HISTORY FAIR 101 Tips for Students about History Fair Projects
Criteria for a Quality History Project Historical Quality (60%) • Historically Accurate • Shows analysis and interpretation • Places the topic in its historical context • Shows wide research • Uses available primary sources • Research is balanced in relation to various points of view Relation to the Theme (20%) • Clearly relates topic to the History Day theme • Demonstrates significance of the topic in history and draws conclusions
Debate and Diplomacy Clarity of Presentation (20%) • Project written material is original, clear, appropriate, articulate • Project is organized, has visual impact, correctly uses visuals, props, etc. Rules Compliance: • Meets size or performance length requirements and word limits • Includes an annotated bibliography
1. Selecting a Topic • Pay attention to the theme: • Pick something/someone that interests you • Pick something significant • Pick something about which you can locate primary and secondary sources • Be able to answer this question… “This topic relates to the theme because….” “This is important because….”
2. Research • Use both primary and secondary sources and ANALYZE the information.
Research cont. What does it mean to analyze? …to tie it to the theme?
2. Research continued • Make sure that your research is reflected in the final project on the exhibit, in the performance, in the documentary, or in the website. • Gather lots of information – use only that which helps prove your conclusion. • Relate everything to your topic. • Keep track of all sources.
USING SOURCES • Begin with the secondary sources- Get an overview of the circumstances
USING SOURCES cont. • Explore the Primary Sources for Depth and Analysis
PRIMARY SOURCES Primary Sources – Information created by the event or the process of an event • Archival documents • Manuscripts and/or diaries • Photographs • Newspapers, magazines, journals if they are written at the time of an event • Personal interviews if the person participated or was an eyewitness
SECONDARY SOURCES Secondary Source – A source that seeks to explain or interpret an event • Books • Articles • Interviews that explain or interpret – the person is talking about an event and was NOT a participant • Media productions
Be careful… • Secondary Sources may have primary sources imbedded. • a complete copy of the Declaration of Independence contained within your textbook is a primary source. • an excerpt taken from a letter by Thomas Jefferson and contained within a history textbook is NOT a primary source.
Showing Results of Research Your project should… • Use primary research and show that these sources have been used - Use quotes, pictures, and headlines • Make sure materials used are part of the “story” and help prove the conclusion • Create a strong, interesting, and persuasive statement
3. Notes and Bibliography • Begin to gather research into some main ideas for the visual part of the project • Keep an active bibliography - bibliography cards - note cards with your source • Begin to plan the visual part of the project
BIBLIOGRAPHY • Provide annotations for each source by describing the source and what was learned from it – be specific about the quality of the help and where it was used • Chose one type or style for citing sources that your teacher provides for you • Learn how to write “note cards”
Types of Projects • Exhibit – Individual or Group • Historical Paper - Individual only • Performance - Individual or Group • Documentary – Individual or Group • Website – Individual or Group
4. Plan the Visual Appearance of Your Project • Exhibit – Draw sketches and plan the finished product • Performance – Write a script and plan costumes, props, etc. • Documentary/Website – Use a storyboard to plan what you will say and match your pictures with it • Historical Paper – Using pictures, graphs or charts is optional.
5. Finish Your Project • Complete the exhibit, performance, or documentary • Write and proof the process paper – use the outline provided by your teacher. • Include an annotated bibliography using your “bib cards” as a reference
WHAT HELP CAN I EXPECT FROM MY LIBRARIAN?
1. Training in library resources and access to the library at the beginning of my project. 2. Access to the library before and after school throughout the competition year. 3. Direction in how to create an annotated bibliography. 4. Direction in identifying primary and secondary sources.
WHAT HELP CAN I EXPECT FROM MY TEACHER?
1. The same help my librarian provides except for access before and after school. 2. Direction in understanding the requirements of the theme. 3. Direction in understanding the requirements of the various categories.
4. Help in finding/selecting a topic. 5. Explaining the process of “analysis” for photographs, documents, cartoons, text. 6. An outline for writing my process paper.
Completing the Project • All teachers will give students some kind of “evaluation checklist” as a rubric for grading the project. You should work toward those goals. • Some teachers will require periodic deadlines and “progress” reports. • Some teachers will have the project due in stages: - Sources and notes - Rough draft of paper with thesis statement and conclusion - Visual presentation of the project if desired
In Conclusion… The skills you learn through historical research are part of our Social Studies TEKS. The skills you learn through historical research align perfectly with College and Career Readiness Standards. Students who reach the finals at Texas History Day have completed one of the steps needed to complete the Distinguished Achievement Program upon graduation
Break-out Rooms • Rm 118 – Historical Papers • Rm 119 – Exhibit • Rm 120 – Website • Rm 121 – Documentary • Rm 122 – Performance • Rm 123 – Research Tips for Students and Teachers