Getting Started

student exhibit board about Matthew Shepard

There are a lot of decisions that go into a History Day project.  Here are some questions to consider:

  • What topic in US history, world history or Vermont history do you want to research?
  • How does your topic connect to the annual theme? The 2021 theme is Communication in History: The Key to Understanding.
  • Can you find both primary sources and secondary sources about your topic?
  • Do you want to work individually or in a group of 2-5 students?
    • Paper entries must be individual projects.
    • All participants in a group must be from the same age division - 5th grade, Junior Division (6th-8th grade) or Senior Division (9th-12th grade).
  • What type of project do you want to create? There are five project categories:

Remember to read the National History Day NEW Contest Rule Book for specific details about requirements like how many student-composed words can be on your exhibit (500) or how long your documentary can be (10 minutes). The Vermont History Day state contest is a qualifying contest for National History Day, so the rules are the same. Students who place first or second in each category and division qualify for the National History Day contest. Students in 5th grade can win at the Vermont contest but cannot advance to National History Day.

You might also want to watch some helpful videos from National History Day.

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