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National History Day in Wisconsin banner.

Standards: Connections to Curriculum

Wisconsin State Standards

The National History Day program has been designed to assist teachers and schools in meeting several educational standards. In Wisconsin, National History Day supports the state Model Academic Standards for Social Studies. Students completing History Day projects will likely address one or more of the following standards:


  • B.8.1 Interpret the past using a variety of sources, such as biographies, diaries, journals, artifacts, eyewitness interviews, and other primary source materials, evaluate the credibility of sources used
  • B.8.2 Employ cause-and-effect arguments to demonstrate how significant events have influenced the past and the present in the United States and world history.
  • B.8.3 Describe the relationships between and among significant events, such as the causes and consequences of wars in the United States and world history
  • B.8.4 Explain how and why events may be interpreted differently depending upon the perspectives of participants, witnesses, reporters, and historians
  • B.8.7 Identify significant events and people in the major eras of United States and world history
  • B.8.10 Analyze examples of conflict, cooperation, and interdependence among groups, societies, or nations
  • B.12.1 Explain different points of view on the same historical event, using data gathered from various sources, such as letters, journals, diaries, newspapers, government documents, and speeches
  • B.12.2 Analyze primary and secondary sources related to a historical question to evaluate their relevance, make comparisons, integrate new information with prior knowledge, and come to a reasoned conclusion
  • B.12.4 Assess the validity of different interpretations of significant historical events
  • B.12.5 Gather various types of historical evidence, including visual and quantitative data, to analyze issues of freedom and equality, liberty and order, region and nation, individual and community, law and conscience, diversity and civic duty; form a reasoned conclusion in the light of other possible conclusions; and develop a coherent argument in the light of other possible arguments
  • B.12.8 Recall, select, and explain the significance of important people, their work, and their ideas in the areas of political and intellectual leadership, inventions, discoveries, and the arts, within each major era of Wisconsin, United States, and world history
  • B.12.11 Compare examples and analyze why governments of various countries have sometimes sought peaceful resolution to conflicts and sometimes gone to war

Reading & Literature

  • A.8.1 Use effective reading strategies to achieve their purposes in reading
    • Use knowledge of sentence and word structure, word origins, visual images, and context clues to understand unfamiliar words and clarify passages of text
    • Establish purposeful reading and writing habits by using texts to find information, gain understanding of diverse viewpoints, make decisions, and enjoy the experience of reading
    • Select, summarize, paraphrase, analyze, and evaluate, orally and in writing, passage of text chosen for specific purposes
  • A.8.3 Read and discuss literary and nonliterary texts in order to understand human experience
    • Provide interpretive responses, orally and in writing, to literary and nonliterary texts representing the diversity of American cultural heritage and cultures of the world
    • Evaluate the themes and main ideas of a work considering its audience and purpose
  • A.8.4 Read to acquire information
    • Interpret and use technical resources such as charts, tables, travel schedules, timelines, and manuals
    • Compare, contrast, and evaluate the relative accuracy and usefullness of information from different sources
    • Identify and explain information, main ideas, and organization found in a variety of informational passages
    • Distinguish between facts found in documents, narratives, charts, maps, tables, and other sources and the generalizations and interpretations that are drawn from them
  • A.12.1 Use effective reading strategies to achieve their purposes in reading
    • Gather information to help achieve understanding when the meaning of a text is unclear
    • Apply knowledge of expository structures, such as the deductive or inductive development of an argument, to the comprehension and evaluation of texts
    • Identify propaganda techniques and faulty reasoning in texts
    • Distinguish between fact and opinion in nonfiction texts
  • A.12.3 Read and discuss literary and nonliterary text in order to understand human experience.
    • Examine, explain, and evaluate, orally and in writing, various perspectives concerning individual, community, national, and world issues reflected in literary and nonliterary texts
    • Develop and articulate, orally and in writing, defensible points of view on individual, community, national, and world issues reflected in literary and nonliterary texts
    • Identify the devices an author uses to influence their readers and critique the effectiveness of their use
  • A.12.4 Students will read to acquire information
    • Apply tests of logic and reasoning to informational and persuasive texts
    • Analyze and synthesize concepts and details encountered in informational texts such as reports, technical manuals, historical papers, and government documents
    • Draw on and integrate information from multiple sources when acquiring knowledge and developing a position on a topic of interest
    • Evaluate reliability and authenticity of information conveyed in a text, using criteria based on knowledge of the author, topic, and context and analysis of logic, evidence, propaganda, and language

Research & Inquiry

  • F.8.1 Conduct research and inquiry on self-selected or assigned topics, issues, or problems and use an appropriate form to communicate their findings.
    • Formulate research questions and focus investigation on relevant and accessible sources of information
    • Use multiple sources to identify and locate information pertinent to research including encyclopedias, almanacs, dictionaries, library catalogs, indexes to periodicals, and various electronic search engines
    • Conduct interviews, field studies, and experiments and use specialized resources (such as almanacs, fact books, pamphlets, and technical manuals) when appropriate to an investigation
    • Compile, organize, and evaluate information, taking notes that record and summarize what has been learned and extending the investigation to other sources
    • Review and evaluate the usefulness of information gathered in an investigation
    • Produce an organized written and oral report that presents and reflects on findings, draws sound conclusions, adheres to the conventions for preparing a manuscript, and gives proper credit to sources
  • F.12.1 Conduct research and inquiry on self-selected or assigned topics, issues, or problems and use an appropriate form to communicate their findings.
    • Formulate questions addressing issues or problems that can be answered through a well defined and focused investigation
    • Use research tools found in school and college libraries, take notes, collect and classify sources, and develop strategies for finding and recording information
    • Conduct interviews, taking notes or recording and transcribing oral information, then summarizing the results
    • Develop research strategies appropriate to the investigation, considering methods such as questionnaires, experiments, and field studies
    • Organize research materials and data, maintaining a note-taking system that includes summary, paraphrase, and quoted material
    • Evaluate the usefulness and credibility of data and sources by applying tests of evidence, including bias, position, expertise, adequacy, validity, reliability, and date
    • Analyze, synthesize, and integrate data, drafting a reasoned report that supports and appropriately illustrates inferences and conclusions drawn from research
    • Present findings in oral and written reports, correctly citing sources


