Banner for National History Day <i>in Massachusetts</i>

National History Day in Massachusetts

NHD Educators

Why Teach NHD

Are you looking for a proven program that deepens student engagement with research and writing and aligns with the Massachusetts framework for history and social science? Do you want to incorporate the action civics project requirement into your curriculum without reinventing the wheel? 

The National History Day in Massachusetts program checks all these boxes and more:

  • Deepens student understanding around a content area that you’re already covering in class
  • Aligns with DESE's "three pillars" of history and social science instruction: content, practice, and literacy standards
  • Makes history relevant, engaging, and meaningful for students
  • Provides historical context for community issues and hones skills and dispositions that students will need for action civics projects
  • Guides students through the process of inquiry: how to develop research questions, how to glean information from primary sources, how to craft a compelling argument, etc.
  • Provides ELL learners the opportunity to use primary sources written in languages other than English

How NHD Massachusetts Supports Educators

Our staff are ready to support you through every aspect of the NHD journey, whether you are a seasoned NHD teacher or participating in the program for the first time.

  • Curricular resources (worksheets that can be used as-is or customized)
  • One-on-one coaching on how to teach effective research strategies
  • Optional Zoom presentations for students to strengthen skills
  • Access to a rich network of online resources available through the MHS, partnering organizations, and NHD teacher ambassadors

Contact Us With Questions!

Interested in learning more about NHD?  Looking for resources, support, or just have a question?  Want a virtual class visit to introduce students to the NHD project, research tips, or theme?  Email your NHD Massachusetts State Coordinator Simbrit Paskins at!

How Students Can Participate

There are various levels of participation.  For example, teachers implement the NHD program as:

  • a class-wide or grade-wide graded project
  • an after school activity
  • an option for extra credit

Competition is not a requirement. NHD in Massachusetts believes that the NHD deep dive into historical research and inquiry, interpretation, and creative expression is an achievement all on its own. If students want to compete—go for it! But students or teachers can also choose for their program to culminate in a showcase or school display.  We want students to know that competition does not correlate to success.

Teacher Guide

We invite you to explore our brand new Teacher Guide! We have selected our favorite classroom resources from Massachusetts and partner affiliates for every step of the NHD project:

Teacher Guide

Additional Curricular Resources

In addition to the selected resources in our Teacher Guide, we recommend exploring the numerous curricular resources available via our partner institutions:

  • NHD Nationals: The official National History Day has a ton of great teacher resources, including curricular materials, links to project examples, and professional development programming.  In particular, check out the NHD Teacher Resource Page for tools to use in your classroom.  Check out the Quick Digital Research Tips for some great videos (or see our favorites below!).  Similarly, you can send your students to the NHD Student Resource Page for lots of student-oriented materials on building their projects.
  • NHD Virtual Teacher Bag: This virtual goodie bag is full of goodies from dozens of the museums and historical organizations that partner with NHD Nationals
  • Minnesota History Day: The MHD website is chock full of classroom resources.  This curricular page includes worksheets and classroom guides for every stage of the NHD process, including the NHD Minnesota 2021 Teacher Framework.
  • Utah History Day offers a fantastic NHD Project Guidebook for teachers, with plenty of classroom tools and material on the new NHD rules.
  • Georgia History Day: The GHD website links to a number of curricular resources and worksheets 
  • National History Day Virtual Playbook: Developed by NHD in CA, UT, ID, MI, and IA, this padlet is your one stop shop for everything you need to implement NHD in a virtual or hybrid classroom. 

Making History: A Teacher's Guide to the National History Day Program

Image of the cover of the NHD teacher guidebook.  Title:


We highly recommend the new teacher guide published by National History Day!  This newly updated book features step-by-step guidance on how to conduct historical research and give students direction on how to create and craft the best possible NHD projects.  This guidebook is available for purchase on the NHD website for $49.00.


Multimedia Resources for the Classroom

These short videos can be used to introduce NHD concepts and skills in the classroom.  We especially recommend checking out the National History Day Youtube page, where new videos are being added all the time!

NHD Rules: General Rules for All Categories


NHD Theme

Check out this playlist by UNUM Ken Burns to explore topic ideas such as scientific frontiers, frontiers in travel and exploration, social frontiers, the Western frontier, and more!


Project Categories


National History Day frequently posts new videos to their Quick Digital Research Tips series on the NHD Youtube Page.  We've included our favorites below, but make sure to check their page to see what's new!


Building an Argument

Annotated Bibliography


By Students, For Students

Educator PD and Multimedia Resources

These webinars and videos playlists are available to help build teacher skills for teaching project-based research and the NHD curriculum.