Welcome, Educators!


photo students with Alabama banner

Undertaking a NHD project, changes the student forever. While it prepares them for their future academic careers, the most enjoyable aspect to me is witnessing the growth of their self-confidence.

-Courtney L. Spencer teaches at Prattville Junior High. Her students have been to Nationals twice, last year placing in the top ten! This is her 4th year of participation.

Alabama History Day provides everything teachers need to bring students on an unforgettable learning adventure that integrates with—and enhances—standards-based curriculum. The program taps into intrinsic motivation by allowing students to self-select topics of interest and by providing a variety of choices in presentation.

Findings from the National Program Evaluation in 2011 indicated multiple benefits of participation:

  • Students learn 21st century college- and career-ready skills like collaborating with a team, talking to experts, time management and perseverance.
  • Students demonstrate critical thinking by digesting, analyzing, and synthesizing information.
  • Students outperform their non-NHD peers on state standardized tests in multiple subjects, including reading, science and math, as well as social studies.

No matter how researchers analyzed the data—by gender, ethnicity, grade level, and site—history day participants still posted higher scores than their peers.

We Are Here To Help!

Our job is to facilitate the rewarding experience of participating in the Alabama History Day Program.  We have begun by creating a general walk-through for students that you, as a  teacher, may find helpful as well!  Below, we have provided some resources that we hope will be of use in your classrooms.

What are you waiting for?  If you are new to the program and need assistance getting started, please contact us!  All comments, questions, and suggestions are welcomed as we work to identify best practices for supporting educators and students participating in Alabama History Day.

Instructional Resources

The use of primary sources is foundational to every History Day project.  Simple user friendly instruction for Using Primary Sources In The Classroom  have been created by the Library of Congress. Be sure to check out the variety of “Teacher’s Guides” customized for specific forms of media, as well as their student “Analysis Tool.”

Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction & Colorado Department of Education collaborated with the Wisconsin Historical Society to identify connections and correlations between the Common Core State Standards and the National History Day Program.

Several teachers from across the country contributed to National History Day to create the teacher resource packets below.  Included are a variety of assignments, handouts, research skills activities, tracking tools, and rubrics. They are provided in the form of Word documents and can be edited to best fit your classroom needs!




The spreadsheets below were created by National History Day for classroom use. Formula’s have been embedded for ease of scoring. Comment boxes have been included for both “strengths” and “opportunities for improvement.” At the bottom of the page there is also a rule compliance checklist to evaluate competition readiness.

Documentary       Exhibit         Paper          Performance         Website

Download the file and edit the language to fit your classroom needs. (Remember to “Enable Editing”). Copy and paste a new sheet for each student. When grading, for each criterion enter the appropriate score in one of the yellow cells in columns B, D, or F. The rubric will do the rest!

*Qualitative versions of these rubrics (without scoring formulas) can be found at the bottom of the student page with each of the five different formats.