Oral Language

  • C.8.1 Orally communicate information, opinions, and ideas effectively to different audiences for a variety of purposes.
    • Share brief impromptu remarks about topics of interest to oneself and others
    • Speaking from notes or an outline, relate an experience in descriptive detail, with a sense of timing and decorum appropriate to the occasion
    • Perform expressive oral readings of prose, poetry, and drama
    • Prepare and conduct interviews
    • Present a coherent, comprehensive report on differing viewpoints on an issue, evaluating the content of the material presented, and organizing the presentation in a manner appropriate to the audience
    • Differentiate between formal and informal contexts and employ an appropriate style of speaking, adjusting language, gestures, rate, and volume according to audience and purpose
    • Observe the appropriate etiquette when expressing thanks and receiving praise
  • C.8.2 Listen to and comprehend oral communications.
    • Summarize and explain the information conveyed in an oral communication, accounting for the key ideas, structure, and relationship of parts to the whole
    • Distinguish among purposes for listening, such as gaining information or being entertained, and take notes as appropriate
    • Recall significant details and sequence accurately
    • Follow a speaker's argument and represent it in notes
    • Evaluate the reliability of information in a communication, using criteria based on prior knowledge of the speaker, the topic, and the context and on analysis of logic, evidence, propaganda devices, and language
  • C.8.3 Participate effectively in discussion.
    • Participate in discussion by listening attentively, demonstrating respect for the opinions of others, and responding responsibly and courteously to the remarks of others
    • Explain and advance opinions by citing evidence and referring to sources
    • Evaluate the stated ideas and opinions of others, seeking clarification through questions
    • Invite ideas and opinions of others into the discussion, responding clearly and tactfully to questions and comments
    • Accept and use helpful criticism
    • Establish and maintain an open mind when listening to others' ideas and opinions
    • Summarize the main points of a discussion, orally and in writing, specifying areas of agreement and disagreement and paraphrasing contributions
    • Display and maintain facial expressions, body language, and other response cues that indicate respect for the speaker and attention to the discussion
    • Attend to the content of discussion rather than the speaker
    • Participate in discussion without dominating
    • Distinguish between supported and unsupported statements
  • C.12.1 Prepare and deliver formal oral presentations appropriate to specific purposes and audiences.
    • Develop and deliver a speech that conveys information and ideas in logical fashion for a selected audience, using language that clarifies and reinforces meaning
    • Construct and present a coherent argument, summarizing then refuting opposing positions, and citing persuasive evidence
    • Participate effectively in question-and-answer sessions following presentations
    • Summarize narrative and numerical information accurately and logically in presentations
    • Demonstrate confidence and poise during presentations, interacting effectively with the audience, and selecting language and gestures mindful of their effect
    • Demonstrate the ability to debate an issue from either side
    • Interpret literary works orally, citing textual data in support of assertions
    • Synthesize and present results of research projects, accurately summarizing and illustrating the main ideas, using appropriate technological aids, and offering support for the conclusions
    • Speak fluently with varied inflection and effective eye contact, enunciating clearly at an appropriate rate and volume
    • Observe the appropriate etiquette when expressing thanks and receiving praise
  • C.12.2 Listen to, discuss, and comprehend oral communications.
    • Attend to both literal and connotative meanings
    • Distinguish between relevant and irrelevant information
    • Distinguish fact from opinion, evaluate logic, and identify manipulative techniques
    • Analyze messages for their accuracy and usefulness
    • Evaluate a speaker's use of diction, tone, syntax, rhetorical structure, and conventions of language considering the purpose and context of the communication
    • Relate a speaker's ideas and information to prior knowledge and experience
    • Consider the specific situation and current conditions when responding to instructions
  • C.12.3 Participate effectively in discussion.
    • Detect and evaluate a speaker's bias
    • Consider the ideas and opinions of other speakers thoughtfully before responding
    • Evaluate the validity and adequacy of ideas, arguments, hypotheses, and evidence
    • Be aware of and try to control counterproductive emotional responses to a speaker or ideas conveyed in a discussion
    • Appraise the purpose of discussions by examining their context and the motivation of participants
    • Perform various roles in a discussion, including leader, participant, and moderator
    • Demonstrate the ability to extend a discussion by adding relevant information or asking pertinent questions
    • Explain and advance opinions by citing evidence and referring to authoritative sources
    • Employ strategies such as summarizing main ideas or identifying areas of agreement to solve problems, resolve conflicts, and conclude discussions
    • Convey criticism in a respectful and supportive way
National Standards

National History Day and National Educational Standards (PDF 55KB). This four-page document found on the NHD website illustrates how participation in the National History Day program supports teachers and students in meeting local, state and particularly national education standards. National History Day can also help educators to meet many of the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts and Literacy in History/Social Studies (PDF 57KB)

National NHD Program Evaluation

A recent national evaluation has confirmed the benefits of National History Day, a program in which many teachers already believe. Researchers examined students' success across a range of measures: performance assessments, surveys, standardized scores, academic performance, and interest in past and current events. Researchers then compared their evaluations of students who participated in National History Day to their peers who did not participate in the program. The study, conducted at four sites around the country, found that on nearly every measure, NHD students' scores or ratings were higher than their peers who did not participate in the program. Read more on the national NHD website.

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