National History Day Workshop (September 19 & 20, 2012)

After recently discovering that our friends at National History Day in Colorado are also housed on Auraria campus, the TPS Western Region program teamed up with them and History Colorado for an exciting (and, really, long overdue) collaborative workshop. For two days at the brand new History Colorado Center, attendees learned about the National History Day project, and how to access and incorporate the considerable amount of primary sources available to them at the Library of Congress into their classrooms, for National History Day and beyond.

Kendra Black and Stacey Pendleton from the National History Day in Colorado program, kicked off the workshop with an introduction to the NHD project, and the theme of next year’s (2013) competition: “Turning Points in History: People, Ideas, Events”, as well as possible topics related specifically to Colorado. Some sample project ideas are listed on the NHD  webpage, as inspiration for both educators and students. The site proposes:

Create a 2013 Project on a Colorado History Topic.  History Colorado, our State Historical Society, suggests these topics:

  • Santa Fe Trail created to link a trade route between Santa Fe (Spain) and US
  • Bent’s Fort building dividing US from Mexico
  • US/Mexico War –effects on Colorado
  • Treaty of Hidalgo cedes parts of Colorado to US from Mexico, in theory guarantees rights
  • Mexicans find gold in Confluence called Mexican Diggings
  • Chinese Riots
  • Ludlow
  • Immigration act of 1917 allows mass immigration of Mexicans
  • Gov. Ed Johnson declares martial law at New Mexico border to hold back migrant workers
  • Chicano rights movement created, 1960 – urban/Gonzales, rural/NM
  • First Denver Hispanic mayor elected, 1983
  • Colo. Supreme Court ruling on Mexican land grants in favor of descendants of original settlers
  • Sand Creek
  • School busing/desegregation in Denver
  • Woman’s suffrage – 1892
  • Casmiro Barela – publishing state constitution in Spanish
  • Official English vote, 1988
  • Klan in state
  • Displaced Auraria neighborhood at UCD– what happened to residents

Kendra and Stacey then walked the participants through the “nuts & bolts” of the various formats a National History Day project can take, such as a documentary, an exhibit (an example of which you can view in our photos below), a paper, performance, or website.

History Colorado historian Bill Convery was up next and presented on five turning points in Colorado history the educators could use as contextual background for their projects. They were:

  1. The Sand Creek Massacre
  2. Homestead Act in CO
  3. Transportation to Recreation: Skiing in CO
  4. Bent Meets the Cheyenne
  5. Ralph Carr Takes a Stand

TPS was up next with an introduction to inquiry, how to teach it and how to do it yourself, led by TPS consultant Cindy Stout. She then presented on primary sources and how to access them from the Library of Congress’ website — not an easy thing to do!

Then, Joe Cahn & Barbara Whalen, reference librarians from the Denver Public Library presented on how students can use DPL’s resources and treasures to improve their NHD projects.  Visit their website for additional information and to fill out a request form for an hour-long, one-on-one research appointment. How cool is that!?

After lunch was a lively, engaging and humorous presentation on old Colorado maps by Wes Brown. Titled, “How the Gold Rush Put Colorado on the Map”, Wes demonstrated how maps, and the power of those who pay for their creation, can affect not only the economics of a region, but its history. It was a fascinating talk, and if you ever get a chance to see him speak, do not pass it up!

For the rest of the first day, participants researched their topics and created the annotated resource sets (ARS) for their projects, which were one of the goals for the workshop.

On Day 2, the participants got into the nuts and bolts of their topics and projects. With small presentations interspersed throughout —such as different technology tools the participants could use, our famous Waldseemuller Map activity, and talks on the creative process —the participants spent a great deal of time researching their topics at the Library of Congress, working with their peers, and fine tuning. At the close of the day, a few of the participants were asked to share their projects with the workshop. This was followed by a panel discussion by a few veteran National History Day teachers who shared their experiences, wisdom and suggestions with the participants.

This really was a unique and wonderful opportunity not only for the National History Day participants, but for all of us as TPS @ Metro State, History Colorado, and of course, National History Day in Colorado. We were all extremely pleased with the way it turned out and the amount of positive feedback we received from participants. We hope to have this workshop again next year.

Please have a look at some of the pictures from the workshop below.

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