impact on New York history in one way or another.  You don’t have to do a New York topic, but I really wish you would.  I think exploring your local and community history is a fantastic way to connect with the past in a meaningful way.  I always thought it was so cool when I found significant history in my neighborhood.  Contact your local library and historical societies to see who you’ve got in your backyard. 

And that’s all I want to say today.  I will be back later in the summer to try to explain why you may not want to choose someone really famous to do, like Martin Luther King, Jr., or George Washington.  But for now I will leave you hanging on that.  Better still, maybe you all can figure out why I would make such a nasty statement. 🙂 

Have a great holiday weekend!


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