Teacher's Toolkit
Hooking the Student

An inquiry approach to learning history puts asking questions, doing research, and using primary sources at the forefront of students' educational experience. One way to support students is introducing History Fair with history-based activities that encourage questioning, brainstorming, reflective thinking, and team work.

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Student Preassessment

Created in consultation with History Fair teachers, the pre-assessment allows the teacher to assess students' historical thinking skills before the programs gets underway.  Teachers can see what students know about doing research, identifying a thesis, analyzing a photograph, and finding the main idea.  The pre-assessment (which can also do double-duty as a "post') makes a worthy peer-reviewing activity as well.

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Developing Question & Topic

HISTORY FAIR TOPIC SELECTION SHEET--SIX 'EASY' QUESTIONS

Give students the "Evaluating Topics" graphic to review first or model one topic together.

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Making an Argument

One of the most important, and challenging, tasks that students will undertake in the History Fair is crafting a historical argument.  Just like an attorney in a courtroom attempts to prove a case with strong evidence, a good History Fair project takes a clear stand and develops a case by presenting cogent claims and persuasive evidence drawn from primary and secondary sources.  At the center of the historical argument is a thesis which will be developed through claims and evidence.

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Communicating

One of the exciting features of History Fair is that it gives students the opportunity to present their findings the way they like to communicate.  Download these new student-centered category guides to get the full scoop on what it takes to produce papers, exhibits, performances, and documentaries.

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