History Day Timeline

Project Steps

Step One: Choose a Topic

  • Learn about the current theme.
  • Start researching topics. A good History Day topic will have a strong theme connection, but will also be interesting to the student.
  • Once a student has chosen a topic, begin to narrow that topic.

Step Two: Research

  • History Day students will need primary and secondary sources. Learn about each kind of source.
  • Start to research online, then move to books found at a school or local library.
  • Attend a Hullabaloo where students can receive research help and one-on-one project advice from History Day staff.
  • Look for special collections related to topic. This can be a good way to find primary sources.

Step Three: Project Construction

Step Four: Competitions

Sample History Day Timelines in the Classroom
History Day is designed for teachers to adapt in their classroom. Below we have suggested a broad timeline for completing the History Day program. Teachers, we have a variety of sample timelines, created by Minnesota History Day teachers. See more teacher-created resources in the Master Teacher Network.
September/October -
TeachersIntroduce History Day to your students. Begin discussing the theme, and topics students may be interested in. Introuce primary and secondary sources. You may ask students to complete a topic proposal, or to sign an agreement between group members and parents.
Students: Read about the theme, and think about what your interests - in history or in your regular life. The best History Day topic is the topic about which you care.
November/December -
TeachersHave students choose a topic, and begin their secondary source research. Once they've narrowed their topic, encourage them to begin researching primary sources.
Students: Choose a topic you're interested in, but begin research with an open mind. Your focus will chance as you narrow your topic.
December/January -
TeachersEncourage students to attend a Hullabaloo for research and project help. Prepare for the participation survey by getting a sense of how many projects in each category your school has in each category/division. Discuss and combine project totals with other History Day teachers in your school. The participation survey will be emailed in early December and due in early January.
StudentsHullabaloos start in December. Find one near you, and take advantage of the opportunity to do research and consult one-on-one with History Day staff. Research is the key to a great History Day project. To understand and analyze history, you need a wide variety of primary and secondary sources.
Wed., January 8
Teachers: Participation Survey is due. If you do not recieve the link by this date, please contact History Day staff immediately.
Fri., January 17
Teachers: Regional event allotments will be sent with registration forms. You may only register the number of projects that you are allotted.
TeachersHelp your students transition from research to project construction. Place emphasis on the quality of research, analysis, and content in a project. Hold a school contest/fair at minimum three weeks prior to your Regional event.
StudentsBegin putting together your final project. Keep in mind that content is the most important piece of any History Day project. Check the History Day rulebook for rules specific to your category, and don't forget to write your bibliography and process paper.
History Day contest season begins. Regionals and off-site Paper judging take place in March, State feedback sessions are in April, and State History Day is held at the end of April or beginning of May.

National History Day in Minnesota is sponsored by the Minnesota Historical Society and the University of Minnesota, Department of History
Minnesota Historical SocietyUniveristy of Minnesota